The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 9, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Stan Carter, that South Korean troops early this date had driven Chinese Communist forces from atop White Horse Hill, protecting the approach to Seoul from the north, after making four quick stabs, gaining the hill foot by foot while under heavy enemy artillery fire. Allied and enemy tanks dueled in the valleys surrounding the hill as the conflict continued. Associated Press correspondent Milo Farneti reported from the front that the peak was being pounded by both sides with tremendous barrages from artillery. An American officer at the hill said that the South Koreans were engaged in hand-to-hand combat, using bayonets, rifles and rocks, and found that the enemy losses had to be staggering. The battle was in its fourth day and the Chinese had used up one division in the battle and were starting on their second. An American officer estimated that the enemy had lost 8,000 killed and wounded during the three days of fighting. Up to 15,000 enemy troops had attacked across the western and central fronts on Monday night in the largest offensive by the enemy since May, 1951. Heavy fighting had continued in other sectors, but the main Communist effort was directed at White Horse Hill. A commander with the South Korean troops said that the men's morale was very high, but they were tired. He vowed that they would hold their front at all costs.

U.S. Sabre jets reported shooting down two Communist MIG-15s and damaging three others in air battles over northwest Korea. Allied warplanes hit Chinese positions behind White Horse Hill with napalm, fragmentation bombs and machine gun fire. The previous day, ten B-29's and 132 carrier-based Navy planes had participated in a large daylight raid against Kowon, a vital enemy supply and communications center in northeast Korea.

South Korean guards injured 16 Communist prisoners of war on Koje Island this date while enforcing a lawful order of the camp commanders, none of the prisoners having been injured seriously. The prisoners had refused to display their extra clothing before the issue of new winter clothing.

The Army this date issued its draft call for December, seeking 47,000 men for induction, to bring the total draft inductions to 1,154,430 since resumption of the draft in September, 1950, after the start of the Korean War. The December number was the same as for October and November.

At the U.N., Secretary-General Trygve Lie told the 60 member nations of the General Assembly the previous night that there had to be "a more equitable sharing of the burden" in Korea and that it was their duty to carry on the fight until an armistice was reached. He said that it was necessary to restate the facts regarding the war because "honest misunderstandings as well as falsehoods" persisted in many parts of the world regarding it. He said it was not a war against any system of government or one to unify North and South Korea, but had been undertaken and fought by the U.N. forces to throw back the aggressors and bring the aggression to an end, restoring peace and security.

Governor Stevenson, in Kansas City, Mo., declared this date General Eisenhower to be "the honorary Republican candidate for President" after having surrendered to Senator Taft the leadership of the party. He contrasted that situation with the Democrats, as the President had proved himself "a man of independence", who had "rallied the free peoples against the mortal threat of Communism and Russian imperialism". He said that he liked most about the President the fact that he would not take anything off anybody, a trait he found characteristic of Missourians, and that no one knew that better than Joseph Stalin.

Volunteers for Stevenson appealed by telegram this date for money to keep the Governor before the voters. George Ball, New York and Washington attorney and national executive director of the organization—who would subsequently have prominent roles in the Kennedy Administration—said that many thousands of telegrams would be sent out to raise funds. Stevenson headquarters estimated that about a million dollars would be necessary to place 30-minute radio and television simulcasts on the air three times each week for the remainder of the campaign. Mr. Ball estimated that the cost of each such broadcast would be about $55,000.

General Eisenhower was campaigning in Southern California this date after a speech in San Francisco the previous night, in which he had blamed the Korean War largely on the political decisions of the Truman Administration, contending that a 1951 statement by the State Department, leaving Korea outside the announced defense parameter in the Pacific, had encouraged, if not invited, "the ordeal in Korea". The crowd of 29,000 people at the Cow Palace cheered wildly when he said that the U.N. had been "swindled" into the Korean peace talks, resulting in the Communists being half again as strong as they had been before the talks began. He was greeted in San Francisco with a ticker-tape parade, with police estimating that 100,000 cheering persons had gathered along the parade route, a reaction which was striking to reporters who had covered the campaign, lifting hopes among the Eisenhower lieutenants that he might carry the state. It was one of the bitterest denunciations of the Administration which the General had yet delivered. He would visit Fresno, San Diego, Long Beach and Los Angeles this date.

