The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 31, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Jim Becker, that artillery duels and allied air strikes had opened this date's fighting on the front, after B-29's had hit two vital enemy targets, an ore processing plant near the Yalu River and a major supply center, Wollywon, near Sinanju, about 45 miles north of Pyongyang. A flurry of pre-dawn ground scraps had ended at daybreak, with no major engagements reported.

Temperatures rose into the 40's across the front this date, as the sun came out and flashed off the snow.

The U.S. Eighth Army announced that 1,814 enemy casualties had been inflicted during the week ending December 28, including 1,092 killed, 711 wounded and 11 captured. During the final week of 1951, enemy casualties had totaled 3,866.

Secretary of State Acheson said this date, before a House Judiciary subcommittee, that national security was not endangered by the U.N. employment of Americans of questionable loyalty because they did not handle matters regarding national defense, but that those persons did give the U.S. a "black eye". The Secretary said that he had consulted with the President before rejecting a request from the New York grand jury for disclosure of the names of State Department employees who had handled investigative reports on Americans hired by the U.N., and that the President had instructed him to refuse the request. He said that it would not be good administrative practice to subject subordinate employees to questions by Congressional committees or grand juries, but rather that the responsible officers should testify to explain their actions, as the subordinates did only what they were told.

The President said during his weekly press conference this date that the outlook for world peace was better presently than it had been a year earlier. He also said that no new plan for hastening the end of the Korean War had been submitted to him, but that he could not talk about any such plan even if it did exist, unless it were to be placed into operation immediately. He said that he would appear on radio and television at 10:30 p.m. for a half hour on January 15 to report to the people on the state of the nation, which would include material not in his State of the Union message which he would give only in writing to Congress early the following week. He had said in a soft voice that he had no comment when asked about General MacArthur's suggestion the previous week that the President was using the "bloody drama" of Korea "as a means of self-glorification", a statement made by the General in response to the President's remark that the General only wanted to embroil the nation in a larger war in the Far East. The President also said that when Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited with him soon, they would discuss such things as "shoes, ships, and sealing wax and things"—stopping short of pigs with wings.

President-elect Eisenhower appeared this date to have satisfied Senator Taft and other Senate Republican leaders during their meeting the previous day, regarding two issues which threatened to cause the new administration trouble in the new Congress, the procedure for job appointments by the new administration, and farm policy, both of which issues were aired at the 2.5 hour conference between the leaders and the new President. Senator Taft told journalists afterward that he was standing by his December 2 statement that the President-elect's selection of Martin Durkin as the new Secretary of Labor was "incredible", Mr. Durkin, a Democrat, and head of the plumbers union, having been opposed to Taft-Hartley. The Senator stated that he felt that a "general understanding" had been reached with the new President on future appointments, whereby adequate consultation with Senators in advance of appointments would take place. Senator Milton Young of North Dakota, secretary of the Senate Republican policy committee, had told reporters prior to the meeting the previous day that he would oppose Senate confirmation of Ezra Taft Benson as the new Agriculture Secretary, unless the Secretary-designate came out flatly for permanent government price supports of basic farm commodities at a minimum of 90 percent of parity. But after the meeting, the Senator said that he had decided not to oppose the nomination, after talking with the President-elect and to Mr. Benson by telephone, both giving assurance that they would support price supports at 90 percent of parity through 1954, as provided under the present law, and would have an open mind after that point as to how the matter should be handled.

Some Republican members of Congress complained this date that they had been unable to get a complete, authentic list of Government jobs available for deserving Republicans. They recommended that the new Congress pass a resolution directing the Civil Service Commission to supply such a list, so that it would be apparent which jobs were subject to political patronage.

In Burlington, Wisc., the World's Champion Liar of 1952 was announced this date by the Burlington Liars' Club, the winner being from Texas, an Airman 3 C. of Dallas, for his tale, claiming that one night the prior July while stationed in Tokyo, he had just turned in for the night when he heard the door open, at first thinking it was one of the other men who slept in the room with him, but that when he got a better look, saw that it was two mosquitoes, standing nearly 6 feet tall, causing him to be too terrified to move, hearing one of them say, "Do you think we should eat him here, or should we carry him home?" After a moment, the other had replied: "Let's eat him here. If we carry him home, the big mosquitoes will take him away from us." He said that he owed his ability of telling whoppers to his father.

