The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 14, 1950


Site ed. Note: The front page reports that the allied forces in northeast Korea pulled deeper into the beachhead surrounding Hamhung and Hungnam before the advance of 100,000 Chinese massed in an arc around them, with the U.S. Third Division abandoning Oro, six miles north of Hamhung. Puerto Rican troops fighting with the U.N. forces dynamited three bridges over the Songchon River as the retreat was made from Oro. The beachhead was reported quiet on Thursday after intense fighting Wednesday. A convoy of a hundred enemy trucks, presumed to be for supply of the enemy troops, was spotted moving south from the Manchurian border toward Changjin reservoir.

A news blackout had been imposed temporarily on the situation in the northeast, but there still was no formal censorship, a list of "suggestions" having been given journalists.

In the northeast sector, the largest jet dogfight ever waged had been fought this date without clear decision. The Air Force in Washington said the dogfight indicated an "increasing tempo" of enemy air activity as more jet aircraft became available from China or Russia.

William J. Waugh reports on the major dogfight, waged between four American F-80 Shooting Star jets and 24 Russian-made MIG-15 fighters near Sinuiju in the northwest sector. The F-80s had been escorting an unarmed reconnaissance plane when they spotted the MIGs taking off from an airstrip in Manchuria, just across the Yalu River from Sinuiju. As the reconnaissance plane flew safely on its way, the F-80s turned back to attack the MIGs and the ensuing dogfight lasted 30 minutes. Each of the 24 MIGs made at least one pass at the four American jets, apparently trying to lure them into pursuit across the Yalu into an area where they were forbidden to fly. Earlier in the day, a force of 14 to 16 MIGs had attacked another flight of Shooting Stars near Sinuiju and the MIGs were driven away without damage.

American casualties, according to the Defense Department, had risen to 33,878, an increase of 1,436 over the prior week, including 5,870 deaths, of which 5,258 had occurred in combat, with 607 later dying of wounds and five dead after being reported missing. Of the remaining casualties, 23,477 were wounded and 5,143 were missing. The totals were based on those reported to next of kin by December 8 and probably did not include the high casualties reported in the large Chinese onslaught.

New Zealand's "K" force of about 600 men arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on their way to Korea.

At the U.N., the General Assembly approved, by a vote of 52 to 5, with Nationalist China abstaining, the 13-nation Asian and Middle Eastern proposal for a plan to appoint a three-person commission, led by the president of the Assembly, to determine the appropriate conditions for a ceasefire in Korea. The Soviet bloc warned that it would not end the fighting. The Indian delegation, which sponsored the resolution, had not yet received an answer from the Communist Chinese delegation regarding the prior proposal to have the Communist forces stop at the 38th parallel to end the war. General Wu, leader of the delegation, had remained silent on the matter.

Hey, boy, let's get a move on. It's cold out there in Korea.

The President discussed home front mobilization with a second Congressional group and was urged by several of the lawmakers to proceed with implementation of economic controls. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina said that he hoped the President would declare a national emergency and implement wage-price controls. Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire echoed the advice. The President would present a radio and television address on the topic at 10:30 the following night, to be broadcast over Voice of America abroad.

Governor Dewey would address by radio this night at 10:30 the international situation and how he thought the country ought to meet it. It would be broadcast over three nationwide networks, CBS, ABC, and Mutual. His speech, before the New York County Lawyers Association, would last a half hour.

Pieces of the wedding cake would be passed out afterward.

The rail strike in Chicago had spread to other key points, Washington, Baltimore, and St. Louis, tying up freight and some passenger and mail traffic, despite the Army's plea and a Federal court order to end the strike. The strike appeared likely to spread even further. The Army threatened to seek contempt citations against leaders of the responsible union, the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, unless they obeyed the court order, but union leaders had disavowed responsibility for the wildcat strike. Its president said that he had already sought to have the men return to work, to no avail. The striking trainmen wanted 48 hours of pay for 40 hours of work.

Santa Claus ain't gonna bring you nothin' for Christmas cause the trains ain't runnin'. What's you think 'bout that?

