The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 10, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the South Korean troops had captured Wonsan this date after day and night street fighting, capping a sweep of 100 miles in ten days. The bulk of the defenders fled north and west on Tuesday, but had turned back and put up a fight in the northern half of the east coast port city.

To the southwest, the North Koreans holed up in the mountains flanking the Seoul-Pyongyang road had stalled the first American troops across the border near Kaesong, forcing them to dig in during the night. The First Cavalry had fanned out over a 25-mile front. The infantry had fought to the vicinity of Sinchon, a highway village about 2.5 miles north of the border. Another column had crossed the Yesong River, ten miles west of Kaesong and smashed three North Korean counter-attacks, driving ahead to the northwest tangent.

According to the White House, the President would meet General MacArthur in the Pacific during the weekend. He would fly directly from St. Louis to the undisclosed destination. It would be the first time that General MacArthur, who had not been in the United States in over a decade, had met with a President since the meeting with FDR right after the Democratic convention in 1944, at which Senator Truman was nominated as the vice-presidential candidate, replacing Henry Wallace. It would be the President's first trip out of the continental U.S. since he had gone to the Virgin Islands in 1948.

At the U.N., Western diplomats were skeptical of the surprise acceptance by Russia's delegation the previous day of Secretary of State Acheson's four-point plan, sponsored by seven nations, to enable the General Assembly to meet emergencies and deploy a U.N. force without being subject to the veto of the Big Five of the Security Council. They were suspicious of the motives behind the Russian move, whether the tentative endorsement was intended to cause the plan to fail. The plan had been introduced the previous day by John Foster Dulles of the American delegation.

Russia charged in a formal note of protest from Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to the U.S. Minister-Consul in Moscow that two American fighter planes had strafed and damaged a Soviet airfield near Vladivostok the prior Sunday. It made no mention of casualties and demanded punishment for those responsible. The incident was alleged to have occurred 62 miles north of the border between North Korea and Russia.

The Defense Department called in the ensuing three months for the drafting of 1,522 physicians, dentists and veterinarians as the first Army draft call pursuant to the new provision for drafting from the professions those who had received their education at Government expense during the war but who had served less than 21 months.

From Saigon, it was reported that the French had lost to the Vietminh most of a 3,500-man contingent northwest of Thatkhe, in the biggest battle to date in the four-year war. Several hundred of the trapped troops had escaped while the remainder succumbed after inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.

The Budget Bureau announced cuts in non-defense spending of 580 million dollars, 30 million more than that provided by Congress.

In Los Angeles, at the American Legion convention, a large parade of 50,000 people was held for six hours, designed to draw attention to the continuing need for national preparedness.

In Teheran, the Shah of Iran, 30, announced his engagement to marry the nineteen-year old half-European daughter of an Iranian tribal leader.

In Raleigh, at William Neal Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of N.C. State, the installation of Gordon Gray as president of the Consolidated University was completed after a three-day extended ceremony at each of the three campuses in the system. Mr. Gray, until recently Secretary of the Army, said that the U.S. had to continue its leadership in the world against Communism, promised that the University would not provide asylum to Communists and fellow travelers, urged an overall rise in the educational standards in the state, and outlined the purpose of the University as giving students back to the state as good citizens. He promised to attempt to guarantee that students of the University would be able to search for truth and the protections which an open mind should enjoy and to facilitate an atmosphere in which freedom of inquiry and the right to unshackled research would be preserved.

In the second installment of Fulton Oursler's serialized Why I Know There Is a God, he tells of the change in his thinking during the prior decade, that it was a "rediscovery of truth" or conversion, a realization that man's primary purpose on earth was to know God, to love Him and serve Him. In his former state, he had rejected the authority of the Church and scripture, regarded them as being based on readily demonstrable fallacies. He thought he had believed in truth but was willing to resort to a lie to advance his purposes, relied on the axiom that the end justified the means. He had believed that the problems of mankind could be solved without supernatural interference, exclusively through analysis and effecting a plan to resolve them. He thought that Socialism might offer the clearest way to successful political action, saw no great conflict between Marxism and humanitarian goals, that there might even be such a thing as Christian Communism. He believed that the way to peace lay in a world organization divorced from religion to avoid entanglements of conflicting belief systems.

Then, after his faith was buttressed by much study, he had come to reject all of those beliefs in favor of his determination to know God, which he regards as a return to reality, that he had to accept Christ as either God, a madman, or charlatan, there being no other choice.

On the editorial page, "The Auditorium Bond Issue—II" again urges an affirmative vote on the three million dollar bond issue to build the auditorium and coliseum complex on Independence Boulevard. It finds the intangible benefits in replacing the ill-adapted and hastily constructed Armory Auditorium far to outweigh the cost to the taxpayers, that it would be an investment in the future prosperity of the city and a boon to all of its residents.

