The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 4, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that South Korean forces moved forward into North Korea, extending as much as 60 miles north of the 38th parallel into empty country as the enemy had gone silent. They captured Kosong, about 50 miles above the border on the east coast. Only about 60 American soldiers were along as advisers.

Correspondent William Jordan reported that about 4,000 enemy troops were digging into strong defenses southeast of Tongchon, 25 miles north of Kosong, about halfway to Wonsan where the enemy were building a strong defensive position.

The previously reported mystery column streaming from the area of the Manchurian border to the north was dismissed as a regular supply train, not a Communist Chinese force.

Bad weather prevented allied air attacks.

The U.S. Third Infantry arrived in the Far East to provide reinforcement if necessary, providing now six divisions and a regimental combat team of American forces in the theater of operations.

O. H. P. King reports from Seoul that Communist forces had massacred about 10,000 Seoul residents before being driven from the capital by American Marines and Army infantry. Only about 375 had been buried, some being victims of the previous street-to-street fighting in the city. Another source claimed that the victims had been killed by both Communists and South Korean soldiers and would number in the tens of thousands throughout the South. One source said that within ten days of the original capture by the North Koreans of Seoul in July, people's courts had been set up and civilians tried by crowd affirmation of guilty or not guilty, with summary executions ordered for the guilty. Many professional persons were taken prisoner and transported north to enrich the culture of North Korea. A responsible source said that 1,800 had been killed in July at Taejon, but none had been confirmed officially.

A survivor told U.N. investigators, according to correspondent Stan Swinton, that about 2,000 South Koreans had been slain in gruesome atrocities at Chongju hours before the liberation by American forces.

John M. Hightower reports of American concern that the North Koreans would fight on in guerrilla warfare in and from the mountains for months or years to come. The forces had not heeded the ultimatum to surrender of General MacArthur issued the prior Sunday after being thoroughly defeated in the South and they continued to fight fiercely in pockets. Far more serious would be intervention by Communist Chinese or Russian troops, but Washington authorities were not so concerned of this prospect. They believed that the Russians, skilled in guerrilla warfare, would encourage the North Koreans to convert the country into another Greece or Indo-China. The Communist Chinese, also skilled in guerrilla fighting, might add to the problem by supplying the North Korean troops.

At the U.N., a showdown vote was in the offing regarding the opposing peace plans for Korea offered by East and West. A vote was likely later this date, with an overwhelming victory expected for the eight-nation sponsored Western plan for independence and unity of Korea under U.N. oversight, including a short period of occupation of the entire country to enforce the end of all aggression, followed by free elections. Russia's plan for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all foreign troops and subsequent supervised elections probably would not garner any votes. Yugoslavia and India had indicated that they would abstain.

Congressman Carl Vinson of Georgia, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that he would propose to Congress when it reconvened after the elections that the Marines be increased in size by up to four combat divisions and 24 air squadrons, a total of 326,000 men, as a means of insuring security.

From Vienna, it was reported that more than a thousand Communist demonstrators seized the main post office and telephone exchange in Wiener Neustadt in the Russian zone of Austria. About 7,000 Communist demonstrators were marching in Vienna on the city center in support of a general strike for wage increases, after the initial strike call had appeared to fizzle. There was hand to hand fighting in some areas of the city. British authorities summoned a four-power meeting to deal with the situation, at which an Austrian protest charged that Russians soldiers had terrorized Austrian police, a charge denied by the Russians. The meeting broke up without result.

Turkey had accepted an invitation to join the NATO defense planning in the Mediterranean. It would not, however, become a full-fledged member of the organization.

A new storm was reported brewing in the Atlantic as the old one blew to sea northward and the squall off Texas moved inland.

In the first game of the World Series in chilly Philadelphia, the New York Yankees led the Phillies 1 to 0 at the end of the fourth inning. The one run scored in the fourth would be the final score.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina urged the people of the state to join in celebration of National Newspaperboy Day on Friday. Newspaperboys from all areas of the state would go to Raleigh on that day to meet with the Governor and other state officials.

On the editorial page, "Schools and the Fair" informs that Charlotte Schools Superintendent E. H. Garinger had declined to distribute tickets to the Southern States Fair through the schools, though children would be excused early, at 1:00, on Friday, with written permission from their parents to attend the fair and would then be admitted at the gates as if they carried the special admission ticket for students.

The decision had arisen from complaints the previous year from the NAACP and parents of black children that the provision of tickets only in the white schools had discriminated against the students at the legally segregated black schools, who were not encouraged to attend the fair though not prohibited. No tickets, as well, had been provided by the fair this year for black children.

