The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 16, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Chicago, Senator Herbert Lehman of New York had pledged a floor fight at the Democratic convention, if necessary, to obtain a strong civil rights plank in the platform. The platform drafters were about to begin their public hearings at the Hilton Hotel. Senator Lehman said that he would insist on a plank at least as strong as that in 1948, which would include a compulsory FEPC. That plank had led to a walkout from the convention of the Dixiecrats. The Southern delegates were opposed to such a compulsory FEPC. Senator Lehman also said that he would press for a change in the Senate's cloture rule on ending filibusters, frequently employed to block civil rights legislation, to allow for ending debate by a vote of two-thirds of the Senators present rather than two-thirds of the entire membership as presently required. The Senator, a member of the platform drafting committee, supported Averell Harriman for the nomination.

Former Attorney General Francis Biddle, head of the Americans for Democratic Action, in a statement to the drafting committee, replied to Republican platform criticisms of the Yalta conference in early 1945 and regarding the decisions by the Truman Administration on the Far East, saying that no American needed to apologize for Yalta and that the country would be happy to be living in the world set forth in the Yalta agreements, which had been broken by the Soviets to enslave Eastern Europe, Manchuria and China.

The feud between Southern and Northern Democrats over civil rights and party loyalty appeared headed for a showdown at the convention, to start the following Monday, with a contest over seating disputed delegations from Texas, with 52 delegates, and Mississippi, with 18 delegates, perhaps to determine the issue and whether there would be a Dixiecrat-type bolt from the convention. The fight was between the anti-Administration faction and the pro-Administration faction in those two states, the anti-Administration factions having reserved the right to support another third-party ticket if the presidential ticket and platform were not to their liking. The Mississippi delegation had endorsed Senator Richard Russell.

Senators Kefauver and Russell were both headed to Chicago this date. Spokesmen for Governor Adlai Stevenson and for the President had issued statements the prior day which appeared to remove both from the list of possible nominees. DNC chairman Frank McKinney had said at a two-hour press conference in the White House on Sunday that the President had informed him that he had meant what he said when he indicated on March 29 that he was not a candidate, and Mr. McKinney stated further that he would consider it his duty to discourage any attempts to begin a draft movement. In Illinois, Jacob Arvey, the strongest supporter of Governor Stevenson, said that the Governor had tied his hands and that it was almost impossible to nominate a man under those circumstances, indicating that he doubted it could be done at this juncture.

In Korea, U.S. carrier planes hit power plants at Changjin Reservoir in Northeast Korea the previous day, while the battleship Iowa struck enemy rail yards and coastal guns. Low-hanging clouds limited airstrikes otherwise, but U.N. jets destroyed 26 supply shelters behind enemy front lines northwest of Chorwon.

In ground action, U.N. infantrymen fought a tank-supported night attack against a hill position on the central front, a hill which the allied troops had taken from the enemy the previous month. Enemy tanks shelled the hill for four hours the previous night, after which enemy troops sought unsuccessfully for two hours to reach the heights. Elsewhere on the front, there were only sporadic patrol skirmishes.

The Department of Defense announced that U.S. battle casualties in Korea had reached 112,843, an increase of 715 since the previous week, of whom 132 had been killed in action, for a total of 17,783, 587 had been wounded, for a total of 82,493, the remaining roughly 13,000 missing.

Near Tokyo, 58 U.S. Thunderjets landed at Yokota Air Force Base, completing the largest mass jet overwater flight in history, 10,895 miles across the U.S. and the Pacific from Turner Air Force Base in Albany, Georgia. One of the 59 jets which had embarked on the journey had exploded over Iwo Jima the previous day, killing the pilot. The other 58 pilots were told that they would be assigned to Korea occasionally for combat. The jets were the first operational type equipped for aerial refueling.

In Virginia, Senator Harry F. Byrd won renomination in the Democratic primary, having campaigned on the issue which he called "Trumanism". The Senator was supporting Senator Richard Russell for the presidential nomination.

The President entered Walter Reed Army Hospital this date in Washington, after having been stricken with a mild virus infection on Sunday. Press secretary Joseph Short told reporters that he might remain in the hospital for two or three days. His fever was reportedly about gone and the infection nearly cleared. White House reporters could not recall any previous time in which the President had been in the hospital for as long as two or three days since becoming President in 1945. His White House physician made the decision to admit him.

