The Charlotte News

Monday, August 28, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the right wing of the 120-mile allied defense arc had been forced back before a fresh North Korean offensive in the vicinity of Waegwan, 45 miles east of Pohang, where the heaviest fighting was reported in the face of 40,000 of the 64,000 North Korean troops pressing the entire defense perimeter. The southward bend in the line had reached its greatest extent near Uihung, taken Sunday by the enemy, 22 miles north of Taegu and just west and north of Pohang.

Hal Boyle, at the Pohang airstrip, reported that the enemy were 2.5 miles from Pohang and advancing against severe land and naval allied bombardment. Mr. Boyle thought that the airstrip could be held. General Walton Walker, ground commander in Korea, urged the troops to hold the line as he believed it was the "last gasp" of the enemy.

A spokesman at MacArthur headquarters said that it appeared the key to the next big drive would be the enemy's Second Division, one of the elite shock troop contingents, within a day's march of the front, positioned north of the Hyongpung toward Taegu and at Uihung. Three other divisions, constituting the main mass of the enemy, were still in position between Waegwan and Kunwi, northwest of Taegu.

The enemy had also attacked Haman in the extreme south, moving 30 vehicles and artillery pieces across the Nam River via an underwater bridge. An American aerial assault, however, quickly scattered the enemy troops.

Allied air strikes continued, with five enemy vessels sunk and six others left sinking off the east coast. Carrier planes destroyed eleven new Yak fighters on the ground at Yonpo. Attacks ranged from the North Korean cities of Wonsan to Chongjin, the latter near the Siberian border. In more than 260 sorties, American and Australian fighter planes claimed to have destroyed eleven tanks, 67 trucks and other vehicles, 21 locomotives, 308 railroad cars, six bridges, two ammunition dumps, 34 buildings which housed troops, four boats and a railroad tunnel.

General MacArthur had prepared a controversial statement, without prior approval, which was to have been read by a third party before the VFW convention in Chicago, in which he said that peace might be had by holding a "natural" defense line in the Pacific islands, including Formosa, but that losing Formosa would mean inevitable war as it would become a springboard for launching a war of conquest to the south. He also said that the President's policy in the Far East had changed to include Formosa in such a defensive line.

The President, however, ordered that the statement, at odds with Administration policy toward Formosa, be withdrawn and General MacArthur had complied. The President said that he issued the order to avoid confusion over Formosan policy, and then restated the position that Formosa must be neutralized with regard to the Korean war but that the U.S. would make no commitment beyond blocking any invasion attempt during the Korean crisis. He also said that there was to be one policy of the Administration, as determined by the President. When White House press secretary Charles G. Ross was asked whether General MacArthur might be relieved from his command over the incident, Mr. Ross responded that the matter was closed. General MacArthur had no comment on the matter. The message had been disseminated to newspapers the previous week in anticipation of its being read but an aide to the General asked that it not be published. Several newspapers, however, had indicated intent to publish the statement anyway.

On Saturday, the State Department and the White House had disavowed a statement by Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews, also issued without prior approval, that the country should, if necessary, start a war to compel other nations to cooperate to establish the peace.

HUAC again called as a witness Lee Pressman, who voluntarily admitted to the press that he had been a member of a Communist group in 1934-35, at a time when he was the top lawyer for a number of New Deal agencies. He said that at the time he wished to defeat Nazism and believed that the Communists offered a pathway to that end. He denied that Alger Hiss was in his group and said he had no knowledge of Mr. Hiss's political beliefs. Mr. Hiss had testified that he and Mr. Pressman had been classmates at Harvard Law School and worked on the law review together. Both then became assistants together at the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.

In 1948, Mr. Pressman had declined to answer HUAC questions but recently had quit the American Labor Party and was thus believed ready to provide "missing links" in the Alger Hiss-Whittaker Chambers matter. Congressman Richard Nixon, who had asked for the new testimony, told reporters that he would recommend an executive session for the matter to be heard, with possibly a later public hearing.

—Yeah, Bob, we'll be able to get some more mileage out of the Hiss thing, just in time for the fall election. Good work, Bob.

The nation's railroads, taken over by the President Friday and being operated by the Army in a perfunctory capacity since the previous day, after the nationwide strike called by the Brotherhoods of Trainmen and Conductors had been scheduled to begin this date, operated normally. The strike, however, remained unsettled as negotiations were temporarily suspended. Everyone had reported to work after the unions called off the strike following seizure, a move which they had wanted.

In Detroit, Packard and UAW announced a pay raise of nine cents per hour, in settlement of a 13-day old strike of its 8,000 workers. Chrysler had raised wages the previous week to set the industry standard. Only Ford remained resistant.

In Hankow, China, workers at a junk store, which had purchased 16 tons of scrap iron including three old Japanese torpedoes from the war, were breaking up the junk when one torpedo exploded, killing 25 persons, seriously injuring 20 others and leaving three missing. In addition, 32 houses were destroyed and scores more were damaged.

