The Charlotte News

Friday, April 11, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Eisenhower had received clearance this date to resign his post as supreme commander of NATO on June 1, freeing him to return home to campaign for the Republican presidential nomination before the Chicago Republican convention convened on July 7. The White House had confirmed, as previously rumored, an exchange of letters between the General and Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett regarding the matter. The General had written on April 2, asking for Mr. Lovett to "initiate appropriate action" for his release on approximately June 1 and Mr. Lovett's reply had confirmed that it was acceptable. The President had also exchanged letters with the General, both of which, according to press secretary Joseph Short, had been personal and cordial, and would not be made public. There was no announcement yet as to General Eisenhower's successor. The General had formally assumed his command a year earlier on April 2. He said in his letter to Mr. Lovett that he considered the specific purposes for which he had been called back to duty to have been "largely accomplished".

By June 1, the story points out, only 148 of the Republican delegates, out of a total of 1,205, would remain to be selected, including the 70 in California. General Eisenhower would face Senator Taft on the ballot only in South Dakota, which had only 14 delegates at stake.

Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York had suggested that the Senate Labor Committee invite General Eisenhower to provide his views on civil rights "as soon as he becomes 'Mr.' Eisenhower." Mr. Powell said that he had addressed a letter to the General and his reply had been that he simply could not find the time to "make the detailed studies and analysis required to answer the questions" which Mr. Powell had submitted. The General had also indicated that there was a question of propriety as to whether an officer on active duty in the military should publicly discuss the issues contained in the letter. Mr. Powell had suggested that the General should resign his NATO post and come home immediately, so that the American people would stop voting for a candidate who could not indicate to the people what he believed. Mr. Powell had suggested that the General employ a black person, whom he was sure would have to be a Republican, to help him answer the questions regarding civil rights.

The Atomic Energy Commission announced this date that it was planning to build a new billion-dollar plant and that its search for a site was focused on the Ohio River Valley. The plant was expected to employ between 4,000 and 5,000 workers.

We shall look forward to that with glowing optimism.

Six first lieutenants at Randolph Air Force Base near San Antonio had refused to fly and others had asked for voluntary suspension from flying, with one of the six officers facing a court-martial as a result for disorderly conduct. That officer had disappeared. No reason had been given for the refusal of the six to fly, but the San Antonio Light had reported that maintenance of the planes on the base had been under criticism during recent months. Eight B-29 bombers had crashed since August, 1950, when a B-29 training program had begun at the base. Fifteen fliers had been killed when two B-29s had collided in the air north of San Antonio the previous month.

A Pan American Airways DC-4, with 69 aboard, piloted by the husband of singer Jane Froman, had crashed and sunk in the harbor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, this date. There was no immediate information regarding survivors. The plane had flown from New York. During the war, Ms. Froman had been involved in a plane crash in Lisbon harbor, while flying to the front to entertain troops on February 22, 1943. Her future husband, involved in the current crash, had been the co-pilot of that plane, in which 24 persons had died. Both Ms. Froman and her future husband had been tossed from the wreckage of the earlier crash into the Tagus River, both having been seriously injured, but her future husband had managed to hold Ms. Froman's head above water, saving her from drowning. They had been married in 1948. She had spent three of the ensuing five years in hospitals recovering, needing a wheelchair and crutches to get around until recent years. The movie about this experience, "With a Song in My Heart", had just been released a week earlier. Her husband would survive the crash again, but their marriage would not, ending in divorce in 1956.

The greatest flood on the Missouri River in history was sweeping toward downstream communities this date after dropping during the night at Pierre, S.D., from its record crest of just over 25 feet, ten feet above flood stage. The river, normally 1,000 feet wide, had spread over five miles, stretching 30 blocks into Pierre. The Red Cross had declared twelve Nebraska and Iowa counties disaster areas, and in South Dakota, 13 counties had encountered flooding. Floods were also reported in North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Damage accumulated into the millions of dollars. The downstream cities of Omaha and Council Bluffs were preparing for a predicted crest of 28.5 feet, about 6 feet above that which had caused havoc in the previous great flood of 1943. Dikes had been erected in the wake of the previous flood, but were two feet lower than the predicted high water-mark on this occasion.

It was reported from Washington that floundering negotiations in the attempted settlement of the steel dispute had prompted reports that the Administration might make its own wage deal with United Steelworkers president Philip Murray. Such a deal would likely provoke another round of legal objections by the steel industry. Presently, after the seizure of the industry by the Government, the individual companies continued to run the businesses, with the Government only in a nominal role.

