The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 27, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Milo Farneti, that allied troops had repulsed three Chinese assaults, the first by about 150 troops and the latter two smaller in number, in the pre-dawn cold of this date on "Pinpoint Hill", the dominant height of "Sniper Ridge", on the central front in Korea, preceded by artillery and mortar barrages. On the western front, allied raiding parties had shot up two Communist positions near Panmunjom and Yonchon, about 20 miles to the northeast. The allied raiders then withdrew to their lines.

Warplanes ranged deep into North Korean territory, hitting Communist troop concentrations and supply facilities.

In Prague, a Czechoslovakian Communist court sentenced 11 former leaders of Czechoslovakia's Communist Government to death this date and imposed life sentences on the other three defendants. Among the 11 defendants sentenced to death were Rudolph Slansky, former Secretary-General of the Czech Communist Party, and former Foreign Minister Vladomir Clementis. They were convicted for being traitors, saboteurs and spies in a plot, according to the prosecution, to overthrow the Government of President Klement Gottwald. The prosecution had sought the death penalty for all 14 defendants, but, according to Radio Prague, the three defendants sentenced to life terms had not taken principal roles in the conspiracy. Mr. Slansky had confessed to the court that he had plotted to kill the President, overthrow the Government and set up a Titoist anti-Moscow regime, restoring capitalism.

In New York, President-elect Eisenhower sat down to his Thanksgiving turkey dinner with his family. During the week, he had named all except two of his nine-member Cabinet, leaving only the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce yet to be named. During the week, he had been receiving up-to-the-minute reports from Korea, discussing future legislation, financial problems related to taxation and the budget, politics, and conferring with officials of the U.N. He would be meeting with several persons during the weekend, with more appointments of executive personnel to be announced.

Americans throughout the country celebrated Thanksgiving. At Plymouth, Mass., where the Pilgrims had landed in 1620, the community mirrored the nationwide reunions, with turkey dinner, traditional football rivalries and special church services. In the hills of Korea, where the battle lines were comparatively quiet, troops ate turkey dinners complete with shrimp cocktails and nuts. The Americans shared their dinners with other U.N. troops and Korean war orphans. Army chaplains of all faiths conducted services for soldiers behind the lines. Ground commander General James Van Fleet addressed the troops with a written message, indicating that the previous year, they had thought that by this Thanksgiving, peace would have arrived, thanking God nevertheless for the allies they had to fight with them and for a united team in the war. The President, in Washington, planned to attend Thanksgiving church services and then have a turkey dinner with his family.

In Huntington, W. Va., the State Hospital building was pronounced unsafe after a fire which killed 14 women and children patients early this date, and injured seven other patients and three firemen. The fire apparently had started in the basement of the building but the cause had not yet been determined. The ages of the dead ranged from 89 down to 11, the latter being one of five girls under 16 who had smothered on the third floor. A staff doctor indicated that sometimes patients, against hospital regulations, slipped down to the basement to smoke. The president of the State Board of Control stated that he was not surprised by the fire in the antiquated structure and that unless conditions were improved, it would only be the first such inferno. The State Fire Marshal said that the burned building was inadequate in its fireproofing when inspected a year earlier.

In Marshall, N.C., a doctor testified in the trial of a woman accused of murdering a former beauty queen that she had blacked out and, while she had no history of mental disease, the blackout could have caused an emotional disturbance. The 30-year old mother of two had been identified by witnesses for the State the previous day as having murdered the 19-year old former Asheville Tobacco Festival queen with one shot fired into her mouth through a screen door of a drugstore on the prior October 12.

Emery Wister of The News tells of the sixth annual Carolinas Carrousel in Charlotte, opening the previous night with an old English theme, missing only Ivanhoe to be complete. The King of the Carrousel dubbed each of the applicants for knighthood, and the crowd of several hundred applauded. Then the King declared the beginning of the festivities.