On Crete, civil war was threatened regarding the abduction of a 19-year old beauty by her lover, and Greek authorities sought to restore calm. The two families of the lovers suffered from a longstanding Montague-Capulet type feud.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a great many important persons were urging that Bermuda become Canada's eleventh province.

Two tropical storms, one a hurricane and the other likely to become one, threatened the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, respectively, with the former possibly on line to hit New Orleans and Mobile.

In Santa Ana, California, firemen were able in less than an hour to free a two-year old girl from a locked bathroom.

On the editorial page, "Drafting of Specialists" tells of the House Armed Services Committee starting hearings on the Defense Department bill to draft occupational specialists, such as doctors and dentists. There were currently 29,000 medical personnel in the armed forces reserves who had served in World War II, and without such a bill, would have to bear the brunt of service in Korea as well. The first to be called up under the bill would be 5,000 young doctors who served less than 90 days during World War II but were trained for service. Next would be those who served between 90 days and 21 months. Third would be those under 45 who had no active service after the start of the draft in September, 1940.

Only thirty of 3,000 reservist doctors had responded to a letter from the Army urging them to volunteer.

Other specialists as well, who had been trained in professional, technical and scientific areas, would be called.

The bill would be a sharp departure from prior Selective Service Administration policy of drafting men solely by age, basic classification, and dependent status. It finds the policy not to be objectionable in time of war.

It's not so bad. You can get a tan out there on certain sunny days.

"Uniting Our Defenses" tells of many wondering whether it was already too late for both sides to disengage from the cold war. But Ely Culbertson of the Citizens Committee for U.N. Reform favored creation of an international police force as a solution. The police force would manage a special armed force called the UN International Contingent.

While the piece is not certain whether it was, as opined by Mr. Culbertson, "foolproof", it believes such a force would prove valuable in the event of armed aggression by Russia. It would be more effective than a hastily assembled body of troops from member nations.

"Double Trouble" tells of a fatal automobile accident on Dowd Road the previous Wednesday night, taking the life of one man and injuring two others, after the driver sought to elude a police officer who had pulled up beside the driver as he moved slowly on Wilkinson Boulevard, apparently drunk. He had then sped up, reaching speeds of 80 mph, before hitting a concrete abutment and losing control. The survivors told of an afternoon of drinking preceding the incident. The piece serves it up as warning against drinking and driving.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Kennan's Departure", laments the departure of State Department expert on Russia and foreign policy planner George F. Kennan. He believed war was not inevitable, contrary to those in Washington who believed they were realists. It was in fact Mr. Kennan, offers the piece, who was the realist. He had a better record than anyone in predicting next moves.

In the White Paper on China, his dispatches had shown that his judgments had been informed by transpiring events, correcting the naive trustfulness of some of FDR's personal representatives. He had warned against entering the deals made at Yalta. He had defended those of his colleagues maligned since the fall of China, for the fact that they had only been prematurely correct in their judgments, just as Mr. Kennan had been from his perspective in Moscow. He had been an inspiration to the diplomatic officers and he would be missed.

Drew Pearson, returning from his two-week vacation, tells of his traditional argument with his wife whether to stay home on their dairy farm or go elsewhere during his vacation, with him favoring the former. This year, they stayed on the farm. Harry Truman, their bull, got loose and behaved with bellicosity. Senator McKellar, another bull, was sent to the sausage factory. Six farmhands had filled the silo by means of a forage crop harvester in just four days. He then took his wife on a canoe trip on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, starting from in front of their house, then proceeding up to Seneca, then returning down the rapids of the Potomac. During that trip, one could almost forget, he recounts, about the Korean war and the cold war test, "what a mess men had made of modern civilization."

Marquis Childs tells of the lack of stockpiles of critical materials in the country, maintained as a secret. On July 23, 1946, Congress had passed a national stockpiling act to have the Munitions Board acquire requisite materials over a five-year period. A report at the beginning of 1949 had said that these requirements would do no more than ease the critical shortages which might otherwise block war production completely. Behind the requirements was an assumption that large quantities of materials would continue to flow from overseas in the event of a world war. But during the late war, German U-boats had reduced the flow of critical materials to a trickle, and the Russians now had twice the submarine force of the Nazis.

As of the beginning of 1950, only 30 percent of the minimum stockpiles had been acquired and half of it had come from World War II surplus and Marshall Plan purchases. The total was valued at only 1.1 billion dollars. A month earlier, the Board had reported acquisition of 38.4 percent of the requirements, with another 12 percent on order.

But among the most critical of the materials, as manganese and chrome for steel production, the shortages were most acute.

Even though time was running out, particularly to keep skilled labor in the mines, it was not yet too late to make amends. The economic controls bill provided for authorization to expand industry with Government help, a start, he offers, in the right direction.

Robert C. Ruark tells of not betting on Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson's prediction that the Korean war would last only six to eight months, insofar as pushing the North Koreans back behind the 38th parallel. He had been wrong about economizing on defense not only not weakening but strengthening the country's preparedness. He had placed priority on the modern weapons and neglected conventional defense. Mr. Ruark believes that Mr. Johnson knew no more about when the war would end than the average American or whether it would first involve a full-scale war with Communist China or in some other area.