In Detroit, the strike by 18,000 telephone workers in Michigan was settled, apparently opening the way for settlement nationally in the telephone industry. Details of the settlement were not announced, but it was based reportedly on a 12.7-cent increase in the hourly wage. The strike nationwide involved 260,000 telephone workers.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports that an estimated 700 Southern Bell employees in Charlotte continued their scheduled walk-out at 6:00 a.m. this date as a demonstration, curtailing long-distance operations. Pickets paraded back and forth in front of the central exchange offices and the equipment storerooms. Union leaders indicated that the walkout was based on a dispute over union bulletin boards which were removed by company officials in those two buildings. There were no pickets at the local commercial office, according to the union local president, because the union's bulletin board there was still in place.

Mr. Fesperman, in his column on the Feature Page, responded to a young woman who wanted to know about the newspaper business and had written a letter seeking information.

He probably should advise her first to take a hike through hell to have a foretaste. But we may be confusing that with the legal profession.

The prices of bread, cake and pie, according to the Office of Price Stabilization, would be increasing within the ensuing 30 days, with bread going up a penny per loaf and more expensive cakes, by as much as a nickel.

On the editorial page, "A Boost for Better Government" tells of the President the previous day sending to Congress a reorganization plan which would take the Post Office Department out of politics and cause postmasters to be subject to the Civil Service system rather than political patronage. The reorganization plan included also the Treasury and Justice Departments. The plan would become law unless vetoed by one or the other of the houses of Congress within 60 days.

It indicates that the extent to which the patronage system was abused had been revealed some time earlier by Senator Clyde Hoey's investigating subcommittee which had found that in Mississippi, disabled veterans had to pay local Democratic politicians as much as $1,000 in cash to obtain posts which paid $3,300 annually in salaries, despite the men having established their qualifications for the jobs.

The Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report had vigorously urged this plan and approved it, as it removed politics from the appointment of postmasters.

The piece regards it as good news, as a bill providing for essentially the same changes had been bottled up in committee for two years. It anticipates the same kind of cries from members of Congress against the plan which had proceeded against the IRB reorganization plan, recently approved by Congress.

The other two plans submitted the previous day by the President, involving customs collectors and U.S. marshals, would also take those positions out of politics and subject them to the Civil Service system, though less important in terms of patronage than the postmasters.

The President had announced his intention to send to Congress more reorganization plans, at the same time, on March 29, when he had announced that he would not run again for the presidency, but the announcements had been overshadowed by this latter statement. The piece indicates that the President should have sent the plans along some time earlier, but he had now at least kept his word, and indicates that the burden now shifted to Congress to prove their sincerity in professing to want better Government by approving, or at least not disapproving, of the plans.

"Seven Years Ago Tomorrow" tells of Charlotte residents having gathered around the Southern Railway depot at around midnight on April 13 seven years earlier, to see the mournful train pass carrying the body of President Roosevelt from Warm Springs, Ga., back to Washington, and then to Hyde Park, N.Y., for burial. Most of those who had watched the train pass had shed "unashamed tears". People had gathered not only at railroad depots but also alongside the tracks in small towns and in front of farms, to catch a glimpse of the train. The Associated Press had reported that people stood beside railroad tracks even so far away as in Arkansas and Idaho, just to wave a symbolic goodbye at a passing passenger train, as if the vibration of the tracks had been enough to provide the sense of great loss in the country.

It was a time "'when history seemed to stop and take another breath.'" For a week there had been a moratorium on all controversial matters, and the newspapers ran editorials and eulogies, with everyone understanding that they were part of a great historical drama regarding the death of the President.

Seven years later, more had been written about FDR than nearly any other man in history, with the exceptions of Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon, and the writing about Mr. Roosevelt had only begun. It suggests that FDR's figure had already begun to stand above controversy and bitterness, and that it would not be long before it would rise also above party lines, just as Democrats on occasion laid claim to President Lincoln. It could therefore foresee a day when Republicans might claim FDR as one of their own.

"A Bow for Stassen" tells of former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen deciding to throw in the towel on his presidential bid and return to his position as president of the University of Pennsylvania, after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary, despite promises to poor Federal funds into the sagging New England textile industry if elected, and in his native Minnesota, where he had offered to split his delegates with General Eisenhower, only to wind up with no delegates to split. He had also been beaten in Nebraska, where he was on the ballot, by both Senator Taft and General Eisenhower, both of whom were only write-in candidates. Yet, even then, he had remained in the race until the Illinois primary, during the campaign for which he had denounced McCarthyism, an issue which he had previously sidestepped.