In Altoona, Pa., the Pennsylvania Railroad's Spirit of St. Louis rammed the rear of a derailed freight train, knocking the diesel engine and two cars off the track, but inflicting no injury, allowing the Spirit of St. Louis to continue on its journey eastward. The Spirit had plowed into the rear of a stalled troop train in Ohio three months earlier, killing 33 Pennsylvania National Guardsmen.

Drew Pearson and Senator Joseph McCarthy engaged in physical violence on Tuesday night at the Sulgrave Club in Washington and both had different accounts of the fracas, as reported for the first time the previous night by conservative radio commentator Fulton Lewis. Senator McCarthy said that he had smacked Mr. Pearson with his open hand and knocked him down on his hips, but did not punch him. Mr. Pearson said that the Senator kicked him twice in the groin, as usual hitting "below the belt", but that his "pugilistic powers" were about as ineffective as his Senate speeches and he was not hurt. Mr. Pearson said that the encounter ended when "Tricky Dick", recently sworn-in early after defeating the "Pink Lady" in his double knock-down rassling match in November, intervened. Senator McCarthy claimed that Senator Nixon saw the fight but did not seek to separate the men—probably because he was headed to a Polish wedding.

Mr. Pearson was 11 years older than the 42-year old Senator McCarthy, and several inches taller but less stocky. The Senator said that it all started in the cloakroom when Mr. Pearson approached him and said, "McCarthy, if you talk about personal things regarding me on the Senate floor, I'll get you," at which point Mr. McCarthy slapped him and said: "Pearson, you laid down the rules. Don't be disturbed if I get a bit rough." Mr. Pearson, according to the Senator, then replied, "You get rough and I'll get you, as I've more circulation than you have," at which point the Senator sat him down on the ground—and apparently kicked him twice in the groin, as little girls are taught to do when approached by bad men on the way to school. Mr. Pearson said that the Senator was badgering him, saying he would make a speech on the Senate floor about him, that as he was donning his coat in the cloakroom after the party, the Senator grabbed him and kicked him.

Did he grab you there, too?

Mr. Nixon had no comment except to say that the incident had occurred at a private party and that he did not believe that such "foolishness should be bandied about in times like this."

They were just wallowing in Watergate, through New Hampshire and Virginia, where there was a Santa Claus to bridge the Gap.

Off the coast of Brest, France, at least three ships, of Dutch, English, and Greek origin, were in difficulty in a tempest. The Greek ship, Agios Spyridon, was in the worst straits and was probably lost. The other two ships were identified as the British vessel Blaircove and the Dutch coaster Koninghsave. The storm had disrupted radio signals from the ships. Another ship, the Esso, had radioed for help. The U.S. ship American Banker was on fire and seeking aid as well. The U.S.S. Nixon was en route from Washington but was said to be several days away and unlikely to be of any useful service at any time then or in the future.

In the Donner Summit area of the Sierras in Northern California, a violent earthquake was felt at 5:25 a.m., but there was no report of damage. It was felt mildly in Sacramento and Reno, Nev. The quake was registered on the seismograph at the University of California for thirty minutes.

Where did it go?

Future chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Air Force General Nathan Twining, whose family had lived in Charlotte during World War II on 7th Street near Hawthorne Lane—within a block, incidentally, of the location from which Harry Golden published his Carolina Israelite between 1944 and 1968—, received a nomination for promotion from the President to vice-chief of staff of the Air Force, with the rank of four-star general attached. The nomination went to the Senate for approval. General Twining had been recalled to Washington in recent months after assuming command of the Air Force base in Alaska. His family had left Charlotte at the time he moved to Alaska.

Where did they go?

There was a teddy bear getting into the refrigerator, preparing for the Big Sleep.

On the editorial page, "Truman Does It Again" comments on the most recent of the President's notorious letters, that to Congressman Edward Hebert of Louisiana who had wanted the President to urge a day of prayer, to which the President had responded that his Thanksgiving Proclamation had sufficed, and then later noted that he wished Mr. Hebert had made the suggestion during the raucous campaign, the lowest he had seen politics reach in several listed states, including Louisiana and North Carolina.

