The Charlotte News
Tuesday, December 16, 1952
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Sam Summerlin, that U.S. soldiers explained in detail how they and South Korean guards had shot to death 84 Communist prisoners of war in quelling an attempted mass breakout by 4,500 Communists the prior Sunday on Pongam Island, just off Koje Island, where a riot had resulted in 81 deaths of prisoners the previous February. Two Americans and three South Koreans, as well as 118 prisoners, had also been injured during the 55-minute standoff with 300 guards. The prisoners, locked arm-in-arm and singing Communist songs, ignored repeated volleys of close-range fire and had lifted their dead and wounded as they fell. After the gun battle, the guards had to loosen the locked arms of many of the prisoners before they could drag them from the stockade. Newsmen toured the island this date and entered the compound where most of the prisoners had died. The commander of the compound stated that he regretted the deaths but said that they had brought it on themselves, testing the strength of the guards and losing. He said that the tension, which had been mounting on the island before the outbreak, had ended. He said that if he had not taken the action, half the prisoners would have broken out of the compound and many more lives might have been lost. He indicated that barbed wire could not hold determined prisoners. He had been tipped on the planned outbreak by two notes scribbled by prisoners, the first left near a gate, suggesting a December 7 breakout attempt which had not occurred, and the second seized from a prisoner who had tried to destroy it.
In Paris, British Admiral Earl Mountbatten had been appointed by the British chiefs of staff as commander of all of NATO's naval forces in the Mediterranean with the exception of the U.S. part, commanded by Admiral Robert Carney. Both Admirals would report to General Matthew Ridgway, supreme commander of NATO. The military leaders of the 14 NATO nations had agreed the previous week on a compromise whereby a Briton would take over the command, while the U.S. Sixth Fleet would be concerned primarily with supporting NATO's land forces, resolving a longstanding dispute as to whether a Briton or American would command in the Mediterranean.
In Leghorn, Italy, four Navy helicopters rescued the last of the 39 crewmen who had been aboard the Grommet Reefer, which had split in half during a powerful gale storm, forcing aground the stern, which held the crew. The helicopters rescued 13 of the men after 26 had been removed by breeches buoy and boat. The original report, indicating that 40 had been aboard, had been in error.
In New York, President-elect Eisenhower was scheduled to meet this date with Prime Minister Sidney Holland of New Zealand, to discuss the Pacific defense alliance in which the U.S. was a partner. The Prime Minister had been in London for a conference regarding the alliance with Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The alliance was presently composed of the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, and indications were that Britain might join. The organization had been referred to as the "NATO of the Pacific". The previous day, the President-elect had met with John J. McCloy, former U.S. High Commissioner to West Germany and Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles, Mr. McCloy stating afterward that they had talked about the steps which might be taken in relation to European unity. The President-elect had also met earlier with Harold Stassen, the designated head of the Mutual Security Administration.
The President declared this date, in a prepared talk before the Alumni Association of the Armed Forces Industrial College in Washington, that his Administration's leadership in the worldwide struggle against Communism had saved hundreds of millions of people from slavery. He stated that any cutback in defense was "very dangerous talk", expressing confidence that the American people could distinguish between true economy and false economy. The story quotes extensively from the address.
In Toronto, two members of a gang of bank robbers were hanged this date for the murder of a Toronto detective on March 6, when the detective approached a suspicious automobile during a hunt for the gang. Canada didn't waste any time in meting out swift capital punishment in those days either.
In Des Moines, Ia., a 93-year old man became a father for the 13th time when his wife, 28, gave birth to a daughter the previous day. They had had five other children since their marriage in 1945. The father was half Cherokee Indian and half Spanish and had seven children by two earlier marriages. He still worked regularly at a farm equipment firm.
He may be lying about his age.
In Clover, S.C., Dr. William Pressly Grier, 65, a leader in South Carolina's Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, died after a long illness. One of his brothers, Dr. R. C. Grier, was president of Erskine College at Due West. Another brother was a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia.
