The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 22, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Jack Bell, that angered Southern delegates to the Democratic convention in Chicago were rebelling this date against a loyalty pledge adopted by the convention, requiring the delegates to do all they could to ensure that the party nominee appeared on the ballot of their state in the fall. The angry delegates were challenging the Truman Democrats to throw the Southerners out of the convention. Georgia and South Carolina had voted not to take the pledge, claiming it would be in conflict with state laws and state party rules. Louisiana's delegates adopted the same position. All, however, rejected walking out of the convention, as the Dixiecrats had in 1948.

In light of this development, Congressman Gene Cox of Georgia told reporters that Senator Richard Russell's name might not be placed in nomination, that the amendment to the rules would give the general election to the Republicans, and that the Southern Democrats would sit out the remainder of the convention until they were kicked out. Georgia Governor Herman Talmadge said that the delegates would return to their "seats as the sovereign state of Georgia". Senator Russell said that he would have to see how events turned out before making any statement.

Vice-President Alben Barkley had withdrawn from the race the previous night. Averell Harriman indicated that he would remain in the race. Senator Estes Kefauver, leading in delegates coming into the convention, gave no signs of withdrawing.

At the same time this bitter division was transpiring, it was reported that Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, around whom, it was believed, the Democrats might unite, had indicated that he would accept the presidential nomination if offered. Governor Henry Schricker of Indiana told reporters that Governor Stevenson had informed him that if he were offered the nomination, "he couldn't turn it down." Governor Schricker said that he would place Governor Stevenson's name in nomination. Governor Stevenson, however, indicated that he had not spoken with Governor Schricker since the previous day during a breakfast for visiting governors, and that he had told him at that time only that he wanted to run again for Governor of Illinois and hoped that Governor Schricker would help him. By all the signs, however, the convention appeared to be moving toward offering the nomination to Governor Stevenson.

Congressman John F. Kennedy of Boston announced that a Congressional committee for Governor Stevenson, numbering about 15, had been formed under Mr. Kennedy's leadership.

The Governor, meanwhile, continued working at his office during the day, removing himself from convention business. Newsmen had asked him about whom he might select as a running mate, to which he had replied that he had given no consideration to that prospect and did not concede for a minute that he would receive the nomination. He referred reporters to Matthew 26:39: "O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt."

The platform subcommittee drafting the civil rights plank appeared split three ways among its 19 delegates. Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington, who usually voted with the Northern wing of the party, told a reporter that he could not support a plank with an anti-filibuster rule recommended to the Senate. He said that he thought it was dishonest to suggest that they were going to do something which they knew could not be accomplished. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama—to become the vice-presidential nominee—said that he agreed with Senator Magnuson on the matter. He was supporting Senator Russell for the nomination, and had not been among the Dixiecrats who had bolted from the party in 1948. Senators Herbert Lehman of New York, William Benton of Connecticut and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota had predicted adoption of both a stronger civil rights plank and the recommendation for change of Senate rules. They contended that until the Senate rewrote its rules, there would be no chance of getting Congress to enact civil rights legislation, because of the difficulty in closing off a filibuster. Senator Sparkman said that he believed that the Senators pushing the anti-filibuster issue were doing so on behalf of the presidential bid of Averell Harriman. He and Senator Magnuson, as well as several other members of the platform drafting committee, had told a reporter that they believed a bitter floor fight would be in prospect unless the platform were written in general terms to avoid the specific language which angered the Southern delegates. Senator Magnuson said that he believed that they could adopt the 1948 plank again, provided it dropped some unnecessary terms from its preamble, which he believed were superfluous. He said that the only way the Democrats could change the Senate rules was to elect enough Senators to vote for the change. He indicated his belief that there would be no serious opposition to a general statement about the need for Congress "to improve or facilitate the legislative processes."

The chairman of the North Carolina delegation to the convention, former Governor and Senator Cameron Morrison of Charlotte, along with other members of the delegation, did not like the loyalty pledge, but the delegation had instructed the chairman to inform the convention credentials committee that the state's laws already required that the nominees for President and Vice-President be placed on the ballot. Jonathan Daniels, on the credentials committee, had urged that the delegation provide the assurance required by the new rule, notwithstanding the fact that it was perhaps being given under duress. Senator Willis Smith said that he favored doing nothing about the rule as he did not like being made to say what they wanted him to say. The North Carolina delegation had unanimously opposed the adoption of the rule.