It concludes: "You're going out a loser, Mr. Stassen, but can walk away proud that you shook off Jumping Joe."

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel, titled "Turn the Light on N.C. Lobbyists", tells of State Representative Joe King of Forsyth County, in advocating a stronger lobby for teachers during the next General Assembly session in Raleigh, having fairly turned the spotlight on lobbies. It suggests that the more light which could be shed on that subject, the better it would be for good government in the state.

In the previous session of the Assembly, a member of a legislative committee had, in open hearing, asked a lobbyist present if it would be acceptable to report the bill then under consideration.

It suggests that the answer to the question of how much power lobbies had in the Assembly would provide interesting newspaper stories, as in the case of the Denver Post, which had found during the session of the Colorado Legislature that lobbyists were "the third house". The newspaper had thus assigned a reporter full-time to cover the lobbies, the reporter finding that there were 112 lobbyists to influence the State's 98 legislators. The work of the reporter had caused the defeat of a bill to legalize slot machines, after he identified the lobbyists behind the bill, causing a flood of protests from readers all over the state.

It concludes that only the lobbyists who preferred darkness rather than light would object to such publicity being given to their work.

Drew Pearson tells of the former deputy IRB commissioner, Dan Bolich, who had managed an expensive lifestyle on a Government salary and having recently refused to answer on the ground of self-incrimination the questions propounded to him by the subcommittee investigating the tax scandals. Before he had known that committee investigators were focusing on him, he had testified freely in executive session, and Mr. Pearson had obtained a transcript of that testimony.

Mr. Pearson had, in a column of December 17, 1949, suggested that Mr. Bolich, being an acquaintance of gambling kingpin Frank Costello, had managed to kill the prosecution of one of the largest tax-fraud cases against Los Angeles gamblers, the Guaranty Finance Co. In another column, he had told of how Mr. Bolich mysteriously intervened to end the prosecution in a six million dollar tax case against Mid-Continent Petroleum. Mr. Bolich was later revealed to have spent $63,000 more than his Government salary during a five-year period.

He presents excerpts from Mr. Bolich's earlier secret testimony, in which he claimed to be behind the eight-ball financially and that living in Washington had caused him to overextend himself financially, to the extent that he questioned whether it had been worth it to engage in Government service, given his financial loss. He explained his friendship with a merchant from Ohio who had paid him $400 per month, totaling over $30,000, indicating that the man was an old and dear friend of his family and had become his benefactor in recognition of Mr. Bolich and his wife having opened their home to the man after his wife had died. Yet, in the public session, Mr. Bolich had refused to talk about this relationship and the benefaction of his old friend.

He denied that he and his wife had ever entertained or traveled extensively, other than to Atlantic City three times in the previous 20 years, having been devoted to raising his family and educating them. His income tax returns during his time in Government service had indicated only his Government salary, plus small amounts, except in 1948, when he had listed $7,850 in additional income, which came from a $750 bet against 10-to-1 odds that the President would be re-elected. But the investigation later was able to piece together at least $63,000 in additional income during that same period.

He had stated that his resignation was submitted because he had reached his limit in what was "turning out to be a pretty fast ball game" due to his health, and requested a "quieter assignment". He had said that it was the whole story, but, Mr. Pearson indicates, it appeared to be only a small fraction of it.

Marquis Childs tells of the Point Four conference in Washington, probably to be crowded out of the news by the coverage of scandals and firings, but nevertheless more important than those large-headlined stories. The purpose of the conference was to develop a method in which American capital could be invested in underdeveloped countries to the mutual profit of all concerned. The Government's role in Point Four was only to supply guidance and technical expertise, but the main task of supplying advanced production and technology in the underdeveloped countries was for private industry.

So the conference included such business leaders as Nelson Rockefeller, Eric Johnston and Paul Hoffman.

To act as incentive for investment, for one percent of the amount of capital invested, the investor would be repaid out of a Government financed insurance pool should a revolution or some other political upheaval cause loss of the investment.

Not all of the country's capital could be invested at home and neither could the country expect indefinitely to be able to export several billion dollars more in goods than it was receiving in imports. And if other peoples abroad were to purchase American products, they had to be able to earn the money to afford them.

The Soviets had presented an economic conference at which some impressive proposals had been made to expand East-West trade. The State Department had dismissed these efforts as propaganda, but to the unemployed of Italy, Germany and the cotton textile centers of Britain, as well to economically depressed masses of the Middle East and Far East, they would have great appeal. Only a constructive and expansive Point Four program would answer the Soviets' dubious economic proposals.

