The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 1, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that artillery barrages and scattered skirmishes took place across the Korean front, as U.N. troops, supported by planes and artillery, repulsed Communist patrols. One allied patrol reported killing ten enemy troops and wounding twelve in the sharpest clash of the New Year's Day, lasting 30 minutes. During the closing hours of 1952, allied artillery had lit up the skies to salute the new year and remind the enemy of the Eighth Army's firepower. The Navy said that the U.S.S. Missouri had bombarded and greatly damaged a war plant at Chongjin, less than 60 miles from the border with Soviet Siberia, on the northeast Korean coast, and a factory had been shelled all day on Tuesday.

U.S. Sabre jets patrolled northwest Korea but were unchallenged by enemy MIG-15s.

General Curtis LeMay, commander of the Strategic Air Command, said that it had averaged 18 air accidents for every 100,000 hours flown, 40 percent lower during 1952 than in 1951.

Did Santa get home safely?

Senate leaders saw little chance that the running battle over filibusters would prevent the Senate and the Congress from organizing when it entered its new session on Saturday. Senator Taft said that he was confident that the Senate could swear in the 36 Senators elected in the fall, including Senator-elect John F. Kennedy, and conduct other opening-day business before entering a battle over the Senate rule regarding cloture votes for filibusters. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia was equally confident that no change would be made early to the Senate rules. Senators Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, Paul Douglas of Illinois, and Herbert Lehman of New York had promised, however, an opening-day fight regarding the cloture rules, which presently required a two-thirds vote of the Senators before debate could be closed, used effectively to squelch civil rights and other anti-discrimination bills.

Testimony before a House investigating committee the previous day left open the question of whether there would be renewed grand jury probes of alleged Communist infiltration among U.S. employees of the U.N. Two witnesses from the Justice Department disagreed during the testimony about a proposal to impanel a new grand jury to resume that work. The U.S. Attorney of New York testified that a new jury would renew the quest early the following week, but Assistant Attorney General Charles Murray differed, saying that he would carry his protest to Attorney General James McGranery. Secretary of State Acheson had testified for 95 minutes, defending his aides against charges that they had been lax in screening disloyal Americans at the U.N., saying that the Department was doing the best it could. The Judiciary subcommittee aired charges the previous day that the State and Justice Departments had hampered a New York grand jury by trying to delay or tone down its report filed December 2, indicating that there were Communists on the U.N. staff. Spokesmen from both Departments denied those charges before the subcommittee, which had only two days of life left until the start of the 83rd Congress on Saturday.

An order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington the previous day, following arguments by attorneys on both sides, stayed until Monday morning the Government from seeking to deport Serge Rubinstein, the 45-year old Russian-born financier, under an order issued by Attorney General McGranery the previous Monday that Mr. Rubinstein surrender to await deportation from Ellis Island in New York, based on his conviction and sentence in 1947 for dodging the draft. The design of the order was to allow Mr. Rubinstein's attorneys time to return to U.S. District Court to seek a longer injunction against the deportation.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York turned down a motion for a new trial for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, condemned to be executed later in January at Sing Sing prison in New York. Their last recourse would be to seek pardon or clemency from the President. U.S. District Court Judge Irving Kaufman, who had presided over the Rosenbergs' trial and issued the death sentences 20 months earlier, reserved decision on a clemency plea the prior Tuesday, saying that he would allow plenty of time for the plea to the President, and that the execution date during the week of January 11 might be postponed. The Supreme Court had already refused the Rosenbergs' petition for writ of certiorari.

In New York, the largest bus strike in the city's history had begun as more than 8,000 drivers and maintenance men on 125 routes struck at midnight in a wage-hour dispute, set to idle all of the 3,500 buses of eight privately-owned companies, which carried 3.5 million fares on a normal business day. The strike affected only a fraction of the city's subway and elevated bus-trolley systems, most of which were owned and operated by the City. Though there had been ample warning of the coming strike, many people celebrating the New Year had a difficult time getting home.

Noisy toasts to better times and quiet prayers for peace characterized the celebration of the New Year, from Times Square around the globe, while many loved ones were fighting in Korea, Indo-China and Malaya, or serving on other fronts in the cold war between East and West. A snow and sleet storm held down midnight street crowds in Manhattan, where Times Square had a throng of 200,000 at midnight, whereas in prior years the crowds had reached a million.

