The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 12, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William C. Barnard, that U.S. Marines had repulsed late this date 400 Chinese enemy troops charging "Bunker Ridge", which had been won early in the morning by the Marines in a sweeping attack on the western front of Korea. A U.S. Eighth Army staff officer indicated that the Chinese had suffered heavy losses. The Marines had met the charge with airstrikes, mortar, tank, artillery and small arms fire. The battle scene was just a few miles from the site of the truce talks at Panmunjom. The Marines had burned and blasted out the Chinese from "Siberia Hill" just before midnight and then captured "Bunker Ridge" dominating the sector. The entire Siberia area had been "quiet as a church mouse", according to a Marine spokesman, for a time in mid-afternoon, but later in the day an American officer reported that Chinese troops had been attempting to infiltrate "Bunker Ridge". The fighting for the ridge had been fierce since the prior Saturday. The U.S. Fifth Air Force had hit the Chinese in the Siberia sector with rockets, bombs, and napalm prior to the Marine assault. The attack on the "Siberia Hill" had been a diversionary action to throw the enemy off guard from the main assault on "Bunker Hill", long held by the enemy and so named because of its stout fortifications. The diversion had been a success, and the enemy troops had been completely fooled and confused.

In air action, B-29's and B-26's the previous night hit the area north of Wonsan, which had been struck earlier in the day by a 150-plane fighter-bomber attack.

Governor Stevenson had come to Washington to meet with the President and his Cabinet regarding issues and strategy of the presidential campaign, one of the chief decisions being the role which the President would play, as he appeared eager to engage in another whistle-stop campaign of the type he had conducted in 1948. The Governor and his advisers, however, were reported to want the President to take a less vocal part. Vice-presidential candidate, Senator John Sparkman, also participated in the powwow. The briefing of the Governor in the Cabinet room by high-level military, diplomatic and intelligence officials lasted about 20 minutes. There followed a luncheon with the Cabinet.

Governor Stevenson had selected Chicago lawyer Stephen Mitchell to succeed Frank McKinney as chairman of the DNC.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina indicated that he believed it would probably be best to cancel a big rally he had set for his Haw River farm, since apparently Governor Stevenson could not attend. He indicated that the Young Democrats, however, would ultimately have to decide whether to call it off or invite an alternate principal guest. Governor Stevenson had not yet advised the YDC leaders whether he would attend the rally, for which plans had been underway for the previous two years. The Governor told newsmen that as he reached the end of his term, everybody appeared to want either paroles or roads. He said he intended to take a long vacation after his term ended in January.

In Denver, General Eisenhower indicated to a press conference the previous day that "the outlook is not too bright" for a durable world peace unless Americans gained a thorough understanding of the complex problems involved. He vowed to raise the issue in every speech he made during the campaign. Other than to disclose that he intended to speak in Philadelphia on an unstated date, no details of his coming campaign could be elicited. The previous day, he had met with Southern supporters and Republican farm leaders in Congress, and the previous night RNC chairman Arthur Summerfield had flown in to provide a proposed itinerary for the ensuing 30 days. The General indicated that he had found himself in general agreement with the Congressional members of the Agriculture Committees. One of the members, Senator Milton Young of North Dakota, said that the General had told them that he favored continuing some form of price supports for farmers. Harold Stassen, who had campaigned for the Republican nomination, was scheduled to arrive this night and have lunch the following day with the General. Allen Klein, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, was also scheduled to meet with the General.

The Atomic Energy Commission, according to Congressman Charles Elston of Ohio, would build a new 1.2 billion dollar plant in southern Ohio, which would produce the critical fissionable material, U-235, developed by gaseous diffusion from uranium ore. The plant would require some 50 families to be relocated. The plant would employ between 4,000 and 5,000 persons and would be completed in 3 to 4 years, with 34,000 workers needed for the construction. AEC chairman Gordon Dean indicated that some of the new facilities being built at Hanford, Wash., Paducah, Ky., Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Savannah River in South Carolina would likely be producing weapons material by 1954.

In Tokyo, a Japanese Parliamentary committee this date said that it had confirmed that a large quantity of Japanese national treasure was missing and that receipts by occupation officials for some of it were extremely unclear. It indicated that much of the treasure might have disappeared during the war, while the property was still in Japanese hands. The treasure included a large quantity of precious metals and diamonds, including the Empress Nagako's crown, made of gold and platinum and studded with five large diamonds. The Empress had given the crown to the Government during the war as a patriotic example. The report did not estimate the worth of the missing treasure. The Japanese press had commented caustically on the matter and recalled the case of Col. Edward Murray, the former U.S. custodian of the Bank of Japan, who had been convicted in 1949 of taking nearly $85,000 worth of diamonds from the bank's vaults, contending that they were a gift. He had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, and paroled after five years.

