The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 21, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that tank-supported infantry walked into deserted Hyesanjin on the Manchurian border this date without a shot being fired. Only the ice-covered Yalu River lay between the American troops of the 17th Regimental Combat Team of the Seventh Division and Manchuria. They were the first Americans to reach the border. Infantrymen, some of whom had fought on Attu in the Aleutians during World War II, were not impressed by the Yalu. Officers claimed that within a few days, a military government would arrive to organize a free election for a mayor. The temperature was twenty above zero and the weather clear.

Manchuria was now within easy range of artillery, according to the commander of the 17th, but would not fire, he said, unless the Communists fired on them.

A Tenth Corps spokesman praised the engineers for fording streams thought by the enemy impassable and leveling air strips from ground so frozen that bulldozer blades could remove only an inch or two of soil at a pass.

The border had been reached 22 days after a 100-mile march over tortuous mountain roads 6,000-feet in altitude, at temperatures dropping to 20 below zero, following an unopposed amphibious landing by the Seventh Division at Hungnam. A total of 23,000 square miles of territory had been liberated in less than a month.

The Communists, who controlled military roads on either side of Hyesanjin, were reported to be reorganizing in the mountains and north of the Yalu, as well as in the northwest sector.

Correspondent Tom Stone tells of the arrival at Hyesanjin, with American troops congratulating one another and patting each other on the back, though without any shouting. One G.I. said: "So that's the Yalu. It's damned good to be here. What do we do now?" There was no sign of life anywhere in the town. Planes flying overhead did not draw anti-aircraft fire, to the relief of the ground troops.

To the far south, guerrillas attacked three villages and the U.S. Fifth Air Force fighters virtually destroyed the Communist-held hamlet of Yongpo, 55 miles south of Seoul.

The commander of 1,200 Filipino troops who had protested the manner in which his force was being used in the war had been relieved of command and ordered to return to Manila, to be replaced by another officer. He had stated that he wanted the men withdrawn because they had not been fighting as a single unit and had not been supplied with adequate winter clothing, that the conditions were too cold for men accustomed to tropical weather. The troops had been guarding the supply routes between Seoul and Pyongyang. While the Filipino troops had been split into smaller units, the same was true of American forces, notably the 25th Division.

A group of 900 Belgian troops were scheduled to depart Belgium for Korea in mid-December.

At the U.N., Nationalist China's representative told the General Assembly's political committee that 45,000 Soviet agents dominated the political, cultural and economic life of Communist China, that the Chinese civil war had been engineered from Moscow, ignoring the Assembly's resolution of 1949 directing all nations to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of China. He also blamed Russia for China's intervention in Korea. He estimated that 1.6 million persons were engaged in resistance against the Communist Government, about 15 percent of whom were Communist troops who had switched allegiance from Mao Tse-Tung to Chiang Kai-Chek. He urged creation of a special commission of inquiry regarding Russia's alleged aggression against China.

A Senate subcommittee ordered a public airing of evidence regarding round-the-world shipments of Japanese copper to Communist China. The materials, according to the chairman, Senator Herbert O'Conor of Maryland, were second grade but could be easily manufactured into strategic products.

The Senate Armed Services Preparedness subcommittee, chaired by Senator Lyndon Johnson, said that the Government had used less than common sense when it sold war-useful defense plants as surplus following the war and that the nation's rubber supply was far from satisfactory. They accused the Government of operating with the same prudence to be expected in operation of a "charity bazaar". Special criticism was dealt the Air Force, the General Services Administration, the Munitions Board, and the Commerce Department. Progress had been made in "paperwork preparedness" but not performance. It agreed that when the alternative was to keep a plant idle for a significant period, it was better to lease or sell it for private use.

A former atomic scientist, Clarence Hiskey, and a West Coast heiress, Louise Berman, were indicted for contempt of Congress after refusing the prior year to testify before HUAC regarding whether they had ever been Communists. Ten others had been similarly indicted.

The U.S. Chamber of Congress urged the House Ways & Means Committee to cut Government spending for non-military purposes by at least six billion dollars before imposing an excess profits tax on corporations for profits in excess of those averaged during the period 1946-49.

Sure, hurt the poor first before daring to harm a hair of the filthy rich. That's the Amurican way.

The Committee had voted not to take testimony on alternative proposals to the excess profits tax proposed by the Administration.

Torrents of mountain-fed flood waters poured through Northern and Central California and Western Nevada during the morning hours, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes and causing untold amounts of damage. At least nine persons had been killed. Central Reno had been flooded by the Truckee River, running 16 to 17 feet above normal, causing one death. Flood waters were receding there. In California, 3,500 residents were ordered to evacuate from East Linda near Marysville in Yuba County, as the Yuba and Bear Rivers flooded, inundating Hammonton and Marigold. The American River flooded near Sacramento, washing over thousands of acres of suburban land, driving a thousand people from their homes. Eight people had died in California.

Winds of gale force roared along the Eastern seaboard, bringing a sharp drop in temperature and up to 2.5 inches of rain to New York, New Jersey, and New England, causing two deaths in the New York area. Considerable damage occurred in New Hampshire. Damage was also recorded as far south as Charleston, S.C.

