The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 19, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that 14 U.S. B-29's the previous night had dropped 140 tons of bombs on a huge Communist grenade factory employing 2,000 workers in northwest Korea, located three miles south of the Manchurian border. It was one of 78 military targets on which the U.N. command had given advance notice via Seoul Radio and dropped leaflets that it would attack. It was the first time that this particular plant, which was said to produce daily 1,000 anti-tank grenades and 3,000 to 5,000 hand grenades, had been struck. The results of the raid were not yet announced. The pilots said that they had encountered intense anti-aircraft fire and one of their planes had been attacked by an enemy night fighter. The Air Force reported that, nevertheless, all 14 planes had returned safely.

The weather had begun to clear over the battlefront following the typhoon of the previous day, which had swept into the Sea of Japan and was headed for the northernmost Japanese island, Hokkaido, permitting resumption of ground and air action in the war, which had been interrupted by the typhoon and its resulting torrential rain.

In ground action, enemy troops, shortly after midnight, had made a light probing attack against "Bunker Hill" on the western front, but it was quickly repulsed by intense allied firepower. In South Korea, enemy guerrillas sought unsuccessfully to ambush a U.S. Army courier train on which actress Audrey Totter was a passenger, wounding an American Army captain and a Korean civilian newsreel cameraman. The train had not stopped as the guerrillas fired several shots into the moving cars, after having placed straw mats and metal on the tracks in an attempt to halt the train.

The Navy reported its intent to investigate an incident off Korea in which a minesweeper had accidentally fired twice on a tug the prior Friday night, killing two and injuring nine.

In Norfolk, the Coast Guard announced this date that it was stationing a cutter outside the Virginia capes to challenge ships coming into Chesapeake Bay, designed to tighten port security, resuming a system maintained throughout World War II. All ships which would seek to enter the Bay from the Atlantic would have to identify themselves to the Guard ship.

General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson had been invited to address the National Plowing Contest at Kasson, Minn., and both had indicated they would accept the invitations and speak on September 6, potentially setting up the first confrontation between the two candidates as they battled for the farm vote. But this date, the Contest ruled that both could not speak on the same day and decided that General Eisenhower, who had first accepted the invitation, would speak on September 6. Governor Stevenson was given the opportunity to speak on September 5 instead, but the Governor's office said this date that he had to refuse the invitation because he had a prior commitment on that date. The Contest explained that they did not want a political rally as no one would get any plowing done in that event.

But could 100,000 spectators of plowing get together for two days of fun and plowing and do nothing but have fun and plow? And would God bless them for it? We hope that no one is run over by a tractor in all of the excitement and that no one and no row gets overly plowed.

Fifteen Republican women leaders were conferring with the General this date on a planned drive to woo the women's vote, considered crucial in the fall election. The General would also make a recording to be played to overseas troops just prior to their casting of absentee ballots.

Governor Stevenson would make a similar recording, but this date was relaxing during a brief vacation in Wisconsin.

Democrats for Eisenhower in Mississippi had lost a skirmish the previous day with the supporters of Governor Stevenson in that state's Democratic convention, when it voted to pledge its eight state electors to the Governor and Senator John Sparkman, his running mate, tantamount to approval of the Democratic ticket. The convention would meet again this date to place General Eisenhower's name on the ballot under an independent slate of electors, as a petition signed by 400 qualified voters was sufficient in Mississippi to place a slate of electors on the ballot.

An Associated Press survey this date showed that Republicans were preparing to campaign extensively at the precinct level in most of the 13 Southern states, the most intensive presidential campaign the Republicans had ever waged in the South. They would utilize in their campaign newspapers, radio, television and billboards, and would also undertake telephone and door-to-door personal appeals, introducing in that latter effort a new factor to Southern presidential campaigning. Democrats, by contrast, appeared to be planning a routine campaign on behalf of Governor Stevenson and Senator Sparkman. In the past, Republicans had ignored the South and written it off as Democratic territory. But General Eisenhower had great popular appeal in the region, where there were many Democrats dissatisfied with the national party and its policies. Louisiana national committeeman for the Republicans, John Minor Wisdom, had told General Eisenhower that he predicted a Republican victory in Texas, Florida, Virginia and Louisiana. The national Republican organization director, Wesley Roberts, also predicted a win in North Carolina. The story goes on to indicate a Southern state-by-state analysis of the Republican efforts.

