The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 26, 1952


Site Ed Note: The front page reports that an allied spokesman indicated that truce negotiators had displayed "much more frankness" in seeking a compromise on exchange of prisoners in the newly initiated secret proceedings, and "some slight progress" had been made. The spokesman indicated that the allies had rephrased their demand for "voluntary repatriation" of prisoners, the primary sticking point, to "no forced repatriation", although, he indicated, there was no real difference in the two concepts. He also stated that the U.N. negotiators had been repeatedly informing the Communists that there was every indication that the majority of the captured prisoners in allied hands desired repatriation.

U.S. F-84 Thunderjets destroyed 18 buildings and six troop revetments just east of Kaesong, while other allied warplanes continued to strike at enemy supply lines.

On the ground, a Communist assault was repulsed on the western front during an hour-long skirmish. Three other probes were also repulsed on the western and central fronts. Only small-scale patrol skirmishes were reported on the eastern front.

The Department of Defense announced that U.S. battle casualties in Korea had reached 106,794, an increase of 123 since the previous week, the smallest weekly increase since the start of the war. Of the weekly total, 54 had been killed in action, for a total of 16,676 killed in action.

The United Steelworkers demanded that the steel industry accept the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendations for settling the steel dispute, as negotiations opened this date with Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. The WSB had recommended that the union and industry sign a new contract which included a 17.5-cent per hour wage increase, a union shop, and other benefits. Other companies would begin negotiations with the union the following day. Without acceptance of the demands, the union had threatened to strike on April 8. Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson had labeled the WSB proposals "a serious threat" to control of inflation, but had later issued a statement that he believed the plan was appropriate as a basis for trying to effect a settlement of the dispute.

Attorney General J. Howard McGrath told a House Judiciary subcommittee this date that the Justice Department would lose a majority of its best attorneys overnight if they were prevented from participating in outside activities. The overriding purpose of the inquiry was to investigate the charged laxity in some tax fraud prosecutions by the Department. The Attorney General was not required to submit to an oath, but voluntarily did so. At the request of Harold Stassen, one member of the subcommittee inquired about Mr. Stassen's recent comment that someone had informed him that Mr. McGrath had become a millionaire while in public office, to which the Attorney General responded by saying that he thanked Mr. Stassen for the compliment.

A 54-hour work week at the Savannah River plant of the Atomic Energy Commission, working on development of the hydrogen bomb, would be initiated immediately, according to a joint statement by the AEC and the du Pont company. A 45-hour work week had been started the previous August. It was anticipated that the 28,000 persons presently employed at the plant would be increased to 45,000 by September.

The North Carolina delegation to Congress declared to the Office of Defense Mobilization Surplus Manpower Committee this date that unemployment in the textile industry was not the result of defense efforts and therefore was not subject to Government intervention, that it could therefore not legally recommend negotiating contracts, as opposed to competitive bidding, to relieve textile industry unemployment. Congressman Robert Doughton acted as chairman of the group and also testifying were Senator Clyde Hoey and several other Representatives.

Senator Joseph McCarthy filed a two million dollar lawsuit against Senator William Benton of Connecticut, accusing the latter of libel, slander and conspiracy to seek the ouster of Senator McCarthy from the Senate. The suit was based on Senator Benton's assertions the previous September that Senator McCarthy had committed perjury, fraud and calculated deceit of the American people in pushing his charges that Communists had infiltrated the Government. Senator Benton the previous week had offered to waive his Senatorial immunity, as these statements had been made in conjunction with the Senate Elections subcommittee investigation of whether Senator McCarthy was worthy of continuing to serve in Congress, and Senator McCarthy had accepted the waiver.

In Trenton, N.J., a State Superior Court this date ruled that Senator Taft's name would have to remain on the New Jersey primary ballot by state law, despite Senator Taft having withdrawn from the race. The State Secretary of State had instituted the lawsuit to try to comply with the Senator's request and the suit was contested by six Republican voters and one county clerk. The judge indicated that the weight of public sentiment appeared to favor leaving the Senator's name on the ballot and so he wished to comply with that wish. The Senator had sought his withdrawal only after the deadline for formal withdrawal.

The Government ban on white sidewall tires was lifted this date, as the Government increased the amount of natural rubber available to be used in passenger car tires.

