The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 30, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Joint Chiefs, General Omar Bradley, Admiral Louis Denfeld, and Air Force General Hoyt Vandenberg, had arrived in Frankfurt to begin a ten-day conference with Western European military chiefs to discuss military issues with regard to implementation of NATO and to review the American forces in Europe. They would also go to London, Paris, and Vienna.

In Rome, the Italian Senate approved ratification of NATO by a vote of 175 to 81. The Chamber of Deputies had already approved it. Only the Netherlands among the eleven signatory nations had not yet ratified the treaty but was expected to do so the following week.

In Shanghai, the U.S. Consulate was besieged by about 150 Shanghai employees of the U.S. Navy, demanding six months of back pay and severance allowance. It was the second successive day of the protest. The dispute stemmed from swift withdrawal of Navy units with the approach of the Communist Chinese and the workers claimed they had been improperly discharged without notice.

The Senate Investigating subcommittee again questioned in executive session John Maragon in connection with the influence peddling scheme involving Government contracts. The New York Herald Tribune said that the subcommittee was looking into reports that Mr. Maragon had sought to avoid payment of customs duties on a bottle which he claimed was champagne for the White House when in fact it contained $8,000 worth of perfume. When the perfume was discovered by customs officials, he was required to pay $1,600 in duties. Mr. Maragon said that there was nothing to the story.

Near Fort Dix, N.J., an Eastern Air Lines DC-3 crashed and burned after colliding with a military plane, causing the deaths of 16 persons aboard both planes. The EAL flight had been due to land in Charlotte shortly before 3:00 p.m., five hours after the crash.

In Honolulu, a 91-day CIO longshoremen's strike appeared to be nearing resolution as a non-union firm loaded a ship manned by an AFL crew and Matson Navigation Co. in San Francisco prepared to move a ship to a loading berth for sailing to Hawaii the following week, prompting the CIO-affiliated ILWU to claim the action was strike-breaking. The union planned to fly strikers to San Francisco to picket the vessels being loaded.

In Tulsa, a mother was jailed for kidnaping her own seven-year old daughter for refusing to tell where she was after stealing the child from her adoptive parents. She contended that she did not intend to give up the child completely when she put her up for adoption on July 5 and so took the child back when informed that she could no longer see her.

In Pembroke, N.C., the FBI had recovered a third of the more than $20,000 stolen in a robbery of the Scottish Bank on July 21. The loot was found in the attic of the home of a Robeson County constable, whose two sons had confessed to the heist. The teller at the bank, James, also known as "Jimmy", who was called by his first name by one of the two robbers during the holdup, confessed to having planned the robbery with the two brothers. He had claimed to have been knocked in the head after being kidnaped by the two men and having regained consciousness fifteen miles up the road at Fairmont. An FBI agent said that the story was a complete fabrication. James had been taken into custody as a suspect by the local police after they found no indication that he had been hit on the head and because of the familiarity shown him by one of the robbers, but then was released after the FBI interviewed him.

It's gotten so you just can't trust anybody anymore, even Jimmy. We thought for sure he was just in there at the post office and saw the Air Force jet plane brochures, took up a conversation about them with a stranger, after which the stranger stuck a gun in his ribs, called him "Jimmy" because he called everyone "Jimmy", and made him take the gunzel back across the street into the bank. But, it appears that was not the case. You let us down, Jimmy. We went to bat for you and you just let us down. Fooled us once, won't get fooled again.

FDR, Jr., was engaged to be married to Suzanne Perrin. It would be his second marriage and her first.

In Los Angeles, a dancer was granted a divorce after telling the court that she had tried to sit on her husband's lap as they watched television but he had shoved her off.

Rain clouds and showers during the early morning had brought Charlotte temperatures from the high 90's down to the low 90's after a ten-day heat wave. The 99 degrees recorded the previous day was one degree off the record for the date and many businesses had sent employees home for the day.

In Memphis, Pete, the ringtailed monkey, had managed to get loose from his chain in a restaurant, went outside into traffic, hopped into a car and took the ignition key, chasing the motorist from the car. When the cops were called, Pete rode on the shoulder of one officer to the police station, then ate all the cake at the station and started pushing out the window screens. The owner eventually bailed him out of the animal shelter and hitched him back to his chain, whereupon Pete picked his owner's pocket of $1.50.

An ad from the London Times read: "Curling tongs for mustache with heater wanted."

On the editorial page, "The Clark Appointment" finds the President's principle of making appointments based on loyalty and service to have been followed in nominating Attorney General Tom Clark to be Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing deceased Justice Frank Murphy. Mr. Clark was an adroit politician and had been loyal to the President in the 1948 campaign.

