The Charlotte News

Monday, May 30, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris at the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Russia, according to a French source, rejected the Western proposal for a federal government for all of Germany under the new West German constitution. Russia favored rejuvenation of the moribund four-power Allied Control Council from which Russia had exited in March, 1948. The rejuvenated Council would oversee a German Administration Council.

In Berlin, the Russian-controlled German Peoples Congress ratified by a show of hands its new constitution for the Eastern zone of Germany. The Congress named Gerhard Eisler, whom Britain had just refused to extradite to the U.S. on convictions of falsification of a passport and contempt of Congress, as a candidate for the People's Council for East Germany. Mr. Eisler was headed to Leipzig to accept a teaching post at the University.

The nine-day old West Berlin rail strike continued, with the primary goal of the workers being payment in Western marks by the Russian-managed railway.

In La Paz, Bolivia, the Bolivian Interior Ministry announced that two American engineers were killed and five other Americans wounded in strike violence at the Patino tin mines in Catavi. Another American was missing. Some 550 strikers had been arrested and order had been restored, according to Bolivian troops. Between seven and twenty persons in all had been killed and casualties had not been determined. Fifteen persons, including seven American engineers, had been seized by the strikers on Saturday and reportedly beaten, some, including two Americans, "mutilated".

In Arlington National Cemetery at the Amphitheater, Senator Millard Tydings, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, provided the primary address for Memorial Day, urging an America so strong that there would never be any future Unknown Soldier.

General Mark Clark went to Anzio, Italy, to honor the war dead of the Fifth Army, which he had commanded during the war.

In Washington, Admiral William Halsey, in a Memorial Day address, cautioned against pinning the nation's defense on unproved weapons and urged support of the aircraft carrier as the best potential preserver of peace. He also said that the B-36 super-bomber was vulnerable to high altitude fighter attack from jets.

On Guam, the third of three Air Force defendants accused of the rape-murder of a woman the previous December 11 was found guilty and sentenced to death by an Air Force military tribunal.

In Irwinton, Ga., a young black man, 28, was taken from a jail cell by a white mob and shot and beaten to death. He had been arrested the previous night at around midnight following a disturbance at a roadhouse, during his arrest for which, he had allegedly shot at the Sheriff, after taking the Sheriff's gun. Another black man had come to the Sheriff's assistance, however, and handed him a gun which enabled him to re-apprehend the man. The Sheriff was not wounded. After transporting the man to the jail, the Sheriff had returned to the roadhouse to retrieve his gun, during which time, according to the Sheriff's wife, the mob descended on the jail, took the man and, by the subsequent evidence, lynched him.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., an attractive 30-year old heiress was shot to death by her estranged husband, 47, who killed two other persons and then shot himself to death, utilizing a shotgun in all of the slayings. The other two people killed were an Army veteran, 32, getting ready to take the state bar exam, and his wife, 30. All of the killings took place in the home of the wife of the assailant.

In Montreat, N.C., at the Southern Presbyterian Conference, the Northern Presbyterians pleaded for reunification of the Church, divided in 1861 at the outset of the Civil War.

The Memorial Day weekend death toll across the nation had reached by the early afternoon 259, including 166 traffic fatalities, 55 drowned, and 38 dying in miscellaneous accidents. The National Safety Council had predicted 215 automobile fatalities for the three-day weekend. California led the nation with 11 automobile fatalities, 4 drownings and 7 deaths in other accidents. Illinois was second with 14 automobile fatalities and two in each of the other two categories. New York and Pennsylvania tied for third. North Carolina had 8 automobile fatalities and three drowning deaths.

In Indianapolis, Bill Holland led the Indianapolis 500 race after 300 miles, averaging 121 mph, breaking the midway point record of 120.337 mph established in 1948 by Mauri Rose, winner of the 1948 race. Mr. Holland had not made a pit stop in the first 300 miles.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports on the opening session of the sixth annual Spinner-Breeder Conference at the Hotel Charlotte. They were spinning up a yarn.