It's about damned time.

In Danvers, Mass., the FBI and local police, trying to solve the armored car robbery of the previous day, had thus far been unable to locate any eyewitnesses. The $681,000 robbery had taken place while the guards were inside a drugstore having coffee, apparently leaving the doors to the armored car either open or unlocked. Law enforcement officials believed that witnesses might be reluctant to come forward because of the recent brutal killing of Arnold Schuster in Brooklyn for having spotted bank robber Willie Sutton on the street and turned him over to police. Two men had been shot by police at a roadblock when they failed to stop, but police found nothing in their car connecting them with the robbery.

In Byhalia, Miss., a farmer had switched on his electric milking machine, causing nine of the cows in the barn to die from electric shock and the other cows to become uncontrollable before the farmer could disconnect it. The farmer explained that the motor had shorted out, allowing the full voltage to pass through the line, costing him $3,000 in cows.

You had better nip that in the bud with a proper circuit breaker intervening the machine and the cows' teats.

In Wetumka, Okla., for the second consecutive year, the City Council had designated August 30 "Sucker Day", originating when a smooth-talking stranger had come to town telling a story of a circus on its way, soliciting money from the town's residents to help feed the elephants. The circus never arrived. The Mayor and Chamber of Commerce had suckered themselves recently, however, when on March 15, they had gathered to welcome the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, who failed to arrive because they were supposed to be there on April 15.

A photograph appears of a man in Houston, Texas, a butcher, who had been jailed for trying to sell his three-year old daughter for $500 and an automobile. The man had been divorced from the girl's mother in 1951 and had separated from his second wife, said that he needed the money to pay bills and wanted his daughter to have a home.

But surely she was worth more than that.

Not on the page, eighth-ranked Kansas would win the N.C.A.A. Tounament championship this night, beating tenth-ranked St. John's 80 to 63 in Seattle at about 3:00 a.m., E.S.T. If you slept through it, there is no replay. Sorry. Second-ranked Illinois would get by unranked Santa Clara, 67 to 64, in the preceding consolation game.

This game, as it would turn out, would be the last which Frank McGuire would coach at St. John's, being hired by UNC for the next season, replacing Tom Scott, whose teams had suffered dismal 12-15 records each of the prior two seasons. In the 1956-57 season, coach McGuire would win the national championship at UNC against Kansas and its star, Wilt Chamberlain, in three overtimes, 54 to 53, following the prior night's triple overtime victory over Michigan State in the semi-finals, 74 to 70, finishing the season, 32-0, an undefeated record never since topped, and tied only once, by the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers of Bobby Knight and one of their stars, Scott May, father of Sean May, currently assistant coach at UNC and one of the stars of the 2005 UNC national champions, winning the championship game against Illinois after losing their opening game of the season in Oakland to Santa Clara. In 1958, coach McGuire would hire a member of the 1952 national championship Jayhawks, Dean Smith, then assistant coach at the Air Force, as his assistant coach, to become head coach in August, 1961, when coach McGuire, reeling under pressure from a points-shaving scandal, would resign to coach the Philadelphia Warriors at a then-record coaching salary of $12,000 per year, having received the prior year $11,000 as UNC head coach. Wilt Chamberlain was a member of the Warriors at that time and in 1962, coach McGuire's first and last season with the team before it moved west to San Francisco, would score 100 points in a single game. Coach McGuire took over the coaching duties of the Warriors from future Wake Forest assistant coach, Neil Johnston. Coach Smith would go on to have a fair career at UNC, from which he retired in 1997, surviving being hung in effigy by some students in 1965 after a bad loss to Wake Forest. Kansas assistant coach Dick Harp would become head coach of Kansas in 1956, after the retirement of Phog Allen—who had played at Kansas under the inventor of basketball, James Naismith—, thus coaching young Mr. Chamberlain in his last season at Kansas, missing the national championship by a pair of made free throws at the end of the third overtime by UNC's Joe Quigg, who, with Tommy Kearns, had helped UNC overcome a five-point deficit in the closing minutes of regulation when star Lennie Rosenbluth fouled out with 1:45 to play. Mr. Harp would eventually become an assistant coach to Dean Smith for three years, beginning in 1986. Larry Brown, recruited by coach McGuire and playing for coach Smith in 1962 and 1963, and subsequently an assistant coach at UNC from 1965 to 1967, would, after a short but successful stint as head coach at U.C.L.A. between 1979 and 1981, take over the coaching reins at Kansas in 1983, taking the Jayhawks and their star, Danny Manning, to their next national championship in 1988 before resigning. Roy Williams, then assistant coach at UNC since 1978, would take over as head coach at Kansas in 1988, where he would have a successful 15-season run, losing in two national championship games, one to Duke in 1991, and the other by three points to Syracuse in his last game as coach of Kansas, before accepting the head coaching job at UNC in 2003, and the rest, including three national championships and counting, as they say...

