The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 24, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Milo Farneti, that about 750 Chinese Communists, supported by about 2,600 rounds of artillery, had struck through bitter cold in the early morning hours of this Christmas Eve in a fierce attempt to puncture the allied line at "T-Bone Hill" in western Korea, but allied artillery had almost completely destroyed the first wave and U.N. soldiers had repulsed the rest in hand-to-hand combat lasting about an hour. It had been the first battalion-sized attack by the enemy in two weeks.

Otherwise along the front, there was only the usual patrol and probing activity.

In the air war, U.S. Sabre jets engaged with an estimated 60 MIG-15s, probably destroying two of the enemy planes and damaging nine.

Eighth Army headquarters reported that enemy casualties for the week of December 15-21 had dropped to the lowest since July, at 1,631, 50 percent less than in the preceding week.

Three groups of Hollywood entertainers arrived this date for a week-long holiday tour of the battlefront, including Keenan Wynn, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Caroline Cotton, Carlton Carpenter, Peggy King, Lionel Aschee, June Brunner and Bovita Castenada in one group, with another group including Paul Douglas, Jan Sterling, Richard Norris, Richard Allen, Karl Baxter and Frank Sapute, and a third including Mark Stevens, Roscoe Ates, Lita Baron, Rory Calhoun, Bill Shirley, Virginia Hall, Jean Cooper, Larry Roberts and Jud De Naut.

The New York Times reported this date that the Eisenhower Administration had a new strategic plan for the Korean War, asserting that it would exert so much pressure on the Communist forces that the Soviet Union would agree to an armistice. The story said that the new plan was worked out by the high command in the new Administration. Details could not be provided, but the new plan would not cause any considerable risk of expanding the war, and would involve increased participation of South Korean forces while not increasing the participation of the U.N. forces. The author of the story, Thomas Hamilton, said that his sources had been silent on the question of whether the plan had contribution from General MacArthur, pursuant to the meeting the prior week with General Eisenhower. After the new President would be inaugurated on January 20 and the plan fully formulated by the State and Defense Departments, it would be disclosed to the other 15 members of the U.N. forces in Korea, with some of those nations set to be asked to make relatively small increases in the size of their contributed forces for the purpose of reducing supply and tactical problems by those units being made self-contained.

In Washington, the FBI had been ordered by Attorney General James McGranery to move into the investigation of the New York waterfront, undertaken by the New York State Crime Commission, witnesses before which had described widespread bribery, extortion, shakedowns and strong-arm tactics ongoing by gangsters. The Attorney General said that the Justice Department had been watching the waterfront situation for months and now had sufficient evidence of violations of Federal law to warrant a full-scale investigation. He did not go into details. Governor Thomas Dewey declined comment, but the chief investigator for the Commission said that they would offer complete assistance and information to the FBI.

Louis Budenz, former editor of the Communist Daily Worker who had renounced Communism in 1945 and was presently on the staff of Fordham University, had named the previous day to a House committee 30 scholars and officials leading educational foundations, claiming they were members of the Communist Party at the time he had quit the party seven years earlier. Those named denied his accusations, one of the accused calling him "a professional liar" while another said that the claims were "absolutely and unqualifiedly false". One of those named, a professor at Yale Law School, said that he was "dreaming up things", that he had never been a member of the Communist Party and could not possibly have been listed as a member in their records. The most heated denial came from Dr. Linus Pauling, former atomic scientist who was currently a professor and chairman of the division of chemistry and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, calling the claim a lie and that he had sworn previously that he had not been a member of the Communist Party.

The juxtaposition of the story to the image on the page appears to suggest Mr. Budenz as someone checking his list and checking it twice to see who's been naughty and nice, that those denying his accusations were denying the validity of the list. To the layout person: Ho-ho-ho, he-he-he, ha-ha-ha.