While the situation, says the piece, might be bad, it was no worse than involving other businesses and was within the fair's legal rights to proceed accordingly, as it was the right of the NAACP to protest the fact.

The School Board, finds the editorial, had taken the only course open to it as it did not want to become embroiled in a controversy involving alleged racial discrimination. The piece takes no position on the fair itself as it was a private commercial venture and did not practice segregation, though not encouraging black children to attend.

Look heya, now. When you go ova theya to the faiya, you don't want to be up 'eya in the house o' mirr''s and look ova theya while you'a eatin' you'a cotton candy and see the little black boy smilin' back a' you while he eatin' his. You have to go home then all disappointed and cryin'.

"100 Years of Excellence" praises the centenary of Harper's Magazine, begun in June, 1850. It gained its initial reputation by publishing stories by such eminent authors as Dickens, Trollope, Thackeray, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy. Later, they added to their pages such American lights as Henry James, Mark Twain, Bret Harte and Stephen Crane.

While the magazine still used works of British writers, as Rebecca West in the current issue, it also contained contemporaneous works by William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Thomas Mann, as well as history by Elmer Davis, Gerald W. Johnson, Frederick Lewis Allen, and poetry by W. H. Auden and Peter Viereck.

The President had written a note to the magazine suggesting its prestige through the years to be a "happy augury for its future." The piece concurs with the President "this time".

"Damaged Hands" tells of a veteran of the Navy during World War II who had lost most of his fingers while serving on a gun crew in the Pacific. He had sought work after release from the V.A. hospital but got nowhere, eventually giving up. But then a photo shop proprietor decided to give him a try as a dark room assistant and delivery man. He had performed well and the proprietor urged other employers to hire the handicapped.

It urges doing likewise during the National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, endorsed by the President and Congress.

A piece from the Durham Herald, titled "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover", raises questions as to what to expect from Ernest Hemingway's latest entry, Across the River and Into the Trees, or from such books as The Bitter Box, The Song of the Flea, Two Lovely Beasts, Face of a Hero, or Merchant of the Ruby. The titles gave no hint.

In earlier times, one could glean from the title what was inside the covers, as in Andrew Fletcher's Conservation Concerning a Right Regulation of Government for the Common Good of Mankind, or, as indicated in the column of Tom Fesperman of The News, one titled Adams, Caruthers, Clancy, Neely and Townsend Decendants Comprising the Twentieth Century Adams, Legerton, Wakefield and Brockmann Families of the Carolinas.

Who were they?

A piece by M. Tyus Butler, associate professor of journalism at the University of Georgia, in the first of a series of pieces on the page to celebrate National Newspaper Week, discusses freedom of the press and the integral role which readers played in preserving it. The ordinary people of the New York colony supported John Peter Zenger's New York Weekly Journal, founded in 1733 as an opposition mouthpiece to the royal Governor. Mr. Zenger had been thrown in jail for his editorials in late 1734, charged with seditious libel.

It was the first such organ, though James Franklin, Benjamin's brother, had founded the New England Courant in 1721 as an opposing voice to the dominant religious body of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Under existing laws of the time, truth was not a defense to a claim of libel and no jury trial was permitted to determine anything other than whether the defendant was responsible for printing the alleged libelous statements. In the case of Mr. Zenger, the jury returned only a verdict of "guilty of publishing", not an offense and so resulting in an acquittal by default. The decision helped to liberalize libel laws both in the colonies and in England, going a long way toward establishing the modern position that truth is a defense in defamation cases. The fact led to the Declaration of Independence.

The first guarantee of free speech and press was embodied in the Bill of Rights of Virginia, drafted by George Mason, passed on to the Constitution's First Amendment.

The election of Thomas Jefferson as President in 1800 meant that the Alien and Sedition laws, passed during the Administration of John Adams and scheduled to expire in 1801, would not be renewed. Those laws had interposed a chilling effect on free speech and press in the new republic.

In Minnesota, in 1925, a law was passed that a business could be enjoined from publication, as a nuisance, of any newspaper which was "malicious, scandalous and defamatory". The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision delivered in 1931 by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, struck down the law as infringing the First Amendment for imposing a prior restraint on publication, amounting to censorship.

In Louisiana, the State Legislature in 1934 passed a statute, aimed at protecting Governor Huey Long from attacks by the press, placing a two percent levy on the gross receipts of newspapers with a weekly circulation of over 20,000. The Supreme Court, in a 1936 unanimous decision delivered by Justice George Sutherland, who had dissented in the 1931 case, struck down the law as being an indirect method of limiting circulation to the public in violation of the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, finding that the statute was unique in the history of the country and automatically suspect for its form, dependent for its application on the circulation of the newspaper rather than, for instance, advertising revenues.