Paul Hoffman, former administrator of the Marshall Plan in Europe, indicated in a deposition on behalf of Senator William Benton of Connecticut, as part of the defamation lawsuit filed against him by Senator Joseph McCarthy, that the latter Senator's statements against General Marshall and the Marshall Plan were "fantastically false". One cause of action in the lawsuit was based on Senator Benton's accusation that Senator McCarthy had told the Senate "a towering lie" in a speech of June 14, 1951, in which the Senator had denounced General Marshall, linking his name with a claim to a conspiracy to cause the country to "fall victim to Soviet injury from within and Russian military might from without." Counsel for Senator Benton had read various excerpts from the Senate speech of Senator McCarthy and periodically asked Mr. Hoffman whether he agreed with the statements, in one such excerpt, the Senator having denounced "a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man", linking General Marshall to that conspiracy as "the principal person guilty". To that, Mr. Hoffman had made his statement characterizing it as "fantastically false".

In Dyerville, California, Bernard Baruch was honored on his 82nd birthday as a guest in ceremonies dedicating a redwood bench to him, symbolic of his Central Park bench whereon in previous years he had conducted high-level talks regarding the U.N. and other international issues, as well the bench in Lafayette Square in Washington whereon he had similar discussions with high Government officials. The new bench bore the inscription: "His stature is that of the redwoods." Mr. Baruch suggested that he could dream wonderful dreams in that location, "under the spell of these surroundings ... where a dream of peace and plenty with equality of opportunity—will come true." Governor Earl Warren and his daughter, who had recently conquered a battle with infantile paralysis, were on hand for the ceremonies. Mr. Baruch lauded the 18-year old for her "self-discipline, determination and fortitude", finding her to be the challenge and answer to those who surrendered too easily or who sought special aid when they had not yet called upon their own reserves.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott stated at a news conference this date that an engineering bottleneck was delaying work on approximately 28.5 million dollars worth of highway projects. He indicated that he believed the Highway Commission should hire private engineers for some of the major projects to break the bottleneck. The Commission had 17 fewer engineers than four years earlier, despite presently having to undertake its largest road-building program in its history. Most of the 28.5 million dollars had been earmarked for specific projects, awaiting completion of the engineering. The Governor said that if present plans of a private company to build a toll bridge over Croatan Sound fell through, the State should build the bridge and charge tolls to pay for it. He also expressed surprise at a news report which suggested that he had intimated that it was "morally and politically wrong" to allocate the $750,000 for highway work in his home county of Alamance, indicating that it was not wrong, that the allocation would bring the roads in the county up to par and no more. He reiterated a statement he had made several times during his term, that if the State had given him a road and a telephone at his farm, he doubted that he would have ever run for Governor.

In Fayetteville, N.C., a man was bound over for trial in the next term of Federal court this date on a charge of attempting to wreck an Atlantic Coast Line train, the second such charge against him, having been, at the time his second arrest, released on $500 bail on the first arrest for having placed a gasoline drum on tracks near Rex. The story does not indicate what specifically he was alleged to have done in the second instance.

In Maiden, N.C., a violent storm sweeping across the state early this date had hit heaviest, damaging business property and knocking out electrical service. The storm had begun around midnight and reached its peak at 2:30, maintaining strength until around 4:30. Power was restored to the business and industrial plants of the town by 8:30.

But what is going to happen at 11:30? Maybe an earthquake... Maybe a typhoon.

A weak cold front with "'little activity'" had developed a sudden punch in the morning, set to dump a deluge of rain on Charlotte, moving from the northwest, and by 7:30, had produced .85 of an inch, most of which had fallen in a half hour, and nearly a third of an inch in eight minutes, with wind gusts up to 20 mph. Little further rain was expected during the day.

