The Charlotte News

Friday, August 15, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Marines had twice this date crushed Chinese Communist attacks of between 200 and 400 troops each on "Bunker Hill", in the latest of a series of western front battles which the Marines indicated had cost the enemy 3,014 dead and wounded since the prior Saturday. U.N. fighter-bombers strafed and hit enemy positions with bombs, rockets and napalm during the attacks. It was the fourth straight day of fighting in the area and the Eighth Army stated that 1,183 Chinese had been wounded and 897 believed to have been killed in the efforts to recapture the hill.

At the U.N. in New York, the U.S. warned this date, before the Disarmament Commission, that it reserved the right to use the atomic bomb and germ warfare to suppress aggression until such weapons were eliminated by an ironclad system of international safeguards. The U.S. made it clear that there was no intention on its part to use such weapons in any manner contrary to the U.N. Charter, that they would be reserved for suppression of any aggression forbidden by the Charter. Russia had repeatedly demanded that the U.N. ban atomic weapons and germ warfare, but the U.S. delegate, Benjamin Cohen, indicated that the U.S. would never accept a mere paper declaration prohibiting the use of those weapons without the means in place for verification. A large part of Mr. Cohen's statement is quoted.

A new Gallup poll appears, assessing the chances of General Eisenhower and the Republicans in the large cities, all except one of the largest 17 cities with 500,000 or more in population having gone Democratic in 1948. The poll was conducted in the nation's 15 largest cities outside the South and the generic results indicated that 39.5 percent would either definitely vote for or were leaning toward the Republicans, while 52.5 percent would definitely vote for or were leaning toward the Democrats. If the eight percent of undecided voters cast their ballots commensurate with the the respondents expressing a preference, 43 percent overall would be more likely to vote Republican, while 57 percent would be more likely to vote Democratic. That latter result represented a four percent increase for the Republicans over 1948 results for the same cities—though based on the actual results, excluding the undecided respondents, would render a result about the same as in 1948, 39.3 percent, for the Republicans, though showing eight percent less for Democrats, who had polled 60.7 percent, suggesting that most of the undecided voters had voted Democratic in the previous presidential election, excluding the Progressive Party results which had been substantial in the Northern big cities. General Eisenhower registered more popularity than his party in those same metropolitan areas, by three percentage points, which the story attributes possibly to the fact that Governor Stevenson remained relatively unknown to the public. Among the 15 cities polled, which it lists, Boston had shown the lowest percentage of Republican vote in 1948 and Cincinnati, the highest. The total votes cast in 1948 by those cities had been 10 million.

In Denver, General Eisenhower's advisers indicated this date that they believed the General had come out on top of the President in their first direct campaign skirmish, when the General turned down the White House invitation to attend briefings on foreign policy. A lot of headlines had followed the rejection. The President had said later in the day that he endorsed a 1951 Senate Foreign Relations Committee report which had said unanimously that foreign policy during the previous decade had in general been bipartisan. Some Republicans viewed that statement as trying to put them on the spot so that they could not criticize the policy which they had helped to develop. Republican leaders promptly made clear, however, that foreign policy would be a major campaign issue and would be the subject of a lot of criticism. The President had made clear in his weekly press conference the previous day that the invitation to the General to receive regular CIA briefings had been extended a week to ten days earlier by the Defense Department, an invitation which the General said he was glad to accept.

The President also said, in response to a press question, that he had not yet received an invitation to the National Ploughing Contest, but he would consider it if it arrived, that he had a good time there in a previous year, with about 96,000 people having been present.

Governor Stevenson this date met in Springfield, Illinois, with farm, labor and political leaders.

The President this date told CIO leaders at the White House that Governor Stevenson would be elected and would make the Republicans like it. He praised the CIO for its endorsement of the Governor. He also said that in 1948, 87 percent of the American press had been for Governor Dewey, which was why he took his message directly to the people, and that the same would be true in 1952. Prior to the meeting with the President, CIO president Philip Murray attacked General Eisenhower for his stand on Social Security and indicated that the Republicans were "isolationists at heart", that the General's views ran contrary to the views endorsed by the American people during the prior 20 years.

In New York, a ten-week nationwide drive was being launched to double the registration and voting powers of blacks in the country, sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, whose members owned all of the major black newspapers in the country. There were nearly nine million eligible black voters, according to the Association, but less than four million were registered to vote.