In Charlotte, a judge issued a temporary restraining order on enforcement of an ordinance, set to take effect June 1, which would have banned sales of milk in the city produced from plants which handled other than Grade A milk. The order had been sought by Coble Dairy.

You probably don't want to buy their milk right now.

On page 2-B, a list of prizes and details are provided for the Second Annual Hole-in-One Tournament at the Eastwood Golf Course. Be sure and get your entry forms and fire away.

On the editorial page, "School Bond Issue—V" tells of Governor Kerr Scott stating that the 25-million dollar bond issue on the ballot on June 4 would be just a first step in school construction and that more would be necessary.

In debate before the General Assembly in the 1949 session, it had become clear that no one had thought about how to retire the bonds, what it would cost to do so, or whether new taxes would be needed for the purpose. The anticipated expenditures for the next biennium were already running ahead of anticipated revenue by five million dollars. The 25 million dollars for the bond would be paid from the general fund and if the bonds were sold immediately, the interest would be added to the five million dollar deficit.

While this bond would not present a substantial obstacle to a balanced budget ultimately, more spending for the purpose could produce a problem.

With Federal income taxes already high, it would be difficult to get an increase in state income or sales taxes. Taxes on tobacco and soft drinks generally penalized the poor more than the wealthy. A State tax on land, abolished in 1933, could be revived, but it had been very unpopular, unlikely to be approved therefore by Governor Scott.

The revenue to the general fund from income and sales taxes had been high in recent years because of the wartime and postwar prosperity. With employment declining at present, that revenue could be reduced over the ensuing two years.

Thus, the approval of the bond would precipitate, of necessity, either new taxes to pay for it or a reduction of present expenses otherwise paid out of the general fund.

"A Middle Ground" finds that the two slips in security in the atomic energy program, the granting of an Atomic Energy Commission scholarship to a UNC graduate student who was a Communist and the loss of a small amount of U-235 from a Chicago laboratory, were not sufficient to warrant the hysteria which had resulted. If left unchecked, it was the kind of reaction which could lead to thought control.

A balance needed to be struck between security and encouragement of free scientific research in the field of atomic energy, vital to the nation's overall security. To have FBI checks of everyone who would be provided a Government scholarship was only a step removed from a police state. And to follow Senator Harry Cain's proposal to return atomic energy to military control would be a step backward in the wrong direction.

Conformity was now the overriding virtue and an inquisitive mind had become a thing of suspicion. Courage of convictions was no longer an admirable trait. Such was a recipe for mediocrity, driving off minds who would keep the country ahead in atomic energy research, affording real security.

It urges finding that middle ground.

A piece from the New York Daily Mirror, titled "Road Bond Pay-Off", quotes from a speech by New York Governor Thomas Dewey in which he had recounted that in the 1860's the Bronx decided to build a new plank road at a cost of $390,000. A bond was issued for the purpose at seven percent interest. He told of the City of New York still paying for it and said that when payment would be complete in the year 2147, the final cost would be three million dollars.

Drew Pearson provides his musings on Memorial Day, first reflecting back to V-J Day in 1945.

"A lot of mothers, a lot of veterans, a lot of fatherless children, a lot of widows will think of that unfulfilled pledge today. We should think of it on other days, but we don't."

"John McCrae's words still ringing from the last war: 'If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep.'"

And then he goes back to Philadelphia in 1918 where he was drilling when crowds came to the parade ground to shout that the Kaiser had fled and that Germany had surrendered.

The Marshall Plan was working for peace and the American people were working to pay for it. He remembers the Friendship Train to France in November, 1947, and the Merci Train in return more recently.

Moscow, he posits, knew the full import of people-to-people friendship. Stalin was likely envious of the mutual friendship shown between Americans and the people of Italy and France during the previous 18 months, while the Communists had lost in elections in both countries.

Secretary of State Acheson's real job in Paris, he suggests, was to lift the iron curtain to enable the two peoples to get to know one another. The only worthwhile agreement with Russia was one based on mutual friendship, as treaties, the past had shown, were worthless.

