The Charlotte News

Friday, August 1, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. Fifth Air Force stated that U.N. pilots had shot down three Communist MIG-15 jets and damaged two others over North Korea this date, as clearing weather brought renewed intensity to the air and ground war. Planes from a flight of 32 U.S. Sabre jets battled elements of more than 60 enemy jets for more than 10 minutes near the Manchurian border. Allied losses, if any, would be reported only weekly.

During July, according to the Fifth Air Force, allied pilots destroyed 32 Communist planes and delivered some of the most crippling blows of the war, while losing 19 planes.

In the ground war, U.S. Eighth Army infantrymen recaptured the crest of Old Baldy hill in a bloody eight-hour fight on the western front. It was the first intense ground fighting since the previous Saturday, following six days of heavy rain.

James A. Michener, in another in his series of reports from Korea for Holiday Magazine, tells of being with the U.S. Marines and it being "just another day", though for him, a "strange introduction to the fantastic war" which they were fighting north of Seoul. He had started early with a helicopter ride to the front, the side of the helicopter having been ripped away so that he could hang over the edge and look straight down at "the strange, sweet beauty of Korea". Though the men were dug into bunkers and deep trenches, incoming enemy shells killed some of them each day, and the day of his report, more than 900 enemy shells would hit U.S. positions. The temperature rose to 114, heat the likes of which he had never known, even when he had visited the equator. He finds it a "stinking, steaming, dangerous war". In mid-morning, he had visited an isolated hill four miles behind enemy lines, completely surrounded by Chinese Communist territory and looking down upon the negotiation tents at Panmunjom. Looking through the glasses, he could see 18 Communist soldiers filtering down a hill they mistakenly thought to be within the neutral zone, to set up a gun with which to harass the American-held hill. A lieutenant at his side had called down an artillery strike which had landed on the enemy and inflicted heavy casualties. The young lieutenant showed no sign of triumph. Less than a week earlier, 17 of his buddies had been killed by the Communists near the same spot.

Associated Press correspondent Marvin L. Arrowsmith reports that General Eisenhower was meeting this date with his campaign high command to set forth plans for his presidential campaign and perhaps decide the role of a citizens group seeking a major assignment. The latter questions centered around how to involve that group without causing friction with professional politicians around the country. Those included in the huddle were Senator Richard Nixon, the vice-presidential nominee, and Arthur Summerfield, the new RNC Chairman. Governor Sherman Adams of New Hampshire, the political chief of staff for the campaign, and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., of Massachusetts, who had managed the pre-convention campaign, were also on hand. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, chairman of the Republican Senatorial campaign committee, who had placed in nomination Senator Taft's name at the convention, would join the group this night. The Senator had been named by Mr. Summerfield, who also had been a Taft supporter, to an Eisenhower strategy board in an effort to provide party unity. Also present were Walter Williams of Seattle and Mrs. Oswald B. Lord of New York, the co-chairmen of the Eisenhower Citizens Committee.

In Springfield, Illinois, Governor Stevenson this date invited three defeated Democratic presidential candidates, Senators Estes Kefauver and Richard Russell, and Averell Harriman, to confer with him at the Executive Mansion regarding campaign funds. Wilson Wyatt, mentioned as probably having a prominent role in the campaign organization, had been huddling with the Governor since the previous day.

Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket, told Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., of New York that he would "work wholeheartedly for the Democratic program" both during the campaign and after becoming Vice-President. The Senator refused to be pinned down on a series of specific questions regarding civil rights, which Mr. Powell had propounded in a publicized telegram. The Senator said that he could not give blanket assurance in advance as to his action on every measure, but said that he had told the Chicago convention, in accepting the vice-presidential nomination, that he had worked closely in drafting and in the final adoption of the Democratic platform. He said that he was confident that the people once again would choose the Democratic Party "as the vehicle of our liberal faith".