He states that, given the defeat of Senator Glen Taylor in the Democratic primary in Idaho, it was gratifying to discover that playing a guitar and singing country songs no longer represented a sure path, as he had previously assumed, to Congress.

A letter writer from Pinehurst finds fault with Stewart Alsop's column of August 22 which had found it ironic that Republican leaders were aiming campaign salvoes at Secretary of State Acheson rather than at Secretary of Defense Johnson, despite the latter having been responsible for the lack of preparedness for the Korean war with his defense economy program, while Secretary Acheson had warned that more defense was needed. This writer thinks it apropos for the GOP to turn their guns on Mr. Acheson, given his continuing affinity for his old friend Alger Hiss. He thinks Mr. Acheson would give the President poor advice vis-à-vis the Communists.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., though admitting not having read the original letter siding with the Richmond Times-Dispatch piece about a noisy dog in Birmingham, Ala., which resulted in a fine for its owner and subsequent abuse to the complainant by dog-lovers, adopts the position of the responding letter writer who condemned to the depths of perdition anyone not a dog lover or fancier.

Mr. Cherry—who also had been nominated by UNC students to run for President on April 1, 1949, during his 1948-49 dust-up with Hans Freistadt, the UNC graduate student who Mr. Cherry turned in to Senator Clyde Hoey for being openly a Communist while attending school on a scholarship sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission, resulting in withdrawal of the scholarship—, provides an ode by Lord Byron to his Newfoundland-born dog, Boatswain, upon the occasion of his death.

Befriend a dog in general, without knowing of its origins, whether Russian wolfhound with a seven-year itch or an R.A.F. loyal ally canine, benign to all save the bastard son of a witch; but turn in an innocuous Communist graduate student on your campus because you do not like his politics, cause him to lose his scholarship when he had no connection with research on any sensitive matter. That's a hell of a note. And don't try to sugar-coat it with your cute, little apology to the editors for injecting an "infested flea" to the letters column or to the original writer, siding with the Times-Dispatch, for your trying to be "doggy" about the matter. You have already doggied up things quite enough.

A letter writer suggests that those who sided with General MacArthur and the President regarding fighting "our way into the hearts of the Asiatic peoples by cutting off their necks" would likely find disturbing the advice of CBS correspondent Eric Sevareid when he recently had said, "It is beginning to dawn on the people that we have failed in Asia."

The writer thinks that the U.S. could better win the good will of Asia by supplying only economic and not military aid in the future, as killing Asiatics would not endear Americans to Asiatics, just as supplying arms to Britain, France, and The Netherlands, in furtherance of their colonialist policies in the Far East.

He urges the words of William Wordsworth from his poetic rendering, "Peter Bell", for whom, of every twenty men who feared him, only one provided his respect.

And, tomorrow, August 29, 2017, is the little noted but long remembered 50th anniversary of the day the running stopped—at least until the re-runs would begin the whole series over again in syndication or on your local tv station.

If you missed the first part of the two-part finale last week, you may have to wait several years to come upon it again. But in the meantime, you may try here.

As last week, we offer the alternative mystery trip available on CBS, should you desire to skip the end of the running. If neither suits your fancy, you may try the movie on NBC.

We, for our part, had started school again during the interim week, following a long, hot summer, filled with reading adventure; but managed to make room somehow, amid toilsome and assiduously resumed studies, for the end of the running.

Later that fall, just prior to Thanksgiving, we would write our first term paper, in biology, from a topic selected out of Scientific American, on memory. The last of three days spent on the paper during that weekend culminated in our first of many subsequent all-nighters, finishing at dawn, though not so badly orchestrated as the expositive exercise being conducted by a friend who called at around 8:30 p.m. that night to tell us, to our sympathetic horror, that he was still wracking his brain, poring over tomes from which to extricate an appropriate topic for his composition in abstraction, due the next day. That made us feel, after all, not so procrastinatory.

Then, but a few days later, the Beatles would release "Magical Mystery Tour"—not just an E.P., as in Britain, but a full-fledged L.P., albeit with four of eleven songs which we already had on 45's, released earlier that year, in February and July, respectively, a clever marketing ploy by Capitol Records, which we partially outsmarted by not yet having purchased the most recent 45, released the prior week, both sides of which were also on the album. And we still have the album, all eleven songs, including its story booklet inside.

Do you?

Parenthetically, as to the answer to the scarcely noted mystery as to why the narrator, at the end of the running, stated the date as "Tuesday, September 5", one week hence, without that line ever having been altered with a simple voice-over to accommodate an apparent change in the schedule of presentation after production had concluded, and why that change in schedule was made in the first instance, we may never know. Perhaps, next week, we shall explore that topic further. It seems to be a rather stupid, bloody mistake, lending the appearance of forecast of that which had not yet dramatically transpired as if set off in a dream displaced from the recurring nightmare, subtracting, in any event, from the experiential elevation inherent in existential blending of mediated staging and presently perceived sensorial data from the environment immediate, au courant bleu passant, for which the narrator must pay.

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