In Pittsburgh, the wage policy committee of the United Steelworkers was to meet the following Monday to determine the union's next step in the 45-day old strike, following a brief negotiating session the previous day which had ended in a deadlock. Union president Philip Murray and the vice-president of Bethlehem Steel issued a joint statement saying that both sides could not find common ground on the issue of the union shop, and there was no indication when another meeting might be held. Presidential aide John Steelman had spent a long time on the telephone talking to both union and industry representatives during the previous day's session. No word had come immediately from the White House after Mr. Steelman had urged both sides to stand by. The industry said that its latest offer included increased benefits of approximately 25 cents per hour for the workers, presently averaging wages of $1.95 per hour. The sticking point remained the union shop issue.

In Baltimore, a female doctor who specialized in delivery of babies was placed on probation for deliberately switching one baby to the wrong parent. The judge entered no finding of guilt in the matter to avoid loss of the physician's license, indicating that she had been "foolishly stupid" but not evil in her action. She had not stood to gain any monetary benefit from the switch and had never done anything like it previously, attempting in the instant case to do good turns for two patients at the same time. One of the patients desperately wanted a baby and had already lost one, and the other patient had become pregnant before her marriage to a college student and had informed the doctor that she would not keep the baby after it was born. The latter baby was then turned over to the first patient after the second patient entered the hospital under the first patient's name. The matter would have gone undetected but for the city's Bureau of Vital Statistics happening to notice that the first patient supposedly had given birth to two children five weeks apart. The doctor had been charged with falsifying a birth certificate and violating adoption laws. The first patient had begun proceedings legally to adopt the baby.

In Huntsville, Alabama, a man lost his false teeth in the Tennessee River at the boat harbor, and borrowed a diving rig to search for them, finding the lower plate on Monday, but still hunting for the uppers.

On page 3-A, a report appears on a building located near Lumberton, which was dedicated to fighting cancer.

On Sunday afternoons in the summertime, we would go over there and get Coca-Colas from their vending machine.

On the editorial page, "What Will the Democrats Do?" finds that the difficulty of the Republicans in selecting a nominee had been easy compared to the job ahead for the Democrats, both because of the profusion of candidates and the confusion of issues. It reiterates its oft-stated reasons for support of General Eisenhower for the Republican nomination and states that, as an independent newspaper, it would like to see a strong, trustworthy standard bearer for the Democratic Party also.

It finds that Averell Harriman was too much of a Fair Dealer, that Vice-President Alben Barkley was too old at age 74, that Senator Robert Kerr appeared as a phony, that Senator Brien McMahon appeared as an opportunist, and that House Speaker Sam Rayburn was a "rather humdrum party lackey". It had also not seen any talent among the long list of favorite son candidates.

That left Senators Russell and Kefauver, plus Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. It thinks that, of those three, Senator Russell was the best qualified in terms of experience and that he was also a man of great ability, honesty and integrity, who was more progressive than many of his Southern supporters, with a record of supporting Administration domestic and foreign policies. But his supporters in the South were a problem, and it appeared inconceivable that the national Democratic Party would nominate someone whose strongest supporters, in coalition with Republicans, had blocked most major postwar Administration domestic programs. It concludes that he could not therefore be taken seriously until he proved that he had enough delegate strength outside the South to make him a stronger contender in the fall election.

Governor Stevenson was the best candidate from the party standpoint. He was not so well known but that was not a grave handicap in the days of mass communication. He was liberal without being radical and was a strong believer in local and state responsibility. He had an impressive reform record as Governor. But, it finds, he may have destroyed his chances for the nomination by being overly hesitant in seeking it, having declared numerous times that he did not want it.

Senator Kefauver had been a hard and successful campaigner, was politically astute, well known, and an energetic enemy of crime and corruption, with a consistent progressive record in domestic affairs as well as being a strong internationalist in foreign policy. The big city bosses did not like him because of his crime investigation, a point in his favor with the people but a handicap insofar as gaining the nomination. For him to obtain the support of the party chieftains at this late stage would create the impression that he had compromised on his commitment to sweep out corruption from Washington.

It concludes that Senator Russell would be the newspaper's preference, but that from a party standpoint, Governor Stevenson was the best candidate, especially if he had a Southerner as his running mate, and that Senator Kefauver could not yet be counted out.

As an "independent newspaper", you could have fooled us for the last six months, appearing to be little more than a mouthpiece advocating the nomination and election of General Eisenhower, while now giving only tepid lip service to any of the Democrats. We think your independence has given way to open advocacy for a Republican administration and Congress.