You're going to get to see a lot of first-rate college basketball and professional hockey. Just wait until the 1968 North-South Doubleheader.

"Law and Order in Horry County" tells of the August melee at a black dance hall in Myrtle Beach, when 60 to 100 Klansmen descended on the place and caused a disturbance in which one of the Klansmen, a Conway police officer in uniform, was killed. The Grand Dragon of the Carolinas Klan, Thomas L. Hamilton, was arrested along with sixteen others. But then twelve of the seventeen were released after the magistrate's preliminary hearing determined that there was insufficient evidence of their participation in criminal misconduct. Mr. Hamilton and four others were ordered held to answer before the Grand Jury, which then, the prior week, returned no indictments despite Mr. Hamilton's admission that he led the mob.

It finds that what had started out as promising law and order had turned into something else, with the resulting indignation surely to be felt across the entire South, against which Northern advocates of Federal control could register another negative. It agrees with the editorial of the Greenville Piedmont in South Carolina, which had said that the Horry County Grand Jury had allowed justice to be mocked, dashing the hope initially felt when the prosecutions were first undertaken by the Sheriff and other officers. It dreaded what the matter portended for the future.

"A Mythical Line Becomes a Myth" finds that the movement during the weekend of the first American troops across the 38th parallel had destroyed forever this mythical boundary created in August, 1945 to establish expediently the two occupation zones, Russian and American, following the end of Japanese rule with surrender. The South Koreans had penetrated to the outskirts of Wonsan on the east coast, 70 miles north of the border.

The U.N. had given tacit approval for the crossing with passage of the resolution approving the necessary steps to ensure stability "throughout" Korea, providing also for unification and rebuilding, with free elections to be held as soon as practicable under U.N. auspices.

Barring entry by Russian or Chinese Communist troops, the end of the war was in sight, albeit perhaps still requiring weeks or months to destroy the North Korean army. It was imperative that the U.N. Economic and Social Council proceed rapidly in the meantime to develop plans for the country's rehabilitation as the cold Korean winter was approaching. If the U.N. was to effectuate complete victory, it had to minimize the misery upon which Communism thrived.

"Atrocities in Korea" finds that one of the most compelling reasons for occupying North Korea was to bring to justice those North Korean officials who had been responsible for the atrocities in South Korea. Thousands of civilians, along with American and South Korean prisoners of war, had been slaughtered as the North Koreans withdrew. The gruesome murders were accomplished by machinegun, axe handles, bayonets, knives, rubber hoses, flailing, burning alive, burying alive, etc. The piece finds that the murders at Buchenwald and Dachau had been no worse than the brutality practiced at Taejon, Seoul and Chonju.

The illiterate enemy soldiers had not acted without prompting from their masters, either before the fighting began or as they were forced to retreat. In either event, it concludes, those responsible had to pay the penalty.

Drew Pearson begins a series of columns on the Mafia, saying that a total of 50 men controlled the big rackets in the country and all of them were members of the Mafia, all but one being Italian-born or of Italian-American descent.

The Mafia was directed by Lucky Luciano from Italy, where he had resided since being deported after Governor Thomas Dewey, who as a prosecutor had sent him to prison, released him from prison during the war.

The organization had been formed in the 18th century in Sicily to oppose the tyranny of the Bourbons. A similar secret society, the Camorra, had been formed in Naples for the same purpose, and members of both organizations had emigrated eventually to America. They reorganized, principally in New York, but spread out across the country, at first preying on wealthy Italians. The Camorra became known as the "Black Hand" while the Mafia continued under its Sicilian name, until the two organizations merged.

The Mafia started out in bootlegging and then moved into narcotics peddling, causing the U.S. Narcotics Bureau to maintain a close watch on it and prepare a secret report on its functioning model. The Bureau reported that the Mafia lived according to the old traditions and if they killed from time to time, it was to punish a member who had done something radically wrong or to avenge an unforgivable offense to a member. Pimps were regarded with contempt and could not aspire to enter the ranks. But Lucky Luciano had been king of the pimps while a prominent member of the Mafia in New York, showing, according to the Bureau, how the organization had degenerated.

Originally limited only to Sicilians because of their proven dedication to secrecy, the rule was no longer strictly followed. The Mafia worked hand in hand with Jews during Prohibition, as they had the cash to start businesses, while the Jews who had become aligned with the organization used its violence to accomplish their ends when necessary to prevent intrusion and hijacking of businesses. The members profited greatly from their association with Jews and the sudden wealth went to their heads, causing them to live outside the norms of the association. Cheating on wives, promiscuous drinking, and the like followed, a violation of the code as Mafia members were not allowed to get drunk, as the resulting loquacity meant trouble. Those who were not making money became jealous of those who did and a serious feud erupted, lasting two years, during which many killings occurred, with brother plotting against brother.