President-elect Eisenhower hoped that 1953 would bring "back to us the assurance that peace will again come to the world", and the President, the previous day at his press conference, had indicated that the outlook for world peace was better now than it had been a year earlier. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on his way to visit with the President-elect and the President, joined fellow passengers on the Queen Mary in welcoming the new year. Greeted by a cheering crowd in the first-class lounge, he indicated that he trusted all would have a safe passage to the other side of the world and would strengthen the bonds between England and the U.S.

Snow had fallen up to six inches in accumulation in mountains of western Pennsylvania, with more predicted for that region, and one to three inches had fallen from Maryland to Boston, as well as in New York. Rain and snow were forecast for the plains states and through the Mississippi River Valley. Temperatures were slightly above normal in the central and Western states and about normal in the East. Rainfall was moderate to heavy in the Southeast, with heavy snowfall taking place in parts of the Southwest.

Only 18 traffic fatalities had been reported thus far in the holiday period, which had begun at 6:00 p.m. the previous night and would end at midnight on Sunday. The National Safety Council had estimated that 410 persons would be killed in vehicle accidents during the holiday period.

In a story closely resembling one of December 26 out of Los Angeles, a woman in St. Albans, Vt., gave birth to her fifth child and then died of cancer less than 24 hours later. Her doctor described her as one of the most courageous women he had ever met. She had pleaded with doctors to allow her to leave the hospital so that she could spend Christmas with her family.

The traditional New Year's Day bowl games, the Rose Bowl at Pasadena, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, and the Orange Bowl in Miami, took place as usual, with the usual suspects participating.

Not stated on the front page, N.C. State had won the fourth annual Dixie Classic basketball tournament in Raleigh, for the fourth consecutive time, defeating Brigham Young the previous night. The UNC team of new head coach Frank McGuire lost to the University of Pennsylvania, to finish in sixth place out of the eight teams participating, with Duke defeating Princeton for seventh place. Wake Forest had surprised Holy Cross, ranked sixth nationally by the Associated Press, to capture third-place in the annual holiday tournament, which pitted the Big Four teams against four nationally prominent teams outside the Southern Conference—a tournament which would later expire after its 1960 edition, amid the point-shaving scandals and because the in-state coaches did not like the prospect of emerging with one to three early-season losses from the tournament.

Ralph Gibson of The News reports from Lincolnton that the state's first Republican Congressman since 1928, Charles Jonas, had left for Washington this date with two suitcases full of unanswered mail, but no crusade in tow. The father of Mr. Jonas had been the last Republican Congressman from the state.

Tom Fesperman of The News indicates that Charlotte had entered the New Year soberly after spending a comparatively quiet evening the previous night, with fireworks here and there, despite the law banning their sale. There had been some horn-blowing and an occasional yell of exuberance, but most citizens came through the night in routine style. Police had noted restraint on the part of the citizenry, with traffic having been light all night and most people having gone home to bed. Only 15 persons had been arrested during the night, all for public drunkenness.

On the editorial page, "An Old Greeting with a New Twist" indicates that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page had provided recently a new twist to season's greetings by indicating: "At this season when greetings so snappy/ Simply flow between chappie and chappie,/ We wish you a very/ Exceedingly merry,/ And a very exceedingly happy."

It had brought to mind a message which had come in the mails several days earlier, wishing the usual "Merry Christmas", but adding, "And I wish for you an eventful and venturesome New Year." It finds that latter sentiment a likable idea, adding something to the usual wishes, and so, "with undisguised plagiarism", it extends to the readers of the newspaper its best wishes that they would "enjoy a happy New Year, and a New Year that is eventful and venturesome as well."

Oh, don't you worry. This 1953 will be eventful and venturesome for us and our school chums, as we learn to crawl together in harmony and unity. Thank ye, thank ye very much.

"Fussings, Shoutings and Blamings" takes its title from the editor's five-year old who had gravely said, after receiving a mild and kindly reproof, that he was tired of those things contained in the title. It indicates that it tended to summarize its reaction to the entire year of 1952, with its noisome tirades about the loss of China, Chiang Kai-shek, the Korean War, troops being sent to Europe, inflation, corruption and incompetence, subversion and disloyalty, deficit financing, big spending, high taxes, the draft, foreign aid, labor bossism, captive candidates, military minds, and stolen delegates to the conventions, among other things. It suggests that 1952 had been about the "fussingest, shoutingest, blamingest" year in all of U.S. history.

It suggests that it in part it was the result of being a presidential election year and in another part because the leaders of the country, uncertain of the direction the nation should take, had covered up their confusion with loud talk. It also reflected a growing tendency on the part of the press and radio to highlight the areas of disagreement, under the old theory that conflict made news.