In Shenandoah, Iowa, where, on "Pancake Day" the previous day, both the President and Senator Taft had spoken two and a half hours apart, the pancake feed had been a huge success, attracting many people for the free pancakes. The weather had been wonderful, nearly as balmy as the Fourth of July, with plenty of fireworks from both the President and the Senator to go along with it. The crowd at the local high school football stadium gave a better response to Senator Taft than to the President, which was not surprising given that the county had voted Republican in 1948, even though the state had supported the President. Senator Taft had said that the President had engaged in "lying and misrepresentation" in his whistle-stop campaign attacking General Eisenhower, whom the President accused of uttering half-truths and misrepresentations about farm problems ever since he had breakfast in New York with Senator Taft the previous month. About 10,000 people had turned out for both speeches, and downtown some 25,000 to 30,000 showed up for the parade, headed by the President, with the Senator in the middle. Nevertheless, the President and the Senator had failed to draw more than half of the visitors in town, the story concluding that they could not compete with free pancakes.

The President said in Cleveland this date that General Eisenhower had "moaned and groaned about high prices" even as the Republicans planned to "murder what's left of price controls" should they win the November election. He said that to call the Republicans the party of low prices was akin to saying, "The shark is man's best friend, or that tigers make nice household pets." He said that the General could not be expected to cut waste in military spending as he had not done so when he had been chief of staff of the Army, at least no more than had General Marshall or General Omar Bradley before him, or General J. Lawton Collins after him. He said that General Eisenhower knew that military expenditures could not be cut enough to reduce taxes without weakening the defense of the country and injuring thereby national safety, referring to the claim as "just the old flim-flam". The President was continuing his whistle-stop campaign in Indiana and Ohio, en route to Buffalo, N.Y., where he would give a major address this night.

The Atlanta Journal, the South's largest newspaper, announced this date that it was supporting Governor Stevenson for the presidency.

Samuel Lubell, tapping grassroots reaction to the campaign across the country, tells of having talked with voters in 15 states over the previous three months and coming to the conclusion that the November election would be settled in the big cities, unlike in 1948. In the farm belt, he had found too much support for General Eisenhower to enable the Democrats to repeat their farm-belt victory of 1948, which had swung the balance in that election. To offset that strength, Governor Stevenson had to run considerably better than the President had in the large metropolitan areas of the North and West. The Governor could depend on the return to the Democrats of most of the 1.15 million votes cast for former Vice-President Henry Wallace on the Progressive ticket four years earlier. That candidacy had cost the President the 75 electoral votes in New York, Michigan and Maryland, and had reduced his margin of victory in California to only 17,800 votes. Mr. Lubell's tapping of voter sentiment in the strongest areas for Mr. Wallace in 1948 showed that four out of five of those voters would support Governor Stevenson in the fall election. In the two Los Angeles precincts carried by Mr. Wallace, for example, only four of 30 persons he had interviewed said they intended to vote for General Eisenhower. Only one person in those precincts indicated an intention to vote for Vincent Hallinan, the candidate of the Progressive Party in 1952.

The Supreme Court this date postponed from October 14 until December 8 oral arguments in the public school desegregation cases.

In Alexandria, Va., a Federal District Court judge ruled this date that the Government was entitled to recover the oil tanker Meacham because it was transferred illegally to a corporation financed by Chinese aliens. The tanker had figured in two Congressional investigations, one involving the quick profits made from surplus Government ship deals by a group headed by former Congressman Joseph Casey of Massachusetts and other prominent men, as well as the probe earlier in the year into the role of Newbold Morris, former special corruption prosecutor for the Truman Administration, who headed a foundation which owned the ship through subsidiary firms. The court held that because Mr. Casey's group had transferred control of the ship to Chinese aliens, the surplus tanker could be reclaimed by the Government. It had been sold by the Maritime Commission in 1948 to the Casey group and later was transferred to a succession of companies linked with the China International Foundation, headed by Mr. Morris.

In Harrow, England, where the previous date three commuter trains had crashed in the worst British rail disaster in 37 years and the second worst in British history, the death toll had risen to at least 94, after at least 14 bodies had been retrieved from the piled debris and another of the injured victims had died in the hospital.

In Chicago, two men who were regular customers of a barbecue restaurant, which had recently been robbed, as a gag, shouted, "This is a stickup," as they walked into the place. The owner, in the kitchen, promptly opened fire with a revolver, killing one of the men and shooting the other in the arm.

In Turin, Italy, a professor had been arrested on charges of selling advance copies of his school's examination questions for the equivalent of $500. At the same school, two years earlier, students had been found taking examinations while equipped with a homemade walkie-talkie radio, enabling them to broadcast the questions to friends outside the classroom and then receive the answers.