It finds that demonstrated ability and personal integrity should be the prime qualifications for appointment to the Supreme Court. It lists Mr. Clark's jobs in Government during the previous twelve years, including four years as Attorney General. It finds that there was nothing in the record to demonstrate a great judicial mind. He was a liberal and was only 49, allowing him many years to demonstrate that he deserved the appointment.

It does not point out that Justice Murphy had come to the Court in 1940 by way of being Attorney General after being Mayor of Detroit and Governor of Michigan. Robert Jackson had also been appointed to the Court by FDR from the position of Attorney General. Harlan Stone had been Attorney General before being appointed to the Court by President Coolidge, later elevated to Chief in 1941 by FDR. James McReynolds, likewise, had been Attorney General before being appointed to the Court by President Woodrow Wilson, as before him had been Roger B. Taney, appointed as Chief Justice by President Andrew Jackson, Nathan Clifford, appointed by President James Buchanan, Joseph McKenna, by President William McKinley, and William Moody, by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Moreover, in that time, it was commonplace for politicians to be appointed to the Court, as former President William Howard Taft was appointed Chief Justice by President Harding in 1921 and Charles Evans Hughes, who had resigned the Court in 1916 to run for the presidency, narrowly losing to incumbent President Wilson, was appointed Chief Justice in 1930 by President Hoover. Hugo Black was a Senator before being named to the Court by FDR in 1937. There are numerous other examples as well, through the appointment by President Eisenhower in 1953 of Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice, the last politician to be appointed to the Court. In fact, of President Truman's four appointments to the Court, including Republican Senator Harold Burton, former Congressman Fred Vinson, and former Senator Sherman Minton, Justice Clark was the only one never to have held elective office, thus making the classification "politician" more than a little suspect, worthy of strict scrutiny.

Justice Clark, during his eighteen years of service on the Court, would demonstrate many times that he lacked no measure of legal acumen and amply proved that he was worthy of the appointment—even if on a few occasions, as with any Justice, some of his reasoning in dissents, while well grounded in the prior law, would have wanted for practicable application to effect a remedy to the given problem, in the event of adoption by the Court.

"Judge Susie" pays its devoirs to Judge Susie Sharp, just appointed as the State's first female Superior Court Judge—later in 1962 to become the State's first female Supreme Court Justice and in 1975 its first female Chief Justice, the second in the nation's history. She had presided over a trial of a prison camp superintendent accused and convicted by a jury of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on an inmate by handcuffing him to cell bars for 52 hours without food. The superintendent was fined $200 and costs, given a suspended sentence of nine months on the roads, and ordered not to inflict such punishment again, notwithstanding the fact that State regulations permitted it.

She called the punishment he had inflicted "medieval", reminding that a sentence to prison was not meant for revenge but rather deterrence.

The piece thinks it a good principle of jurisprudence and one which would serve Judge Sharp well during her time on the bench—which would extend to her mandatory retirement age in 1979.

"Deceptive Figures" finds erroneous figures being promulgated by the prohibitionists, claiming that Mecklenburg's liquor trade was a ten million dollar per year enterprise. It was true insofar as total volume of sales, but that included a lot more than what residents spent on liquor, most of it going to Federal and State taxes, leaving only 2.7 million dollars in net profits out of 12.8 million in gross sales.

The big distillers had received about 3.3 million per year since the ABC-controlled system had gone into effect in the county in September, 1947. While that was still big business, it was a far cry from ten million dollars. The remaining money in taxes came back to the Federal Government, the State and county for purposes which the taxpayer would have to pay directly otherwise.

"Noise in the Night" finds that the train whistle in the night was greeted with understandable resentment by residents. As well, cats caterwauled and dogs played with garbage cans, all to the consternation of those trying to sleep.

Owls hooted, hotrodders squealed their brakes and opened up throaty exhausts, the neighbor's garage door squeaked, squirrels ran across the roof, alarm clocks blared, refrigerators switched on and off, all contributing to the cacophony.

The residents might be able to silence the train whistle but that would not eliminate the pre-dawn noise.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "One-Third of a Pajama", tells of pajama sales hitting an all-time low in 1948, equating to one-third a pair of pajamas per man, prompting a meeting of pajama manufacturers to discuss the problem.

It suggests that at present temperatures, even a third of a pajama was too much. The old togalike nightshirt would be preferable. Regardless, there was rebellion in maledom to dressing up before going to bed.