How about next month? Next year? In the 1960's? Inquiring minds want to know.

Dick Young of The News tells of an incident on Saturday afternoon, wherein a well-dressed, intelligent young woman, appearing to be in her early twenties, had appeared at a Charlotte home, where the woman in attendance was keeping her grandchild. The young woman said that she was making a polio survey in the city and held a mirror before the baby's mouth, saying, "See, the baby breathes just like she has polio," and then made a telephone call from the residence, indicating that she had examined the baby and had made the "mirror test". After the woman left, the grandmother reported the incident to the City Health Department, which then reported it to the City Polio Department. The grandmother had told the visitor that she had not heard of any polio epidemic, which the woman claimed was occurring across the state, including 77 cases in Charlotte. Nevertheless, she had allowed the woman to see her grandchild and conduct the "mirror test". For the remainder of this suspenseful story, you will have to go to the microfilm...

On the editorial page, "How About North Carolina, Ike?" hopes that the managers of General Eisenhower's campaign would decide to spend more than three days in early September in the South, and include stops in North Carolina on the itinerary, presently not scheduled. It indicates that a great reserve of support was forming for the General in the state and region and that a visit would help solidify it.

"An Oversight, or a Deliberate Stall?" indicates that, with less than five months remaining until the 1953 State General Assembly would convene, the Charlotte City Council had not yet turned its attention to the adoption of a job evaluation and classification plan for payment of municipal employees. It concludes that unless the Council moved promptly on this important plan, it would create the suspicion that it was deliberately stalling.

"Newspapers and Voters" provides a table from Editorial Research Reports listing the large number of editorial pages of American newspapers which had supported the Republican opponents of FDR in each of the quadrennial elections from 1932 through 1944, versus those which had supported President Roosevelt, 39 percent, 38 percent, 31 percent, and 26 percent, respectively, and the relative percentages of support in 1948, 65 percent for Governor Dewey against only 15 percent for President Truman. Yet, the Democrat had succeeded in all five elections. It indicates that President Truman, in his meeting the prior Friday with the CIO PAC, had pointed out this trend and stated his belief that it would continue in 1952.

The piece indicates that the statistics were even worse for the President in 1948, wherein the 65 percent of editorial pages supporting Governor Dewey had 78.5 percent of the total newspaper circulation, whereas the 15 percent supporting the President only had ten percent of total readership.

It finds that these statistics did not mean, however, that newspapers would have no role in the decision-making of American voters. For it was the case that while the editorial pages heavily supported the Republican candidate, the front pages made a special effort to provide a balanced view, often bending over backwards, in newspapers editorially supporting one candidate over another, to provide more coverage for the opponent in the news sections. Nor, it concludes, did it necessarily mean that the editorial writers had been wrong in their assessment, but that they had used a different basis from that of the voters to render their judgments. Newspapers tended to view the whole picture in a presidential election year, balancing foreign and domestic issues in an effort to evaluate the background and ability of the candidates and weigh their proposals against American history, whereas most voters cast their ballots on the basis of their immediate self-interest.

It recommends to the attention of the President the fact that in 1952, it was apparent that many American newspapers which had previously consistently championed the basic reforms of the New Deal were now of the opinion that the Democrats were no longer able to administer those reforms well for having been in power for 20 years and having become weighted down in that time with the entrenchment of bureaucracy, resulting in inefficiency as well as graft and corruption, catering to special interests.

"Of Wives and Vacation" quotes from the poetry of Robert Browning on the subject of August, and from Bernice Kenyon on same, indicating disagreement, recommending to any woman who wanted to renew the love of her husband, that she take a long trip in August. The piece indicates, from that experience apparently, the many sudden pitfalls besetting the husband forced to care for himself in the absence of his wife.

And, April come she will...

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Life and Death in Tar Heelia", tells of the Department of Commerce, in its regular bulletin, having indicated that the death rate of North Carolinians from heart disease was the lowest in the upper Southeast, with a rate of 242.6 per 100,000, whereas in D.C., part of the same region, the rate was 371.6, and was even greater in slow-paced West Virginia, at 267.7. It concludes: "What could be finer than to live in North Carolina? Naturally!"