On the editorial page, "Taft Plays with Loaded Dice Only" tells of the Taft forces looking to recoup their prestige in the Wisconsin primary the following Tuesday, after losing to General Eisenhower in New Hampshire and after a heavy write-in vote for the General in Minnesota, where Senator Taft had not been on the ballot. The attitude, suggests the piece, appeared as the little fellow who boasted that he could lick anyone on the block as long as he knew the big boy up the street was out of town, as the General could not be written in on the ballot in Wisconsin.

The previous week, Senator Taft had withdrawn angrily from the New Jersey primary, based on complaint that the Governor and the state Republican organization was planning to campaign actively for General Eisenhower, which he believed to be a stab in the back. But in Wisconsin, the long-time leader of the state Republicans had been campaigning for Senator Taft for months. Thus, it sees no difference between the New Jersey situation and that in Wisconsin, save that one state GOP organization was backing General Eisenhower while the other supported Senator Taft.

"Pardon Us If You Read This Before" tells of the Board of County Commissioners having appointed a County Planning Board shortly after the Monday editorial had hit the streets, prompting substitution for the editorial in later editions. Nevertheless, it repeats the suggestion made in the editorial that it was time for the City Council and the County Commissioners and their respective agencies to join together and work out some plan for jointly financing urban redevelopment.

"'Mr. Good Government'" tells of it often having been said that UNC had been the yeast in the Tar Heel recipe, the essential ingredient which had given rise to progressivism in the state, making it different from the rest of the South. And no division of the University had contributed more to public affairs in the state than the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill.

The Institute had not been the creation of a single person but had grown in a climate made favorable by the North Carolina tradition of good government and had drawn on the full resources of the state, not the least of which had been the intelligent young people who had been attracted to its staff through the years. The Institute, however, had been personified by Albert Coates, "the one continuing influence carried over from year to year." He had recognized that the problems of orderly government posed by the regular graduation of one group of public officials to make way for a new one created problems, and he had developed a system at the state and local levels to minimize the impact of that transition.

A few days earlier, Mr. Coates had received the O. Max Gardner award presented annually by the University trustees to the member of the faculty of the Consolidated University who had rendered the most distinguished service during the previous year. It indicates that he well deserved the belatedly presented award and it adds its own respects.

"All's Not Well Beneath the Dome" tells of the President having written the Washington Star that the Capitol dome was out of plumb and that it would probably one day come crashing down, that the Capitol was as much in need of renovation as that currently being completed on the White House.

The piece agrees but cannot get excited about renovation of the Capitol without first there being some changes beneath the dome. Recently, a News reporter kept track of a vote in the House, explaining how complicated the whole process was without electric voting equipment, as possessed by many state legislatures, permitting a process to be reduced from 22 minutes, as in the observed House vote, to a matter of seconds. It had been estimated that the House spent a tenth of its time just voting. The same was true in the Senate, where there were often as many as four procedural votes on one question, before each of which a spokesman would drone on about the excuses for absent Senators.

It suggests, therefore, that until this "creaky legislative machinery" was replaced by something more modern, the Capitol dome could, as far as it was concerned, come crashing down.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Brothers and Patriots", tells of police often, when they raided gambling operations and seized machines, having to direct their efforts at the clubs of organizations set up in the name of patriotism and brotherhood, which were often supported by these corrupt practices. It posits that it should not require the cops to teach patriots the real meaning of patriotism. When the raids were conducted, brotherhood and patriotism had already jumped out the window.