Drew Pearson tells of Cardinal Stritch of Chicago and Cardinal Mooney of Detroit visiting with Cardinal Spellman, presumably to discuss their displeasure with his dispute with Eleanor Roosevelt regarding her support of limiting Federal funding for education to public schools based on First Amendment separation of church and state. Cardinal Spellman was not popular with the Catholic hierarchy. Many resented his public visibility, his visits to the White House and publishing of magazine articles among other things, fearing that there was an effort to make him papal secretary and then the first American pope.

Cardinal Spellman, through his attacks on Mrs. Roosevelt and Congressman Graham Barden of North Carolina for sponsoring an aid to education bill banning public funding of private and parochial schools, had caused Paul Blanchard's book, American Freedom and Catholic Power, to become a hot seller despite it receiving no press and being banned by The New York Times as anti-Catholic.

In Philadelphia, the oldest International House in the country had cut its budget and begun to fire personnel. In Jacksonville, Alabama, where the youngest International House existed, the project, intended to house and encourage foreign exchange students, was going strong.

Congressman Albert Gore of Tennessee celebrated his victory regarding defeat of the Brannan farm program with a party in his Capitol office. One of the guests was the man from the Tennessee Farm Bureau who had urged him to defeat the bill on the guarantee that the Bureau would then support him for the Senate seat of Senator Kenneth McKellar when he retired.

Mr. Pearson notes that the action of defeating the plan would cost Tennessee over 71 million dollars in lost farm subsidies on perishable produce.

Joseph Alsop discusses the abandonment of the bipartisan foreign policy since the 1948 election, with Senators Arthur Vandenberg and John Foster Dulles now opposing the President's program to arm Western Europe to back up NATO, as well as a dispute arising regarding national atomic energy policy.

Whereas previously, Senator Vandenberg was kept regularly apprised on international developments, Secretary of State Acheson had met with him only on two or three occasions, all formal and general conferences, since his return from the Paris Foreign Ministers Council meeting. The reason for the slight, as offered by the White House, was that for the previous two years, Senator Vandenberg had been chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, whereas now Senator Tom Connally was chairman and would chafe at providing briefings to Senator Vandenberg or other Republicans.

Mr. Alsop thinks that such objections ought be overruled as the request by Republicans was only for normal exchange of information. The White House could have resolved the matter earlier if it wanted to do so, suggesting that something else may lay beneath the snub. He speculates that it might be that the Republicans had received too much credit previously for foreign policy and that the President now wanted to bring the credit back to the Democrats. Especially in the months leading up to the election, the White House charged that the sharing of information with Republicans had led to disloyalty.

Mr. Alsop suggests that it was time for everyone, including Republicans, to swallow their pride for the good of foreign policy and return to bipartisanship. The alternative was the President's approach to domestic policy, making political hay out of GOP rejection of his policy proposals, not appropriate in the foreign policy arena.

Marquis Childs tells of the U.S. and Britain wishing to enable Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia to continue to resist Soviet influence, as it hampered Russia in consolidating its Eastern European military and economic resources.

Plans had been set in place for Yugoslavia to buy an American steel rolling mill until Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson intervened to stop it because Yugoslavia was behind the iron curtain. Secretary Johnson thought the mill would increase by five percent the steel production of the Soviet sphere, but the Commerce Department disputed that claim.

Secretary of State Acheson had argued for the sale, seeking to convince Secretary Johnson that Tito should be strengthened.

The President would probably have to decide the issue on the steel mill. Opposition to it and also to the sharing of atomic information with Britain and Canada was implicitly to take the position that war was the only viable option. Such a stance was to deny that there was any hope left for peace.

A letter writer finds a speech of July 20 by Senator Frank Graham in support of ratification of NATO to have been impressive. Republican Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire had stated that it was one of the finest speeches he had ever heard in the Senate, that it had provided the pattern for America in the offensive toward peace. Majority Leader Scott Lucas had also praised the speech, as did Senators Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, Paul Douglas of Illinois, and Lister Hill and John Sparkman of Alabama.

Senator Graham had said that the U.S. Constitution, the British Commonwealth of Nations, and the U.N. had provided a world federation for the prevention of war and establishment of international rule of law. NATO strengthened American and European defenses and in turn strengthened the U.N.

A letter writer agrees with Eleanor Roosevelt that Federal money for schools should go only to public schools. The parents who sent their children to private and parochial schools had no basis on which to ask the public to pay for them as they could send their children to public schools.

A letter writer finds that an ad which suggested that automobile drivers could learn manners from truck drivers appeared as truck industry propaganda. He finds the truck drivers not to be the best of drivers, speeding and violating other traffic laws, prompting the Highway Patrol to crack down on speeding truckers.

A letter writer from Durham praises the newspaper for its June 27 editorial, "Halting the March of Socialism", regarding the President's Fair Deal domestic policies.

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