Tom Fesperman of The News indicates that at 1:30 in the morning, five hours after the night session of the convention had begun, with everyone tired, Mr. Morrison had remained adamantly opposed to the loyalty resolution, confronting Senator Blair Moody of Michigan, the sponsor of the resolution, about the matter. Time had run out on the opponents' debate, and the Moody-Humphrey-Roosevelt forces had only another minute for their own rebuttal, but surrendered the microphone to Mr. Morrison, described by Senator Moody as, "A grand old Democrat." Mr. Morrison, about to turn 83, claimed to be the oldest delegate at the convention, and said that he had never seen anything like the loyalty pledge, which he described as a "tyrannical action". He said it was not just against Texas, Mississippi or Louisiana, but would take away the prerogatives of the individual generally, and North Carolina stood against it.

The South Carolina delegation, chaired by Governor James Byrnes, refused to take the loyalty oath. The Governor said that the state party preferred to affiliate with the national Democratic Party but that its delegates were unwilling to pledge themselves to support any action taken henceforth by those in control of the convention. Former Governor Strom Thurmond stated that he had made the motion in the caucus. Governor Byrnes was opposed to the nomination of Governor Stevenson because of what he called his "sugar-coated" attitude on civil rights. The delegation reserved the right to say whether it would support the convention nominee and platform. The delegates remained committed to Senator Russell. Two leaders in the delegation, Senators Burnet Maybank and Olin Johnston, stated, however, that they believed that Governor Stevenson could get the nomination if he reached for it.

Reporters a few days earlier had asked Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., whether he might become a candidate for the vice-presidency, to which he had replied that it was "an iffy question and a silly one." At 2:00 a.m., he had taken the podium as one of the speakers, speaking only for five minutes, but appeared to be someone who was going places in politics in the near future. He was wearing a blue summer suit, a "televisible blue-and-white tie" and sporting a Harriman button, for the campaign that he was managing. The delegates were not in an amiable mood, as he was speaking amid the argument over the loyalty pledge, but Mr. Roosevelt had suddenly changed the atmosphere, "as though a breath of fresh air swept through the blue haze of tobacco smoke and the hot, silvery light." Delegates by the thousands arose, clapped and cheered at his approach to the microphone. He spoke fluently and off the cuff, without ever struggling for a word, exhibiting less of the voice resonance and practiced timing of his father, but, nevertheless, held the audience spellbound. The spontaneous ovation following his short talk was greater than at the beginning. He and Governor Stevenson had "set many a Democrat a-wondering."

In Denver, General Eisenhower named New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams to his campaign as a kind of chief of staff—a position he would hold with respect to President Eisenhower.

In Marianna, Fla., a six-engine jet bomber exploded in flight, killing its crew of four and setting a suburban house on fire, taking the lives of two young children, ages five and three, playing in their yard.

In Whiteville, N.C., Thomas Hamilton, the Imperial Wizard of the Klan, pleaded guilty to charges of flogging of a black couple on the prior November 16, entered in Columbus County Superior Court this date. Four other defendants in the case had already pleaded no contest in the flogging. Mr. Hamilton had been charged as a co-conspirator in the matter. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges, carrying a total maximum penalty of four years in prison. The judge did not immediately pass sentence.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, Margaret Truman spent the day shopping and sightseeing, telling reporters that she would leave the next day for the music festival in Salzburg, Austria. She later had plans to tour Scandinavia and Germany.

On page 2-B, columnist Earl Wilson tells of having attended the national convention of the Elks and finding it a pleasant and thoughtful group who also had fun at their gathering.

On the editorial page, "Southern Democrats Asked for It" regards the divide between the Northern and Southern wings of the Democratic Party, having flared into the open the previous first night of the Democratic convention in Chicago. Senator Moody and others had introduced a proposal to have all delegates enter into a loyalty pledge, to do all in their power to see that the nominees would have a place on the November ballot in each state. That such a resolution even had to be offered showed the deep division within the party.