But it goes on to add that in automobile accidents, North Carolina had 23.8 fatalities per 100,000 against the national average of 21.3, 15.1 in D.C., 17.5 in Maryland, 21.7 in Virginia and 20.3 in West Virginia. It finds, based on those statistics, that while North Carolinians stayed calm and collected insofar as dying of heart disease, "somebody is always collecting their double indemnity".

It also neglects to provide cancer statistics, which might further elucidate why the death from heart disease was so low, because cancer got many people before heart disease had a chance to get them, especially in the highly carcinogenic cities at the time of Durham and Winston-Salem, wherein the emanations from the unfiltered tobacco manufacturing plants could be smelled very plainly within a proximity of about five miles from the plants in the aftermath of rainy days. But that is surmise, awaiting further statistical proof in support of our hypothesized inference. But does not the fact that health care has supplanted tobacco as the prinicipal industry in Winston-Salem, at least, tend to corroborate the notion through the years?

U. E. Baughman, head of the U.S. Secret Service, substituting for Drew Pearson while he was on vacation, tells of the general duties of the special agents of the Secret Service, an agency of the Treasury Department. In addition to their duties of protection of the President and the Vice-President and their families, they were specialists in detecting counterfeit and forged Government notes.

Even in an average forged check case arising under Federal jurisdiction, unusual circumstances sometimes arose, as in the case of an Indian woman in South Dakota, which required the special agent ultimately to take to horseback to find her in the back country, which he eventually was able to do, bringing her to justice.

After World War II, a large amount of American counterfeit money had come into circulation in both the U.S. and in Europe, as well as in other parts of the world, requiring special agents to go to those foreign countries on occasion to track down the counterfeit currency. He provides some of the detail.

Since 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley in Buffalo, the Secret Service, by law, had protected the President and his family, the President-elect, and the Vice-President, at the latter's request. The entire force of the Service participated to some extent in those functions, with a selected group, known as the White House detail, assigned directly to the President at all times and under all conditions. In addition to that detail, the White House police force was charged with protection of the White House, itself, its grounds, and the President when he was present. Members of the White House police force were expert marksmen, as had been demonstrated on November 1, 1950, when the two Puerto Rican nationalists had unsuccessfully tried to shoot their way into Blair House, home to the First Family, across the street from the White House, while the executive mansion had been undergoing reconstruction between 1949 and March, 1952.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the divisive question within the Eisenhower camp of how the General would treat Senators Joseph McCarthy and William Jenner, and whether he would visit their respective home states of Wisconsin and Indiana. Originally, the plan had been that he would make a speech early in the campaign simultaneously denouncing softness on Communism within the Administration and also character assassination and smear tactics anywhere, then refrain from visiting either Indiana or Wisconsin and so avoid sharing a platform with the two Senators, both up for re-election.

But that compromise plan had been upset by heavy pressure from Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois Republican organizations, advice supported by new RNC chairman, Arthur Summerfield. In consequence, the campaign schedule now included a major appearance by the General in Indiana during the second week of September, with an appearance in Wisconsin being considered for later in the month. Word was also being circulated that the General would endorse all Republican candidates in those states, including Senators McCarthy and Jenner.

A fair number of Republican Senatorial and Congressional candidates had persistently attacked nearly everything for which the General stood. They had publicly described General Marshall as a traitor to his country, with Senator Jenner having described him as "a living lie", "a front man for traitors" and a "co-conspirator of treason". Before the Senate, Senator McCarthy had said as much and more—as set forth in some detail on the front page this date in the story regarding Senator McCarthy's lawsuit against Senator William Benson. Those attacks rankled General Eisenhower, as General Marshall had been a major influence on his military career. Thus, naturally, General Eisenhower was reluctant to offer any support to those two Senators.

Yet, the Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio Republican leaders had threatened the General with losing their states unless he campaigned for all other Republicans, including the two Senators.