Near Findlay, O., a father and four of his young sons burned to death in a farm house. One son escaped. The mother was at work. No cause was reported.

On the editorial page, "VEPCO Wins Another Round" tells of a Federal Power Commission hearing examiner ruling, for the second time, that Virginia Electric & Power Co. should be authorized to build a dam across the Roanoke River at Roanoke Rapids, N.C.

Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman opposed the project on the basis that Congress, in 1944, had approved comprehensive development of the Roanoke River basin and intended that the Government would build the Roanoke Rapids dam.

The piece finds the contention to hold little merit as VEPCO's plan was in harmony with the overall river control plan. The power was needed and the water was being wasted, while VEPCO stood ready to begin construction immediately. It sides with the FPC examiner.

"It's Up to Congress" finds that since the conservative Democrats in coalition with the Republicans would have effective control of the new Congress, it would be up to them to limit spending proposed by the President. It was to be expected that they would reduce non-defense spending to an absolute minimum and if they failed to do so, it ventures, the American people would be forced to conclude that economy was a great campaign pledge but one not to be taken seriously.

"'Former FBI Men'" tells of such persons having been used by Senator McCarthy to make his allegations against the State Department, while never providing the reasons why these persons had left the FBI. Counter Attack, a publication which had tried unsuccessfully to impose its own rigid standard on the entertainment world by listing persons it deemed subversive or pink, was conceived by a former FBI agent. One former agent had been billed as a sensational witness before a Congressional committee, before bowing out when the time arrived for him to testify.

But another former agent, Edward Morgan, had spoken recently to the Greensboro council of the Boy Scouts, stating that "McCarthyism" and "misguided witch hunts for Reds" could be as dangerous to the country as Communism. He found Senator McCarthy's charges irresponsible and detrimental to the nation's security, and that to guard against subversive activity, the U.S. had to depend on the FBI and a cooperative public. That, finds the piece, was similar to what J. Edgar Hoover had said and made a lot more sense than "the pratings of some other 'former FBI men'."

"With Apologies to the Sport" turns to sports to discuss the abolition of the fair catch rule in college football. It had not made the game more interesting as intended. Indeed, as a consequence, the long punt and the punt return were no longer occurring because high punts were being used to enable the ends to run down field and hit the safety hard to try to cause a fumble. The practice minimized the chance of a return, or the willingness even to attempt to catch the ball.

The primary reason the rule was bad was that it rendered the safety vulnerable, having to concentrate on catching the ball and then holding onto it. The kicker was protected from being roughed by the defense and so, too, should be the safety, no less vulnerable. It suggests restoration of the rule before "the mortality rate on safety men goes out of sight."

After the one-season experiment, the rule was restored to allow the fair catch, having been in place prior to 1950 since 1876—the fall after General Custer and his men were massacred the prior June at the Little Bighorn River in Montana, the fall when Samuel Tilden won the popular vote against Rutherford B. Hayes for the presidency, only to have the electoral votes contested by competing delegations of four states, three of which were Southern and wanted to use their electoral votes as a wedge to effect the end of Reconstruction, resulting in a special 15-person commission deciding, along partisan lines, the contested slates of electors and hence the election for Governor Hayes, the Republican.

Come to think of it, the fair catch rule might work well in the field of groping, such that the gropee could just call a fair catch ahead of the anticipated grope and avoid the contact, the penalty only to be assessed then when the rule would be violated by groping after the fair catch signal. Just hold up one hand when the grope appears on the way. At least at a party or other social gathering, as in church or some such, everyone would then be aware of what was taking place without verbal confrontations and could then observe and act as referees. Creative penalties could be assessed with fewer social consequences for everyone involved—perhaps remaining henceforth fifteen yards from members of the sex against whom the infraction was perpetrated while at such gatherings or for a specified term of probationary duration, and also forced to wear a sign saying, "I groped despite the fair catch signal—personal foul, fifteen yards". Two such infractions at one gathering would result in disqualification from attending at least one such gathering into the future.

Maybe if women played football, the touchy-feelly stuff would be better understood as just palsy-walsy tribal bonding behavior. Centers in the game of football get groped all the time, by friend and foe alike. They don't complain. They keep on hiking and blocking.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "You Can Tell a Harvard Man", informs that the Harvard Crimson, the Harvard student newspaper, had reported that the Harvard ROTC commander had refused to distribute an Army comic book to Harvard freshmen because it was beneath the intellectual capacity of the students.

It suggests that the commander must not have been a Harvard graduate or he would have realized that the comic book could have been altered appropriately to be useful in recruiting Harvard football players instead of Army officers.

Drew Pearson proposes, in follow up to his two columns the prior week on how to reach the Soviet people as a means of approaching peace with Russia, four elementary moves which the Government could take to penetrate the Iron Curtain. The President first should call the most powerful Republican leaders, Governors Earl Warren and Thomas Dewey, Senator Robert Taft, and Senator-elect James Duff of Pennsylvania, to develop coordinated foreign policy. When the President said one thing and then Senators, after visiting with General MacArthur, said another, foreign governments did not know what to believe. In the past, certain fiscally conservative members of Congress, including Congressman John Taber of New York and Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, had slashed propaganda appropriations such as for the Voice of America. Such a White House conference could eliminate this problem.