Elizabeth Blair of The News tells of the Carrousel set to end this date with a parade on Tryon Street and a fast-stepping street square dance. Following a high school football game at Memorial Stadium, 140 separate units would assemble for the parade. Celebrities Earl Wilson and "Hopalong Cassidy" were the marshals for the parade. Miss North Carolina and Miss South Carolina would also be in the parade. Street decorations for Christmas would be lit for the first time at the start of the parade.

We look forward to all the colored lights.

Mr. Wister phoned Mr. Wilson to ask about Marilyn Monroe, and he and his wife said that she was very nice. When Mr. Wister asked whether it was true that she was short on underclothes, Mrs. Wilson interrupted to say that she believed her husband had spoken enough about Ms. Monroe. The Wilsons had just returned from a quick trip to Hollywood, where Mr. Wilson had spoken to a number of celebrities, which he would detail in his column.

Hal Block, a regular panelist on "What's My Line?" would be an unanticipated honor guest for the Carrousel this date, after Mr. Wilson had bumped into him on the street in New York the previous day and mentioned that he was going to Charlotte. Mr. Block, who was planning to visit friends in Durham, then decided to join the party, after hearing of the Thanksgiving dinner to be provided Mr. Wilson and his family. The planners told Mr. Block to come on.

An American Legion float scheduled for use in the Carrousel parade had been damaged during the morning when, according to police, it had been struck by a Southern Railway switch engine at a crossing on Tryon Street. Police said the collision was caused by faulty brakes and no one was injured.

On the editorial page, "The Empty Stocking Is Hanging Out" announces the start of the Empty Stocking Fund campaign in the county, sponsored each year by The News, collecting, for the 21st year, cash to be distributed to needy families to provide presents for their members. A Christmas Bureau had been established to screen the list of recipients, to avoid duplication and overlaps and assist individuals and family groups with their planning, making every effort to see that the money distributed was used wisely. The plan preserved the dignity of those who received the help by protecting their identity.

"Politicians in the Post-Office" tells of President-elect Eisenhower having appointed RNC chairman Arthur Summerfield as Postmaster General, reverting to the practice of political appointments for that position, whereas President Truman had appointed for the first time a Post Office Department career man to the position, Jesse Donaldson. The piece finds revival of the political practice to merit no praise.

It indicates that in some instances, as with Secretary of Defense, it was good to have persons in the role who had level-headed executive ability rather than necessarily being career department personnel. But for the Post Office, there was no such need. The Postal Department needed new trucks, as their average age in 1950 had been assessed at 15.5 years, but the decision on purchase could be handled by technicians.

It says it has nothing against Mr. Summerfield, per se, but that his qualifications were only his chairmanship of the RNC and being the largest Chevrolet dealer in the world, not apparent qualifications to become a Cabinet-level officer and likely not assuring that merit would trump politics in appointments of postmasters. It also meant that three G.M. men were in the Cabinet, including Charles E. Wilson, as Defense Secretary, and Governor Douglas McKay, as Secretary of Interior.

The editorial concludes that if the President-elect wanted to stay wagging tongues, he needed to balance his staff in his future appointments.

"Abe Lincoln on Thanksgiving" tells of the Pilgrims at Plymouth being the first to observe a day of thanksgiving after their first harvest in 1621. The Massachusetts Bay Colony joined the custom in 1630, followed by Connecticut in 1639, and the Dutch in New Netherland in 1644. During the Revolution, the Continental Congress named one or more days for thanksgiving each year, except in 1777. President Washington appointed a day in 1789 and again in 1795, but President Jefferson allowed those proclamations to lapse because he believed them a "monarchical practice". President James Madison set a day of thanksgiving at the end of the War of 1812.