The Alsops posit that the General might be susceptible to that pressure only because of his political inexperience, as more experience would have made him aware that these were the same types of political operatives who had charged Governor Dewey in 1948 with willfully losing the campaign because of his "me-tooism", which they regard as complete nonsense. Governor Dewey had carried Indiana in 1948, but lost Illinois and Ohio, by a little more than 33,000 votes in the case of the former, and a little more than 1,000 votes in the case of the latter. In those states, the "violently reactionary local Republican candidates" ran hundreds of thousands of votes behind the Governor, with margins ranging from 152,000 votes in Indiana, where the gubernatorial race was won by the Democrat who was now challenging Senator Jenner, to 529,000 votes in Illinois, where the gubernatorial race was won by Governor Stevenson. Those state organizations had heavily supported the local candidates but had not offered any support for Governor Dewey. Thus, it could be inferred that Governor Dewey's candidacy in those states was dragged down by the unsavory people on the ticket with him in those states, rather than by anything in particular about the Governor, himself, or the lack of local and state Republican support of his candidacy.

Moreover, support by the General of Senators McCarthy and Jenner could cost him independent voter support on the West and East Coasts. So, the Alsops conclude, conventional political wisdom suggested that the General's original inclination to stay away from the two Senators was correct. Senator James Duff of Pennsylvania and other leading Republicans who wanted the General to run as himself supported that position. What the General would say in the Indiana speech and whether he would endorse Senator Jenner would determine which faction in his campaign would be followed, probably the biggest choice he would have to make during the campaign.

Robert C. Ruark finds that gambling kingpin Frank Costello, sentenced to 18 months in prison for contempt of the Senate during the Kefauver crime committee hearings of spring, 1951, had received a bum rap from what Mr. Ruark regards as "a televised roadshow" which was commercially sponsored by Time & Life on the ABC network. He quickly adds that Mr. Costello had been able to escape justice over the decades on numerous occasions, but that sentencing him to prison simply because he did not want to be an unpaid, involuntary participant in "Kefauver's campaign for a presidential nomination, cynically administered as such", commercialized from start to finish, had been a "miscarriage of justice and an infringement on the rights of man".

He finds that the Kefauver hearings had replaced baseball as an afternoon sport in 1951 and the witnesses had been "unpaid actors in a freak show" which had stopped work for weeks around the country while citizens gathered to watch the spectacle. He thinks it had been purely entertainment and "old-fashioned hokum". It had possibly resulted in cleaning up some "minor malefactors" and had achieved the New York City Council presidency for Rudolph Halley, the committee counsel, while elevating Senator Kefauver to the stature of a latter-day Lincoln in the public consciousness, making him a popular choice for the presidency.

He concludes that Mr. Costello might be guilty of everything "from rape to horse-stealing", but had been railroaded in this instance.

In a matter of days, Mr. Ruark has gone from wanting to use guns, bows and arrows or baseball bats on "young punks" who closed a taxi door on his leg as he and his wife entered the cab after a show, wanting to spare the state the trouble of executing the "punks" by taking care of business instanter, to finding rationale for not sending to jail an underworld kingpin, when the ultimate source of the prosecution, Senator Kefauver and his committee, did not suit Mr. Ruark's fancy. And, many times since 1948, he had condemned Alger Hiss as a traitor and bemoaned the fact that his conviction for perjury could not have involved a stiffer sentence befitting his actual crime, that prosecution having arisen indirectly from the August, 1948 HUAC hearings, a prosecution in which then-Congressman Richard Nixon had actively participated, testifying before the December grand jury and pushing for the prosecution. Yet, more recently, Mr. Ruark had written of his delight with the Republican ticket, including Senator Nixon, not appearing to have found the 1947 and 1948 HUAC proceedings to have been the spectacle about which he complains regarding the Kefauver hearings. He does not seem to reckon with the fact that Mr. Hiss was prosecuted effectively for not being contemnacious and refusing to answer questions before HUAC, as were the "Hollywood Ten" by their refusal to testify the previous year, damned if one did and damned if one did not if the members of the Committee took a dislike to the cut of one's jib or simply liked better the supposedly reformed Communist accuser, whereas Mr. Costello had plainly shown contempt of the Kefauver committee, without having any basis under the Fifth Amendment to exercise his privilege against self-incrimination regarding the innocuous questions he refused to answer and on which he was charged. It would be hard to find any consistency, therefore, in Mr. Ruark's viewpoint, save by the test of raising his finger to determine whether the vane was being directed by a conservative Republican or liberal Democratic wind—unless, of course, one happened to be among the bar habitues with whom Mr. Ruark regularly bragged of associating and from whom he admitted taking some of his cues for the content of his column.