The Southern spokesmen who spoke out against the resolution had not been convincing, saying that it would conflict with their state laws, was a slur on the great traditions of the Southern Democratic states, and that it passed moral judgment on the delegates. It finds none of these things to be true, that it had been made necessary by the fact that five Southern state conventions, by technically recessing instead of adjourning, had served notice that they would not support the party nominees or the platform if they were not to their liking, essentially an ultimatum which no modern party would accept.

It concludes that the rebellious Southern states had seen the handwriting on the wall, that they no longer were controlling the national Democratic Party. It suggests that they could quit the party, which might wreck the chances for a Democratic victory in the fall, while also ending for all time the "unnatural marriage of conservatives and 'liberals' that has made a mockery of party responsibility the past six years."

"Americans Are Not Just Pawns" tells of political speakers not being expected to buttress all of their arguments with logic, that showing up the Communists was often a proper reason for taking actions. But it was distressed at the way Democratic and Republican speakers at the conventions were, repeatedly, resorting to this latter argument, failing to accord humanitarian reasons along the way.

Senator Paul Douglas had been discussing Korea, and said that one of the reasons the country had not resorted to bombing Chinese bases was that many women and children would be killed, providing the Communists with another propaganda weapon. Former Congressman Maury Maverick of Texas had said that he wanted protection of civil rights so that the country could "win against Communism".

It finds that sometimes it appeared that the country had gone backward from the precepts of a few years earlier, when the citizenry disavowed mass bombing, incendiary bombing, and atomic attack, weighing an issue on its own merits, its benefits to democracy and humanity. It asserts that the American people remained humanitarian in their thinking and wanted their leaders to emphasize it, instead of viewing each action or suggested action as another move in an international chess game. It concludes that human justice could be a more compelling force than anti-Communism.

"Nuts to Ideology—How Fast Is He?" tells of the sporting columns always having been the last island of refuge for manly escape, but being bothered of late by the portents observed in those pages regarding the 1952 Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland. During the week, when the track and field events were ongoing, the Helsinki reporters had continued to ask such questions as whether Russia could beat the U.S., why the Russians were being so friendly, and whether the Russian athletes were under orders from Stalin. If anything of a tense nature arose between the Soviet and American athletes, the reporters filed tense dispatches regarding the issue.

In finds that ever since the first modern Olympics in 1896, the stresses of global conditions had caused problems to arise. In 1908, the Swedes and Americans were at loggerheads, and in 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States had placed a dent in Hitler's proclamations of Aryan supremacy.

It asserts that national pride was fine in its place, but should be secondary at the Olympics, where the important issue was who could jump the highest and run the fastest. The Olympic committee in 1952 had admitted the Communist Chinese to the games, implicitly agreeing that politics had no place.

"All in the Family" tells of the Administration, the previous week, having been described, or having attributes ascribed to it, as: "odorous fleshpots … political rapscallions … corruption and immorality … traducers … tormenting minions of vice and venality … political vultures … wastrels and squanderers … pompous and arrogant Lilliputian leadership … spurious emanations from Washington bureaucracy … mess of Pendergast pottage…"

It indicates that none of the usual suspects, General MacArthur, Senator Taft, former President Hoover, or Senator McCarthy, had issued these denunciations, but rather they had emanated from former Governor of Virginia, William Tuck, a Democrat.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "We All Know She's Boss", finds that various women through history, from Cleopatra to Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Marguerite of Navarre, du Barry, and Jeanne d'Arc, had shown that power and prominence were not characteristics exclusive to men.

Britain's Ministry of Labor had determined that a cook was an executive, after an attorney was reprimanded for hiring a cook without the Ministry's permission. He had argued that the cook's job was executive in nature and therefore not subject to the control of the ministry, with the Ministry eventually agreeing. The well-being of the household depended on the administrative ability of the cook.

The piece finds that the ordinary housewife, therefore, was, likewise, entitled to recognition as an executive. It expresses gratitude to the British Government for providing women a status commensurate with the hours and services provided.