In Charlotte, Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, speaking before the Civitan Club, said this date that Congress should place immediate curbs on labor unions to prevent the destruction of the economy. He said that no one person, such as United Steelworkers president Philip Murray in the recent steel strike, should have the power to order a half million men to quit work and go on strike. He believed that labor leaders and the workers themselves should first be allowed to work out a solution to the strike problem before Congress took up the matter, but that the constant threat to the productive capacity of the nation by nationwide strikes was one of the greatest problems presently faced. He said that it might become necessary to bring labor unions within the purview of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, allowing the Government to determine whether labor had a monopoly against the public interest, which, if so found, could enable the Government to order the large unions divided in such a way as to prevent nationwide strikes in a given industry.

In New York, the 22-year old heir to a margarine fortune was arrested this date for involvement in a compulsory prostitution case. He received a $200 per month disbursement from a trust fund. The man denied having any part in the vice operations. A female companion at the time of his arrest was also taken into custody. During the raid of his fashionable East Side apartment, the police found numerous photographs of nude women, a notebook containing names and addresses of hundreds of men and women and a loaded .38-caliber revolver. The man's blue Cadillac convertible was parked outside the apartment and a search of it produced a loaded .32-caliber automatic pistol. The man admitted owning both guns and having no permits for them. Seven other women and two other men were also arrested in the raids. The police indicated that the raids were the product of seven months of investigative work which had shown that the patrons of the prostitutes paid from $50 to $500 for their outings.

No mention is made of finding any margarine on the premises.

Also in New York, gambling kingpin Frank Costello surrendered this date to begin serving his first prison term in 37 years, an 18-month sentence following his conviction for contempt of the Senate for refusing to answer certain questions before the Kefauver crime committee hearings in March, 1951.

In Fayetteville, N.C., Army doctors delivered a baby from the body of a former Army nurse the previous night, shortly after she had been found shot to death in her home in nearby Spring Lake, but the child only lived for 2 1/2 hours. The woman's naked body had been discovered lying on the floor of the home shortly after a shot had been heard, and she died before reaching a Fort Bragg hospital. Her husband, an insurance salesman, was found inside the house in an intoxicated condition. He was being held, pending a coroner's inquest. He was quoted by the Sheriff as saying that his wife had shot herself. A .20-gauge shotgun was found near her body. She had been shot in the left breast at a distance of from 18 to 20 inches and there were powder marks all over her body. She had been about 7 1/2 months pregnant. She had been discharged from the Army Nurse Corps just 29 days earlier with the rank of captain.

Predictably, her husband would be charged with her murder on the basis of a statement by a retired Army sergeant that en route to the hospital, the woman made a dying declaration accusing her husband of shooting her, as would be made public at the time of the preliminary hearing on August 25. Other reports indicated that the defendant had been recently discharged from his employment and had been charged a few days before the shooting with selling liquor illegally on the base at Fort Bragg. In January, at trial, he would be sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading no contest to being an accessory before the fact to first degree murder, carrying a life sentence. The plea was accepted by the court after the judge refused to grant a motion by the defense attorneys to dismiss the count of first degree murder on the ground that no evidence of premeditation had been presented by the prosecution, and thus refused a plea to second degree murder. No mention was made in the reports of the death of the infant as the basis for a second count of murder, apparently forgone by the prosecution because of a problem in proving causation.

The husband may have viewed one too many episodes of "Dragnet", a couple of months earlier, and was hopeful for a similar outcome, perhaps laboring under the misperception that the suspected husband in that case was actually guilty and beat the rap.

In Raleigh, State Attorney General Harry McMullan expressed the opinion that the candidate for the State bar examination, who had been turned down by the State Board of Law Examiners on the basis of lack of the requisite moral character to become a member of the bar, allegedly based on false statements made about his prior membership in the Communist Party and practicing law without a license by being involved in labor union arbitrations, could appeal the decision to the courts if he so chose. Mr. McMullan expressed doubt that he could appeal to the State Bar Council, as had been indicated the previous day by the head of the North Carolina Bar Association in Charlotte. The candidate, denying the allegations of prior Communist Party membership or practicing law without a license and claiming that the real reason for the denial was his union activities and that he was the first union official in the state to seek a law license, had stated the previous day that he was consulting lawyers about whether to begin an appeal.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and his new wife, Clarissa Churchill, niece of the Prime Minister, left London this date by plane for their honeymoon in Portugal.

Would they be eating chocolate cake in a bag?

