The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 28, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that the U.N. truce negotiators this date in Korea sought another accounting from the Communists regarding the non-Korean civilians believed captured by the Communists, after staff officers gave to the Communist delegates a list of 57 names, two more than on the original U.N. list provided December 20 to the Communists. The Communists had disclosed the previous month that 48 foreign civilians were interned in North Korea, 28 of whom had not been on the allied list, and so the U.N. was still seeking an accounting of 20 civilians. The allied staff officers also indicated that the Communists should provide information on approximately 50,000 persons from the allied side, who were Koreans. Staff officers returned to the armistice subcommittee the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners, having reached virtual agreement on all other points regarding prisoner exchange. Negotiations on truce supervision appeared deadlocked regarding Communist insistence that Russia be named to its nominated three-nation panel of the neutral supervisory commission.

Allied fighter-bombers flew 625 sorties this date, again hitting Communist supply buildings and rail bridges, putting 120 additional holes in enemy rail lines. U.S. Sabre jets sighted no enemy jets.

Snow and ice limited patrol action on the eastern part of the front, as temperatures ranged from 23 to 41 degrees.

In Tokyo, diplomats signed an agreement this date providing that American troops would stay in Japan indefinitely, on nearly the same terms which presently existed. No limit was placed on the size or composition of the post-occupation forces and no time limit was set on their length of stay. The agreement was designed to implement the security pact between the U.S. and Japan signed in San Francisco the previous September, to become effective when the multilateral peace treaty was ratified. Japan had agreed to provide the necessary facilities and land for U.S. garrison forces. Japan would provide 155 million dollars per year for transportation and other required services and supplies of the U.S. in Japan. The agreement covered only American forces and Japan would have to make separate agreements with other occupation forces.

In Sydney, Nova Scotia, 18 men safely bailed out of a U.S. Air Force C-47 transport early this date just prior to its crash in a blinding blizzard. Only two of the men had been injured, neither seriously, and 17 of them had been making their first jump from an airplane. The pilot had attempted to land 20 times through the storm at Sydney Airport, eight miles from the crash site, before he ordered everyone to bail out. The men had to leap into darkness, swirling snow and a 50 mph wind as the plane had only three minutes of fuel supply remaining. All 18 had been found by search teams within a half-mile radius of one another.

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia announced this date that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency, indicating that he was complying with the unanimous requests of the Georgia General Assembly and the state's Democratic executive committee. He described himself as a Jeffersonian Democrat who believed in the greatest practicable degree of local self-government. He became the second announced Democratic candidate, with Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee. A number of Southern Democrats had urged Senator Russell to join the race.

Senator John Sparkman of Alabama stated that he hoped General Eisenhower would return to the U.S. soon from Europe to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding U.S. aid to NATO nations. He stated that he was not trying to embroil the General in any political situation but that his testimony might be helpful in assessing the need for the President's requested 7.9 billion dollars in foreign military and economic aid.

Fifteen Eisenhower-for-President leaders from 11 Southern states met in Washington the previous day and said that for the first time in history, the South was prepared to vote Republican in November.

At a press conference this date, the President again refused to provide an answer about his political intentions, saying that he would not disclose them until after his trip to Florida, scheduled to be for three weeks, starting March 7. He refused to say, however, whether he would make an announcement on March 29, immediately following his return, at which time he was scheduled to make a political speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. He stated that Governor Adlai Stevenson had been one of the best governors Illinois had ever had and that such was one of the best recommendations for a man becoming President.

House Speaker Sam Rayburn had told Senator Blair Moody of Michigan that it would be against House rules to allow televising of HUAC hearings, which Senator Moody had urged. The President said that he was taking no side in the matter.