Murders went unpunished because of the political pressure put in motion by money.

The members of the Mafia took a secret oath never to reveal secrets even under torture. Once someone became a member, there was no backing out. The initiation fee was the commission of murder or some other act of violence as dynamiting. The member was assured of immunity and some way of making money.

All of these things were revealed in the Bureau's secret report. He concludes that Frank Costello was now the head of the organization in the U.S. while Lucky Luciano continued control from abroad of the international outfit.

He promises another column on the Mafia soon, call it "Godfather II".

Joseph Alsop, in Tokyo, tells of his war reports coming to an end and so looks at the commanders, General MacArthur and ground commander Lt. General Walton Walker, and their contrasting styles. Whereas General MacArthur had a flair for the dramatic and stentorian rhetoric, General Walker was unpretentious and businesslike.

The first phase of the war had been conducted by General MacArthur, committing the least experienced occupation troops in Japan, the 24th Division, to battle initially because they were the only ones close to Korea at the start of the fighting. The first troops consisted of no more than two companies to back up the unprepared and failing South Koreans, but the North Koreans were so stunned by the commitment of U.S. troops that they paused for ten days while their commanders brought up 100,000 reinforcements. Had they instead marched immediately on Pusan, it would have fallen within 48 hours as there was nothing to protect it. After that ten-day period, the U.S. had brought up two battalions, precipitating another pause of five days duration. During that latter period, all of the half-strength 24th and First Cavalry divisions had reached the front. At that point, the burden passed to General Walker.

The ground commander was able to transfer troops along the defense arc around Pusan to plug gaps as necessary to prevent North Korean breakthroughs from being exploited, while leaving exposed other areas not immediately threatened. General Walker, despite the balancing act, never panicked during the crisis.

Then, in mid-September, came the landings at Inchon, planned by General MacArthur since July. The Marine commanders had proposed Wonsan on the east coast as the point of attack, but in addition to it being in the North, over the 38th parallel, it was considered too far from the southern front to allow severance of communications of the enemy armies.

General Lawton Collins, chief of staff of the Army, and Admiral Forrest Sherman, chief of Naval operations, sought to dissuade General MacArthur from undertaking the Inchon landings. But he was able to convince them that it would be the decisive blow when delivered.

Because of tides and weather, September 15 presented itself as the only available date for the operation. The Marine division was assembled from detachments all over the world and the Seventh Division was brought up to strength by incorporating 8,000 South Koreans.

General MacArthur sailed with the fleet so that he might cease the operation should the first part of it, the landing on Wolmi Island, fail. It went smoothly and the landings followed, leading to the taking of Seoul ten days later.

Now, he suggests, final victory would only be frustrated by a decision in Russia to start a third world war.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the World Series and its paucity of hits and runs, with only a total of four scored in the first two games. He suggests that as pitchers were generally retired after the first six innings, whereas they you used to go the stretch, it followed the general prescription in sports of coddling the athletes as with ordinary citizens, until they felt less of a necessity to fulfill their appointed chores than in earlier times of the "ironman".

"But you cannot say conclusively that any active inflationary jinns, sprites, or other devils lurk within the core of what we used to call the old apple. To get it out of the park you got to hit it, and this a good pitcher can curtail for most of a long and dreary day."

A letter writer comments on the piece from the Daily Tar Heel printed on October 2, which had found unnecessarily expensive the proposal to build a State-supported four-year college in Charlotte. The writer disagrees, says that of the million people in the area, 5,000 whites finished high school every year, and only 1,500 attended college. It was for this reason, he says, that such a college was needed, not just because of the large population, as the Tar Heel had asserted. He admires the existing three State-supported institutions, but because of distance from Charlotte, many who would like to attend college could not for want of adequate money.

A letter from the assistant executive director for the Crusade for Freedom thanks the newspaper for promoting the Freedom Bell Ceremony held in Charlotte the prior Saturday.

A letter writer from Dardanelle, Ark., says that she was trying to locate her grandfather's people who were supposed to have come from North Carolina to Gibson County in west Tennessee, and from there had gone to Dardanelle in Yell County, Ark., in about 1850. She provides their names and hopes for information.

Yeah, we think we must have seen them over there drunk at the bar last week, said they just got off the chaingang after doing a stretch in San Quentin for a string of bank robberies. Are they the ones?

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.