In Greenville, S.C., a fire threatened three furniture stores on the main street and raged out of control as all available firemen and equipment rushed to the scene shortly before noon, the fire having erupted in the basement of one of the stores and spreading to the two stores on either side. Flames were seen through the roof of the store where the fire had started.
John Daly of The News tells of approximately 150 leaders of the North Carolina businesses meeting this date in Charlotte to support the Transportation Association of America's broad program to defend free enterprise in transportation and constitutional government from threatening socialism. The first speaker said that the nation's transportation systems would be the "first victim of the socialistic state".
That sounds like loads of fun. Where's Mr. Hoffa?
In Winston-Salem, a man reported being robbed of $4,300, involving at least three persons, during the morning, while in the revolving door of the Wachovia Bank after he had cashed a check, the funds intended to pay off his mortgage. Police theorized that it might be the same group who obtained $805 in cash from another man a few weeks earlier as he boarded a bus on Courthouse Square. One of the three men had feigned a heart attack in the bank and dropped to the floor, jamming the revolving door ahead of the victim. Two heavyset men then rushed up, according to witnesses, and began rocking the door back and forth to confuse the victim, and when they got through the door, disappeared quickly, as did the man who had pretended to have a heart attack. The victim said that he did not know exactly how his money had been stolen, but that it was taken in some way as he was shoved out the door.
Well, as with most banks, it's a revolving door kind of operation, deposit with one hand and pay with the other, leaving a balance of a few shekels, which the bank then takes as its "service" fees. Charge the bank with the robbery for failing to protect the depositor adequately. Book 'em...
Incidentally, returning for a moment to "Don't Bother to Knock"
In Miami, the temperature dropped to 41 degrees this date, making it the coldest December 16 since 1916.
In Charlotte, The News Empty Stocking Fund drive was underway and a story indicates the various needs of different families for funding with which to purchase their own gifts. It also lists numerous contributors and their contributions, indicating that to date $4,826.80 had been collected. The previous year, $5,780 had been collected by December 15 and $6,016 by December 17. It encourages contributions, lest the fund deprive needy families of $1,000 worth of gifts.
Hey, let 'em go out and work for their gifts like the rest of us. We have to use that money to fight Communists and socialists expanding socialism into business.
On the editorial page, "Little Davidson Tops the Goliaths" tells of Davidson College having a senior who had been selected as a Rhodes Scholar, bringing to ten the number of graduates of Davidson who had achieved that honor, more than any other university or college in the state. Only 32 Americans were chosen for Rhodes Scholarships each year out of the more than 1.5 million men enrolled in higher education in 1950. Davidson had only 828 students and had never topped 1,000. Thus, if the law of averages held, Davidson should have produced no more than about one Rhodes Scholar during the previous 50 years since the establishment of the scholarship in 1903.
The piece congratulates the new Rhodes Scholar from Davidson and the institution and faculty who had helped to shape him, hopes that he would follow in the tradition of other recipients of the scholarship, including former Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk, currently president of the Rockefeller Foundation—and, of course, future Secretary of State under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson—, the Rev. Benjamin Lacey, president of the Union Theological Seminary, Dr. J. McDowell Richards, president of Columbia Theological Seminary and president of Davidson's Board of Trustees.
It concludes that while Davidson might bow in football to the Goliaths, it was producing all-around students in numbers which ought make the "big education mills wince with envy".
"Haste May Make Waste" indicates that the City Manager and the City Treasurer had said that they favored asking the General Assembly to extend the normal three-year period during which bonds authorized by the voters the previous Saturday had to be sold. It finds that the proposal made good sense to permit proper planning for the various improvements to be paid for by the bonds and recommends it to the Mecklenburg delegation to the 1953 Assembly.
"A Winston Story with a Moral" indicates that the Winston Salem police, during the arrest of a 17-year old driver for going 70 mph inside the city recently, had halted two other cars coming around a nearby curve skidding, with their tires squealing as they approached the intersection, both cars being driven by teenagers. The original speeder had previously been found guilty of going 45 mph and taxed with costs of court; one of the second two drivers had previously been fined $10 and costs of court and subsequently been fined $25 and costs with a 30-day suspended sentence for violating another traffic law; and the third offender had been taxed with costs for reckless driving just two months earlier. They had all been speeding at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning in their parents' cars, prompting the judge to turn on the fathers of two of the boys and the mother of the third as they sat in the courtroom, accusing them of failing as parents to discipline their sons, then handed out $100 fines and 60-day suspended jail sentences, plus orders that each boy not drive a car for a year.