On the editorial page, "For a More Constructive Debate" comments on the rejection by General Eisenhower of the President's invitation to meet with him and the Cabinet to receive a briefing on foreign policy, as had been accorded Governor Stevenson earlier in the week, finds that the General was wise to decline the invitation, as it would have limited his ability to criticize the Administration's foreign policy. The substitute arrangement had been made to provide confidential weekly summaries from the CIA to both the General and the Governor, enabling both to criticize the foreign policy constructively and responsibly, with knowledge of what was going on.

It indicates that one of the problems with those who criticized the foreign policy from within the Congress, such as Senator Taft, was that they were not completely informed of the reasons for certain positions taken by the Administration on foreign policy. It quotes from Senator Taft, saying as much during the course of the pre-convention campaign, in an interview the previous March in U.S. News & World Report.

Thus it finds that informing both candidates on a regular basis of the foreign policy of the country would enable voters to have some reasonable assurance that the statements made by the candidates were reasonably based on knowledge of the policies and not simply talking through their hats.

"Reform in the Middle East" indicates that for many centuries, the system of land tenure in the Middle East had contributed to the political and economic backwardness of the region, with the great majority of national wealth possessed by a few landed gentry, while the millions of share-cropping peasants existed at a bare subsistence level. Through a combination of exorbitant interest rates and small shares of the produce being distributed to the peasants, the landlords held the people in a cycle of economic subjection. The landlords also controlled the governments of the region and had deliberately blocked economic reforms, had discouraged education and prevented extension of the right to vote.

Now, there was a movement within the Middle East among the people to revolt against this system. In Tunisia, such revolts were taking place against French colonialism, while in Egypt, the new military dictator, Maj. General Mohammed Naguib, had ordered the expropriation of all landholdings over 200 acres and their distribution to the landless poor, and in Iran, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, himself a large landowner, had been forced by economic duress and the threat of Communist revolt to order landlords to return ten percent of their profits to the peasants and pay another ten percent to rural banks which would extend economic aid to the farmers.

It indicates that it was too early to determine whether those and other reforms would be carried out and how much good they would ultimately do, but any modernization of the political and economic structure in the region had to begin with land reform, to avoid the prospect of the landless poor being receptive to the exhortations of terrorists, anarchists and Communists. It indicates, therefore, that Iran and Egypt had started in the right direction but it remained to be seen whether the opposition of the landlords could be overcome.

"Highway History Lessons Are Dangerous" tells of the many roadside historical markers located in North Carolina, but without any advance warning or turnouts for drivers and passengers to stop to read, resulting in either dangerous stopping suddenly along the roadside to do so, or zipping past them, oblivious to their contents.

It shows a picture of such an historical marker on Route 64, designating the nearby Buncombe Hall, as an example of such a sign, near a busy intersection, with no turnout for motorists and no advance warning that the marker was upcoming.

It notes that other states likewise had poorly located historical markers, while others did not even bother to signify such locations. It suggests the example of Montana to the state, which had signs in either direction indicating that an historical marker was 1,000 feet ahead, and provided parking space near each one to enable motorists safely to stop to peruse the marker. It recommends that to North Carolina.

Notwithstanding this recommendation in 1952, the pictured marker, erected in 1942, still remains, close to the town of Roper, on what is now Old Highway 64, by far less traveled than 67 years earlier, but still with an historical marker without turnouts, adjacent to the same intersection. And, there are still no signs in advance of the marker in either direction, or for other historical markers within the state, at least none that we have ever seen. The point is well taken, though it might be noted that Montana, with a much shorter history as a state or territory, does not have the same amount of history to commemorate with roadside markers as does any of the original colonies, and so the cost to the state for such advance warning signs and for turnouts for each one might become prohibitive. The historically curious need to be ready to hike a little to get back to the sign. You need the exercise after a long drive.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Time for Decision—Sort Of", finds it the time of year in the intervening period between the close of summer and the beginning of fall when decisions had to be made as to whether to pull the covers up at the end of the bed and leave the fan running, so as to wake up shivering, or to shut it off and sweat all night, whether to cut the grass and have it turn brown or let it grow into "a refuge of mice and snakes", whether to send the children to grandmother's house for vacation or save her for a rainy day, among other such decisions.