It looks forward to 1953 with a measure of relief, hopes that there would be relative harmony between the President and Congress for a change, that the tempo of investigations would slacken, that the Korean War might be brought to some conclusion, and that some of the other problems would be tackled in a new spirit, even if not solved.

It hopes for something better and more adult than that of which the five-year old in the house had complained.

"The Town Will Miss Vic Shaw" indicates that, as anticipated, Charlotte Mayor Victor Shaw had announced the previous day that he would not seek re-election in the spring, an announcement which nevertheless left the newspaper downcast, as he had been an "uncommonly good mayor". He had seen the need for better streets, better water and sewage systems, better public health programs, better recreation facilities, and better schools, as well as the elimination of grade crossings which impeded traffic flow. He also had some faults, such as the tendency to be impatient at times and somewhat stubborn, as well as becoming somewhat angry under needling from City Councilmen, irate citizens and, occasionally, editorial writers. But on the whole, it finds that during his four years, he had acted always in the best interests of the city and its people, had been a gracious man and given generously of his time, energy and talents to public service.

"A Victory in Human Relations" indicates that in 1949, there had been three lynchings in the country, in 1950, two, and in 1951, one, while in 1952, for the first time during the 70 years in which records had been maintained, there had been no lynchings. There had been 14 attempted lynchings in 1949, seven in 1950, three in 1951, and one in 1952.

During the decade from 1913 to 1922, there had been 597 lynchings, during 1923 to 1932, 175, during 1933 to 1942, 103, and, during the previous decade, 21.

It suggests that the people of the South could take quiet pride in that progress indicated by the statistics, as most lynchings had occurred in the South. But racial tensions and religious tensions still had "ugly manifestations", taking the form of bombings, beatings, and incendiary activities. Such practices were not confined to any one section of the country. It hopes that those other forms of extra-legal action would also soon be relegated to the past, along with lynchings.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Meteorological Note", tells of all the indicators suggesting that there would be a harsh winter ahead, everything from seeing a wedge of ducks heading south while the author had been trying to catch a trout in the Ozarks, to the "Old Farmer's Almanac", the latter, however, limited to the area around Dublin, N.H., hence not so reliable necessarily for St. Louis.

It suggests that perhaps the ancients were happier not knowing what the weather would be, until the barometer was invented by Torricelli in 1643 and the thermometer, by Celsius in 1742. But it vows to keep a lookout for chickadees, grouse, ducks, robins, bluejays, squirrels, woodchucks and other such weather prophets, as it wanted to be sure that it would be a hard winter ahead.

Drew Pearson makes his predictions for 1953, indicating initially that it would be the year in which the real beginning of the atomic age would occur, as atomic energy, for the first time, would be applied to peacetime use, with small atomic power plants for civilians to be built in England and the U.S. for use in isolated communities without access to electric power. He also predicts that a battle would take place over control of atomic energy, between the Government, which had spent eight billion dollars developing it, and private industry. He posits that it would become one of the most important problems to be determined by the new Administration.

He predicts that the U.S. would detonate another hydrogen bomb the following spring, and that the Russians would follow with their first hydrogen bomb. Such a large stockpile of atomic bombs would be accumulated in 1953 that it might slow production, as the country would have enough to destroy any enemy. Congress would permit the exchange of atomic information with Great Britain and with U.S. industrial firms. Also, the first atomic artillery would be fired in Korea during the year.

Monkeys would be shot 100 miles to the edge of space and would continue to live, starting the development of spaceships during the year, beginning the conquest of space and the first flight to the moon.

The age of helicopters would also begin during the year, with strides made toward production of a light, cheap helicopter, weighing less than 400 pounds and selling for around $1,000—provided you can survive the crash.

Business, he predicts, would be good during the first half of the year, as sales of automobiles, refrigerators and television sets would exceed most prior records; but farm prices would decline and stay down to the lowest level since the end of the war, producing an unhealthy balance between the farmer and city dwellers, making a depression inevitable. He predicts, therefore, that there would be a recession toward the end of the year.

Russia would continue its drive to make the rest of the world think of it as the chief apostle of peace, though peace would actually be very precarious. Stalin, Churchill and Eisenhower would meet sometime during the year and would assure the world that they wanted peace, but the seeds of a permanent peace would not be planted and could not be planted until the Soviets changed their policy or the free world united more solidly. Thus, he predicts, the cold war would continue.