It thinks the President's response had raised serious doubts about his mature judgment. It suggests silence when the times called for it and says it would make no charge to the President for the advice.

Well, that's goddamned good because that goddamned advice isn't worth a good goddamn. Your mother said so, right after...

"Davidson's Scholars" tells of not only Woodrow Wilson having attended Davidson but, as few knew, it was unsurpassed by any other liberal arts school in production of Rhodes Scholars, with nine since the scholarship program had been established in 1904. Two had become college presidents, one was high in the State Department, two were educators, one was in medicine and another a missionary. Two recent recipients were now at Oxford or about to begin study there.

"Now It's Up to the Police" tells of Charlotte now having an anti-loitering ordinance with teeth and so the police had authority to get rid of the city's panhandlers populating the streets. The ordinance created an exception for peaceful picketing. The police chief promised common sense in enforcement, such that ordinary idlers would not be bothered. Rather, the effort would be aimed at drunks, panhandlers, prostitutes and homosexuals who created a nuisance by congregating on the public sidewalks.

So, the solution for the panhandlers is thus suggested. Get a sign to carry around, saying, "Ban the bums."

"On Buying Christmas Trees" recommends dressing in old clothes and carrying a hatchet when setting out to buy one's Christmas tree, to make it plain to the dealer that the means existed to chop one down if the price was not right. It suggests hiring a small boy to bring the tree home, as the tree's needles often inflicted damage on the carrier. Boys had so many scratches that a few more would not matter. People who lived in small apartments seemed obsessed about having a large tree, with branches spreading from the living room into the bedroom and kitchen, while those residing in mansions often bought a small two-footer for a corner of the den, in consequence of which tendencies, it advises moderation. Letting the children string up home-popped popcorn was a good substitute for buying new decorations every year. Finally, it advises to be careful of fire hazards.

It wishes everyone a happy season and happy tree hunting.

Don't bother with that popcorn. The mice will come in all through the house and chew it up, along with the tree and presents, ruining Christmas.

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "Incidental", finds that had the prohibitionists spent as much time trying to close the illegal liquor purveyors as they had the legal liquor purveyors, then the country would be a lot closer to national sobriety.

Bill Sharpe, in his weekly "Turpentine Drippings", snippets from newspapers across the state, provides one from the Camden Chronicle recording that one of life's oddities was awakening in the night when the clock struck once and wondering whether it was announcing 1:00 or just the half hour, finally succumbing to the suspense and turning over to look at the clock.

If you sleep close enough to a chiming clock to hear it chime in the night, you are an idiot who does not value sleep very much, thinks that knowing the time of night somehow will improve your sense of responsibility during the day. Forget about time, stupid, and just remember. For calculation of linear time is but an illusion engrafted by man on the natural spin of the universe in round, or at least that which is elliptical.

The Mount Olive Tribune tells of a man picking up two little boys heading to school and asking them various questions about why they were going and what they were learning, finally ending in him saying to them that he should have gone to school more when he was a boy, to which one agreed, saying that he would have had more sense in that event, after which the trip transpired in silence.

He should have dumped those boys out on the road at that point, and the boys should have then kicked him twice in his Tricks.

The Lake City View provides an ironic poem on traffic—to which we add:

Stop sign, dead man, behind that tree,
We hit the brakes, why not thee?

The Morganton Pocketbook relates of the defendant who told the judge that he had never been in trouble before, had only robbed his kid brother's bank, to which the prosecutor interjected that he had neglected to include the fact that his kid brother was cashier of a local bank.

The Wautauga Democrat finds that the signature of success was when someone signed their name such that it was indecipherable.

The Greensboro Daily News finds four places always friendly, service stations, courthouses, newspaper offices and busses, but that some busses might be friendlier than others.

Exactly how do you mean?

More, more, and on so.