Drew Pearson's staff, while Mr. Pearson remained on vacation, indicate that close friends of General Eisenhower reported that he was almost becoming accustomed to American politics, after a rough start, making him confide to close confidantes that he was almost sorry about having ventured into the campaign, not being prepared for the "backslapping and silly questions". He had stated that he needed a good chief of staff to screen and organize visitors. Thus far, the General had not stuck his neck out to take stands on important decisions until after consulting with his "general staff". He had surrounded himself with some of the best professional Republicans in the business and was leaning heavily on their advice, having concluded that politics was no game for amateurs.

The Soviets were undertaking a new drive to win over Latin America, as evidenced by the replacement of the Russian Ambassador to Uruguay with Vasily Y. Yerofeev, signaling a new, determined drive in that country to shore up its Communist Party. There were only three other border republics to the south which maintained formal relations with the Soviet Union, Argentina, Mexico, and Guatemala. A few years earlier, Mexico and Cuba were the most active centers in the Western Hemisphere for Communist propaganda, as control of organized labor in both countries had been in either Communist hands or those sympathetic to Communism, while the Communists had strategically placed friends inside both governments as well.

As the Cold War settled in, however, and especially after the fighting began in Korea in mid-1950, all of the Russian money which was available could not keep the Communist cause from losing ground in both Mexico and Cuba. When the regime of Fulgencio Batista came to power in Cuba in a military coup, he took full opportunity to force a break with Moscow, and the personnel at the Russian Embassy in Havana had dwindled from 49 in 1948 down to only 14.

During the same period, Mexico, although maintaining outwardly correct relations with the Soviets, became progressively tougher in its official attitude toward them. Mexico's President Miguel Aleman's government had made some pointed social snubs of Russian diplomats during the previous two years, and the election results the previous month, wherein the fellow traveling labor leader, Vincente Lombardo Toledano, had only received 10,000 votes, less than a half a percent of the total cast, showed clearly that Communist influence in Mexico was on the wane.

Congressman Frank Chelf of Kentucky, the chief prober of the Justice Department, had a prayer displayed in his office, imploring to teach him to keep his big mouth shut until he knew what he was talking about and to deliver him from "blabbing what little I do know".

The late Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, who had died of cancer at age 48 right after the Democratic convention the prior month, had sacrificed his health while working as chairman of the joint Atomic Energy Committee and for his constituents, putting in 14 to 16 hour days.

Every member of Congress was being urged to obtain regular physical checkups.

Republican Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana never objected to one example of New Deal "creeping Socialism", that of a public swimming pool in his hometown with a population of 10,000, funded by Federal Public Works Administration money during the tenure of FDR. In contrast, Arlington, Va., with a population of 100,000, in Senator Harry F. Byrd's domain, did not have a single public pool for children to play in during hot weather.

Well, we know why that is, don't we?

Marquis Childs discusses the plans arranged between the President and Governor Stevenson regarding the division of labor in the coming campaign, with the President having proposed to accept the invitation of Wisconsin labor leaders to speak in Milwaukee on Labor Day. The preliminary draft of his speech indicated that it would be an all-out attack on McCarthyism and the harm which the President believed it had done to the foreign policy of the country. It was not yet certain whether the speech would go forward, as there was some controversy regarding the fact that Senator McCarthy, running for re-election, was still recovering from a major operation and that an attack on him could generate sympathy.

Meanwhile, the plan was for Governor Stevenson to deliver his first true campaign speech in Detroit, to concern labor relations and whether Taft-Hartley ought to be amended, as the Governor had indicated in his convention acceptance speech, or completely repealed, as favored by the Democratic platform. The Governor, since the convention, had sought to distinguish the platform position by indicating that it was only a difference in form rather than substance, as to whether it would be repealed and replaced by other legislation or amended. Regardless, the Governor would need to clarify those positions.

Mr. Childs suggests that the handicap faced by General Eisenhower was that there were too many professionals involved in his campaign pulling in too many different directions, whereas the problem faced by Governor Stevenson was too many amateurs hesitating about how to get the campaign started. Yet, the outline of the Democratic strategy was more firm, insofar as travel plans were concerned, than that of the Republicans.

The Governor would, after the Detroit speech, go to the West Coast and provide a speech in Los Angeles, to be followed by talks in Oregon and Washington, and then, on the return trip, stop in two or three of the mountain states. After the West Coast visit, the Governor intended to make a quick swing through the South, after which there would be a whistle-stop tour in early October through the Midwest and the East. Formal speeches would be held to about 10 or 12 at the most. Toward the end of the campaign, it was planned that another trip would be taken to the West Coast.

Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman would be the advance man, to ensure that there were ample crowds on hand for the particular venues, the same role he played, an important one, in the Truman campaign in 1948.