Stewart Alsop, in Canton, China, discusses the remaining areas in China which would hold out against the Communists, aside from Chiang Kai-Shek's island fortress stronghold of Formosa—an island of strategic importance to the U.S. for its security to Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines from Communist approach. The Nationalist resistance on the mainland was virtually at an end and the remainder of the resistance would come from major local centers, still semi-feudal.

Kwangsi Province to the west of Canton, along the Canton-Hankow railroad, had been the domain of Acting President Li Tsung-Jen and his General Pai Chung-Hsi for decades. With loyal armies, this province would be hard for the Communists to take.

Yunnan Province, with its wartime air base of Kunming, was strategically the most important area of mainland China, sharing borders with Indo-China and Burma. If taken, the Chinese Communists could then link with the Communists in the latter two countries. Backward and ravaged by bandits, the province had a dispersed leadership but its geography made it nearly impregnable.

Szechuan also had dispersed leadership and a terrain difficult to approach. If a defense could be organized among the many troops with diverse allegiances, it could be formidable.

The northwest provinces had rugged terrain and was dominated by the tenacious fighting forces of the Moslems, dominated in turn by the Ma Clan with 80,000 men under arms and the capability of having another 200,000. In five successive engagements with the Communists, the Mas had been victorious and were more determined to fight than any of the forces in the South.

The Communists might be able to mop up these pockets of resistance one by one, but the feudal leaders might be able to hold out for a long time. It was in the immediate interests of the U.S. for them to hold out as long as possible.

Hal Boyle discusses Memorial Day and the last remnants of the Civil War veterans, 68 of whom were pictured in the current edition of Life. One of their number, William Magee of Los Angeles, died at age 102 before the edition was published. The fact that there were eight more Confederate veterans still alive than Union veterans was only the result of the Confederacy having to take younger soldiers, as young as ten, by the end of the war.

When the last of them would die, the earth would hold in silence three million veterans of that war. The three-billion dollar price tag to the North for the war was still being paid. There were 110,000 combat deaths and 221,791 lives lost by disease on the Northern side. In addition, the North had paid out eight billion dollars in pensions and compensation claims since the war. In 1948, the V.A. still had 16,372 Civil War cases on its books, virtually all of whom were dependents of war veterans.

Woodrow Wilson as an historian had pinned the Southern losses at 133,831 killed and wounded in an army of 900,000, less than half the force put into the field by the North. About 30,000 Confederates died in prison, primarily from disease. An equal number of Northern soldiers died in Southern prisons.

The monetary cost to the South was impossible to estimate as its industries were destroyed and its currency rendered worthless. For years after the war, the South suffered from Reconstruction, occupation by Federal troops and economic plunder by Northern carpetbaggers. There was no Marshall Plan for rebuilding the South.

Many Southerners believed that the region was set back two generations by the lost war and Reconstruction. Many believed that the South was still paying for the war.

The bitterness of defeat, however, had been dying out since the second generation away from the war.

"The earlier scars are slowly being forgotten. We have deeper scars now to keep us together."

A letter writer suggests that if the pending 200-million dollar rural road bond issue were passed, North Carolina would be spending more per capita on roads than New York or Pennsylvania, the leading road-building states in 1948. He thus asks whether that was really necessary for the progress of the state.

A letter from an alumnus of UNC relates of his embarrassment to find Communists on the campus and hired as part-time graduate instructors, as in the case of Communist Hans Freistadt who had an AEC scholarship to study the special theory of relativity.

The country, he says, could not junk capitalism for communism any more than one would, for its imperfections, junk a Lincoln for a Model T. He thinks, however, that was what the country was doing by venturing into "welfare, socialistic or communistic concepts of government."

"Let's make this car what it is capable of being and stop gumming up the process by trying to use T-model parts."

The Ford Motor Company may resent you comparing the Model T to Communism, especially since the Lincoln, the analogue to capitalism, was originally built by another company. Maybe you ought compare the ZIS to the Lincoln, or maybe the Pobeda to the Ford.