It indicates that there was little law enforcement officers could do with such youngsters unless parents did their share also. It informs that someone had once said that there were no illegitimate children but only illegitimate parents, and that held true also in the cases of many delinquent children.
"Aimless Talk Accomplishes Nothing" indicates that State Senator Fred McIntyre and State Representative Arthur Goodman of Mecklenburg County had suggested a public hearing on legislative matters to come before the 1953 General Assembly, to which it agrees. It recommends, however, that a definite agenda be established before such a meeting and that it be given adequate notice to afford opportunity for the public to attend. It suggests as an item on the agenda the local issue of what to do about the Fireman's Retirement System, to keep it from eventually going bankrupt.
Perhaps a better one would be what your long-range planning will be, should the Supreme Court, as was entirely foreseeable, declare segregation in public schools per se unconstitutional.
"How Silly Can You Get Dept." indicates that the song playing on the radio with the lyrics, "I
saw mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe last night…"
It indicates that the editor's
five-year old believed that Santa Claus was a great guy and so would
not be surprised at anyone, including mommy, kissing him, that the
seven-year old knew about Santa but was keeping it a secret that she
knew the secret, and would get a kick out of the song, as would the
nine-year old, who had realized certain discrepancies between the
myth and reality several years earlier. It suggests that only an
adult who deliberately looked for double entendre in lyrics could
find anything improper about the song and that such a person could
find suggested phrases and ideas in half the popular tunes being
played on the radio. It finds far more destructive of the Christmas
legend "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", which had resulted
in the children being aware of Rudolph
What are they talking about with
regard to this "secret"? Is Santa not really married? Oh,
the elves... Well, everybody knows that part is just a story
Drew Pearson tells of the background preceding the furor caused by the President's press conference statement regarding General MacArthur's statement that he had a plan to end the Korean War, the President having stated that he should have shared it with the President and that he did not believe the General had such a plan, and the resulting scheduled meeting between General MacArthur and President-elect Eisenhower. When he had been an Army major in 1932, the President-elect had served in the extreme outer office of Army chief of staff General MacArthur in Washington. Major Eisenhower had written brilliant speeches for the General, but otherwise was overshadowed by him. Major Eisenhower had then gone to the Philippines with the General, helping him to train the Philippine constabulary, but after differing with the General, was shipped home, with reasons for the friction having been explained differently, some Filipinos claiming that their belief that they had been wasting their money on the General as Major Eisenhower was actually doing all of the planning, having led to jealousy by General MacArthur. Then Maj. General Eisenhower was given command during World War II in North Africa and subsequently in Europe, as supreme commander of the Allied forces. In the latter role, he was able to acquire as many troops and supplies as needed for European operations, leaving General MacArthur and the Pacific command often wanting. Then General Eisenhower won the European campaign first.
In 1948, some Republicans talked of drafting General MacArthur for the presidential nomination, while Democrats talked about drafting General Eisenhower, who declined. Even as late as July 4, 1948, General MacArthur believed that the Republicans would turn to him rather than to either Governor Dewey, Senator Taft or Governor Earl Warren. Yet, as it turned out, few delegates at the convention were interested in nominating General MacArthur.
Then came the Korean War in mid-1950, and the victory which the American people had expected overnight quickly to humble the Communist forces having not materialized for the General, and, finally, after differing openly with the President and the Pentagon regarding strategy with regard to expansion of the war into China, having been called home by the President. At the time, General Eisenhower had observed that when one put on the uniform, there were certain inhibitions which were accepted. A year later, General Eisenhower came home from his position as supreme commander of NATO to run for the presidency. Despite the fact that General MacArthur's observation that no military man should serve as President, and despite his keynote speech at the Republican convention the prior July, calculated to stop the movement toward General Eisenhower, the latter was nominated. As the election approached, former President Herbert Hoover and other prominent Republicans had urged General MacArthur to endorse General Eisenhower and to meet with him at his headquarters, just a five-minute walk from the residence of General MacArthur. But he had refused.
