The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 21, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. command told the Communists this date that Russia's "record of past participation in Korea" prevented their nomination by the Communists as a neutral inspector of the truce conditions during the period of an armistice. The Communists stated that the U.N. objections, based on participation in the war by the Russians and proximity of Russian Siberia to Korea, were not satisfactory. The U.N. had accepted the other two Communist nominations, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

Meanwhile, the "Voice of the U.N. Command Broadcasts" compared the Communist negotiating style to a "hydra-headed monster", substituting two points of controversy for every one which was settled.

In Tokyo, U.N. supreme commander General Matthew Ridgway, speaking at the annual convention of the Far East Department of the Reserve Officers Association, said this date that it was deplorable that many Americans were still asking why the country was in Korea, when Communist intentions were plain to see across the world. He indicated that to do otherwise "would have been a repudiation of every principle we had previously professed." He did not mention the ongoing armistice talks.

In Lisbon, the 14 NATO foreign ministers, including those of new members Turkey and Greece, met behind closed doors this date for a study of the Russian problem. A spokesman stated that Secretary of State Acheson and his colleagues discussed top-level reports on the Soviets and their latest policies toward the free world. Earlier, Allied defense ministers approved a military committee report calling for 50 to 60 divisions to be in the field by the end of 1952, that report now to be submitted to the NATO Council. A report submitted by Averell Harriman's temporary council committee had said that the 1954 target date for having 100 divisions on active duty or in immediate reserve had to be scaled down by 12 percent because the European economies could not afford that kind of contribution. The military, however, wanted to maintain that target. The defense and finance ministers of the NATO members were preparing blueprints for airbases, communication lines and control headquarters. General Eisenhower had sent along his outline of his requirements, and the defense and finance ministers were considering how much each nation would pay for the costs. The European nations wanted the U.S. to pay more than the 30 to 40 percent which some Americans had estimated should be the U.S. contribution. A primary issue in discussions would be the place of West Germany in construction of a European army.

In Tunis, a group of Arab students entered the Great Mosque of Tunis this date and announced that they would stage a hunger strike until the French met nationalist demands for more home rule. Early in the day, a dynamite blast wrecked an electrical transformer, cutting off electricity to part of the city. The commander of French troops in Tunisia said that 60 Tunisians had been killed since the nationalist demonstrations had begun the previous month.

A Hong Kong newspaper reported this date that 4,000 newly trained paratroops had joined 290,000 other Communist troops massed near the Indo-China and Burma borders.

The President told a Masonic gathering in Washington this date that he worked all day and nearly all night at the job but liked it. He defended his aides against the popular description of them as the "Missouri gang", saying that Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, Cleveland and others had undergone a lot of criticism, and that years after President Cleveland had left office, it was said that they had loved him for the enemies he had made. The President hoped the people would love him ultimately for the same reason. He said that if he thought he was right in his decisions, he did not care what anyone liked or did not like. He called attention to attacks made on President Washington by a Philadelphia newspaper, one reason he had decided not to run for a third term.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, tells of the White House press conference he had attended the previous day, with most reporters seeking to pry from the President his political plans, while the President continued playfully to resist revealing them. Mr. Reinemer's first impression was that it was an informal affair, yet smooth in operation. He describes the admission process to the conference, through five different guards, none of whom had bothered to check his identification, though he was a new admittee. He also describes the conference room at the old State Department building, across the street from the White House.

The chairman of the FCC, Wayne Coy, resigned this date, saying that he could no longer afford the personal sacrifice entailed in a $15,000 per year job. He had been chairman of the FCC since December, 1947 after leaving his positions as assistant publisher of the Washington Post and manager of radio station WINX.

The University of Saskatchewan declared that 1951 had been the coldest year on record since 1900, with an average temperature for the year of 39 degrees.

In Salisbury, N.C., Catawba College officials announced this date that three faculty members, involved in a long controversy, were being dismissed as of Saturday after having been found to have been disloyal to the college. A fund shortage had been discovered the previous year but no criminal action had resulted in that case. There was no indication of the specific nature of the "disloyalty" found against the three faculty members.