In Jordan, 17-year-old Hussein II was proclaimed King, after the country's Parliament had summarily deposed his father, King Talal. King Hussein, who would gain a reputation as one of the most pro-Western and moderate of Middle Eastern Arab leaders, would continue as King until his death in 1999.

Near Cape Girardeau, Mo., a Greyhound bus ran into a flash flood early this date, causing a torrent of water to pour through it, throwing some of the 18 passengers into a panic. One elderly passenger was missing and was presumed drowned. One passenger from Alabama was credited with saving three other passengers, including two small children, who had been swept off their feet by the current after leaving the bus. A cloudburst had turned a normally quiet creek into a raging torrent, causing water to pour over U.S. Highway 61 to a depth of five feet at one point. Most of the passengers had been asleep or dozing at the time the bus ran into the flood waters, nearly sweeping it from the highway. The bus was left tilted at a 45-degree angle off the shoulder of the highway, with water swirling through it and over the passengers. An Army sergeant kicked out a rear window, enabling several passengers to escape, but they had been promptly swept off their feet by the strong current.

In Raleigh, the State Board of Law Examiners had refused to permit the top graduate of the UNC Law School to take the bar exam. Judge L. R. Varser of Lumberton, chairman of the Board, declined to provide the reasons, which had been put in a written order and served on the candidate. Henry Brandis, dean of the Law School, described the man as an "an extraordinarily good" student. Judge Varser could not recall whether any of the other 200 applicants had been denied the privilege to take the written part of the exam. The candidate had been questioned in private by the Board on August 4, and the Judge indicated that a piece in the Raleigh News & Observer must have been written by him. That article had indicated that the candidate had been barred because he had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in helping draw union contracts and sitting in on arbitration boards. The Judge indicated that some persons not permitted to take the written examinations might become eligible to do so a year or two later. The North Carolina CIO director had sent telegrams of protest to Governor Kerr Scott, dean Brandis, and Gordon Gray, president of the Consolidated University, as well as to the president of the State Bar Association, protesting "bias and discrimination" and asking for a review of the case.

In Lenoir, N.C., the former six-time mayor, Walter J. Lenoir, a member of one of the section's pioneer families, died this date at age 90. He was a direct descendant of General William Lenoir, for whom the town was named, and operated a hardware and furniture business in the town for 50 years. He also had been president of the Lenoir Rolling Mills at the time of his death. He had organized the Lenoir Chamber of Commerce and had been active in civic affairs for many years.

Ann Sawyer of The News tells of an interview with the president of United Community Services regarding questions on the newly created United Appeal, to improve on charity drives and avoid the multiplicity of annual campaigns. The president of UCS had indicated that the program would embrace most of the major annual campaigns in the community. The Community Chest services and eight top money-raising agencies had been asked to join the Appeal. The immediate goal of the UCS was to conduct a financial appeal for those agencies. The new organization would not be, he stressed, the Community Chest's baby.

In Folkstone, England, rough water had stalled Gastonia, N.C., fireman Bob Paysour in his attempt to swim the English Channel, and he dove into an open air pool instead. He hoped to undertake the cross-channel swim sometime in the ensuing couple of days.

On the editorial page, "After Nearly a Century…" tells of Morehead City having been incorporated on February 20, 1861, and during the week, on August 14, Governor Kerr Scott being set officially to open the new Morehead City Port Terminal.

In 1949, the General Assembly had created the State Ports Authority and appropriated 7.5 million dollars to develop the ports at Morehead City and Wilmington. Plans were being made to dedicate the new port facilities in Wilmington the following October. The Morehead City wharfage was over 2,500 feet long and could accommodate five cargo vessels simultaneously, spawning new warehouses and a network of transportation facilities.

While change in overseas routes would come slowly, it had been reported that in May, 20,000 tons of fertilizer material had been shipped via the Wilmington port, with savings on freight costs of four dollars to six dollars per ton by the state's farmers. Previously, fertilizer had been shipped via Charleston. It was hoped that other commodities, including tobacco, textiles, furniture, and canned goods, would also utilize the new port facilities, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in freight costs to the people of the state. It finds therefore that the original 7.5 million dollar investment had been small compared with the gains to be made.