The second move he recommends was to create a Government propaganda office separate from the State Department, which, while doing a good job of information dissemination, had never wanted the job.

The third move was to bring more top newsmen and public relations experts into the new, reorganized propaganda bureau.

The fourth move was to create in the U.S. a "League for Democratic Russia", to consist of exiles from Russia and its satellites. It could expand to embrace exiles in Western Europe, Yugoslavia, China and the rest of the world. There would also be formed an "American Committee for Democracy in Russia" comprised of Americans whose names carried weight behind the Iron Curtain, to include anti-Communist labor leaders.

He concludes that such moves, while not supplanting armament, could make the job of penetrating the Iron Curtain and working for peace much more effective.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of American intelligence estimates suggesting that Russia currently had between twenty and twenty-five atomic bombs in its stockpile. Defense experts, however, said that almost all of these bombs would get through the nation's defenses if flown by the Soviet TU-4 strategic bombers in a surprise attack.

The fault was not of the Air Force, which, for lack of funds during the tenure of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, had concentrated of necessity on strategic bombing capacity. That concentration, however, had left the country without an adequate radar net and no radar-equipped night fighters. Under Defense Secretary Marshall, the deficiency was being corrected as quickly as possible. Continental air defense was being reorganized and the radar screen was being improved, including strict air traffic control at civilian airports to distinguish friendly aircraft from enemy planes.

General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had said recently that since the start of the Korean war, the free world had been left without adequate reserves save for the atomic bomb.

It was hoped that within the ensuing 18 to 20 months, an air defense capability could be implemented which could knock out twenty to thirty percent of an attacking force. But the experts believed that such a capability would be little short of miraculous if achieved.

The Soviets were expected to have between 100 and 130 atomic bombs in their arsenal by early 1953. If the estimates were correct, the Soviets could deliver at least 70 of those to target.

Thus, the survival of the country would depend on the ability to survive the first strike and then being capable of delivery of a counter-strike of such force that it would carry deterrent effect. Thus, a real civil defense program to survive such a first strike was necessary, starting with the dispersal of vital facilities, as telephone exchanges, power stations and marshaling yards.

Winston Churchill's advice of the last few years appeared to the Alsops the best bet, that peaceful settlement with the Soviets had to be premised on U.S. atomic strength.

Robert C. Ruark, in Birmingham, continues his story of Charlie Boswell, the former University of Alabama football star who had been a captain in the Army during World War II, during which he was blinded by shrapnel during an attack in the Ruhr in 1944.

He describes how Mr. Boswell had a spotter to assist him in lining up the ball for his golf game, in which he consistently shot in the mid-eighties. He had memorized the city of Birmingham and with his cane, could go wherever he wanted after being initially oriented. He used the word "see" constantly to describe business meetings, going to Broadway shows in New York, sporting events and the like. He knew in detail the inventory in the department store where he worked as the head buyer.

He was happy with his job, his home, his wife and children. He was having a swell time, which Mr. Ruark thinks ought be of comfort to those who were returning home from Korea with similar disabilities.

A letter from the Fire Chief of Charlotte tells of the need to practice fire safety in the home by conducting fire drills and establishing safe means of exit during a fire, as well as taking preventative measures. Every homemaker was a fire chief.

A letter from the president of the League of Women Voters states interest in the results of the study conducted by Albert Coates of the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill regarding ways to make municipal and county governments more efficient through merger of certain functions. She wants to know what the status of the report and its recommendations was.

The editors respond that the $20,000 survey undertaken by the City and County governments was not due until January, that there was no special committee in Charlotte responsible for the project, and that there was time for recommending to the 1951 General Assembly new enabling legislation but little interest demonstrated in doing so. They add also that, to their knowledge, none of the recommendations were being carried out in the governmental departments of the City and County.

A letter writer responds to the letter from the minister who had criticized another minister for attending the Wake Forest-Clemson football game at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem as being no fit place for a "God-fearing, consecrated Christian", after the latter had written a letter complaining of profanity and drunkenness at the game. This writer says that the minister had gone to see the game and, as an alumnus of Wake Forest, he applauds the minister's good judgment in so doing. He also agrees with his criticism of the drinking at the game, which, he thinks, went on at most football games.

No, no, no. They do not have alcohol on their breath at games at the University of North Carolina. That deplorable behavior is solely the result of the repressive environment associated with the peculiar bailiwick of the Baptists.

A letter writer agrees with the minister who criticized the minister attending the Wake Forest-Clemson game and also agrees that the the blind leading the blind would result in both winding up in the ditch.

Well, that does not say much for Mr. Boswell, who, according to Mr. Ruark, also liked bourbon, does it, now?

The editors note that a person's Christianity was not a proper subject for the letters column and so puts an end to this cycle of responses, though adding that drinking at such public functions was a proper subject for comment.

Is groping at public functions, ten or twenty or thirty years earlier, a proper subject for public comment other than among the insane?

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