In Charlotte, William Henry Belk, 89, founder and long-time head of Belk's Department Stores, had died early in the afternoon. His father had been killed in 1865 by a band of General Sherman's raiders, who mistook the father for the grandfather, Tom Belk, drowning him after he refused to disclose the location of the grandfather's hidden gold which had been described to the Yankees by a Southern man seeking to save his own life. Mr. Belk had first gone into business with his brother, John, in 1888, establishing a store in nearby Monroe, which would deal on a cash basis rather than offering credit, because, too often, farmers, relying on credit, would purchase items, after which the crops would fail and the merchant either went without pay or wound up taking the farmer's means of livelihood. John Belk had died in 1928. The Charlotte store opened in 1895, 150 percent larger than the Monroe store, but, at the time, nothing substantially larger than what Charlotte already had. Initially, other Charlotte merchants scoffed at the idea of the country-town Belk merchants making good in the big city. But soon the store was prospering and became the acknowledged leading dry goods store in the city.

On the editorial page, "It's the Tax Levy That Counts" indicates that since 1944, the last full year of the war, the cost of local government in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County had been reflected in tax collections rising steadily, two tables of which it provides. Both the City and County governments had sources of revenue other than their real and personal property tax valuations, the largest being profits from the ABC system of controlled sale of liquor. But property valuation was of particular interest to both governments as they began preliminary consideration of their budgets for the coming fiscal year, as revaluation had just occurred.

The first step in formulating such a budget was to figure costs at the lowest possible amount, and then next to estimate all sources of revenue other than property taxes, with the difference being that needed to balance the budget from the tax levy. The total valuation and the tax rate determined the ultimate levy.

During the coming weeks, the taxpayers would get little information regarding early estimates of valuation and tax rates. The total tax levy for the County had grown from about 1.2 million dollars to 3.2 million since 1944 and from 1.6 million dollars to 4.9 million for the City in the same period. Revaluation had tapped previously unlisted property and had equalized values on the basis of real worth in 1948. Whatever the total tax levy might be, the individual property owner would pay a fair share and nothing more. It recommends that residents keep an eye on the budgets of the City and County to make sure that the County Commissioners and the City Councilmen did not expand those budgets now that there was more property to tax.

"A Straw in the Wind" tells of the Republicans being able to take some solace from the outcome of the Congressional election in New York's fifth district during the week, where Republican Robert Ross defeated Democrat Hugh Quinn for a seat held by another Democrat who had resigned to become District Attorney of Queens. The losing candidate had blamed the President for his defeat, based on the scandals proliferating in the Administration. Republicans had agreed with that assessment.

The piece indicates that it did not know what other factors might have influenced the outcome, but that if people were really in a state of revolt against the shady ethics of the professional politicians presently in power, it would be a wholesome change from apathy to indignation.

"Tar Heels or Tarheels?" tells of a formidable array of experts being in favor of the single word spelling for the nickname of the state. Insofar as the piece was aware, columnist Nell Battle Lewis of the Raleigh News & Observer had been one of the first to make the joinder years earlier, on the basis that "a 'heel' is about the lowest form of human life and some of us do not like to be called 'Tar Heels'—or any other kind of 'heel'." Ms. Lewis had aboard Lynn Nisbet, columnist for a number of afternoon newspapers, Charles Parker, who ran the State Advertising Division, and Willis Briggs, Wake County historian.

Yet, recently, the editors of the News & Observer had gone to great lengths to correct a reprinted editorial from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which had printed Tar Heel as Tarheel.

The piece rests its case on R. B. Creecy's Grandfather's Tales of North Carolina History and Walter Clark's Histories of North Carolina Regiments, Vol. III, the latter of which had repeated the story that during the Civil War a column supporting the North Carolina troops had been driven from the field by the Yankees and that after the battle, the North Carolinians, who had successfully fought it out alone, were greeted by the passing derelict regiment with the question, "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" to which came the answer, "No, not a bit; old Jeff's bought it all up," to which arose the question as to what he was going to do with it, upon which came the reply, "He is going to put it on you'ns heels to make you stick better in the next fight." Mr. Creecy had stated that General Lee, hearing of the incident had said, "God bless the Tar Heel boys."

It suggests that perhaps the General had said, instead, "Tarheel boys," but it does not share the objection of Ms. Lewis that the two-word version was possessed necessarily of unsavory connotations, and so it would continue to spell it out as Tar Heels.