President-elect Eisenhower selected True D. Morse, who had been a Democrat until 20 years earlier and was a board chairman of a farm management service and editor of a farm publication, to become the Undersecretary of Agriculture to Secretary-designate Ezra Taft Benson, who had recommended Mr. Morse.

In New York, Immigration and Naturalization Service officials denied shore leave to 299 of 974 crew members of a French liner, with the first application of the McCarran-Walter Act, aimed at keeping subversives out of the country. Of the 299, 27 had been denied shore leave only tentatively because their papers had not been in order, but the others were ordered to remain on ship for refusing to answer questions required under the law, while two had stated either past Communist membership or a criminal record. The crew had been inspected by an immigration officer while at sea.

Merry Christmas…

In Pointose, France, three young girls were injured the previous night when a disabled British military plane, from which 13 U.S. airmen passengers and the pilot had parachuted to safety, crashed into their home. The plane had been en route from Germany to the British Mediterranean island of Malta when the right engine had burst into flames, prompting the pilot to order the American airmen to bail out, and then followed them.

Noel Yancey, in the third in a series of reports on the 1953 General Assembly in North Carolina, reports from Raleigh that a salary increase for schoolteachers would have plenty of support in the new Assembly, based on a survey of members.

Christians around the world began commemorating the birth of Christ with prayers of thanks and hope and Christmas carols. In Bethlehem, a special Catholic midnight mass would begin in the Chapel of St. Catherine and end in the Grotto of the Nativity, on the spot designated as the birthplace of Christ. At the same time, a Protestant service would be held on nearby terraced slopes which marked the traditional spot where angels announced the birth of Christ to shepherds. Hundreds of pilgrims arrived in the Holy Land to worship at the shrines connected with the birth. Heavy border guards between Jordan and Israel, still technically at war, would step aside to permit passage to the holy places.

At the Vatican, Pope Pius XII, in his 14th annual Christmas broadcast, had again pleaded for peace and help for the world's "poor and oppressed", attacking Communism for condemnation of the Christian faith and torture of men. He said that capitalism could do more to solve the unemployment problem of the world, including government public works where private enterprise was inadequate. He would later deliver his Christmas Eve mass.

President Truman would deliver his last official Christmas message as part of the 30th annual lighting of the Christmas tree on the White House grounds, at 4:30 p.m.

Queen Elizabeth would broadcast her first special message to the British people as reigning monarch of the Commonwealth and Empire the following morning.

The President-elect and his family, including his three grandchildren, David, 4, Barbara Anne, 3, and Susan, 11 months, along with their mother, and Mrs. Eisenhower's mother, were preparing to spend Christmas at the Columbia University home of the new President. Christmas dinner arranged by Mrs. Eisenhower would include turkey with oyster dressing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, creamed onions, turnips and plum pudding, should you wish to duplicate the fare for your family. The front page also bears a facsimile of a Christmas card from the new President and Mamie, should you wish to cut it out, paste it to a stiff piece of cardboard, maybe sprinkle on some gold, green and red glitter for effect, and then put it indiscriminately with your other Christmas cards on the wall, in an effort to impress guests who might happen to see it tomorrow and say, "Who's that one from?"

In Oklahoma City, two detectives had made sure that the children of a local resident received dolls for Christmas after all, after their father had been sentenced to 60 days the previous day for receiving stolen goods consisting of five dolls he had given to the children as presents. The father's brother had been sentenced to three years on two counts of second-degree burglary and the father had pleaded guilty to breaking into a case of 12 dolls at a local distributing company and taking five of them for his children. He also pleaded guilty to breaking into a service station. The detectives had made sure that the children would receive identical dolls.

He should have applied for a temporary job as Santa Claus at a local department store and accomplished his mission legally.

At the North Pole, the temperature was at least 27 degrees below zero, as Santa Claus hitched up his reindeer for his annual visit to the homes of good little boys and girls, and the weather was partly cloudy with good visibility for the beginning of the night's visitations. We hope that Santa will not have any arrest warrants to serve when he reaches your home. If you have been good little boys and girls, staying off the waterfronts and away from the rackets and the racket boys, we are certain that will not be the case.