Drew Pearson tells of the President being human, given to blowing a fuse when it came to protecting his wife and daughter. But his fuse-blowing was not confined to family matters, and increasingly, he was having fits of temper which had influenced public policy. His failure to use his authority to impose price controls, for instance, had resulted in rampant inflation, increasing the cost of rearmament by billions of dollars. One reason, he posits, for the President's reluctance to use the authority was that Bernard Baruch, whom the President had hated ever since Mr. Baruch had declined an invitation to help Democrats raise money in the 1948 campaign, had advocated to Congress grant of the authority. After 1948, the President had fired Mr. Baruch's brother as Ambassador to Holland on Mr. Baruch's birthday and he had never invited Mr. Baruch back to the White House—probably even on the President's birthday. The President also blamed Mr. Baruch for exerting his reputed influence on Southern Senators to block the President's nomination of his friend Mon Wallgren to become chairman of the National Security Resources Board.

The President had planned to follow advice and appoint a nonpartisan Loyalty Review Board to investigate the State Department, as a counter to the charges by Senator McCarthy of Communists in the State Department. But when Mr. Pearson revealed the intention in his column, the President reportedly said that he would not be responsible for giving Mr. Pearson a correct prediction and so relented. As a result, the McCarthy charges continued to plague the Democrats during the election campaign, resulting, he posits, in key Senate races going to the Republicans. Mr. Pearson opines that had the Board been appointed as planned, things might have been different—which would impliedly have resulted in no Senator Richard Nixon, at least not in 1950, and hence, no Vice-President Nixon in 1953, and the rest, as they say...

Probably, he exaggerates a mite and the results would have been just as bad for the Democrats, as, after all, the President had appointed several Republicans to key positions on foreign policy, including John Foster Dulles and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., both having served in the American U.N. delegation and Mr. Dulles as the principal adviser on Far East policy at the State Department, with no discernible positive impact on the midterm elections.

Mr. Pearson ventures that when the President took time to consider a problem, without allowing personalities to interfere, his decisions were courageous and usually sound. Invariably, he battled for the average citizen. The advisers of the President needed to be of sound judgment, without political axes to grind and not subject to being swayed by lobbyists, whereas too many around the President were not of that type.

Marquis Childs discusses the prospect of economic controls with pressure being exerted from within the White House and the Bureau of the Budget toward imposition of only half measures, with controls on prices but not wages. It was political, to please labor, but would not work economically. Even politically, it would backfire. So the pressure likely would be ignored and controls would also be placed on wages.

Prices would likely be rolled back two to three months. Some exemptions would likely be allowed on wage freezes, to avoid genuine hardship.

When the Congress appropriated nearly 16 billion dollars in supplemental defense spending the prior September, government contracts were let to contractors throughout the country to expand construction of planes, tanks, bazookas and other military equipment. But those dollars would buy only two-thirds of what they would in September.

Secretary of Defense Marshall had told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the Administration was considering imposition of controls, with the intention that the news, per prior experience, would leak from the executive session and act as a warning to industry and labor. The President had resisted using his authority granted by Congress during the late summer to impose such controls because he felt they would be unenforceable during only partial mobilization.

To many Americans, the war in Korea still seemed remote and so controls would be a test of the American character, as there would be a strong temptation to flout them. Despite that possibility, they could no longer be delayed, Mr. Childs ventures, as it was time to find out if Americans at home could practice self-restraint in time of a smaller war abroad.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his friend George McFadden, an American United Press journalist who worked in Australia, being of the opinion, upon his return to the U.S. for the first time since before the end of the war, that Americans had become too smug, moved too fast, that the children were pampered brats and television was mediocre. And Mr. Ruark valued Mr. McFadden's opinion.

He said that Americans were beginning to believe that money could buy them out of trouble across the globe. Australia, which had served as the staging ground for the Pacific war after the Philippines fell in early 1942, had received very little American aid. It was the squeaky wheel which was getting the grease in Asia.

Mr. McFadden believed America had to get over this concept of throwing money around to avoid trouble. He appeared to yearn for the relative quietude of Australia again. He had not yet partaken of an electric blanket since returning to America, for he was cautious and had absorbed all of the peacetime progress he could at the moment.

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.