"Dividend" indicates that the recent prosecution in North Carolina of Carolinas Klan head Thomas L. Hamilton of South Carolina had reaped dividends by spreading wariness to other Klansmen in other states. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had reported that Klan leader Bill Hendrix of Florida had decided to forgo his plans of reactivating the Klan in Virginia, as a result of the difficulties experienced by the Klan in North Carolina. It finds: "Just another way of saying that big oaks grow from little acorns, and that a pebble cast into a pond will send out ripples to the farthest shore." It again praises the swift action of North Carolina authorities in interdicting the Klan activities involving flogging of several individuals.

"This Kind of War We Like" finds the billboard readings interesting between Haw River east to Rocky Mount, sporting such invitations as, "See the monkeys … discount for trucks … use our phone … cigarettes at $1.58 a carton … roadside table … coldest ice water in town … peaches … sausage." And gas was only two bits per gallon. It congratulates the free enterprise system and hopes this "good fight" would spread over the whole state, bringing relief to the harried motorist, tired of reading Burma-Shave signs.

"Of Readers and Pitfalls" finds that mistakes made by the editors of the newspaper, as pointed out by careful readers, could have been avoided by more diligent pursuit of words in the dictionary. They had been upbraided recently by a reader when "cohort" was used as a synonym for "colleague", while another had indicated that they should have used "implied" when they used "inferred", another saying that they had also been in error in the use of "fulsome", and yet another reader, in a letter on the page this date, having pointed out that they had used "epitome" when they should have used "zenith" or "acme".

Thus having been spurred on by the readers to do more diligent research in the dictionary, the editors had found that "shoddy" could be used as a noun to describe an inferior person or thing, as well as in the more usual adjectival sense, meaning "sham". "Want" as a verb could mean "to be without or to lack", as well as the usual sense of desire. "Evitable", though seldom used to mean "avoidable", was, it posits, just as good as the much-used "inevitable".

It concludes that the editorial writer ought refer to the dictionary more often than the encyclopedia or the World Almanac, Congressional Quarterly or their own files. "And if, as we hope our readers continue to check up on us, our evitable errors will decrease, and the pleasure of our work will increase."

The conditional phrase in that last sentence appears either to lack "so", or the "and" should have been omitted, to provide a dependent, rather than conjunctive, clause.

"From Initials to First Names" indicates that the two major party candidates for the presidency had been routinely referred to by the press simply as "Ike" and "Adlai", a first since the days of Teddy Roosevelt being President that such familiarity was included in the nation's headlines. No one would have ever thought of calling President William Howard Taft "Bill" or President Wilson "Woody". President Harding was always known simply as "Harding", not Warren, and the same went for "Coolidge", except when Will Rogers had called him "Cal". Likewise, it had always been "Hoover" and not Herbert.

Then came the initials for President Roosevelt, either FR or FDR, and the same informality had carried over sometimes to President Truman, referring to him as HST—though that is stretching the point, as we rarely have seen that reference in the headlines. But, it continues, DDE did not provide a picture of Dwight David Eisenhower, any more than AES did of Adlai Ewing Stevenson.

So, it concludes, it would be Ike and Adlai henceforth, unless Adlai were shortened to Ad, which, if so, it would not find surprising.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Back to Bacteria", indicates that before photographers latched onto the word "photogenic" to describe persons favored by the camera, the word had been restricted to biology, meaning producing or generating light, phosphorescent, as in "photogenic bacteria". The lexicographers had bowed to the fad and included the new meaning in the dictionaries.

Now had come the Society of Illustrators, choosing a shapely female as the "most leg-o-genic girl in America". It indicates its appreciation for the female legs, but believes it was stretching the point too far in coining the new term, thinks it might be time to return "photogenic" to its bacteriological origins.

Drew Pearson's staff, while Mr. Pearson was on vacation, indicates that if Russian athletes in the recent Summer Olympics in Helsinki had been half as versatile as Kremlin propagandists in reporting the games, then the Soviets would have easily won. Russia finished second to the U.S., the latter having scored 610 points while the Soviets had scored 553.5. Most of the points for the Soviets had been won in women's gymnastics, in which the U.S. did not compete. In practically all of the major events, including basketball, American male athletes had clearly dominated their Soviet rivals. Yet, Radio Moscow had managed to distort the results for its listeners, blasting Olympic officials for "favoritism" to the U.S., even while the latter had been behind on points, and concocting their own scoring system for the benefit of satellite nation listeners. It provides a summary of the reports delivered behind the Iron Curtain, as monitored by the State Department.