In 1863—not 1864, as the piece indicates—President Lincoln renewed the custom of issuing Presidential proclamations of Thanksgiving, followed since. It reprints President Lincoln's first proclamation, observing the last Thursday in November "as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

You Trumpies best get out yore'n shootin' arns, 'cause, accordin' to yore'n Fearless Leader up 'ere, they's a bunch o' Indians attackin' Thanksgiving. Have you ever? Some lib'rals just like as not to come up and barge right into yore'n home and take yore'n turkey and throwed it in the trash. You better keep yore'n rifles loaded and yore'n powder dry, chain yore'n turkey down to the table good and set up no trespassing signs for those not wantin' to mek Amurica Grate Agin. Like the young Trumpie said, "trigger a lib'ral" on Thanksgiving over dinner. Now, that's the style. Create dissension in their ranks and mek 'em hate ye good. Like Lincoln done said: A house divided 'gainst itse'f is good, 'cause you can beat it easy.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Going Up", tells of the Dakotas and the Carolinas showing the greatest per capita income increase between 1929 and 1951, inclusive. North Carolina had a greater total income than the other three states, but showed the lowest percentage of gain among them, at 240 percent. The piece presents a table of the yearly total income and per capita income for North Carolina from 1929 through 1951.

Drew Pearson tells of Thanksgiving having become snarled in states' rights and politics for about 75 years, preventing it from becoming a national holiday until 1863. George Washington, in 1789, the first year of the Government, had first asked Congress to set aside a holiday for the nation on Thanksgiving, but Congress balked. Democrats accused President Washington of exercising undue Federal power and trampling states' rights, just as Republicans presently accused President Truman of doing. Finally, Washington grocers and wine merchants realized that they could sell fancy food on Thanksgiving and began advertising wine received from New York and turkeys received from Virginia, until they adequately pressured Congress to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Most Presidents had spent Thanksgiving working on their annual message to the lame-duck Congress. But since Congress stopped meeting right after Thanksgiving and instead reconvened right after New Year's Day, the President did not have to worry about facing a disagreeable Congress immediately after Thanksgiving.

Earlier White House menus showed that Presidents preferred more meat, but that otherwise, Thanksgiving diets were about the same. President Lincoln, for instance, during the first Thanksgiving of the Civil War in 1861, was provided a banquet at which was served chicken soup, roast beef, turkey, cranberry sauce, chicken, mallard duck, tame duck, broiled ham, boiled corn beef, fried oysters, boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, boiled turnips, cabbage, celery, mince pie, and hamburg cheese. In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant, known as a heavy eater, was served consommé imperiale, bisque de grevisse, sherry, woodcock patties, salmon, white wine, turkey, cranberry sauce, chicken, mallard duck, tame duck, goose livers, roman punch, champagne, canvasback duck, warm sweet dish, and red wine. More recent Presidents had stuck to the basics, including turkey, usually sent from parts of the country which took pride in raising turkeys, such as Tazewell County, Va., the most favored.

Dropping price and wage controls was being carefully studied at the White House by White House counsel Charles Murphy, who planned to submit a report to the President very soon. Labor, not industry, was pressuring the White House to drop them, as labor wanted elimination of the Wage Stabilization Board and figured that price controls were pretty much shot anyway. John Steelman, the President's labor adviser, supported that view. Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam, however, remained in favor of continuing controls until economic pressure subsided. The final decision would be up to the President.

The Democrats would remain in firm control of the Federal courts, where they outnumbered Republicans 15 to 1. It would take the Republicans about 12 years to appoint enough judges to catch up with the Democrats.

When Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia was asked about becoming Secretary of the Treasury, following a recommendation by Senator Taft to President-elect Eisenhower, he said that he owed it to his constituents to remain in the Senate.