A letter writer criticizes the previous writer who had urged that the country rid itself of the "despotic" "spell of Roosevelt", in relation to the recent Congressional election victory of FDR, Jr., in New York to replace deceased Congressman Sol Bloom. This writer urges looking at a recent issue of Life to find the ratings of Presidents by authorities in U.S. history, invited to the task by Harvard history professor Arthur Schlesinger, ranking FDR third among the "great Presidents", only behind Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. He finds the previous writer to be taking his cues from conservative columnist Westbrook Pegler.

A letter from the North Carolina Symphony Society thanks the newspaper, and particularly reporter Donald McDonald, for supporting the North Carolina Symphony.

Returning momentarily to the assassination of President Kennedy, if this witness's recollection is recalled accurately, and there is no earthly reason to doubt it, it is reasonable to believe, especially considering the abnormal abruptness with which the explosion of the President's head arises and subsides in the course of the single frame of film, 313, an 18th of a second, no longer visible in frame 314, that at least four or five frames, in two short segments, comprising perhaps a total of a quarter of a second, are missing immediately before and after a shot is fired to the head from the front, accounting for the inconsistency through time of the claimed slight forward head movement of the President, not actually visible on the film but rather a misperception, the result of the photographer's slight movement of the camera in reaction to the sound of a shot, as we suggested in February, 2003.

That there were two shots fired to the head of the President nearly simultaneously, the first striking from the rear, followed by a frontal shot within a fraction of a second afterward—consistent with the reconstructed sounds from the motorcycle radio dictabelt, disputed though that is for supposedly not being recorded within the time frame of the assassination—thus comes into focus as a real probability. That would explain inconsistencies between that visible in the film, showing only a wound to the right anterior temple, and the generally consistent statements of doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital who treated the President and saw the head wound at close proximity, that there was a gaping hole in the back of the President's head, consistent with an exit wound.

Such removal of frames, resulting in the abnormally abrupt dissipation of the brain matter, visible only in frame 313, not allowing enough time for gravity in common experience to work in a normal manner, would have been necessitated to obscure the sharp and sudden head movement forward, followed by the rearward movement, consistent then only with two shots, one from the rear and a second in close proximity in time from the front, and not only, as has been contended, rearward movement in physical reaction to a rearward shot exiting the forward right temple area.

Such a pronounced forward head movement was recounted contemporaneously by those few who in 1963 saw the original film—there being a question, of course, then raised as to the version of the original film actually viewed, the one absent the supposed missing frames or the one with them intact, and whether, on a single viewing, every detail and nuance was recalled with precise accuracy even by skilled and experienced reporters dedicated to accuracy, especially given the shocking nature of the film and the lack of evidence at the time, by Monday, November 25, that there might have been a conspiracy. Complicating accuracy under the scenario of a few missing frames, would have been lack of continuity amounting only to fractions of a second, not readily comprehensible to the conscious mind at the moment, the mind tending normally to fill in the blank fraction of a second between all motion picture film frames, not perceiving those redundant, omnipresent blanks, compounded by inevitable tension, leading to slightly confused perceptions of what had been actually observed in the first instance.

When visualized, the scenario adds up to a whole and complete version of the final shots fired in Dealey Plaza that day, two to the President's head, one from the rear and one from the front, in such close succession that their sound, through echo patterns generated by reflection from the surrounding buildings, reverberated to percipient witnesses as one. But to have instead only one assassin and no conspiracy—not necesssarily for the sinister reasons extrapolated involving Government cover-up of Government involvement, but genuinely, given the time, to avoid the assumption that therefore Soviet Russia was behind such a conspiracy to assassinate the President, a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the greatest single embarrassment to Russia during the Cold War, which could reasonably have been assumed to have led to cries from the public and powerful conservative members of Congress, based on such a presumed conspiratorial source, that immediate retaliation occur in forceful form—, would have required the obfuscation of the truth at that time, for true reasons of national security.

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