"Refreshing Words from England" finds it refreshing to note the resolution with which the British Government had upheld the right of the "Red Dean" of Canterbury to say what he pleased, despite his continuing "castigations of the West and his party line parroting." For about 15 years, he had been echoing Soviet charges, and recently, after returning from China, via Moscow, had said that the Communist claims that the U.N. forces were using germ warfare in Korea were "conclusive and irrefutable". Some Britons had demanded that he be ousted from his position, one MP even suggesting that he be tried for treason. Some American Protestant clergymen in England had sent Queen Elizabeth a note, suggesting that something be done about him.

The British Attorney General, however, issued an opinion saying that "the evidence available does not disclose a prima facia case of treason". Prime Minister Churchill had indicated the Government position that free speech carried with it "the evil of all the foolish, unpleasant venomous things that are said, but on the whole we would rather lump them than do away with them." He believed that establishing a tribunal to investigate the Dean would invest his activities with "an importance they do not deserve".

Thus, the British had reaffirmed the principle that the voicing of unpopular ideas or falsehoods did not constitute treason, a principle, it ventures, which was often confused in the U.S. It concludes that the British stand would bolster the cause of freedom more than the diatribes of the Dean would detract from it.

"Substitute" tells of the newspaper having received, unsolicited, free copies of the USSR Information Bulletin and other pamphlets published by the Russian Embassy in Washington, that each had been useful in trying to follow the Communist dialectics, checking Russian interpretations of "history", and plotting the curve of adjectives they utilized to praise Stalin.

The previous day, the State Department had retaliated against Soviet limitations on the distribution of the U.S.-published magazine, Amerika, by banning further publication and distribution in the U.S. of the Russian Embassy's pamphlets. It tells of shedding no tear at the loss, as there were more interesting ways to exercise the mind, such as following "the mental contortions of our political leaders in an election year."

"Phooey on Democrats" discusses its hope that the demonstrations for candidates at political conventions were about to become passé. It indicates that the professional demonstrators, who reportedly had received $20 per person to demonstrate for selected Republicans, would object, as would "the class of '07 cheerleaders who jiggled and jumped before the TV cameras in a final burst of faded glory." So would the acrobats. The only demonstrators for whom it would feel sorry were the "skid row types" who had been issued corncob pipes for the MacArthur demonstration. It ventures that since the latter demonstration did not get underway until the wee hours of the morning, the demonstrators might have been the only available personnel, welcoming the money with which to purchase "a better brand of booze".

It suggests that unless the Democrats used restraint in their demonstrations, there would likely be a popular revolt against such a "corny and meaningless anachronism" in the tv age. The Republicans had presented four of them, with Harold Stassen having lacked enough funds and friends to support one. It foresees at the Democratic convention a sea of coonskin hats for Senator Kefauver, an organist playing "Oklahoma" for Senator Kerr, who had enough money to present the original cast in the entire show, a Southern delegate "hustle for Russell", and then further demonstrations for Averell Harriman, Senator McMahon and Vice-President Barkley. And by the time Governor Adlai Stevenson, Senator Hubert Humphrey, and Speaker Sam Rayburn, plus other possible nominees, would be placed in nomination, everyone would be too exhausted to dance even a slow version of the "Missouri Waltz", should the President change his mind and allow the convention to nominate him.

It urges them to save the energy for the campaign and provide the announcers, Betty Furness and the 65 million people tuning in the chance to sleep some before the balloting began.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, tells of Charlotte's Health Department, in its 35 years of existence, having come to employ 94 persons. He provides its history and proposes in a three-article series to describe its work, the criticism sometimes leveled at its policies, and provide replies from City and private doctors to those criticisms.

The six basic services of the Department were sanitation, vital statistics, maternal and child health, health education, communicable disease control and laboratory services. It also performed water fluoridation, engaged in planned parenthood instruction, controlled nuisances, cared for crippled children, and provided information on better nutrition. It cost $2.79 per resident for the estimated population of the city of 141,000, though not all of its budget was spent on Charlotte residents. It furnished other countywide services, including X-rays, a VD clinic, laboratory, vital statistics and meat inspection, receiving reimbursement by the County for those services, the $2.79 per capita rate resulting.