Governor Stevenson had taken a slight lead over General Eisenhower in editorial support among daily newspapers in the Carolinas, bucking a trend in the South, where there had been a rush to back the Republican ticket. Sixteen daily newspapers responded to an Associated Press poll the previous day which asked them which ticket they were supporting, with five saying they were for Governor Stevenson and Senator Sparkman, with a sixth indicating it was leaning that way, while the other ten, some of which had worked for nomination of the General, said they had not yet taken a position. The Raleigh News & Observer, edited by Jonathan Daniels, was the largest Carolinas newspaper to back the Governor thus far. The Jacksonville News and Views also backed the Governor. The Florence Morning News, the Anderson Independent and the Anderson Daily Mail, in South Carolina, also endorsed Governor Stevenson. The Spartanburg Journal was also leaning toward the Stevenson-Sparkman ticket.

The same survey of nearly 100 newspapers in 11 Southern states showed that 41 had endorsed General Eisenhower or would do so soon. But the editors were not much more opposed to Governor Stevenson than they had been to President Truman in 1948, when the anti-Fair Deal sentiment was divided between Governor Dewey and the Dixiecrat nominee Strom Thurmond. Combined, the latter two had drawn more Southern endorsements than had the President, with 24 of the newspapers surveyed having been for Governor Dewey and 22 for Governor Thurmond. At this point, only 22 newspapers in the region had endorsed Governor Stevenson, whereas 35 had supported President Truman in 1948. In the end, however, it was likely that Governor Stevenson would garner a similar amount of editorial support. Twelve of the newspapers which had endorsed the President in 1948 had not yet taken a stand and 13 of the editors who had favored the 1948 Dixiecrat ticket also had not yet taken a position. Only four newspapers which had supported Governor Dewey in 1948 had not yet stated their preference, while nine who had remained neutral in 1948 were now supporting General Eisenhower. The Republican ticket was also favored by four newspapers which had backed the Dixiecrats, while Governor Stevenson picked up only one such endorsement. Twenty of the newspapers supporting the 1948 GOP ticket expressed support for General Eisenhower. Despite the presence on the Democratic ticket of Senator Sparkman, seven of Alabama's daily newspapers had endorsed General Eisenhower, including both newspapers in each of Birmingham and Montgomery.

The Agriculture Department this date designated the entire states of South Carolina, Maine and seven additional Arkansas counties as disaster areas because of the severe drought conditions, enabling farmers to obtain quick and easy credit loans from the FHA in order to remain in production. The entire states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, and large parts of Missouri and Arkansas, had already been named drought disaster areas.

In Durham, C. C. Spaulding, president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, died at his home this date at 77. He had been one of 14 children of a former slave. The insurance company he had headed had over 146 million dollars in coverage on over 620,000 policyholders. He also headed the bank with assets of more than five million dollars. He had served as chairman of the board of trustees of Lincoln Hospital in Durham and was a trustee of Howard University in Washington, Shaw University in Raleigh and North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham. He once had recalled that the first office for the insurance company had rented for two dollars per month and that he had performed the janitorial work on the office himself each morning and then went out as an agent, then later in the day put on his coat and became general manager.

Emery Wister of The News reports of hundreds of Korean War veterans packing the offices of the North Carolina Veterans Service Commission in Charlotte this date to apply for mustering out pay. Korean war veterans had until July, 1954, to apply for the pay. The law provided for payment of $100 to veterans with less than 60 days of service, $200 for those with 60 days active but no foreign service, and $300 for those with 60 days or more of foreign service since the start of the Korean War on June 26, 1950. Mr. Wister had interviewed several of the veterans receiving the payments and most said that they would use it to pay bills.

At Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington this date, a photograph was made public of "unidentified aerial phenomena", taken by a 21-year old Coast Guard photographer, showing four round objects, each appearing to have two identical shafts of V-shaped light extending across their center and protruding at the forward and rear ends. The Coast Guard said that it had no opinion as to the cause or source of the "objects" and was releasing the picture only because of widespread public interest in the phenomena.