The News begins a straw poll between General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson, with a ballot on the front page.

We think you ought to vote for Governor Stevenson, if for no other reason than to keep Senator Nixon far, far away from further power. Trust us, you will thank us later on, even if you may never know of the alternative nightmare which awaits you down the road should you make him Vice-President.

On the editorial page, "The News Will Back Eisenhower for United States Presidency" provides the expected endorsement by the newspaper of the General in the November 4 general election. As the newspaper had openly endorsed the General for the Republican nomination since early January, right after the General announced from Paris his availability for it, and had never wavered in that general support, it does not come as any surprise. The column had repeatedly laid out its rationale for that support and so you may read it again for yourself.

It again states that Governor Stevenson was a "man of ability and courage" and finds that if he were to win, the country would be in far better hands than it had been during the Presidency of Harry Truman. It indicates that were it simply a choice between the two men in more normal times, the newspaper would be in a "real quandary", as both men had qualities which fitted them for the Presidency. But with the times not normal and the issues being more serious than simply a decision between personalities, it finds that the General had the better experience for the job.

It regards the great issues as being three-fold, first being the need for national leadership to produce some unity behind that leadership and confidence in it, in order to carry on the foreign and domestic policy. The newspaper had agreed with the basic objectives and many of the mechanisms of the Truman foreign policy, beginning with the 1947 Truman Doctrine of military aid to Greece and Turkey, continuing through the decision to intervene in Korea in June, 1950. But the Administration, in its estimate, had not been able to unite the American people or make them understand the foreign policy or its rationale, a failure which it attributes to the Administration's failure to inspire confidence in its leadership. It finds, by contrast, General Eisenhower to be a man with positive ideas on foreign policy and invaluable experience in the area, augmented by his tremendous popularity with the nation, enabling him to effect unity and win confidence in the months ahead.

It also finds that in addition to unity at home, unity among the free nations and confidence in U.S. leadership were also essential to success in the struggle against Russian imperialism. Just as Winston Churchill had rallied England in its hour of greatest peril in 1940 and beyond during the war, and just as FDR had inspired the whole world to battle against the Nazis and Fascists, and join the U.N. after the war, General Eisenhower, whose name was known and respected throughout the free world, even in Russia, had shown his mettle as an organizer and diplomat during the war and afterward, most recently as supreme commander of NATO. It indicates that for all of the good qualities of the President, more than those for which he was given credit, he had nevertheless lowered the prestige of the Presidency in the eyes of the world, and it needed to be resurrected. The General was in a better position than Governor Stevenson, it opines, to do so.

The third great issue in the election, it proposes, was the preservation of the two-party system, after 20 years of Democratic rule. It indicates that if left too long in power, a majority party grew tired, indecisive, petulant and callous to public opinion, becoming top-heavy with mediocre personnel, leading to graft and corruption. It urges that change was not enough, but that change had to be for the better. It notes that the newspaper had done battle through the years with many in the Republican Party, with whom it would continue to do battle should they seek to control General Eisenhower as President. It regards the General's candidacy as offering an opportunity, which had not occurred since the Civil War, to build a strong two-party system in the South, "freeing this region from the shackles of one-party rule."

It finds that on domestic policies, the General had a philosophy of acceptance of the basic changes to society during the previous 20 years, but resisting proposals for extending Federal Government intrusion into the lives of the American people. He was moderate, promising to scrutinize every Federal function as to whether it was truly necessary, and return to the states and local governments functions whenever possible. He placed a high premium on the soundness of the American dollar and understood that a better balance between labor and management, the farmer and the consumer, the producer and the white-collar worker, was necessary. It suggests that he would not seek the support of special-interest groups at the expense of the nation's welfare. It also praises his deep religious faith, upholding the simple virtues of honesty, integrity, frugality and courage.

"Under his leadership, we are confident, the United States will emerge from the miasma of uncertainty and frustration and move into a clearer and brighter future."