He proceeds to provide greater detail of the uses of the money, first looking at sanitation, including inspection of eating establishments, conducting a week-long course in handling of food, inspection of dairies which provided milk to eleven local pasteurization plants, also the subject of inspection, changing of the water in municipal swimming pools every eight hours, supervision of sewage disposal, rodent control, and cessation of water service when bills were not properly paid.

The City veterinarian inspected all meat sold in the city which had not been checked previously by a licensed inspector, all of the meat which originated within the state. There was also regulation of grass and weeds, checks of garages to ensure proper precautions against accumulation of carbon monoxide, assurance of industrial hygiene, and a radiological inspection of X-ray equipment. Participation by businesses in those surveys was voluntary, but most of the businesses cooperated.

Other services of the Health Department would be explored the following day.

Drew Pearson tells of oil millionaire, Senator Kerr of Oklahoma, spending money right and left, as other Democratic candidates appeared to be operating on a shoestring budget. The Senator was issuing printed material at the forthcoming Democratic convention, and reports indicated that several delegates had been offered $500 as expense money to attend a Kerr meeting in Salt Lake City, with the Senator flying a number of delegates to the meeting in his private plane. Senator Walter George of Georgia had turned up in Los Angeles recently, announcing that he was supporting Senator Kerr for the nomination. He told the Kefauver headquarters that he was aware that the Georgia delegation was committed to vote for the Senator on the first ballot but wanted them to know that Senator Kerr would be the choice if Senator Kefauver was no longer in the running. On the afternoon of the same day, a man appeared at the office of the ticket agent for the Santa Fe Railroad, handling the special train to Chicago for the Kefauver people. The man answered to the description of Senator George. He took out a wad of $10 and $20 bills, approximately $1,700 worth, and told the ticket agent that he wished to purchase seven lower berths and one double bed on the Kefauver train to Chicago, plus the regular train fare, costing over $1,600, which he then paid, asking the agent to keep his deposit confidential. The next morning, three delegates for Senator Kefauver had received anonymous letters containing ticket receipts and instructing them to pick them up at the Santa Fe office.

Since the California delegates were pledged by law to Senator Kefauver, any attempt to influence their vote through a free train trip to Chicago could be a criminal offense. But it appeared that the three Kefauver delegates were not accepting the train ride.

Another supporter of Senator Kefauver, a sub-alternate delegate, received a telephone call from a man who introduced himself as a friend of State Senator George Luckey, stating that he was aware that the delegate had campaigned with Mr. Luckey for the President and that he was aware that a lot of the members of the delegation needed money, which he wished to discuss with him. He said that he wanted to arrange for the three delegates to come over to their side after the first ballot, at which point the delegate said that by law, the entire California delegation was committed to Senator Kefauver on all ballots until released. The caller then promised to pay their train fare, all expenses, plus $1,000 if he could convert the three delegates, and would also take care of the expenses of those delegates. The sub-alternate delegate cussed the man out, saying that he had worked for over five months in Kefauver headquarters without any pay, and then hung up.

Mr. Pearson concludes that whoever was trying to buy the Kefauver delegates in California was not having much success thus far.

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, regards the question of whether feuding factions within the Republican Party could unite around the most popular candidate they had put forth as a nominee during the prior 20 years, suggesting that the answer was likely to determine whether they could win in November. He would view the question from the perspective of the party and the candidates in each of two successive columns.

General Eisenhower had a great deal to learn about campaigns during the ensuing three and a half months, as did the people who had engineered his victory at the convention, as well as those who sought desperately to stop it. He compares it to the 1948 nomination of the late Wendell Willkie, also a popular figure with the appeal of a newcomer to the political arena, hated by the Old Guard bosses, as they hated General Eisenhower presently.

The bitterness to be overcome was greater than it had been 12 years earlier. An editorial in the Chicago Tribune on the eve of the nomination had called General Eisenhower "Wall Street's darling", denouncing him, along with the President and Governor Dewey, as the tool of big banking interests. Mr. Childs notes that the editorial might have come right out of Pravda, suggesting that international aid was merely a device to swell the profits of the bankers.

The night before the nomination, a pamphlet, issued by the Taft campaign, had been circulated around the convention hall, bearing the headline, "Sink Dewey!" David Ingalls, manager of the Taft campaign, had denied knowing of its origin, but regardless of that, it was in keeping with the propaganda line he had adopted from the beginning of the campaign in January, when he characterized the General as a glamour boy.