Drew Pearson indicates that the fellow Senators of Senator Owen Brewster of Maine thought there was more than met the eye behind the $10,000 transaction between the Senator and Henry Grunewald, an undercover lobbyist, wire-tap expert and tax fixer. The Senator had appeared briefly before the subcommittee investigating tax scandals the previous week and testified that he had paid Mr. Grunewald $10,000 to cover up two $5,000 contributions, each provided to Senators Richard Nixon and Milton Young, whose coffers had been wanting, neither of whom, however, had known anything about the deal and were upset at Senator Brewster's testimony. Yet, only a few questions had been asked of Senator Brewster regarding the matter. He had not been asked why he had saved Mr. Grunewald from a contempt citation by the Senate some years earlier, why he had used him in a wire-tapping incident involving Howard Hughes, or whether he had made it a practice, as chairman of the Republican committee on Senatorial elections, to ignore the rules set forth by the party prohibiting contributions to the nomination of some Republicans at the expense of others. Such questions were against the rules of the "club", and so he would not be asked those questions at any later time either.

Notwithstanding the failure of the Senate questioning, he proceeds to lay out the facts with regard to the relationship between Senator Brewster and Mr. Grunewald so that the public could be informed of same. Mr. Grunewald had checked telephone wires for taps on behalf of Pan American Airways, an airline for which Senator Brewster had done many favors in the past. He recaps the history between 1945 and 1947 involving the favored provision of "chosen instrument" status for Pan Am versus TWA, headed by Howard Hughes. During the Republican Congress in 1947, Senator Brewster was made chairman of the investigating committee formerly headed by Senator Truman, and in that capacity, made a series of probes of Mr. Hughes, suggesting to observers that he was trying to force Mr. Hughes to merge with Pan Am. The Senator had engaged in a police tap of the telephone wires of Mr. Hughes and his attorneys at a Washington hotel, as brought out in an investigation by the Senate District of Columbia Committee during the summer of 1950. In that process, Mr. Grunewald had been given a contempt citation for refusing to answer questions, and only Senator Brewster saved him from going to jail.

He explains in detail how the wiretap came about and how he prevented Mr. Grunewald from suffering the consequences of the contempt citation.

Marquis Childs refers to the title of Carl Sandburg's poem, "The People, Yes", as also potentially standing for the process taking place in the primaries, as the professional politicians had twice been thwarted, in New Hampshire, and in the heavy write-in vote for General Eisenhower in Minnesota, accounting for 39 percent of the Republican vote there. Senator Taft had withdrawn from the New Jersey primary after being outraged by the change of position by Governor Alfred Driscoll from neutrality to backing of General Eisenhower, a change of position but for which the machine-controlled counties might have voted for Senator Taft.

Yet, the Governor made his announcement a day before the Minnesota primary, in which neither Senator Taft nor General Eisenhower were on the ballot, but only former Governor Harold Stassen. That announcement had prompted little reply from Senator Taft, who said that he knew all along that the Governor was for General Eisenhower. But then the following Thursday, two days after the Minnesota result, in which the heavy write-in vote had been registered, Senator Taft made his angry withdrawal from the New Jersey primary.

Senator Taft had all of the Republican organization with him in the upcoming Wisconsin primary, and, until recently, it was therefore thought to be not too meaningful in terms of its outcome. But under Wisconsin law, anyone could vote in either primary, regardless of party affiliation. Governor Earl Warren and Mr. Stassen were opposing Senator Taft on the ballot. Write-in votes were not permitted. But a vote for either Governor Warren or Mr. Stassen would be seen as an anti-Taft vote and so the failure to win impressively in Wisconsin would be disastrous for Senator Taft.

He suggests that the Senator ought be aware that his approach to the presidential nomination might be based on a mistaken assumption, as he had been campaigning both in New Hampshire and Wisconsin on an anti-Truman platform. He drew large crowds who approved of his statements opposing the President and his Administration, but whether they were opposed to General Eisenhower versus Senator Taft, was another matter. It was also possible that the Senator was campaigning too hard, to the point where the law of diminishing returns became operative.

Too, his embrace of Senator McCarthy had led many to question the Senator's well-advertised integrity. Many were repulsed by McCarthyism, especially those voters classified as independent, for whom Senator Taft had expressed contempt. Senator McCarthy, in the same speech in which he had attacked the honor of General Marshall as being soft on the Communist Chinese, referred to the "good-natured Ike" who would likely become the dupe of cunning diplomats. Mr. Childs predicts that such things would, sooner or later, come home to roost.