Drew Pearson, in Chicago, finds that one did not have to go any further than Chicago's 24th ward, sometimes referred to as the west side "terror ward", to understand some of the paradoxes and problems of the Democratic Party. The Democratic committeeman for that ward was Arthur X. Elrod, also commissioner for Cook County. He was congenial and likable, but was sometimes known in the city as a friend of hoodlums, as his ward was one in which hoodlums flourished. But he was also known as a friend of some of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, and whenever Vice-President Barkley had come to Chicago for a Jackson Day dinner, Mr. Elrod was always on the reception committee to welcome him. He also had pictures of himself with the President and with the Vice-President.

Mr. Pearson posits that the paradoxes and problems of the party arose at this point, as part of the Democrats' support came from Mr. Elrod, who received his support, in turn, from hoodlums, enabling him to receive $50,000 per year, despite visible means of support being limited to his modest annual salary of $7,500 paid by the County. He had been probed by the Kefauver crime committee, and, in consequence, as a member of the Illinois delegation, wanted to block Senator Kefauver's nomination.

He was not unlike some other Democratic stalwarts from the crime-ridden sections of Kansas City, New York and Miami, who had no more in common with the leaders of the agricultural South than Mr. Kefauver had with Mr. Elrod, disagreeing on everything from civil rights to oleo margarine to the St. Lawrence Seaway.

He finds that the situation was not unlike that faced by the Republicans in Chicago two weeks earlier at their convention, when the Old Guard leaders of the Taft wing of the party had local control of the convention machinery, and yet the Eisenhower-Dewey wing had managed to take over. With the Democrats, the duel was with the big city wing, with men like Mr. Elrod and others controlling local mechanics of the convention. Despite Senator Kefauver having swept the Illinois primary, men like Mr. Elrod would stop at nothing to block his nomination. He next provides a list of the shady persons who had contributed to Mr. Elrod's campaign in 1950 for commissioner of Cook County.

With all these facts before them, it was not surprising that the City Council of Chicago had just voted overwhelmingly to send out a questionnaire inquiring about influence peddling. Mr. Elrod had responded to the Kefauver investigators on the issue of his income by stating that he had received miscellaneous income when Jacob Arvey had gone into the Army, as he had taken over some of the influence that Mr. Arvey had previously had. Mr. Arvey was the Democratic boss of Chicago, who had worked hard to try to convince Governor Stevenson to enter the race, an attempt to block Senator Kefauver.

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, tells of the South being the tail which was wagging the dog in both the Republican and Democratic conventions. He finds it one of the strangest ironies of American history that nearly a century after the Civil War, the struggle between the two regions of the country still shaped the politics of the major parties. It had been the quarrel between the disputed delegations in Georgia, Texas and Louisiana which had made it possible for the managers of General Eisenhower to win the nomination for him. And now, in the Democratic convention, the controversy was brewing over states' rights and civil rights, placing the South in a position to tip the balance.

As a result, the South only had a negative power. In 1948, had all 124 Southern electoral votes been switched from either the Dixiecrat candidate, Strom Thurmond, who took 38, or the President, who had taken the remainder, to the column of Governor Dewey, the latter would have won the election. But such a sweep was not likely for the Republicans. Yet, in a close election, four or five Southern states could be decisive, especially as Texas controlled 24 electoral votes and General Eisenhower's electors could be listed on the Democratic ballot, enabling Texas Democrats to vote for the General without the prejudice of casting a ballot for Republicans.

The candidate perhaps best qualified for the presidency, because of his experience and capability, was Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. But, because he was from the deep South, he was disqualified in the view of most Northern delegates because of his inability to attract minority votes in the North in sufficient numbers to win the election. In an interview provided since his arrival at the convention, Senator Russell had confirmed reports that he had made efforts to compromise the civil rights issue.

Representative Brooks Hays of Arkansas had, three years earlier, introduced a bill which would have created fair employment commissions around the country, responsible for mediating charges of discrimination in employment based on race, creed or color. Its findings of violations would have entailed no fines or jail sentences, and therefore would largely have been educational. Senator Russell had told the President that he was willing to accept that proposal, and several Southern members of Congress would have followed suit. But the President nixed the idea, according to the Senator. And the effort at the convention by the liberal-labor wing of the party had been to obtain a compulsory FEPC plank, even if it meant a floor fight and walkout of many of the Southern delegates.