We note that we are, for the nonce, skipping December 23, with it to be added subsequently, probably during the coming weekend, so that we can join you temporarily in 2019 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it still being leap year here in 1952-53 for another two months.

We are happy to know, via Mr. Como's show, that Jesus smoked Chesterfields. We always had wondered what his preferred brand was.

On the editorial page, "A Symbolic Act in an Ancient City" tells of the Holy City of Jerusalem being divided into halves, with a no man's land in between standing as an unhappy reminder that the nations of Jordan and Israel had not yet found a way to end their technical state of war which had lasted since 1948, leaving the border closed to all except a few with special credentials for 364 days of each year. On one side of the border stood Arab Legionnaires and on the other side, young Israeli soldiers.

But on this night, Christmas Eve, guards would stand back at attention, while several hundred Christians, led by the Latin patriarch in Jerusalem, Alberto Gori, would cross the border on foot to Bethlehem, then journey to St. Catherine's church, where they would celebrate the birth of Christ. Then they would return and the border would be closed once again.

It finds in that situation double symbolism for a troubled world, on the one hand, the faith in a supreme being and, for Christians, the birth of his Son, on the other, that of man's inability to find an era of peace and good will toward men on earth, "despite hundreds of Scriptural guideposts marking the way."

Four years earlier, on Christmas Eve, rifle shots and mortar shells had rung out in the distance as Arab and Israeli soldiers had continued to fire at one another, despite the solemn occasion. This night, there would only be silence, but an uneasy silence, while also being "pregnant with new hopes that Jew and Arab are closer to Peace and Good Will. And if peace can be attained in the war-scarred birthplace of three great world religions, it may yet be attainable in the rest of the world, fulfilling the promise of the heavenly host that hovered over the Hill of the Shepherds not far away."

Editor Pete McKnight had gone to the Holy Land the previous spring, and the piece appears in part to reflect his recollections of that journey.

"How Silly Can You Get Dept." tells of the House having passed a bill the previous spring temporarily snagging the public housing redevelopment program, about the time Charlotte had been ready to sell a six million dollar housing authority bond issue. The bill required housing authorities to certify that no member of an organization listed as subversive by the Attorney General resided in the housing units under their jurisdiction. But it was obvious that no housing officials could so certify and prospective bond buyers had thus balked. The bill was rewritten and enacted during the last day of the Congressional session prior to the election, with it reading that tenants of Federally-aided, low-cost housing units had to certify that they were not members of any of the listed subversive organizations, with an affirmative answer being the basis for refusing public housing and a false answer subjecting the affiant to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

It finds this new law "silly and pointless" for several reasons, first, that membership in one of the listed organizations did not necessarily suggest disloyalty, as stated in a case out of Oklahoma by the Supreme Court during the current month, second, that the real leaders of subversive movements lived in better quarters than those afforded by housing projects, and, finally, that even many well-educated persons did not know that they were listed on the rosters of subversive organizations, making it the more problematic to hold accountable the low-income tenants, some of whom had difficulty reading and writing. It suggests that most of the tenants would think better of their government if it provided a roof over their heads "instead of confusing them with misguided gobbledygook."

"Wasted Talents" finds it emblematic of a deficiency in the system of government that Governor Stevenson, an able man defeated in the presidential election, would retire from public office in January when his term as Governor of Illinois expired. Though the country needed him to make thoughtful and articulate comments weekly on the affairs of government, under the U.S. system, a party leader did not participate in legislative debate unless as a member of Congress. It suggests borrowing from the British parliamentary system to provide non-voting seats in Congress for former Presidents and defeated nominees for the office. It suggests that the experience of former President Herbert Hoover, retiring President Truman, Governor Dewey and Governor Stevenson would lend authority to legislative debate and hopes for a Constitutional amendment along those lines from Congress.