After the U.S. had forged ahead in points, the Soviet news agency Tass simply stopped keeping score, explaining that it was interested only in individual victories and that as far as it was concerned, there had been no team winner in the Summer Olympics.

The President's consideration of calling a special session of Congress to consider a new price controls law, the column opines, ought be accompanied by some scrutiny of operations inside the Office of Price Stabilization. While Congress deserved a lot of the blame for the rising prices, there had also been inexcusable neglect, if not sabotage, inside the OPS. Its director, Ellis Arnall, the former Governor of Georgia, had come to the position with the idea that his predecessor, Mike DiSalle, had built up an efficient organization, but that had not entirely been the case. As a result, Mr. Arnall's system, leaving trusted OPS officials to operate on their own, had backfired when they had not done so.

The President had urged the appointment to the OPS staff of the son of a man who had gone to jail with Boss Pendergast, and he was now in charge of OPS enforcement, which had become lax and politically minded under his supervision. He had dropped the big binder-twine price conspiracy begun by his predecessor, and had also dropped, without tough prosecution, the horse meat scandal cases in Illinois, probably the greatest food scandals in the nation.

Another interesting OPS official was the director of price operations, who had been the former assistant secretary of the National-American Wholesale Grocers Association, and vice president and director of one of the largest food manufacturers and wholesalers in the Southwest. He continued to have close friendships within the Grocers Association, whose interest was in higher food prices. He was one of the high-price advocates inside OPS and his influence was important. While Mr. DiSalle had been director, he opposed putting a labor representative on the decontrol committee, though labor was vitally affected by its decisions.

The column concludes that if the President wanted prices to remain stable, he should not only give thought to calling Congress back, but also should set his own house in order.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett having just informed that the British and French were doing the best they could to meet the planned defense goals of Western Europe against the potential for Communist aggression. While that was true, it was also certain that a major crisis in Western defense planning would be the first great issue facing the next President. It was far from certain that the crisis could be delayed even that long. Meanwhile, new scrutiny was being given to the previously approved defense plans both in Europe and in the U.S. French representatives had been telling the U.S. Government that they could not bear their economic and military burdens much longer, that their resources had been stretched thin in Indo-China and elsewhere. Representatives of the British Government, likewise, had indicated that their military and economic burdens had become nearly unbearable. They had suggested informally that the planned balance between ground, naval and air strength be sharply altered.

The U.S. Air Force planners had been thinking the same way. Whereas General Eisenhower's plans for European defense called for the creation of some 97 divisions, including reserves, the Air Force believed that it was not possible to match Soviet ground strength and so asserted that air power and new weaponry, in which the West excelled, should instead be strengthened, lest the attempt at a large ground force siphon off strength from air power and new weaponry. The Air Force proposed a ready force of 30 to 40 divisions coupled with a great increase in air strength.

A similar plan was being proposed by the British chiefs of staff, as hinted at recently by Prime Minister Churchill in Parliament.

Along with this reassessment of Western European defense would be a reassessment of the American defense effort, on which a paper was being prepared, to be submitted shortly to the National Security Council and the President. It would recommend the recruitment of a board of civilian experts to propose new ways to increase production in armaments.

Some 17 billion dollars had been appropriated for the Mutual Security Program in the current year, and 6.5 billion dollars had been appropriated in 1950 and 1951, all while only a little more than three billion dollars worth of weapons had actually been delivered abroad. Officials of the Mutual Security Administration at first believed that the military was preventing a fair share of the total arms output from going abroad, but upon careful analysis, found that the problem lay in the general failure to produce weapons and equipment in the planned volume. There was no sign on the horizon that things were about to get better, as the effects of the 53-day steel strike had not yet fully been realized.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his lack of familiarity with the current Summer Olympics stars, other than Bob Mathias, despite his having once been a sports reporter. In earlier times, he had followed assiduously the Olympic feats of Jim Thorpe and Paavo Nurmi, and later of Jesse Owens and Eleanor Holm. But now, after war and transoceanic airplane flight had come on the scene, the Olympics had lost its breath-taking attraction for the nation, as one who had shot a German, Italian or Japanese in the war was not really interested in beating him at "squat-tag". Once the youth had "breakfasted in Rome, lunched in Paris, dined in Lisbon and breakfasted in New York, in that order, a lot of the mystery has disappeared from water-crossings."