Mr. Childs concludes that the evidence of naïveté among the organizers of the Stevenson campaign was the fact that some had been advising that they undertake the Western trip via commercial airlines on scheduled flights rather than using chartered craft, until it was pointed out by the old hands that such a practice would lead to waste of priceless time in sitting around airports waiting for commercial flights.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the fact there had been a lot of talk in the newspapers about wanton hoodlumism in the country, involving "attacks by pimply punks on innocent bystanders". Until recently, it had only been the subject of academic observation on his part, until he and his wife had recently hailed a cab after a movie, whereupon three "young punks" grabbed the door, at which point he and his wife entered the cab, and as he was halfway in, one of the punks slammed the door on his leg. Mr. Ruark recoiled in anger, exited the cab and confronted the three, then seeing their faces "slack-jawed, stupid but ingrained mean all the way", causing him in an instant to decide that hitting one of them and then perhaps kicking a second, would only ensure that the third, probably armed with a knife or zipgun or blackjack, would lay him out in the street and make of him a victim of an assault or worse. He decided that it was not worth it therefore to confront "three lousy little hoodlums". So he swore at them, jerked the door shut and told the cabbie to take off. There were no policemen around, and, he ventures, it would not have made any difference had there been, as nothing much would have happened in response.

He had fumed the rest of the evening over not being equipped with "a gun or a bow and arrow or a baseball bat or anything else sufficiently lethal to save the state an eventual chance of removing them from society."

The former UNC sociology major during the tenure of Professor Howard Odum rejects the popular theory that society had made them bad, as there were fewer poor people and more opportunities in the country than at any time in its history, with more counseling available and other social services. He believes it was time to resort to "the hickory switch, the woodshed and a little more parental control in the old-fashioned way, where a child don't sass his old man without a cuff to cool him down. A handy jack handle was all yours truly needed, the other night, to re-instill a little respect for elders, and especially strange elders who are doing no harm to strange adolescents."

A letter writer replies to the editorial of August 7 regarding its opposition to the building of a new tuberculosis sanatorium in Huntersville, and also to the letter of the prior Tuesday, suggesting that the old building be shored up and loads on the upper floors alleviated. He indicates that he did not understand why they were so opposed to building a new sanatorium building, stating that he had spent over two years as a patient there and believed that the staff was doing an excellent job but that the facility was in need of replacement.

A letter writer from Norwood congratulates UNC for hiring former St. John's University basketball coach Frank McGuire to become its head basketball coach starting in the 1952-53 season. He thinks that Everett Case of N.C. State would welcome competition for the title of the outstanding coach in the Big Five—which included the present Big Four, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest and State, plus Davidson, in the Southern Conference, about to have seven schools depart in the spring to form the Atlantic Coast Conference with Virginia to join after the 1953 football season, replete with a post-season basketball tournament to determine the conference champion and the N.C.A.A. tournament representative, the lone representative in those early days until 1976, a conference tournament which would always be anathema to coach McGuire, resulting ultimately in the departure from the A.C.C., after the 1971 season, of the University of South Carolina, for which he would become head coach in 1964.

The writer indicates that coach McGuire's five year record at St. John's suggested that he was one of the ablest coaches in the country. Indeed, his team in 1952 had finished as the national runner-up to the University of Kansas—with a player on that latter team having been Dean Smith, whom Mr. McGuire would hire to become an assistant in 1958, a year after UNC, under coach McGuire, would go undefeated at 32-0 and win the N.C.A.A. championship by a point in three overtimes against a Kansas team led by Wilt Chamberlain, and the rest, as they say...

A letter writer says that he knew a little businessman whose payroll would run to approximately a half million dollars during the year, who had been digging basements with a pick, shovel, an old mule and a drag pan, prior to the 20-year period of Democratic rule. He indicates that the South had a new crop of such little businessmen, and wonders what would happen to them should the Republicans come to power again. He warns that the "big business Republican whales want to save America—for themselves." He wants to let the Republican Party "die the ignoble death it so richly deserves."

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that America had an irresistible weakness for political promises, from such things as "a chicken in every pot" to states' rights, with the professional politicians making such promises but delivering little. He wonders how gullible the people could get. He indicates that, as a black man, he was not interested in the country going to war again to achieve "so-called justice to foreign people" when he, as an American citizen, had never been the beneficiary of justice. He indicates that he would not cast a vote for injustice, nor bear arms in an unjust cause.

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