It should be noted that this case arises under the doctrine of "substantive due process", used extensively in the 1930's and 1940's relative to economic legislation, as opposed to the Equal Protection clause, more likely to be used subsequently as the basis to determine the validity of claimed discriminatory state legislation. The Court in Grosjean did not reach the Equal Protection argument as it was unnecessary to the decision.

As applied to civil liberties, the liberty interest found in the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has been applied in such contexts as the right, under certain limitations, to have an abortion, as determined in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, and the right, within the concept of marital privacy, to have contraceptive devices, as found in the 1965 case, Griswold v. Connecticut.

And before you might haul off half-cocked and say, "Well, I'd be against that there, then," think again as to what you are therefore saying about your rights to privacy and to be left alone by the Gov'ment, stupid. Also, take a break from Fox News, selling you a political agenda, having little or nothing to do with abortion and the like, only in furtherance of corporate interests, all in exchange for your purchase of their goddamned cornflakes.

Professor Butler concludes that newspapers, through more than two centuries since the time of colonial America, had taken on the responsibility of protecting their precious right to publish without Government restraint. In that right lay the protections of the people's right to discuss and be heard and formulate opinions as a result.

Drew Pearson tells of the President continuing to refuse to exercise his authority, recently granted by Congress, to impose price controls despite the spiral of inflation rising higher, with food about 20 percent higher than before the Korean war. He provides several examples. Eggs, for instance, were at 70 cents per dozen, compared to 52 cents in June.

Costs of medicine had risen by 25 to 50 percent.

The President had tightened credit on lower-bracket home buyers while not controlling the rising costs of building materials.

Mr. Pearson warns that unless the President acted soon, he would precipitate a depression, not unlike the laissez-faire policies followed by President Calvin Coolidge in the Twenties, leading to the Great Depression. One of the reasons for the failure was the lackadaisical attitude of Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, who was giving speeches which stated moderate positions on price controls, while Stuart Symington, chairman of the National Security Resources Board, was planning to impose tough controls.

The Kefauver Committee in the Senate, for unexplained reasons, had suddenly decided not to call before it the former U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, Maurice Milligan, for having appeared to provide lenient sentencing in 1942 to two underworld Mafia leaders, Joe De Luca and Joe Di Giovanni. Mr. Milligan had sent the President's political benefactor, Tom Pendergast, to prison and so the preferential treatment was not at the behest of the President.

Joseph Alsop, not Stewart, in Tokyo, urges that the delay in making the decision to order the American forces to cross the 38th parallel with the South Koreans at a time right after the fall of Seoul the prior Wednesday, when the enemy was in disarray and fleeing willy-nilly to the north, had squandered an opportunity to catch the enemy on the run. The delay was not to be excused by any claim of the surprising ease with which Seoul was taken after the landing at Inchon, for the landing plan was disclosed to the Joint Chiefs a month earlier and they had to have understood that the surprise landing would likely lead quickly to a decision on whether to cross the parallel. Mr. Alsop believes therefore that the Chiefs should have given General MacArthur authorization in advance.

He frets that no one seemed yet to grasp the peril in the Far East, that the concern was on Formosa and Communist China while, if Formosa fell, it would present no final international crisis. Moreover, Chinese Communist Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai and the Communists were too preoccupied with matters at home to wage large-scale aggression anytime soon.

The actual danger lay in Indo-China, for which South China served as a training ground for Communist guerrillas. It was probable, given the Chinese linking of a railroad and primary road into Indo-China plus the French attack on South China, that Indo-China would provide the next crisis after Korea. It might be hard to hold the line there without divisions and weapons from the U.S. And there was no doubt, he urges, that the loss of Indo-China would be more disastrous than losing Korea. So it was all the more problematic that the American decision-makers had not determined whether to obtain the full benefit of the victory in Korea and proceed across the border into the North.

Robert C. Ruark finds that the position of Paul Robeson as a civil rights leader, which he suggests was self-anointed, had been eclipsed by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Ralph Bunche, the U.N. mediator who had resolved the Arab-Israeli conflict in Palestine. He suggests that Mr. Robeson's constant bemoaning of the fate of black Americans and the belittling of the land which had blessed him with education, great wealth and acclaim, coupled with his flirtation with Communism, was now belied by the award to Dr. Bunche.

He finds that the latter would transcend any position of esteem in the black community occupied by Mr. Robeson, who, he concludes, was a "nauseous disgrace to a land that gave him fame and fortune, plus the freedom of speech to denounce it for its kindness."

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