The real reason, informs Mr. Pearson, for General MacArthur's speech suggesting a way out of Korea was that he wanted to shake hands again with General Eisenhower because, in truth, General MacArthur had been lonesome.
Joseph Alsop tells of a new French Ambassador to Russia, Louis Joxe, having been appointed during the U.S. presidential election cycle, and having been courted by Premier Stalin, who then had him meet with Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, who hinted that France should get together with Russia to work out their common problems.
The Ambassador felt the overture important enough to return to Paris for further instructions, as accepting Mr. Vishinsky's invitation would disrupt the official policy between the U.S., Britain and France regarding Germany and the inclusion of 12 German divisions in the creation of the NATO army, necessary for an effective army to deter Soviet aggression in Western Europe. Within the French Government, a substantial minority favored response to the overture, but the majority successfully argued that a united front of the Western nations could not be sacrificed in such a way. Thus, the Ambassador returned to Moscow with instructions to continue to act in concert with the U.S. and Britain.
The French Ambassador's experience in this regard was part of a larger pattern of experience with Premier Stalin and Foreign Minister Vishinsky, as was the abrupt dismissal of the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, George Kennan, shortly after this episode with Ambassador Joxe. The pattern was designed to keep Communist pressure on the Far East while relaxing pressure on Europe, in the hope of breaking the unity of the West by lulling France and Britain in their understanding of the necessity for resolve to make NATO strong.
The President-elect faced a number of problems including Korea, the growing problem of the French with the Communists in Indo-China, and the potential for Communist influence in Iran regarding the oil nationalization trouble with Great Britain. There were also emerging problems with respect to French colonialism in North Africa, as well as the crisis in NATO military training, where there was a possibility that France or Germany would not vote for the European army and thus leave the defense of Western Europe without the necessary 12 German divisions. In addition, an American recession could cause a major European depression with the consequent political and social effects normally attendant such economic disasters. Each of those items potentially could cause problems between the Western allies, and, suggests Mr. Alsop, President-elect Eisenhower would need the support of the country and the Congress in dealing with them.
Frederick C. Othman indicates that the President had stated he would remain in Washington during Christmas, to the consternation of Mr. Othman, who had hoped he would return, as usual, to Independence, Mo., so that Mr. Othman could write a column exposing the trick regarding the supposed hitting of a telegraph key by the President to light the White House Christmas tree, as had taken place the year before. Mr. Othman, after calling this display phony, had received a letter from Western Union, explaining that he was only half right, that, in fact, there was a direct connection between the telegraph key and a signal located at the base of the White House Christmas tree, which, when received, caused a person standing nearby to turn on the lights. So, he had been partially vindicated, and wanted to share the process with readers, which he then does anyway, despite the fact that the President would not repeat the scenario this Christmas.
He adds that it was also a myth that there was a golden telegraph key involved. There had been a golden telegraph key at one time, presented by George Carmack, discoverer of gold in Alaska, to President William Howard Taft in 1909, but no more.
A letter writer discusses the future of manufacturing industries in the Carolinas and provides several statistics on the current industries. He urges the growth trend to continue.
A letter writer from Badin, N.C., indicates that the greatest honor bestowed on any person was American citizenship, with the rights and privileges to speak and think on any subject, although able to keep thoughts to one's self as well. He regards the recent criticism of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible to be a "dastardly act to gain personal recognition and create a feeling of doubt in the hearts of individuals who have yearned for a simplified version of God's message to mankind." He indicates that it would not shake any belief in the Virgin Mary or other concepts contained in the King James Version. He finds that the freedoms of the people, as set forth in the Constitution, would remain only as long as there were true Americans who fought for their preservation. "Likewise the religious freedom of our country will survive and prosper under the leadership of true Christians based on unity of purpose and not on criticism of literary expressions."
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