Surprise, surprise, surprise…

Drew Pearson, aboard the President's train, tells of the crowds smiling at the President as he passed through station after station across the country. The fields had appeared bountiful in California and Utah, and in Provo, a new steel mill, built by the Government when private industry had refused to take the risk, had brought new prosperity to the area. Water was more plentiful in 1952, and in some areas it had been brought from the mountains by dams and reclamation projects pioneered by the Truman or Roosevelt Administrations. Thus, the Far West smiled on the President, both politically and economically. It was not boisterous in its enthusiasm, as the crowds were for General Eisenhower, and, in turn, the President did not usually provide a fire-and-brimstone oratory such as that being given from the rear platform by the General. Mr. Pearson notes, however, that sometimes he did, not following a general pattern. But the crowds were big and the faces were friendly, yet with an undercurrent of Republicanism in the normally Democratic states. It was something which he found hard to put his finger on, but it was there, as there was clearly a desire for change in the country and people were not particularly swayed by oratorical bombast on either side, with many not enthusiastic about General Eisenhower and not knowing much about Governor Stevenson, except that he was a little highbrow.

Republican leaders were not happy about the fact that Governor Earl Warren had welcomed the President to California and that he had also invited both Governor Stevenson and General Eisenhower to speak from the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. But the Governor had always been elected by a large segment of Democratic votes and had no particular reason to love Senator Nixon or General Eisenhower. Senator Nixon had bored from within the California delegation at the July convention in an effort to swing the state's delegation from Governor Warren, a candidate for the nomination, to General Eisenhower. Senator William Knowland, by contrast, had been offered the Taft delegates in the event Senator Taft failed to win on the first ballot, in return for which Senator Knowland was supposed to deliver the California delegation for Senator Taft on the first ballot. But Senator Knowland had declined the offer, remaining loyal to his friend, Governor Warren. Senator Nixon, through his disloyalty, had garnered the vice-presidential nomination.

Another reason why Governor Warren did not particularly care for the Republican ticket had to do with remarks made about him by General Eisenhower when the latter had visited San Francisco two years earlier. The Governor had taken a firm stand against the witch-hunters on the University of California Board of Regents, who were demanding a faculty oath of loyalty, and though the stand had been unpopular, the Governor backed the faculty. That stand had caused General Eisenhower to make some off-the-record remarks at the San Francisco Press Club, that he did not know of any loyalty oath he would not be willing to take. The Governor, when he heard about the remark, stated to a friend that the General had stated it off the record so that it would not be quoted in the East, where the General, as president of Columbia University, and James B. Conant, president of Harvard, had been the first to take a public stand against loyalty oaths. He added that Columbia had more Communists than any other university in the country.

Governor Warren was undertaking a train campaign for the ticket, but friends had indicated that his heart was not in it.

Marquis Childs, in Milwaukee, discusses Senator Joseph McCarthy's paperback book, America's Retreat from Victory, the Story of George Catlett Marshall, based on his June 14, 1951 60,000-word Senate speech, which had suggested General Marshall had been the head of a conspiracy to betray the country. The Senator had not actually called General Marshall a traitor, but the reader could naturally make that deduction from the things he did say. The book made nine references to General Eisenhower, referring to him as having invariably sided with General Marshall in opposing the invasion of Italy in 1943 and, thereby, leaving Italy open to capture by the Communists. He claimed that General Eisenhower had proposed to Premier Stalin the line in Germany at which the American Armies would stop, presumably after consultation with General Marshall. He made General Eisenhower appear as a dupe or a victim with regard to NATO, which the Senator regarded as a "suicidal strategy of opposing American and Allied flesh to the Russians on the undefended plains of Central Europe".

Against that background, Mr. Childs posits, the recent meeting between General Eisenhower and Senator McCarthy had to be one of the most unusual in American political history, and it was difficult to see how the two would reach common ground should General Eisenhower win the Presidency. The Senator's ardent supporters had no doubt that his role would be as one of the leaders of the Republicans in the Senate and, sooner or later, in the country at large. If the General were defeated, they were confident that the Senator, by 1956, would be the primary contender for the Republican nomination, either as head of the ticket or as leader of a new extreme right-wing party.

Recently, Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, had spoken in Milwaukee from the same platform with Senator McCarthy, and the two were reported to have had a long private discussion anent the political prospects for the future, viewing those prospects as bright, with party organizational control safely maintained in the hands of the Old Guard, despite the nomination of General Eisenhower.

Mr. Childs suggests that in the foreseeable future, General Eisenhower and Senator McCarthy might clash, but the Senator was building a case which he might carry to the country against the General as President. He indicates that it might sound fantastic, "but then almost everything about McCarthy's rise to power is fantastic."