The Martians were obviously indicating their support for the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket.

On the editorial page, "A Perennial Problem Appears Again" tells of the City Council having an interest in the question of operation of Charlotte buses, despite authority regarding routes, schedules and fares resting with the State Utilities Commission. The Council could do nothing but accede to the latest request of Duke Power Company to curtail service and raise fares. It reminds the Council that Duke was operating the buses at a large loss, that state law required that each utility service stand on its own feet, that Duke wanted out of the bus business, and that to break even, it had to curtail services or raise fares or both. It suggests these basic facts to the Council for its consideration and indicates that the problem was tied up with the City's traffic and parking problems.

It urges the Council to be selective in endorsing any requests to curtail bus service and to be receptive to the request for higher fares, assuming the requests were properly documented. It indicates that there would be no incentive to provide a superior public transportation system for the city as long as it was losing money for the company providing it.

"Another General Gets Off Light" tells of Maj. General Robert Grow, former military attaché in Moscow, who had kept a personal diary reportedly containing demands for war and details of his own spying activities, and which had fallen into Soviet hands, having been convicted on two counts, improperly recording classified information and failing to safeguard it, with the punishment of a reprimand and suspension from command for six months. He could have faced five years in the brig and dismissal from the Army with forfeiture of pay and allowances. General Grow had a fine combat record, but so, too, had some enlisted men who had received greater punishment for lesser offenses. It suggests that a general, particularly an intelligence officer, ought to have had a better understanding of security precautions than to keep a private diary containing classified information.

It posits that as with the Koje Island prison camp riots and the taking hostage of the commandant of the camp, the responsible officers had gotten off light in proceedings maintained under a veil of secrecy. It wonders whether the secrecy was not intended to hide greater blunders rather than to preserve security. It urges that such doubts could be dispelled were the full story publicized or submitted to Congressional or judicial scrutiny.

"A Wonderful But Unlikely Shock" tells of the President having shown a remarkable ability to discern the temper of the times and act accordingly, even when it displeased some of his friends, as when he abandoned the supporters of the Fair Deal in favor of the nomination of Governor Stevenson, while making amends with the South.

Recently, former New York City Mayor William O'Dwyer, Ambassador to Mexico, had stated that he had no intention of giving up his citizenship and practicing law in Mexico, reminding of the pattern of "littleness in little things" which characterized the President, who had appointed Mr. O'Dwyer Ambassador at the time his Mayoral administration was being connected to police and underworld corruption in New York City, during the Kefauver crime committee investigation. It thus posits that it would be true to form for the President to replace Mr. O'Dwyer as unceremoniously as the prior Ambassador to Mexico had been dismissed, returning him to an eagerly awaiting New York grand jury.

Also in this form would be retirement by the President of his military aide, Maj. General Harry Vaughan, or to give him an assignment commensurate with his military ability. It suggests three other such possibilities, none of which it expected to happen. "Apparently a man who rises nobly during the requirements of the time in some actions remains chained to his past in others."

"The Defense Build-Up Levels Off" tells of the free world's defenses, as with U.S. political parties, tending toward moderation in the present time. The goals for rearmament had been watered down and stretched out, Congress having appropriated about 6 billion dollars less then the amount sought by the Administration for military and foreign aid. Strikes and bottlenecks had added to the slowdown. Timetables had been found to be unrealistic and the target date for M-day was changed from 1954 to 1955.

France, plagued as always with inflation, found that its defense funds would not produce as much armament as originally thought. Cuts in U.S. aid to France had further reduced its goals and the French Government had cut French expenditures on all fronts. In Britain, Prime Minister Churchill had said that his country had to divert resources from defense to exports, thus earning more money, to avert bankruptcy. The number of British Army recruits would be reduced by some 30,000 the following year and RAF personnel also might be decreased.