Mr. Childs indicates that a documented study would probably show that actual living conditions for blacks were at least as bad in the Northern cities as in the South, perhaps even worse. The blame for the condition could be placed in large part on the large migration of black workers from the South to the North during the war, but politics was also a factor. Chicago, itself, was a striking example, with an estimated black population of 510,000, confined in an area which formerly had housed 270,000, resulting in great overcrowding, especially given that during the prewar years, this 270,000 had lived primarily in old tenement housing. According to objective observers, ward bosses had resisted public-housing development in many instances and did not want newcomers of another race or color moving into their wards, over which they held sway, upsetting the balance. Black families were seeking exit to better accommodations, resulting, a year earlier, in the riots in Cicero when a black family sought to move into the predominantly white town.

Northern Democrats could make the argument that a compulsory FEPC law was the only way to continue pressure such that improvement could be made in the status of blacks. There had been some improvements in both the South and the North, but to families crowded into aging slums, with no chance for achieving a more decent way of life, the rate of change had to appear hopelessly slow. They were ready for any political promise which seemed to mean the fulfillment of long-deferred hope.

Joe Hall of the Associated Press, in Chicago, regards Vice-President Barkley's announcement the previous night that he was taking his leave from political life, in which he had been a participant for 47 years. Rumors had begun to circulate that he would exit the presidential race prior to his scheduled 11:00 p.m. announcement, delayed until after midnight, prompting reporters to begin filing stories on the matter before official word had come.

The Vice-President was staying at the Blackstone Hotel, where the nomination of Warren Harding had occurred in a smoke-filled room in 1920 during the Republican convention. Reporters were called into the corridor or outside Mr. Barkley's seventh-floor suite for the announcement at 11:00. Only a few had shown up at first, until word spread, prompting others to arrive at the scene, until more than a hundred were on hand prior to midnight. Eventually, the Vice-President's press secretary issued a statement to the reporters, indicating that the Vice-President would not hold a news conference but that he was withdrawing from the race.

Mr. Barkley had entered politics in 1905 as the district attorney of McCracken County, Kentucky, then becoming a judge in 1909 in that county, and in 1912, was elected to Congress, where he served for 14 years, until winning his Senate seat in 1926, to which he was re-elected three times, eventually serving as Majority Leader from 1937 to 1947, then being tapped to be the vice-presidential nominee to President Truman on the 1948 ticket.

Mr. Barkley would run again for the Senate in 1954 and win, but would then die in April, 1956 at age 78. Thus, by chance, had he become the Democratic nominee and won the general election, all things held equal, he would not have been able to complete his term.

A letter writer tells of his family cat, "Smokey", having departed from his ninth life on the evening of July 12, and, wanting to spare his children sorrow over the passing, he had arisen early and taken the remains to the basement to its final resting place before the children awakened. He then went to bed. He arose early on Sunday morning, placed the remains in the car and drove to what he believed was still the City incinerator, only to find that it was a textile machinery warehouse. He then consulted the police to determine what to do with the remains of Smokey, as one, with clear conscience, could not leave a dead cat lying around. Two courteous officers on Trade Street had advised him to take the remains to the animal shelter, where he was informed that they could not accept the remains. The shelter directed him to the dumping grounds on Statesville Avenue, to which the remains of dogs were taken. He provides directions to that location so that others might follow, without the necessity of the circuitous journey he had to take. He says it would take only a half hour to do so, against the one hour and 15 minutes it had taken him.

His name, incidentally, is Archie J. Thornhill. Whether he is kin to Roger Thornhill or George Kaplan or to the pumpkin, or sold a Model A on the cheap to a boarder in his home or owned an Underwood typewriter, he does not indicate. But J. Edgar Hoover's men should definitely go check that dump and perform an autopsy on Smokey, to ensure that there were no untoward Red flames involved in the death or Red food which hastened the demise faster than by the natural consequence of wear and tear suffered during the allotted "three score and ten".

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., the state chairman for the Eisenhower-for-President headquarters in South Carolina, finds that history would record the Republican convention as revolutionary in its conclusions and implications, and that regardless of party affiliation, every voter would feel the impact of its results. He explains his reasoning.

Well, while undoubtedly for reasons which he could not foresee at this point, he was entirely correct.

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