Joseph Alsop, in San Francisco, tells of Republicans, by the reports, feeling the same contempt for the President's campaigning which they had felt four years earlier, and, judging by first-hand observation, would be wise to take the advice of a California Democrat who had warned not to sell Harry short. Governor Stevenson had been one of those who had that tendency, until the President's whistle-stop tour of the country had proved him to be a strong asset for the Stevenson campaign, prompting a call from Governor Stevenson, imploring the President to continue his tour right up until election day. The Stevenson camp had found that voters were responding to the President's new stump approach, which was considerably calmer, more relaxed and more eloquent than his previous whistle-stop tours. He was performing the tour on a shoe-string budget, with the allocation by the DNC barely sufficient to cover the cost of the train. There was no provision for national broadcast of any of his speeches, and radio and television coverage locally was being funded by local organizations. But Governor Stevenson had promised additional cash to support the tour, including provision of national airtime for the President.

Mr. Alsop finds that the new approach taken by the President could be truly moving, as in his Oakland speech, in which he acknowledged the sacrifice of the dead in Korea, defending that sacrifice as a glorious contribution to freedom's cause. The change was quite effective, as the voters appeared to have set aside their previous bitter resentment against the President, given that he was now speaking without a personal axe to grind. They were not concerned anymore about the cronies, who would soon disappear, and resentment had been replaced by admiration.

The Eisenhower camp would be well advised, he suggests, not to dismiss the President's attack on the General as mere mud-slinging. The General had undertaken in the previous three weeks a risky strategy in which he was denouncing the American foreign and defense policy which he had helped to shape. Meanwhile, the President had collected a large number of documents to prove the General's complicity in the decisions which the General was now attacking. The President would no doubt misuse some of those documents, as Mr. Alsop regards his claim of blaming General Eisenhower for the mistakes in Berlin which had led to the 1948-49 blockade by the Russians.

He indicates that it was safe for Senator Taft to denounce every aspect of foreign and defense policy, only because Senator Taft had no responsibility for making that policy, but the General had made his contribution and achieved his greatness as a foreign and defense policy-maker. Thus, the advisers who had badgered the General into talking, at times, like Senator Taft, might find that they had made a serious mistake, a hope held by the President.

A letter writer suggests two amendments to the Constitution, one being that all persons, except Civil Service personnel employed by the Government and those in the armed forces, who lived off Government checks or derived a major part of their income from same should lose their right to vote. His second suggestion was for an amendment to forbid all closed or union shops.

Gut luck...

A letter writer responds to a letter which had expressed dismay over the omission of the national anthem preceding a high school football game on September 27. The writer suggests that while traditional with some schools, it was not a consistent practice with all schools that the national anthem was played before games. She suggests that there was a growing opinion among youth and adults that playing the national anthem before public gatherings was overworked, causing it to lose its vitality, while affording "self-styled patriots with opportunity to make a show of a stiff-legged stance and a sanctimonious look." She indicates that there was a time and place for the national anthem, but that football games did not necessarily qualify as such any more than a horseshoe game or a potato sack race.

A letter writer from Norwood indicates that he had read a column by Erich Brandeis appearing October 2, in which he had declared that it was a compliment to the manhood of both General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson that each had used the word "damn" in their political speeches, finding that a man who did not use such words was a mouse rather than a man. He urges that good Christian men resented such talk and says that he certainly did, that profanity was not a sign of strength but rather of weakness, "for cursing only comes from the devil and those who use profanity are slaves to the devil." He states that George Washington had not used profanity and had declared that it was a shame for a man in the Army to do so. He finds that the country was in a "mess" everywhere, not just in Washington, with it "soaked in liquor". He hopes that God would give the country leaders who would respect God and "not stoop to the low everyday trend of using profanity and taking a drink."

Damnit, why do you think that using a cuss word necessarily goes with being a drunk and un-Christian? You must be a damned idiot.

And what were those soldiers in the Continental Army supposed to say when struck by a British musket ball, "Praise be to God in the highest; I have died for my God and my country"? Most probably they said something to the effect, "Hellfire, damnit, I've been hit by one of those damned Redcoats."

A letter writer tells of the coming election, before which, on October 15, there would be a union election to determine whether the Union of Distributive Processors & Office Workers of America would become the bargaining agents for the employees of a certain business in Charlotte, which she does not identify. She indicates that a Senate committee had found the union dominated by Communists. She praises Police Chief Littlejohn of Charlotte for fighting a one-man battle to keep the union out of Charlotte. She urges writing letters along the same lines.

Does she work for the unnamed company?


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