It suggests that the reduction in military growth of the three major Western allies had its risks, especially if the Communists were to launch an all-out attack in the near future. But if the judgment of many informed leaders was correct, that the Russians did not contemplate aggression any time soon but preferred to have the West spend itself into economic chaos, such a slowdown by the West might have its benefits. It suggests that a steady, even pace, permitting completion of the course, was preferable to collapse short of the finish line by sprinting too fast.

Drew Pearson tells of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, and one of the rulers of Washington society, having become either benign or having fallen for the Eisenhower charm. In 1940, after the Republicans had nominated Wendell Willkie, she quipped that he had sprung from the "grassroots of the country clubs of America". After Governor Dewey had been nominated in 1944, she had questioned how one could vote for a man "who looks like a bridegroom on a wedding cake". Both nominees had defeated her close friend, Senator Taft. This time, she was more tolerant of General Eisenhower, telling friends that she was willing to accept the fact that Senator Taft had not made it. She believed that television was spoiling the political conventions.

Some of the backstage deals at the Republican convention were now coming to light. One of them showed why Arthur Summerfield, new RNC Chairman, had switched from Senator Taft to General Eisenhower. As reputedly the largest Chevrolet dealer in the world, he had been under heavy pressure from General Motors to make the switch. According to his close friend, Congressman Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, there was more to it than that, however, that during the discussion over seating the Southern delegates at the convention, Mr. Wolcott had received a frantic phone call from Mr. Summerfield to come to Chicago, and upon his arrival, was told by Mr. Summerfield that he was being pressured by Tom Coleman, the Republican leader in Wisconsin and Senator Taft's floor manager, to back Senator Taft. He was also under pressure from Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan and Congressman Paul Shafer of Michigan to do likewise. Yet, G.M. wanted him to support the General. He asked Mr. Wolcott to act as a mediator in determining the seating of the Southern delegates. He also said that in return for supporting the General, he had been promised the right to fill one position in the Eisenhower cabinet, and he had chosen Treasury and that he would name Mr. Wolcott to that position. Mr. Wolcott had told his friends that he did not feel qualified to become Secretary of the Treasury, but he was glad to help Mr. Summerfield. Mr. Wolcott had then recommended a vote for the seating of the Eisenhower group of delegates from Georgia, taking the heat off Mr. Summerfield, demonstrating that one prominent Michigan Congressman was in the Summerfield corner. In the end, Mr. Summerfield switched Michigan's large block of delegate votes to General Eisenhower, despite the fact that at the Michigan state convention, he had worked to block support of the General. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Summerfield had already been rewarded with the position of RNC chairman.

He discusses the bogged-down Korean truce talks, stuck on the matter of voluntary repatriation of prisoners. The previous December, the U.N. forces had announced that they had 20,699 Chinese prisoners, of whom only 6,400 wanted to repatriate. Some of the U.S. Army personnel had padded the figures of North Korean prisoners by including some South Korean refugees with them, but having announced the figures earlier, they were stuck with them and the Communists would not believe anything else. A press report had stated that the two sides were only 9,000 prisoners apart in reaching agreement, but that was not exactly true. At the beginning of the talks, the U.N. had estimated that about 101,000 prisoners could be returned, but after careful screening, that number had been reduced to 72,000. Meanwhile, the Communists demanded the return of 116,000 and, subsequently, the U.N. pushed up its figure to 85,000 returnees, while the Communists brought their demand down to 110,000, a difference of 25,000, the closest the two sides had come to agreement. The difference of 9,000 previously reported had come from the original estimate by the U.N. versus the latest demand by the Communists, but was still 29,000 more than the U.N. was willing to return. He indicates that it was where the talks stood at present, with the next full-dress session scheduled for August 3.

Marquis Childs tells of the recurring theme for 1948, that it was time for a change, to be used to the utmost by the Republicans in 1952. Yet, there was a powerful counterweight to the notion of change for the sake of change in that there was a vested interest among current Federal officeholders, as well as among those within the trade union movement supporting the Democrats.