Another Texan, from San Antonio, received an honorable mention by telling of a time when, as chief engineer of a hospital ship, he had faced the task of getting a large boiler installed in the heart of the ship within a matter of hours, and so to that end, went ashore and bought 100 pounds of alum, dumped it into the boiler and filled it with water, and when the boiler had shrunk to about the size of a radiator, lowered it through the hatches, bolted it into place, washed it out with hot water, and when it expanded back to normal size, fired it up, allowing the ship to sail on time. Judges also gave honorable mention to a man from Atlanta who said that his brother had a well-trained dog, that when the brother carried his gun on his right shoulder, the dog hunted rabbits, and if the gun was on the left shoulder, the dog hunted squirrels, that his brother had produced a new fishing rod to show to him, and in a few minutes, the dog had appeared from behind the barn carrying a can of worms. A man from Bristol, Conn., won admiration for his fantasy about a lifelong Democrat who switched to General Eisenhower in the election, had entered the voting machine and grabbed the Republican lever, which, unaccustomed to the touch of a Democrat, kicked back and broke his arm.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of H. H. Everett having been selected by former Men of the Year to be the Man of the Year for Charlotte for 1952. The editorial below tells of his many accomplishments during the year, which made him deserving of the award, sponsored by The News, having been established in 1944. News publisher Thomas L. Robinson, general manager J. E. Dowd, and executive editor B. S. Griffith served as advisory members to the group of seven former living Men of the Year in the selection process.

A statement signed by six of the former Men of the Year appears on the front page, praising Charlotte as a "great center" based on its many people with high ideals and genuine ambition to further the commercial, educational and spiritual advance of the whole community.

On the editorial page, "Charlotte's Man of the Year" tells of H. H. Everett having found time in 1952 to lead the movement to merge solicitation of charitable funds into one united drive, enabling the drive to meet its goal of $738,000, to become the first president of the United Community Services, serve a second term as president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, accept a position on the Board of Trustees of Queens College and then, two months later, become chairman of the Board, serve as chairman of the building committee of the new Trinity Presbyterian Church, continue his work with various projects of the Lions and Variety Clubs, and head the Myers Park Country Club.

It finds, therefore, that he greatly deserved the honor of the city's Man of the Year for 1952.

"Year-End Report to Our Readers" tells of having read through the files of the editorial column of the previous year to become better qualified to comment on the next year's news, indicates that it found many of the column's comments still to be positions to which it adhered, while on other issues, it had to eat some crow. Among the latter, for instance, was the fact that the previous July, it had believed that the nomination of General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson had "assured the American people that the forthcoming campaign will be fought vigorously but cleanly, and over basic issues rather than personalities", the error of that statement having become apparent shortly after Labor Day.

It had also been wrong about Attorney General James McGranery, believing when he had been appointed the prior May that he would be another "political hack" in the job, but had since earned the editors' respect as one of the better Attorneys General of recent times.

A year earlier, it believed that the Communists would agree to some form of armistice in Korea, if only to be able to transfer their troops to another theater, such as Indo-China or the Middle East, but now, a year later, armistice appeared as remote as it had a year earlier. It still believed, however, that the previous two years would "bulk large in the history of the 20th century", as the free world had stood together "in the face of the greatest threat of modern times".

In late June, it expressed the belief that recent events involving Communist propaganda and actions in Europe suggested a pattern indicating the possibility of war during the year, a belief which happily had not come true.

As to the campaign, it had endorsed the previous January General Eisenhower for the Republican nomination, believed that Senator Kefauver would be his opponent, and while not endorsing any Democratic candidate, had looked favorably on Governor Stevenson, and Senators Kefauver and Richard Russell. It had expressed the belief that Governor Stevenson had shown "compelling courage" during the campaign by putting himself on the record on issues, while its enthusiasm for General Eisenhower had dimmed somewhat as the campaign progressed, after it appeared from the General's meeting in September with Senator Taft that he was a captive candidate of the conservative wing of the party. Eventually, on October 8, it had indicated its support for General Eisenhower for the presidency, expressing the belief that both candidates had qualities fitted for the presidency, but that General Eisenhower could best promote unity and faith at home and abroad.

Throughout the year, it had consistently emphasized the danger of Congressional loyalty investigations, in which loyalty to truth was "prostituted, in which evidence is supplanted by hearsay, and professional investigative techniques shunted aside by vigilantes."

It had remained strongly in support of the U.N., and of unity of the NATO allies, had urged expansion of Point Four technical assistance to underdeveloped nations, and advocated expanded markets abroad and decreased tariffs at home, remaining "confirmed internationalists", believing that philosophy compatible with "enlightened self-interest" of the nation and state.