Robert C. Ruark tells of having just bashed in his radio with a Scout ax because he could stand no more the maudlin music being played. It had gotten to the point, he suggests, where one could not switch on the Hit Parade without drowning in tears "in sympathy to whatever bird-brain is rendering one of the loser's-weeper ditties of the day." He specifies Johnnie Ray as one of the worst offenders, making the listener yearn for the days when Frank Sinatra had been in his bloom. He regards Mr. Ray as suffering from "some sort of vocal epilepsy" which attacked him violently whenever he sang, forcing him to "rend his garments, moan piteously and rub ashes in his hair." He looked to make millions as he shook himself to pieces during his rendition of "Cry".

He regards the tastes of music lovers as mercurial, with "hillbilly schmaltz" popularized by Patti Page in "Tennessee Waltz" and a thousand imitations of it, suddenly transformed into a blackened mood.

For the previous few years, popular tastes had turned to folk songs, but of the "old doleful lament formula", which fattened on tragedy, personal or public. His boyhood compadres had thrived on "Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven" and "The Sinking of the Titanic", and some liked "Letter Edged in Black". But he could not recall a comparable period in which the dolorous had been so pervasive.

He indicates that the songs themselves were not to be dreaded so much as the reaction to them, which, undoubtedly, would be comprised of a siege of horrible, cheerful songs, in which "day", "sun", "early morning" and "get out of bed with a smile" populated the lyrics. "The average mood is that life is a lovely thing indeed, if you will just arise at 6 A.M., fling back the covers, reach for your teeth, and smile, stupid, smile if it kills you." He states that as a man who had not smiled before 4:00 p.m. in 20 years, he found such cheery songs more offensive than their opposite number, which suggested suicide as an antidote to the way things were.

A letter writer objects to the letter of March 18 which had found dancing immoral, worse than smoking, lending to corruption of young girls. This writer challenges the former writer to prove his thesis, suggests that perhaps the writer had been dancing with the wrong girls. He thinks that the person who could not dance was very unlucky and lonesome. Dancing, he indicates, led the way to popularity and overcoming of shyness, and, in the case of children, made them more confident. He suggests to the former writer that people did not dance just so they could snuggle on the dance floor but rather because they liked to dance, that a person who had "evil thoughts" every time he danced with a girl was quite abnormal and in the minority.

A letter writer also responds to the same letter, finding the former writer narrow-minded and probably without children, or he would know that having a group of kids in for an evening to dance to the record player and then sending them home for a good night's sleep was far safer than having them gather on street corners with broken down hot rods, racing up and down the streets like speed demons. She had five children, all of whom would dance because they had seen their mother and father dancing. She was 30 years old and had danced for about half her years, experiencing "full pleasure from it" and planned to dance as long as she was able to move. She indicates that it was fun and that the previous letter writer should try it.

That "full pleasure" though is hedonistic and devilish, the work of Satan. Life is supposed to be all pain, just as the birth pains indicate God's intent for the human race, condemned as Sisyphus, just as the hot-rodders. Maybe nobody explained that to you, lady. Someone needs to provide you a monkey wrench and set you to work on a car, so that you can understand life better, that it is not a bowlful of cherries for your pleasureful fancy in dancing in space and time to your heart's content. It is grim and ugly, dark and disgusting. Why else would men dig coal in the ground when they can enjoy forms of clean energy in a modern environment? You need to understand better man's predicament.

A letter from the foster parents of the four-year old boy who had been taken from their home in favor of new adoptive parents at the behest of the Welfare Department tell of it being a "dreadful thing" to break the ties of friendship and love after 27 months in their home, but that they were sure he would make new friends, even if finding playmates the equal of those he had befriended since he was a baby being "almost impossible".

He'll probably link up with some hot-rodders who just go, and never dance, an activity for Satanic swishy, little sissies...

A letter from a minister, chairman of the steering committee for the Ministers Association, reiterates the things already expressed to the newspaper for its help during the recent Charlotte Preaching Mission. He especially thanks Ann Sawyer of the newspaper for her reporting.

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