Stewart Alsop tells of Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles set to be one of the world's key figures and provides his background, starting with the perception among Europeans that he was a "fire-breathing warmonger who would obliterate Europe with hydrogen bombs in order to free Poland and so gain votes in Hamtramck." He indicates that it was hard to imagine a person less fitted in appearance and manner for such a perceived role. Mr. Dulles appeared and talked much as a traditional American country lawyer, shrewd, wily when needed, cautious, highly intelligent and extremely practical. Yet, the warmonger image persisted in Europe, deriving largely from the so-called "liberation policy", which sounded to Europeans during the campaign as fire-breathing. But away from the campaign hustings, there was little of that type of rhetoric issuing from Mr. Dulles.

His views vis-à-vis Russia were that if the Kremlin successfully absorbed and consolidated its great new empire, it would then be free to pursue its goal of world domination, possibly leading either to a hot war or defeat for the West in the Cold War; and, second, that the Soviet satellite empire, seemingly monolithic, was in fact full of internal strains, which could be eased by an East-West agreement, recognizing Soviet control of the satellites, a deal which should be flatly refused by the West in favor of aggravating the internal strains via secret methods, not including violent revolt as that would be futile, precipitating a massacre, instead supplying a structure capable of using the moment of opportunity in the future to create newly independent states, supplying guarantees against Soviet aggression, as Tito had been offered, slowly and by implication, in Yugoslavia.

Mr. Alsop posits that those views, while subject to dispute, were not those of a "reactionary warmonger". Mr. Dulles also believed that an essentially revolutionary situation existed in certain areas of the world, where a tiny minority of exploiters ruled seething masses of those who were exploited. Those revolutionary situations were the central asset of the Kremlin, and there had to be profound changes in those societies so organized, changes which could not be effected overnight, calling for long-range plans for promoting change. The new Secretary of State thus favored a sort of national policy planning staff organized and given direct representation on the National Security Council. As the Kremlin planned over the course of decades, the U.S. should at least, he believed, plan over a period of four years, instead of reacting to crises as they occurred.

Mr. Dulles also believed that his successful negotiation of the Japanese peace treaty could form a model for dealing with specific situations, where immediate action, rather than long-range planning, was necessary. One person of great competence should be given full responsibility, he believed, for a single mission in a single area, bringing relative order and stability to Southeast Asia, for example. Such a person should be given wide latitude and enthusiastic support in any course he chose to accomplish his mission.

Robert C. Ruark says that he had always been tortured by the obligatory Thanksgiving piece, torn between turkey, pumpkin and Plymouth Rock, but finds it simple to write this year, as he was thankful to be alive, with hope of continuing his "delectable state" into the far future. The country had lived for several years under threat of massive doom, but was in the main in fair shape, he asserts, better shape than it was, at least not having resorted to atomic bombs. There was less poverty in the country and more employment than in any other large country. There was less individual fear, no fear of police or state persecution. Vitality in America, he finds, was astounding, despite many recent political years directed at sapping that vitality. Easy living had weakened the country but not destroyed it. The malcontents remained.

He was especially impressed by the stubbornness of the country in rejecting large and loud propaganda and still insisting on speaking up for what Americans wanted. Americans wrote nasty letters to the editors and rejected leaders held in disfavor.

A letter writer gives thanks on Thanksgiving for her deceased parents who had given her a Christian home.

A letter writer indicates that she and her friends wanted the comic strip "Pogo" restored to the Saturday comics.

"Pogo" answers: "Some impostin' flimflamboozler borried the loan of my space, but I is back, six days runnin'."

A letter writer from Monroe urges, in the wake of the election, that the people continue to demand better government.

A letter writer from Spindale tells of a film showing the terrible results of automobile accidents from speeding, reckless driving and drinking. He suggests that such films would do no good until roads and highways were improved and traffic laws strengthened with heavy fines and jail for repeat offenders. He favors revocation of the driver's license for life after a third conviction for speeding, reckless driving or drunk driving, with gradually increasing fines and jail time for each subsequent offense. "Why not, in dealing with criminals, show we are men instead of mice? Justice tempered with mercy is great, but freedom allowed to run hog wild is worse than anarchy."

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

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