A letter writer, who had been labeled a "dog hater" by some of the subsequent letter writers responding to his prior letter, one expressing the hope that he would be skinned alive, indicates lack of surprise at the reaction to his urging that all stray dogs be exterminated by the the City and County authorities. He indicates that the other correspondents on the subject had answered his letter with purely emotional outbursts, absent any logical point. The "dripping sentimentality about 'man's best friend', is the testament and admission of the lovelorn, the loveless, the childless, the frustrated, the inhibited and the emotionally unstable whose egos expand when someone or something licks their hand." He indicates that "man's best friends" included Jesus and his Sermon on the Mount, Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, the authors of plays, books, and documents on political and religious freedom, and the discoverers who traversed the oceans and harnessed the natural resources for the use of their progeny. "But then, none of those would come lapping around with blind and instinctive adoration in their eyes worshiping our great accomplishment and ability to throw a bone." He indicates that if a child trespassed on a lawn, the owner became mad, but when a "hound dirties the grass and spreads filth and contamination on our streets and in our homes we seem to have a happy and tolerant gleam in our eyes." He concludes that all he had meant to say was that "stray dogs, bearing filth and disease germs, be exterminated." He also adds that the respondents to the letter did not remark on his comment that 28 million dollars per year was being spent on food and funeral expenses for dogs in the country.

We understand. It's just a damn dog, nearly all id, with no ego or superego, its only restraint from the unfettered wild being its Pavlovian response to satiation time in food and water, given by its master of the moment in consideration for its inducement, and, sometimes, inveiglement, to proper and good household behavior. But if it happens to be your dog, it has become a member of your family or, absent one, your soul mate, your irreplaceable mirror to your own personality, invested therefore in some fashion with all of your hopes and dreams, which doggy shares in lapdog fashion, and no other doggy will do. It is the one, just like Richard Nixon to those who determined to make Mr. Nixon a part of their family in 1952 after that nice man's talk to the nation about his family dog. But we are jumping ahead of ourselves in the game of catch...

A letter writer from McBee, S.C., indicates that he was hearing everywhere the refrain from people who had previously always voted a straight Democratic ticket, "We want Ike, we want Ike!" He finds it true in the towns of both North Carolina and South Carolina, that Ike had captured the "love, devotion and loyalty and imagination of millions of followers" who would perhaps sweep him into the White House by popular demand in November. He predicts it was going to be "an Ike year". The General had walked with kings but had never lost the common touch and would be, he assures, "everybody's President following a middle-of-the-road national and international policy that would give all of us a little more prosperity and a little more strength, a little more respect and courage and a little more peace."

Yeah, but it's also going to be a Dick year. Hope you like it.

A letter writer urges the minority voters in the fall to think before they voted, that they should vote for a man who had demonstrated courage for the two-thirds of the people of the world who were not white, Governor Stevenson. He lists the positive record which the Governor had on civil rights, including his fight for an FEPC in Illinois, his prompt quelling of the Cicero race riot of the previous summer, erupting when a black family moved into a previously all-white neighborhood, his veto of a bill which was supposedly aimed at subversives but actually was more dangerous to ordinary citizens, his veto of a discriminatory bill which had been designed to scuttle low-cost housing, the abolition of official segregation in public schools, his opinion against "Jim Crow" taverns in the state, the refusal of the Illinois Labor Department to accept discriminatory orders from employers and its dropping of racial, religious and nationality questions from job applications, and the insertion of a non-discrimination clause in all contracts for State park concessions. (His misplacement of the rioting of the prior summer in Cairo, incidentally, was 15 years ahead of time.)

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