Deceased columnist Raymond Clapper, who had been killed eight years earlier while flying aboard a mission in the Pacific as a reporter, had a son, Peter, who was presently fighting as a Marine officer in Korea. Mr. Childs suggests the fact as giving pause for reflection, that without the continuing effort to build a stable peace, the drift would be toward ever greater wars, with ever more destructive weapons.

Robert C. Ruark tells of having read a column recently by a colleague, Frank Conniff, and being moved to pity, as Mr. Conniff was a compulsive New York Giants fan, regarded by Mr. Ruark as a "widespread disease" in New York City. Mr. Conniff had continually used the word "champion" in reference to the Giants, causing Mr. Ruark to think that there was nothing in life so pathetic as a true Giants fan. It was reported that there were $600,000 worth of advanced sales of tickets to the Giants home games, suggesting that Giants fans were satisfied with practically nothing.

He regards a Giants fan as being nothing more than a Washington Senators fan, moved to a bigger city. In Washington, the fans of the Senators were moved whenever the team escaped the second division. In one season, it had even been considered a triumph when the Senators beat out the Philadelphia Athletics for seventh place.

He suggests that the worst pennant winner he had ever seen had been the Yankees of the previous year, using "a combination of old bums and raw recruits" to toy with the Giants in the World Series for the first four games, giving them one here and one there, before wearying "of association with bushers and knocked off the Giants' head with a fungo handle." Only because the Yankees had been so feeble did they not do it in the first four games. He analogizes the pennant win by the Giants the previous year as being as "tough as cleaning out a paralytic ward with a bulldozer." The Dodgers had taken sick and blown a 16-game lead during the last days of the season. In his thinking, they should have declared the winner of the National League pennant ineligible to appear on the same field with grown men.

So he regards Mr. Conniff as being deluded into believing that the Giants were really a "champion", "the grossest libel on a superlative" which he had seen since Jack Doyle had been referred to as a prizefighter.

A letter from the president of the Jaycees indicates that the Jaycees had just completed a six months course in model airplane instructions for a group of young boys between ages eight and fourteen, covering complete basic principles of aerodynamics, from a simple glider to a complicated rubber-powered model.

Now, the Charlotte Exchange Club was going to instruct them in the use and construction and flying of gas-powered models.

The Jackson Training Home officials had stated that their boys were quite interested in model aviation. He suggests that the reduction of juvenile delinquency was accomplished by interesting young people in something constructive, and model aviation represented a program which had proven its worthiness in the betterment of the community and the country.

He indicates that the Jaycees did not feel that it was their responsibility to furnish recreational facilities for such programs and that the Park and Recreation Commission was better equipped to provide such facilities, though probably not obligated to do so. He indicates that the Jaycees would be glad to cooperate with the Commission and other organizations in following the spirit of Charlotte's young air enthusiasts to afford a satisfactory field for them.

A letter writer from Greensboro says, with three exclamation points, that he detested Charlotte and so had left, "alive, thank God". He indicates that over four years earlier he had moved to Charlotte from Atlanta, but had found in Charlotte the "most cutthroat businessmen, pseudo-society dames, and their spouses, and the whole city full of spoiled brats, puffing on cigarettes at the tender age of 14 (or under) with their parents', and with school officials' blessings." He had found the country clubs populated with "nouveau riche ex-ribbon clerks posing as the '400', and in their nescience believing they were doing a good and passable job." Most of all, he had abhorred Charlotte's radio and television stations, especially the latter, where the programming was striving for a new low and succeeding in a big way. He also believed that the city's politics smelled and that the local politicos would do anything to get their names in the paper, especially Basil Boyd, member of the City Council and former Solicitor. He indicates that the only Queen he associated with Charlotte was Delilah of the Bible, "beautiful to look at, but treacherous to associate with any closer than 100 miles."

He concludes: "I've left, and I'm glad. Also, I shall stay gone."

He didn't seem to care for Charlotte.

A letter from a shut-in, trying to recover from a long illness, indicates that the three most important people to appreciate were one's doctor, one's nurse, and one's minister, and wishes that God might bless them all.

A letter from "Taxpayer" indicates that, having been reminded, in the recent controversy regarding transfer of ownership of the city's bus lines from Duke Power to another company, the old streetcar tracks buried beneath the surface of the streets had begun to show up in places, causing the need for repaving, which the writer regards as not being the responsibility of the City—presumably implying that the responsibility was that of Duke Power, which had originally run the streetcar lines.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial column and was especially grateful for its April 3 editorial, titled "Here's Your Forgotten Man".

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