The newspaper had opposed Governor Kerr Scott in 1948 when he had run for governor, and it had opposed in the interim some of his program, but after his term was now reaching its end, it believed that he had been right more often than he had been wrong and that the state was in a better condition to meet its responsibilities in an uncertain world because of his leadership.

The newspaper had done what it could statewide to eliminate the vestiges of the Klan, a job done much better by editors in the Eastern part of the state, where the Klan had its ugliest manifestations.

It also tried to point out the deficiencies in the state's teacher certification program, discouraging many young persons from entering primary education because of the extensive curriculum necessary to meet certification requirements, limiting exposure to a broad-based liberal arts education.

In Charlotte, it had been pleased at progress in urban redevelopment and in experimenting with voting machines, while sometimes being discouraged at the lack of progress in matters such as consolidation of the City and County governments and parking problems.

It indicates that there were many other matters deserving of mention in the annual report, such as its continued support for the separate-but-equal doctrine in primary education while favoring integrated facilities in graduate schools, and its concern over the establishment of a genuine two-party system in the South after the Republican victory in the presidential election, but states that it was content to deal with the problems ahead in the coming year.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Golfing President", indicates that President-elect Eisenhower would be the nation's first golfing President since Warren Harding, and it hopes that he could drop the burdens of his office every now and then for a few hours on the golf course. It indicates that few things in life were more pleasurable than hitting a drive down a narrow fairway or hacking out of trouble and reaching the pin or dropping a 15-foot putt for a par or better. Inner satisfaction was gained from such shots, and it wishes the President-elect his full share of them.

But, it reminds, the best of golfers had poor days and Presidents were no exception, as President Woodrow Wilson was reported to have taken 26 strokes one time on a par-three hole. It hopes that the new President would have few such days, and would be favored with "good lies, a friendly wind and the rub of the green."

He will have some good lies, striding alongside him on occasion down the fairway. Of course, whether they were good or bad, depended on the eye of the beholder.

A piece from the North Carolina Motor Vehicle summarizes tire care, indicating that properly balanced tires would eliminate some of the steering wheel's shimmy and shake on the road and prevent excessive wear of tires and associated mechanical components, while also recommending rotation of tires every 2,500 miles to save about 25 percent of tire wear.

While its general pointers are well taken still, regarding balancing of tires, this piece was written, obviously, well before the time of steel-belted radial tires, which came about in the latter 1960s, before which tires lasted about 5,000 miles, and so, as to particulars regarding time of rotation and the like, it must be taken with a grain of salt. A poor tire today will last 20,000 to 30,000 miles, without any rotation, provided wheel alignment is correct. If you hit a curb, however, you are liable adversely to impact alignment, more important than balanced tires.

In any event, we are coming up on 1953, where the rubber meets the road, which, if it rises literally, based on the Old Irish Blessing, to meet you, you had better lay off whatever it is you're drinking or smoking, or at least slow down.

Drew Pearson tells of it having been just a year earlier that the world was speculating as to whether General Eisenhower would or would not become a candidate for the presidency, while his Republican managers were urging him to announce publicly that he would be a candidate. A year earlier, a woman identified only as the "Lady in a Red Hat" had arrived at NATO headquarters in Paris in a limousine, to find it almost deserted, as guards dozed, charwomen washed the corridors, and the few functionaries still on duty wondered why the General would take time off to see this mystery woman. She remained for three hours, talking to the General about many things, finally the General telling her, in response to her exhortation to enter the campaign, that he did not wish to be President and that his wife did not want him to be either. The woman was Ruth Hagy of Philadelphia, organizer of the Philadelphia Bulletin Forum, and she responded that it was no answer by the General, that her son and thousands of young men like him had been called to Korea, and they had not wanted to go either, but the country had needed them and so they did what they were told. She told him that his personal wishes were in the same category, as were his wife's. The General responded that he had never thought of it that way, and Ms. Hagy indicated that he would therefore not refuse to answer the call of duty and should therefore announce publicly that he was in the race. He finally told her that she was the first person to talk for the people, among some 2,000 people who had come to him asking him to enter the race, either to save the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, or because they were for President Truman or against him, or for some other special-interest reason, that she had made him see things her way, clearer than any of the others. He said that if he did answer the call of duty, it would have to come from people like her, not from politicians. It was six days later that he announced that he would be available for the Republican nomination.