In the area of Whiteville, N.C., a total of 26 arrests, including the eight reported the prior day, took place by State and county officers the previous day and night in adjoining Columbus and Robeson Counties, all involving Klan activity. Eleven of the men were arrested in the Titusville area, scene of "night-riding terrorism" during recent months, and 15 were in nearby Lumberton. The latter group had been charged with violation of an 1868 North Carolina statute outlawing membership in secret political organizations, not mentioning the Klan by name. The local solicitor in Lumberton told them, however, that they were arrested because they were members of the Klan. Twelve of those arrested had posted $250 bond and were released, denying the charge. The other three admitted their membership previously but said that they no longer belonged to the organization, and were released under the same statute, which provided that renunciation of membership was sufficient to absolve the person of the crime. The Lumberton solicitor warned the men that he would have them charged with burglary in the first degree if they broke into someone's home in the nighttime for the purpose of kidnapping them, and that the crime carried the death penalty in the state.

The 11 men arrested in Columbus County faced the potential for life imprisonment if convicted of the charged kidnapping and assault of a black woman the previous November, eight of whom had been reported arrested the previous day. Five of the men had been arrested on February 16 under the Federal charges of kidnapping and civil rights violations, resulting from the taking of a white couple to a remote location over the South Carolina line and flogging them. There remained at least nine other victims who had reported being flogged in the Columbus County area during the previous year. Officers hinted that there were more arrests still to come.

In Monroe, N.C., two persons were killed and two others seriously injured early this date when an express truck out of Charlotte crashed into a sedan and burned on Highway 74. The dead had been burned beyond recognition and were not yet identified. One of those injured was believed to have been a hitchhiker in the car. The truck had been carrying paints and chemicals which exploded and burst into flames upon impact. The wreck had occurred on a curve and it was not yet clear what had caused the impact.

In New Orleans, the chairman of the department of physiology at Tulane University spoke at an the opening of a seven-day course on legal medicine, indicating that man was never meant to stand on two legs, for otherwise the organs would not have been "hung like a Christmas tree in his body." Gravity, he said, tended to pull blood downward to the toes and for it to return to the heart, blood vessels had to contract and push it up, causing twitching in the toes, shifting from one foot to the other and flexing of leg muscles, also accounting for why women fainted when being fitted for a new dress, a rigid stance stiffening blood vessels so that the brain did not receive an adequate supply of blood.

In Barnstable, Mass., a nor'easter produced a record snowfall on Cape Cod during the previous night, resulting in three State snow plows becoming snowbound.

On the editorial page, "Does Congress Really Want a Clean-Up?" asks the question in light of the events which had transpired since the President had appointed Newbold Morris to be the special investigator to root out and eliminate corruption in the executive branch. Administration critics had sought to belittle the whole process, pointing out that Mr. Morris would be operating under Attorney General J. Howard McGrath and so would be constrained by him, to which the President had responded by providing Mr. Morris with separate offices, a staff of 150, appropriation of a half million dollars of Presidential funds and providing that he would report directly to the President.

Even so, a few days following the appointment, allegations arose that Mr. Morris had been involved in receiving some of the profits from the surplus warship deal with the Government, despite the fact that it had not been shown that either the deal was illegal or that Mr. Morris had taken any active role in arranging it.

Then, Congress denied the President's request to grant Mr. Morris the power to provide immunity to witnesses to assist in the investigation, though Mr. Morris had never sought that power. Moreover, it appeared that the Congress would deny Mr. Morris even the power to subpoena witnesses and documents, also requested for him by the President, opposed by Senator Pat McCarran, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, unless the records subpoenaed were also made available to Congress.

It suggests that perhaps Congress was sincerely convinced that the President was only playing politics and that the probe by Mr. Morris would be a waste of time. But, on the other hand, it finds a growing suspicion that Congress was fearful of an executive inquiry which could uncover numerous examples of improper use of influence on Federal agencies by members of Congress, subject to being kept under wraps as long as only Congress possessed investigative powers. There was also the suspicion that the Republicans and anti-Truman Democrats were resistant to any realistic clean-up because it would shatter a useful election-year issue and result in making the President look good. Meanwhile, the several Congressional inquiries would be strung out, in all likelihood, beyond the November election.