"Who wants to put a shot? I am for leaving it alone. Who frees his soul by heaving a hammer? Who wants to run nine miles, when there is a taxi on every corner or you can even walk? We have law called gravity. All the pole-vaulters in the world, including the preacher, will never replace Isaac Newton's apple. Also, lean-jawed devotees make you nervous. They keep talking about clipping a tenth of a second off the benzedrine mile, or something, and they worry about it. They usually die of heart attacks at a very young age, too, I've noticed."

A letter writer comments on an editorial of August 7, "Why Not Let the People Speak", referring to the tuberculosis sanatorium at Huntersville, finding the editorial sensible and timely. The writer suggests that rather than replacing the building at a cost of nearly $500,000, permanent supports should be installed for the overloaded floors or heavy equipment moved to the ground floor to alleviate the loads.

A letter writer from McBee, S.C., responds to a letter of August 7 in which the writer had stated that the Republicans had never put forth new ideas, and that when the Republicans had been in power between 1861 and 1885 without interruption, they had done nothing to forge human progress and reform. (Actually, the previous writer did not say that. She merely indicated that the two-party system had not been destroyed by the fact of this long, uninterrupted control of the White House, her central point in the letter, that continuation of the Democrats in power in 1953 and onward would not destroy the two-party system, as many people were suggesting it would.)

This writer then proceeds, predictably, to cite President Lincoln's many reforms, preserving the union, freeing the slaves, etc. He also indicates that during the Administration of President Chester A. Arthur, the Civil Service Commission had come into being, a revolutionary concept, upsetting the spoils system. He also says that in 1881-1882, in the Garfield-Arthur Administrations, there had been a huge surplus in the Federal Treasury and taxes had been at an all-time low. He suggests that these were only a few of the cases of Republican reform and progress, that President Theodore Roosevelt had brought about several reforms—which he does not bother to indicate, but might have included the trust-busting legislation which he urged and the National Park system.

He suggests to the previous writer that she read American history, wherein she would find many "good Republican names in the annals of our history who had new ideas and were not just for big business nor were they tools of Wall Street."

The prior writer plainly had in mind the three successive Republican Administrations of Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, when she mentioned the lack of reform when reform was needed prior to the Roosevelt Administration—and on that point, the present writer wisely did not chirp a single exceptional protest, being forced instead to hearken back nearly half a century and more to find Republican reforms.

A letter writer comments, as indicated in the above editorial, on an editorial appearing August 6, "The Epitome of Folly", that the use of "epitome" was incorrect, cites the definition from Webster's 20th Century Dictionary as his proof, and suggests that the better word would have been "apex, zenith, high-point, height, peak".

He also corrects a sports memorabilia item appearing on August 7, indicating that Doyle Nave had thrown the passes and end Al Kreuger had made the catches which had enabled the University of Southern California to beat Duke in the Rose Bowl in 1939, rather than the reverse, as the column had indicated. It is signed, "An Interested Reader".

Who knows? Given that Mr. Nixon had attended that particular Rose Bowl game, at which time he met his future wife, Pat, a student at USC, perhaps he was the reader. Lending further to the notion that he was the one, on December 9, 1969, in remarks to the National Football Foundation, President Nixon recounted that it had been the passing of Mr. Nave and the catching of Mr. Kreuger which had enabled USC to win that game, that he had been terribly disappointed at the outcome but remarked that he had met Pat at the game, and so it all had worked out. Not long after that initial meeting, he would, effectively, propose on the spur of the moment after seeing Pat again as both auditioned for parts in an amateur production of The Dark Tower. She had thought at the time that he was nuts for saying that she was the woman he would marry, when he barely knew her and only had just asked her out on their first date—as recounted in Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character, by Fawn M. Brodie, 1983, Harvard Univ. Press, pp. 146-147.

He was, at heart, a romantic, and should have stuck to poetry, perhaps...

A letter writer indicates that according to a recent vote of Yale students, English was the most valuable study and psychology the least worthwhile. He finds them not far from wrong, suggesting that while psychology was a most interesting study and one of great importance, it was also one of the most overrated and worst abused sciences in the whole skein of academic study. "The growing crowds who accept with open mouth the drivel of some strolling 'savant' as he dopes out psychological 'laws' would be amusing if there were not so many pathetic results."

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