The new President, who had never belonged to a single church or religious denomination, had decided to attend the National Presbyterian Church on Connecticut Ave. in Washington during his term. His mother had been a Jehovah's Witness, a sect opposed to war, which was why she had never looked with approval on her son's military career. During the war, the General had gotten to know Rev. Edward Elson, chaplain to the 21st Corps in the European theater, serving as the General's representative to the German Protestant Church Consistory after Germany surrendered. Rev. Elson was now the pastor at the National Presbyterian Church. The President's pew at the church had been occupied by Presidents Andrew Jackson, Franklin Pierce, James K. Polk, Grover Cleveland and James Buchanan. Distinguished former Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Henry Stimson, had also been members of the congregation. A number of people in the Government worshiped at the church.

Senator Taft had bumped into fellow Republican Senator Irving Ives of New York at the recent Gridiron dinner, at which time the question of Senator Taft becoming Majority Leader was still under debate. Senator Ives told him that he would support him for the position if he also maintained the chairmanship of the GOP policy committee. Senator Taft was rendered speechless, as Senator Ives had originally been appointed to the Senate by Governor Dewey, Senator Taft's bitter enemy. Senator Taft finally said that he was not sure that he wanted to become Majority Leader. Mr. Pearson notes that Senator Ives had not told Senator Taft the reason for his support being contingent on remaining as the chairman of the policy committee, that he wanted to put Senator Taft out in front so that he could be voted down any time he crossed President Eisenhower.

Marquis Childs discusses the upcoming visit to the U.S. of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the hope, added to the prospect of a meeting between Stalin and President-elect Eisenhower, that a round-table discussion, as in World War II, might lead to some reconciliation and peace. But the situation was quite different now from that in World War II, though Mr. Churchill's form of leadership remained, as earlier, personal.

The Churchill Government was in a stronger position presently than it had been six months earlier, as it had managed some improvement of Britain's position, the result, in large part, of the contrast with the "divisive weakness" in the Labor Party. While Aneurin Bevan had been unable to capture control of Labor, he had weakened the position of the Attlee-Morrison faction, which stood for close collaboration with the U.S. in NATO.

But a kind of revolt had never ceased to exist within the Churchill Cabinet, fueled by resentment of younger men who believed that the problem of seeing Britain through the present crisis was too big to be carried by the Prime Minister in his personal form of government. There were rumors afoot that on one or two occasions, the Cabinet had received a commitment from Mr. Churchill to step down after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth the following June. The complaints against him were that he took decisions without consulting the Cabinet and maintained important matters close to his vest, without sharing them with anyone else. In the recent past, in contrast, the Cabinet in Britain had functioned as a governing body, unlike the U.S. system.

There were able men in the Churchill Cabinet, one being Chancellor of the Exchequer, R. A. Butler, a successful businessman who understood the current times and had much in common with the men who would make up the new Cabinet under President-elect Eisenhower. But Mr. Churchill regarded Mr. Butler with suspicion, getting in the way of harmony. He also failed to see eye to eye all the time with Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, for instance, the latter preferring Sir Roger Makins, a Foreign Office career man, to become the new Ambassador to the U.S., while Mr. Churchill had favored his old friend, the Marquis of Salisbury. The new Ambassador would be Mr. Makins, who would sail to America with the Prime Minister.

In proper perspective, Mr. Churchill's visit to the U.S. would be seen as an "historical pageant of the first importance", as he was, at age 78, the foremost citizen of the free world to whom an incalculable debt was owed. He was also a dramatist. But no one should have illusions as to the practical results of his visit. In late February or March, Messrs. Butler and Eden and others would have to get down to the business of working out with the new Eisenhower administration the problems of collaboration which had long been deferred.

James Marlow, on New Year's Eve, takes the point of view of anyone trying to sit out the evening quietly, finishing the newspaper and watching television. He tuned into a program involving guessing of the identity of someone behind a mask, then turned to a cowboy show, simple because one only had to figure out who was good and who was bad, it then becoming clear which side should win, making the viewer feel like an author.

He thought to himself that he would not wish to miss the ensuing few years, that he had lived through the New Deal, the Fair Deal, World War II, and now once again everyone "was armed, alert for a shot that would start another war, hoping it wouldn't come." He felt gratitude toward FDR for all he had done and to President Truman for all he had done or tried to do, and wished General Eisenhower well.

He knew that during the ensuing four years he would not set the world on fire, as he was content to live a quiet, peaceful life and let others drive for the championship.

He then heard his wife turn off the kitchen light after finishing the dishes and knew that she would join him in a second, following which would be arguments over the station they would view, ushering in a whole new year of arguments.

Seventh Day of Christmas: Seven dogs lying in the ruff-ruff, waiting for those in such times who get tough-tough.

So long to 1952. May you have the best in 1953, and continue to have the vision thing, with every wind at your back, provided the road is not also there, in which case, get up.

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