Mr. Morris was, nevertheless, moving ahead and had obtained the President's permission to ask all Federal officials above the rank of office and manual workers, including the President, to answer a detailed questionnaire providing all sources of income other than Government salary. The President had indicated that he would fire anyone who refused to answer that questionnaire. Thus, the Administration had created the impression of sincerity and the burden of proof had shifted to the Congress to establish its sincerity.

"Another Blow against the Klan" finds that the arrest the previous day of 26 men by State and local authorities, on top of the arrests of 10 former Klansmen on February 16 by the FBI, provided reassuring evidence that the investigation of the Klan in eastern North Carolina would continue relentlessly until the floggings and kidnappings were solved and eradicated.

The incident which had prompted the arrests of 11 men in Columbus County the previous day had occurred November 14, 1951, when a group of hooded and robed men forcibly abducted a black woman from her home, accusing her of associating with a white man, proceeded to beat her on her legs, and then, after being informed of her pregnancy, clipped out a cross-shaped section of her hair, "a venerable symbol that the Klan has desecrated for its own evil purposes."

Another group of arrests had occurred in neighboring Robeson County, where 15 men had been charged with violating an 1868 state statute which outlawed membership in secret political organizations. It was reported that other arrests would follow in the ensuing two or three days and it hopes that those reports were true and that every person in the state who had any part in mob terrorism would eventually be brought to justice and severely punished.

It finds that there was no place in the state for the Klan.

In Mecklenburg County the prior Monday evening, a cross had been burned on the lawn of a candidate for the County Commission. It suggests that it was probably a prank and that, in any event, the candidate was not cowed by it. It expresses confidence that the County Police would provide him full protection in the event it was more than a prank.

"'Neutral' Senator Welker" tells of Senator Herman Welker of Idaho set to deliver the keynote address at the North Carolina Republican Party's state convention to be held in Charlotte on March 18, having been billed by the state Republican chairman and headline writers as a "neutral" in the race between Senator Taft and General Eisenhower. It suggests that this supposed "neutrality" bore closer examination as the term was misleading.

Senator Joseph McCarthy could also be said to be "neutral" in the matter, as he had neither endorsed the Senator, the General, nor any other candidate for the Republican nomination. Yet, he was generally regarded as being within the wing of the party which supported Senator Taft or a like-minded candidate. And Senator Welker was in the same category.

The previous year had been Senator Welker's first in Congress and, according to Congressional Quarterly, he opposed the Administration's foreign policy in Korea on the basis that one American life in Korea was worth more than the whole of Korea. He called the State Department a "regime of failure" which had lost the peace. He criticized the Korean operation and the failure to help Chiang Kai-shek, as well as, in his opinion, the failure to rebuild Europe militarily. He had a 94 percent "party unity" rating on 118 recorded votes, thus in the company of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate at the time, and had a greater unity rating than even Senator Taft, at 87 percent. In contrast, Senators Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had a unity rating of 56 percent, Charles Tobey, 51 percent, Wayne Morse, 25 percent, and James Duff, 52 percent, the four leading supporters in the Senate of the General's candidacy.

Editorial Research Reports had compiled Senator Welker's record on key foreign policy votes and found that he was one of five Senators voting against the draft extension and universal military training bill, had opposed sending U.S. troops to Europe, favored an absolute ban on allied trade with the Soviet bloc, a 500 million dollar cut of economic aid to Europe, cutting of the efense budget to 55 billion, and inclusion of Spain and Germany in European defense plans. On domestic issues, he had opposed grants-in-aid for local health units, the amendment to raise from 50 to 100 million dollars funding for emergency school construction, and favored a single head for the RFC, dispersal of Federal agencies, price rollbacks and the quota system for livestock slaughtering, Government operation of defense plans, a cut in reclamation funds and the 5.5 billion dollar tax increase. He also favored limiting public housing to 5,000 units, authorization of rent increases up to 37 percent, and a 21 million dollar cut for river-harbor funds.