In any event, as we have previously suggested, whether it's one word or two, the derivation likely comes not from probably apocryphal Revolutionary or Civil War tales, even if some in those times might have overlayered the pre-existing agnomen with fresh meaning, but rather from the simple fact that, when viewed as a shoe with toes westward ho, the heel of the state, historically, though perhaps not of late, was one of the largest tar-producing regions in the world.

But is it Blue Devils or Bluedevils, Wolf Pack or Wolfpack? Terrapins or Terra Pins? Gamecocks or...

We note, incidentally, that the editorial from the February 14, 1952 edition of the Daily Tar Heel—never Daily Tarheel—, which we presented yesterday in relation to the controversy over segregation stimulated by the remarks of UNC Board of Trustees member John Clark, had suggested that Ms. Lewis, along with Mr. Clark's brother, Dave, were among those persons who, "through their literary efforts successfully utilize the fear psychology in limiting free speech and free inquiry." We have never otherwise seen her name thus associated and she was one of the early writers in the state in 1941 to voice approval of The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash, indeed, had been listed in the book as among the editorial writers in the South who were "courageous enough to speak out their convictions" against the Klan and the anti-evolution movement in the Twenties, and for having decried the police violence against the Loray Mill strikers in Gastonia in 1929 despite the strikers having been painted with the Communist brush, and so we tend to doubt the accuracy of the characterization insofar as she was concerned, though certainly deserved by the Clark brothers.

A piece from the New York Herald Tribune, titled "In Praise of Chickadees", tells of farmers, by the nature of their occupation, becoming birdwatchers. The least hermitary of birds, it informs, was the chickadee, whose "fierce and friendly ways" pleased a "wintering countryman after an aloof thrush has gone South and listening heifers no longer trample wild thyme on hill ledges." The chickadee was sociable, would follow a man around a wood lot "lisping cheerful attempts at conversation." It never treated a man as an intruder in the tree world. Even if the man being followed did not have a sandwich aboard, the chickadee would not exhibit disappointment or unseemly hunger. It remained "changelessly debonair", whether the ground thawed or more snow fell.

Drew Pearson, in Los Angeles, tells of Governor Earl Warren sitting in a club in Sacramento when Robert Kenny, a former Democratic opponent for the gubernatorial race, walked in and told the Governor that he had been conducting a Democratic underground for him for the presidency. Whenever any journalist asked him what the Governor was really like, he told them that he had gone eight rounds with him and could never lay on him a glove. Journalist Walter Jones, who was present, suggested that they ought perhaps to get a statement from Mr. Kenny endorsing the Governor for the nomination, to which the Governor demurred, saying that he was having enough trouble convincing Republicans that he was not a Democrat. That was the primary reason why Republican bosses were opposed to his nomination, despite the fact that leaders in the party had become convinced he would be the surest bet to win the general election.

To win in November, the Republicans had to woo away Democratic votes, as surely as had FDR Republican votes in 1932. Governor Warren had a penchant for doing so, having polled 400,000 Democratic votes when he had first run for Governor in 1942 and having been so popular among Democrats in 1946 that he had won the primaries of both parties. In 1950, he had beaten the popular James Roosevelt by 800,000 votes.

He had been an extremely good Governor, avoiding executive mistakes, selecting irreproachable public servants from both parties, and having an intuitive sense which steered him away from emotional issues. When he had been a rising politician in Oakland as District Attorney, the Klan had swept the state like wildfire and many an aspiring politician had joined, but not Mr. Warren. He stayed away from emotional issues, just as when there had been a rush for old-age pensions, led by Senator Sheridan Downey of California, which the Governor shunned without fanfare. Meanwhile, however, he had proceeded ahead quietly regarding old-age pensions, to the point where he had about the best record of any Governor in caring for the elderly. When the movement for loyalty oaths had arisen, the Governor said that there would be no purge of California employees, as the State had never hired any Communists in the first place.

His failure to appoint deserving Republicans to State jobs had caused recrimination within the Republican ranks, especially after lean years under his predecessor, Democratic Governor Culbert Olson. Some Republicans had lamented that Mr. Warren had never done a favor for a friend in his life. That was not exactly true, but he had limited his favors to those who were meritorious friends, not merely personal friends. Thus, professional Republicans throughout the country feared that they would not get the patronage appointments they desired if he were in the White House. Some appeared to prefer loss of the election to change of the Republican bosses in the local bailiwicks.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the principal backers of General Eisenhower, Governor Dewey and Senators Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., James Duff, and Frank Carlson, preparing to appeal to the General to return to the U.S. by May 1 at the latest, to pursue actively the Republican nomination for the presidency. They would recommend that the General come home first in uniform, perhaps at that time addressing Congress, as his first annual report was due from NATO in any event, and then return to Europe to wrap up loose ends, after which he would return to the U.S. as a civilian.