The latter had been demonstrated during the Democratic convention with regard to the candidacy of Vice-President Alben Barkley. At a White House meeting ten days before the convention, a decision was made to give the Vice-President a chance at the presidential nomination on the basis that, with the Republicans split in two, the question of Mr. Barkley's age, at 74, would cease being a handicap and that he could unify the Southern and Northern wings of the party. DNC chairman Frank McKinney had put forth that argument. At the same meeting, it was tentatively agreed upon that Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman would be the vice-presidential nominee.

But liberal-labor delegates at the convention regarded such a ticket as only a caretaker ticket, with defeat being a foregone conclusion. Jack Kroll, head of the CIO PAC and George Harrison, vice president of the AFL and chairman of the Railway Labor Executives Association, issued a statement against the nomination of Mr. Barkley, leading to the latter's withdrawal from the race. Shortly afterward, however, the Vice-President received telegrams from top labor bosses warmly praising him for his pro-labor record and assuring him of their friendship. This group included Philip Murray, president of the CIO and the United Steelworkers, John L. Lewis, head of the UMW, James Petrillo, head of the AFL musicians union, and others. That group included men who were about the same age as Mr. Barkley and, having served far longer in leadership positions in their respective unions than most elected officials, could readily identify and empathize with the Vice-President.

Mr. Childs notes that in the exercise of authority, the trade union hierarchy was essentially conservative and strongly resistant to change, and that this conservatism would be a factor in the November election.

Robert C. Ruark remarks on the exile of King Farouk, a 32-year old playboy who would henceforth be enjoying his liquor, golf, fishing and whatever else suited his fancy, apart from the daily grind of statecraft. He had plenty of money stashed away and Mr. Ruark hopes that he controlled his passions regarding other people's finances, noting that the last man he had "un-womaned" had held still for it, "but one of those fiery Italians is apt to let a little daylight through him with a shiv if the royal eye wanders too far afield." Even so, he finds little about which to feel sorry "for a young man with a lifetime to loaf."

A letter on behalf of the "Youth for Russell Club" in Charlotte thanks the people of the city who gave of their time and effort in support of Senator Richard Russell's candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. He urges all the citizens who supported Senator Russell to follow his example and support the national ticket. He regards Governor Stevenson and Senator Sparkman as forming a winning Democratic ticket, provided the people supported them.

A letter writer says that if he said what he really thought about the "Dog Hater" who had written a letter of July 29, it would probably be libelous and so he rests on stating that it was difficult to understand the makeup of such people, that there was something missing.

A letter writer from Spartanburg, S.C., indicates that the Southern delegations, by their selfish actions at the Democratic convention in Chicago, had misrepresented the great majority of Southern voters, as any fair-minded voter would have taken the loyalty pledge without hesitation. The South Carolina delegation reminded the writer of "problem children misbehaving away from home." He wonders whether they had been in fact Republican spies. More than 40 other state delegations signed the pledge without problem. He regards as a hero an Ohio delegate who had put Governor James Byrnes on the spot three times by asking him whether the Democratic nominees would be placed on the South Carolina ballot in November, each time Governor Byrnes evading the question, speaking what sounded as a prepared statement, saying that state law provided machinery under which every name of a party nominee was placed on the ballot. He says that if the Governor and the other South Carolina delegates were laboring under the belief that they were representing the voters of the state, it was delusional.

Erma Drum, of the Shelby Star,—a friend and receptive ear of W. J. Cash when he was preparing his manuscript for The Mind of the South in the 1930's and who, free of charge, had been the primary typist on the final drafts of the manuscript for submission to the publisher—, says that she had realized for the first time that people either aping or over-emphasizing a Southern accent always said "you-all", when that was not what dyed-in-the-wool Southerners said at all, that in everyday conversation, they, unconsciously and without apology, said "yall", without even bothering to place an apostrophe in it.

She might have encountered a bit of objection from Cash, were he still around.

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