It commends the Republicans of the state for choosing a keynoter who was still publicly uncommitted to either candidate in the race, but indicates that it hardly believed that he was "neutral", as likely the Senator, himself, would contest.

"Smith Is Right" finds that Senator Willis Smith of North Carolina was justified in not pressing for passage of a Senate resolution changing the name of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Robert L. Doughton Parkway, as had been previously passed by the House, but had been discouraged by Congressman Doughton from passage in the Senate. It indicates that the Parkway belonged to all Americans and that its name ought continue to identify with the mountains through which it traversed. It trusts that Senator Clyde Hoey would join Senator Smith in the same judgment.

Bill Sharpe, in his "Turpentine Drippings", snippets from newspapers around the state, provides one from the Moore County News, in which was related an anecdote from a Carthage man who told of being on a Federal jury in Rockingham some years earlier, and having received the case collectively late in the afternoon and taken a vote, to find one dissenter, after which the jurors, complaining about having to get home to do various chores, took another vote, which turned out unanimous, the other 11 having joined the dissenter, who had stated that he would not change his mind if it took the whole week.

The Laurinburg Exchange finds that great highways, hitchhiking and freedom to roam about the country were not good for "such characters" or the country, as hitchhiking was productive of a great amount of crime and encouraged criminal-minded and shiftless persons to wander about the country, often resulting in crime.

Mrs. Theo Davis of the Zebulon Record tells of growing tired of the strenuous efforts to avoid ending sentences in prepositions, such that whenever she heard a phrase such as "a better place in which to live", she translated it in her mind to "a better place to live in". So she would continue to write accordingly, and the grammarians could wring their hands and gnash their teeth if they were so inclined, though she finds it only a slim chance that any true grammarian would ever notice what she wrote.

You could arrange the words so as to have it both ways, covering the bases, as do some.

The Robesonian tells of the farmers being guarded against over-optimism to the point that, to avoid disappointment, they did not count on good weather and crop production. Newcomers to an agricultural area, it observes, were usually appalled at the dismal prospects for crops because of such misgivings, and were then amazed to find later that the year had been a fairly good one for crops.

And so forth onward, onward, onward, forth on, on forward

Drew Pearson repeats a story told by Chief Justice Fred Vinson about Sid Richardson, the big Texas oil and cattle man, who had been riding with House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Bob Anderson, the efficient manager of the Waggoner Ranch in Texas, when someone asked Mr. Anderson how much he had received for his calves, to which he replied 41 cents, meaning that with 7,500 calves, he had received over a million dollars. Mr. Rayburn had wondered who would be fool enough to pay that much and Mr. Anderson informed him that it had been Howell Smith, who was the partner and brother-in-law of Mr. Richardson, who was nonplussed by this news. Later, Chief Justice Vinson was attending a Texas luncheon in the office of the secretary of the Senate, Leslie Biffle, and had been called upon to make a few remarks, relating this story and remarking that he saw in the corner his old friend Joe Montagu, a Washington lobbyist for the Texas and Southwest Cattle Growers Association, who had come around to see Mr. Vinson when he had been Economic Stabilizer during World War II, entrusted with keeping prices down, saying that Mr. Montagu had wept on his shoulder at the time, hoping to gain sympathy for removal of price controls on cattle. He related further that during the war, the Administration had placed a 12 cents per pound ceiling on beef and maintained it, that presently it had risen to 41 cents and yet Mr. Montagu remained unhappy with controls when OPS called for a rollback of only three cents. He said that he felt like weeping for Mr. Montagu.