Supporters were concerned about grassroots calls for the General to return and inform the people where he stood on the various issues. They were afraid that unless he did so soon, it would be too late, because of the well-organized campaign of Senator Taft, with the solid backing of the professional politicians. The General's supporters were concerned that there might be a setback to his candidacy in New Hampshire, as the Taft forces were pouring a lot of money into that March 11 primary. That was one reason why Senator Duff had entered the General's name in the Pennsylvania primary.

The Alsops indicate that while the General would not be able to complete his job of fully organizing NATO in the meantime, there would be a great amount of pressure exerted on him to abandon that task and come home to run. Ultimately, the decision would be up to the General.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the closure of the Newark Airport in the wake of the three airline crashes in the vicinity of the airport, taking a total of 117 lives during the previous two months, resulting in deaths on the ground in nearby neighborhoods of Elizabeth, N.J., in two of those accidents. The understandable uproar among the residents had resulted in the closure. Traffic, as a result, had also been curtailed at LaGuardia Field and airplanes diverted to Idlewild, which would necessitate a lengthy commute into the city. Some flights were to be diverted as far south as Philadelphia and as far north as Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Mr. Ruark thinks that such diversions would harm air travel and perhaps lead to other closures of airports around the country under similar conditions. "So long as planes fly, people will be killed, both in them and by them. This is also true of trains, busses, boats, ships, autos, bicycles, horses and man's own two-footed propulsion. Accidents by all carriers can be cut to a statistical minimum, but never abolished."

He indicates that as long as airports were close to large cities, making their existence worthwhile, an occasional plane would likely fly through someone's living room, a tragic but inevitable result. He disfavors therefore disrupting a city's air facilities because of freakish accidents. In the instances at Newark, none of the three flights appeared to have had a common causal factor, and so no one could pin blame, per se, on the Newark facility or its proximity to residential areas. The closure had been the result of mob pressure, and whether that was correct or not was beside the point.

A letter writer responds to another writer of February 16, commenting that the previous writer had erred grievously in blaming the Taft forces for her inability to vote for General Eisenhower in the coming precinct elections. In fact, the Taft supporters had strongly urged the Republican chairman to delay precinct, county and state meetings until after the primary registration deadlines so that voters could change their registrations. The chairman, who was considered to be an Eisenhower supporter, had nixed this suggestion. This writer places blame on the previous writer and others like her who had supported Democratic control for over 50 years and never raised any protest against the archaic election laws, against which Republicans had been fighting for decades.

A letter writer from Hamlet indicates that the action in Korea was not a war but a police action, and that, pursuant to the declared national emergency status under which Congress gave the President extraordinary powers to send U.S. troops and naval forces anywhere in the world, he had acted in accordance therewith. The writer reminds that the country was part of a world police force, which needed all countries as participants.

A letter writer from Rutherfordton praises the newspaper for its recent editorial and cartoon concerning the St. Lawrence Seaway and favors an investigation of the delay in Congress regarding its construction.

A letter writer from Bladenboro tells of columnist Eric Brandeis having stated recently that he was getting tired of being told that he was going to hell, this writer wondering whether the nation was "wilting away with sin and corruption", decrying the many preachers who were selecting a compromise sermon rather than telling the people that their sins were shameful. The writer believes that the Bible was written as it should be lived and was not subject to interpretation. If the people could get drunk, swear and call each other names, such as s.o.b., he could not understand how they could continue to call themselves Christians, that they must be "leaning on the implied powers clause", similar to some interpretations of the Constitution.

So, if, say, a little boy accidentally puts the eye out of a playmate with a carelessly aimed air-rifle, then the little boy ought have his eye plucked from his head, instanter? Or is the message of the New Testament not one of forgiveness? Was not "pharisee" the equivalent of "s.o.b." in Roman times?

And, clearly, the writer does not believe in his own right of privacy.

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