"Spending Must Be Cut First" tells of the Associated Press reporting that a majority of Congressmen who had answered its questionnaire said that they wanted to reduce Federal spending before providing tax cuts.

While tax cuts were good news, it suggests that Federal deficit spending was the greater evil in the long-run than high taxes, as the former led to inflation, cheapening of the dollar and weakening of the foundation upon which savings and investments were based. While deficit financing might be the only alternative in time of emergency, such as during World War II, in time of peace or cold war, balanced budgets were in order. The reason for the lack of balanced budgets had been Congress consistently voting to spend more money than it levied in taxes. Thus, reducing the deficit was the first order of business, before tax reduction, and, it hopes, therefore, that the Congress would fulfill its promise as indicated in answers to the questionnaire.

A piece of from the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, titled "A 'Pood' Suggestion", tells of many good things in life being the byproducts of happenstance, as with many scientific discoveries. Recently, the New York Times had inadvertently created a new word in a story regarding a public official who was considered by the State Department to be a "pood" security risk. The word appeared to mean somewhere between poor and good.

It finds that nearly everything, including people, fell under such a meaning, including movies, singing, sports, cooking, experience at parties and health. "We suggest that it would be a pretty pood idea for the Times to throw its respected weight behind this new word."

That's a bich of an idea.

Drew Pearson tells of President-elect Eisenhower preparing to junk the Truman plan of making frequent personal appearances before Congress, would appear only once per session to deliver the State of the Union message. That intention was made known to the top Republican Congressional leaders, new Speaker of the House Joe Martin of Massachusetts, new House Majority Leader Charles Halleck of Indiana, and Republican House whip Les Arends of Illinois, when they had met with the President-elect the previous week. He assured them that he would always be open to any member of Congress who wanted to discuss a problem with him. He also proposed holding a weekly conference with six Congressional leaders, instead of three as in the past. They would include, in addition to the three visitors from the House, the new Senate Majority Leader, Senator Taft, the new president pro tem of the Senate, Senator Styles Bridges, and the new head of the Republican policy committee, probably to be Senator William Knowland of California. The President-elect repeatedly stressed the importance of harmony with Congress.

The Atomic Energy Commission would ask the new Congress to relax some of the secrecy provisions of the McMahon Act, based on complaints by scientists that atomic secrecy had been overdone to the point where it was interfering with progress of the whole atomic program.

Bennett Cerf would publish a book of selections from Governor Stevenson's speeches.

Acting on instructions of Secretary of State Acheson, Ambassador Chester Bowles had complained to Prime Minister Nehru of India regarding its chief delegate to the U.N. and the insulting way in which he had criticized American policy in Korea, warning that unless he curtailed his criticism, the U.S. would denounce him publicly.

Most of the large overseas airlines were now transporting G.I.'s home for Christmas on chartered flights, after the column's disclosures the previous week that Pan Am had pressured them not to permit chartered flights. Pan Am had denied that it had pressured the other airlines to ban G.I. chartered flights to avoid being undersold, but he provides the story, showing that it had. The airline had done an excellent job, he concludes, in bringing G.I.'s home for Christmas, but at tourist rates, which were higher than the rates of the chartered airlines, causing G.I.'s to have a hard time meeting the fares on Pan Am.

It would be the first Christmas which President Truman had spent at the White House, normally going home to Independence, Mo.

The newest thrill for children was to receive letters from Santa Claus at the North Pole, mailed through Pan Am. How come we haven't got one of those? It's not right. Got one from Ike and Mamie though.

The post office in Santa Claus, Indiana, was doing its greatest volume of business in history. That's not the same thing. Santa does not live in Indiana, any more than he does in Brooklyn.

Percy Bobbitt took two months leave without pay each year from his normal job at the naval gun factory in Washington, partly to work as Santa Claus at the Hecht Company, spending the rest of his time visiting sick and crippled children who could not get downtown. He said that the main presents which children wanted from Santa Claus in 1952 were space helmets and space shoes for boys and old-fashioned dolls for the girls. One four-year old had whispered to Mr. Bobbitt to bring him or her a baby brother and to bring his or her mother the same thing.

Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, wary of corruption charges, had warned Department employees against taking any gifts from outsiders, including cigarettes and candy.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of President-elect Eisenhower able to provide patronage jobs to 900 to 1,000 employees of the executive branch, with salaries for the jobs ranging between $9,000 and $25,000 per year, the highest paying patronage jobs available. The appointments would be to top posts in the branch, including the independent offices, and 218 major boards and commissions. Each appointment was subject to Senate confirmation, with the Senate usually scrutinizing appointments to major boards and commissions more carefully than the others. It provides a list, along with the salaries, of those immediate staff positions, as well as the various boards and independent offices.

It indicates that of the 20,000 State Department jobs, 98 percent were protected by civil service or foreign service status, not subject to appointment by the President. Of the 88,000 employees at the Treasury, 97 percent were under civil service, with the largest group of non-civil service workers being about 550 "lamplighters", lighthouse keepers for the Coast Guard. The President appointed only 75 of the top Treasury jobs. In the Defense Department, with 1,334,000 employees, plus 3.6 million military personnel, the President appointed only the top 15 officials, exclusive of the chiefs of staff and all officers in the branches of the service. The Justice Department had about 31,000 employees, 30,000 of whom were protected by civil service or the FBI merit system. The President appointed the 94 U.S. Attorneys and 94 U.S. Marshals, but in reality, they were selected by the Senators of the President's party. About one of every 20 employees in the Post Office Department was appointed by the President, but most, in reality, were selected by Senators and Representatives of the President's party. Many of the top positions in the Department of Interior were filled by Presidential appointment, including the governor of Puerto Rico. And, it goes on in that regard for each department.

A letter writer from Lancaster, S.C., remarks on the piece republished in the newspaper on December 15, written by his son, A. Z. F. Wood, Jr., for The Daily Tar Heel anent the woes of UNC football in 1952 and his general wish that the team would continue to lose so that college football would return to a sport in which ordinary students could participate. He indicates "splendid and enthusiastic" disagreement with his son on a variety of subjects through time, such as when, as a law student, he had tried to persuade him that Pablum was an excellent dish when his son instead chose to throw it, now finding himself again in disagreement on the subject of college football. He finds that, while in many places, the sport had become cluttered with scholarships and emasculated academic requirements, professional alumni, undergraduate fanaticism, ticket scalpers, unscrupulous coaches, and Saturday afternoon drunks, he could not agree that it had fallen so low as to warrant relegating it to the obscurity of ping pong, hopscotch and mumblety-peg, as recommended by his son. Football required players to get up after being knocked down and necessitated teamwork. The fact that it was enjoyed by spectators did not make it any less a game and he would not kill the patient to eliminate the disease. He suggests that, psychologically, it was only natural to find a person down on the game in which his alma mater was suffering, whereas his own alma mater was in the midst of a long success story and so he was inclined to regard football as "a beautiful and inspiring thing". His son's views had not been the same when he played rather respectably as a high school end or when Charlie Justice was at halfback throwing passes to Art Weiner for UNC in the halcyon days just a few years earlier. He concludes that his son was younger then and perhaps he would be "older tomorrow, or perhaps the next day."

A letter writer says that at Christmas, 1932 he did not have five cents and had it not been for the Salvation Army, the Catholic Sisters, Lance Co. and a few others, there would have been much greater suffering than there was, as there had been no relief system in Charlotte, industries had been idle or operating part-time. "So when all you people sit down to your ham and turkey dinners please give thanks to our Supreme Being for your many blessings."

A letter writer from Belmont says that black people did not want to take the white schools, but only wanted what every citizen desired, to have an equal education in equal facilities. He suggests comparison of some of the local black schools and white schools and consideration of the fact that black people wanted only fine things which they could call their own, that "equal" meant neither greater nor lesser.

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.