Congressman O. K. Armstrong of Missouri told the conference on psychological strategy the previous week that it was not too late to win the "cold war of ideas" with Russia. Presently, the free world was losing that psychological struggle, he had said, and "the enslaved peoples" were losing hope, while the neutral peoples were losing faith. He said it was false to assume that the only way to overthrow Bolshevism was through another major war, inevitably involving atomic war which would wreck civilization irretrievably. Putting such a strain on the country's budget to engage in an arms race would eventually drain resources and manpower to the point that the country would be so weak that armaments could never protect it, that it was a policy of fear and hopelessness which could neither prevent nor win future wars. Communism, he continued, was a struggle for the hearts and minds of mankind and could not be won by guns and bombs alone.

Russia was planning to offer the Kurile Islands back to Japan, provided the natives were allowed to elect their own local government. Since the end of the war, after Russia had been given the Kuriles, they had been busy converting the natives to Communism. On the surface, it would appear as a great gesture by the Soviets that they had no imperialistic ambitions, when the truth was that the Kuriles would be a Communist stronghold with which the Soviets could pollute Japan with Communism.

Old Senate friends of Attorney General J. Howard McGrath had expressed shock at the change they had observed in him, transforming from his usually genial and self-confident self to complaining of being hounded, having every statement he made distorted. His wife had become so concerned about his melancholy state that she ordered the former Governor and Senator from Rhode Island to take a vacation.

Marquis Childs tells of General Eisenhower not intending to return to the U.S. prior to the Republican convention, to begin July 7, except at the urgent call of Congress or the President, not considered likely. He had, on January 8, stated that under no circumstances would he ask for relief from his assignment as supreme commander of NATO so that he could seek the nomination for political office, and further indicated that he would not participate in pre-convention activities of others who might seek the nomination for him.

Those who had followed the General's career believed it inconceivable that he would take a contrary course to that which he had pledged. He had already declined to participate in the sesquicentennial ceremonies for West Point, scheduled for May 3, and likewise declined appearance at the formal graduation ceremonies on June 3. The only conceivable basis on which he might return would be indication that public interest in NATO armament was flagging in the country and required his bolstering.

Yet, the politicians who were supporting him were actively urging him to return if he expected to have any chance for the Republican nomination. That, however, was not likely to impress the General.

The potential existed still for his nomination, as the polls still showed him the favorite among Republicans. The problem lay in bargaining for convention delegates among the professional politicians, effectively being carried on by Senator Taft and his professional staff.

The Eisenhower forces were not wanting for money, as they had the support of Sid Richardson of Texas, one of the three or four richest men in the world.

The Madison Square Garden rally for the General had drawn great criticism and had added little to his campaign. Attracting delegates had to be accomplished through the old familiar techniques, not speeches or confident statements, but by pledges and promises carried out by those who understood the game.

Roscoe Drummond, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, indicates that more than ever, women voters had the power to determine the next president, as the 1950 census figures had shown that there were over a million and a half more women than men of voting age, meaning, in raw figures, that there were more than 49.5 million women voters, greater than the total votes cast for the presidency in 1948, a little over 48 million. Thirty-two states had more voting-age women than men, suggesting also great power over the electoral college result.

About 22 million voters identified as Democrats and about 18 million, as Republicans, and therefore it was important to appeal to women voters, particularly those voting for the first time. If women voters continued to vote Democratic as they had in the previous five presidential elections or if they simply did not vote, a Republican victory in 1952 would be in serious doubt.

Nine million voters would be voting for the first time in 1948, most of them women. A poll taken by Gilbert Youth Research, published in the current issue of McCall's, revealed that of these new young voters, more were drawn to the Democratic Party than to the Republican Party, that the majority of their parents were Democrats, and that only under one condition would they be swayed to vote Republican, that being if General Eisenhower were the Republican nominee. Otherwise, they would prefer the President. He provides a table breaking down the percentages between men and women among these new voters, both categories decisively preferring the General over the President, with Senator Taft coming in third.

We note that henceforth for the ensuing year, we shall lose you by one date, though still maintaining the same day of the week, as it is leap year in 1952. See you in synchronization next year, on schedule again, after the long leap.

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