In 1948, it had been assumed that victory would come to the Republicans easily, as the President was discredited and the Democratic Party, demoralized. During that campaign, Governor Dewey had campaigned repeatedly in states where Senatorial and gubernatorial candidates on the Republican ticket were diametrically opposed to his positions. The same dichotomy would be even more apparent in 1952. If, for instance, General Eisenhower campaigned in Wisconsin, he would be confronted with Senator Joseph McCarthy, who had repeatedly denounced the General's good friend, General Marshall, as a traitor. In Indiana, he would encounter Senator William Jenner, a committed isolationist. In Nevada, he would find Senator George Malone of the same stripe, and in Missouri, Senator James Kem had repeatedly sought to hamstring the program for collective security. The General would not be served if these realities were ignored by the new national chairman, Arthur Summerfield, and the others directing the General's campaign. He could not rely on the bland assumption that the Eisenhower magic would lead to victory. Nor would he be served by a series of comfortable compromises calculated to make the Old Guard feel a little happier.

Mr. Childs urges that the General should not allow himself in the ensuing weeks, through inexperience and ignorance, to be pushed in different directions by conflicting sets of political managers, that he should be himself, and that to do that would not be easy in a national campaign.

Robert C. Ruark finds the selection of Senator Nixon as the running mate for General Eisenhower on the Republican ticket to have been "as happy a political event as has come down the pike in recent years." He finds that apart from being personable, able and young, the Senator marked a "fresh trend".

Mr. Ruark had always believed that the Vice-President was as important as the President, because of the fact that a heart attack, assassination, or plane crash could transform the Vice-President into the President. Yet, the country had treated the job as a joke for many years. It was used as a reward for "faithful party hacks" such as Alben Barkley or "the plum of pets such as Henry Wallace." It had been the seed of compromise, as in the case of the selection of Senator Truman in 1944, when the party bosses would not tolerate another term of Vice-President Wallace. In actual practice, the vice-presidency had been a "baby kissing-contest judging-secondary speechmaking job", with not much significance in fact.

He asserts that Senator Nixon would be a "strong arm" for General Eisenhower, serving perhaps as an excellent chief of staff for the General's chief talent of organization and administration.

Mr. Ruark liked most the fact that neither of the two had been long-time professional party politicians, and so could be free from the customs of the political machine. He regards the ticket, therefore, as possibly ushering in a new day in government.

His primary reason for being pleased with the choice of Senator Nixon was that he was of Mr. Ruark's generation, having become mature in the previous war and during the postwar period. Such men were not concerned with the "good old days" because they did not recall them. They were educated during the depression and their careers had been interrupted by the war, with the postwar period cursed by inflation, corruption, inefficiency and the threat of a new war and sudden extinction via the atom bomb.

He indicates that the Taft supporters' attempt to steal the Texas delegation was an example of "perfect politics" for the generation of Senator Taft. That attempted grab had finally done his candidacy in, as most observers agreed that he would have had the nomination otherwise.

General Eisenhower's conduct since the beginning of June when he returned to the U.S. after leaving his position as supreme commander of NATO had broken most of the old fashioned rules of campaigning. Until the beginning of the year, it had not been known to which party he belonged and he could be regarded, at age 62, as being a part of the present generation, insofar as his awareness of the moment was concerned. With Senator Nixon running with him, he regards the ticket as having come into being on "modern merit". He notes that the Senator had been responsible for sending Alger Hiss to jail, and his entire Congressional experience had come since 1947. The team could not possibly be as beholden to private favor and personal indebtedness as those who had made their careers in politics, with their loyalties in another, simpler generation.

If you believe all that, you need to go back to Africa and do some more wild game hunting.

Seventeen years from this date, July 16, 1969, fifty years ago, Apollo 11 was launched on its 240,000 mile three-day journey to lunar orbit and the first manned landing on the moon, June 20. Already beset by the ironic twist that the mission occurred on President Nixon's watch after the goal had been set for landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade by President Kennedy in 1961, the Chappaquiddick incident, involving the drowning of former 1968 campaign worker for the late Senator Robert Kennedy, Mary Jo Kopechne, after a car allegedly being driven by Senator Ted Kennedy had gone off a wooden bridge into a pond off Edgartown, Mass., would occur during the Apollo 11 journey, late on the night of July 18, the news of the incident not being aired until the evening of July 19. With the Manson-family murders in Los Angeles and Woodstock in New York to come during the ensuing month, it was a strange time for the country—befitting a rather strange President and his strange Presidency.

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