The solidarity of Western Europe was faltering of late, and he predicts it would be the most dangerous development of the new year, causing the new President to devote much more time to Europe, with which Stalin was more interested, for its great industrial resources in France and Germany, than in any other part of the world. Thus, the new President would quickly have to patch up deteriorating relations between France and Germany and breathe new life into the united European army, or the seeds of a future war in Europe would be planted during the year.

The new President would move three new U.S. divisions to Japan and would send two divisions of the Nationalist Chinese army from Formosa to Korea, while preparing to use atomic artillery in the war if necessary. The Chinese would bomb American troops behind the lines for the first time, as there were 75 Russo-Chinese jet bombers just across the border in Manchuria. He predicts that the war would result in a stalemate and drag on during the year.

The new Administration would heavily increase supplies to French Indo-China and, he predicts, the Communists would finally be cleaned out of that vital area, though it might take more than a year to accomplish.

Iran might fall into Russian hands because of British muddling and the Arab world would continue to seethe, with Communism spreading to the oil-rich areas of the Near East.

The new President and Senator Taft would try to succeed in their political marriage, but in the end, it would crack up over legislation, which the Senator would seek to control. He would also intervene in foreign plow policy, placing two of his men, Senators Homer Capehart and Homer Ferguson on the Foreign Relations Committee, putting Senator Taft on a collision course with Governor Dewey, leader of the non-isolationist wing of the Republican Party, with the man in the middle being Secretary of State Dulles.

Governor Stevenson's well-meaning friends would split the Northern wing of the Democratic Party by trying to get him to run for the Senate against Democratic Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois. Southern and Northern Democrats would also split over control of the party and many fringe Southern Democrats would cooperate with the Republicans.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the Eisenhower Administration shaping up to be predominantly a businessman's administration, potentially healthy or posing a serious danger.

They hearken back to the British Governments of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain during the Thirties as having been predominated by businessmen, with the result that too much focus was placed on the economic well-being of the country at the expense of its defense, the premise having been that a good domestic economy was the best assurance of strong defense. Mr. Chamberlain's failure could be traced to that exaggerated concern with the domestic economy, largely ignoring the dangers abroad.

There were risks that the Eisenhower Administration could face the same problem, with two internal forces in the Cabinet-designate taking shape, Secretary of Treasury-designate George Humphrey advocating a strong domestic economy while Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles argued that safeguarding the domestic economy was futile if the world situation was allowed to falter through defense cuts. Secretary Dulles warned that even small defense cuts could cause loss of confidence among allies abroad while emboldening further Communist aggression.

General Eisenhower shared with Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley apprehension regarding trying to cut the budget to 70 billion dollars, as favored by Senator Taft. Secretary Dulles wanted to expand defense into neglected areas such as Indo-China.

Given time, they posit, Secretary Humphrey might realize that priorities had to be established for national survival over a lower tax bill, but there was no time. It was to be hoped that President-elect Eisenhower would demonstrate the wisdom he had in the past in resolving these competing concerns.

Robert C. Ruark, in Cairo, tells of customs in Egypt having been relaxed in recent times, as indicated by the fact that he could get his cache of arms and camera equipment for his safari in Kenya through in a half hour, compared to the week it had taken him in Rome. Eighteen months earlier, Americans were viciously hated in Cairo and it was not safe then to walk the streets alone. The Egyptians had been reasonably upset at the U.S. for its stand regarding Palestine, with which Egypt was at war.

But everyone said that Ambassador Jefferson Caffery had restored good relations between Egypt and the U.S., as he circulated among the Egyptians, unlike most ambassadors who remained inside the embassies. Strongman leader Mohammed Naguib, who had orchestrated a military coup the prior July leading to the exile of King Farouk, believed the Ambassador to be "a very wonderful man", that he knew and understood Egyptians very well and wanted to help them. A taxi driver had also indicated that Mr. Caffery was "a very fine man". That was the generally prevailing opinion, and Mr. Ruark wants to make it clear, because the State Department had been taking a lot of criticism abroad, some of it justified, and he believes that credit ought go to Ambassador Caffery for doing a splendid job in Egypt, which he hopes he would be permitted to continue.

A letter from a captain of the Third Cargo Company of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve thanks the people of Charlotte and the surrounding area for their generosity in the Company's "Toys for Tots" campaign. He indicates that the contributors had made the children who received the toys very happy, and he particularly thanks the Salvation Army, which had distributed most of the toys, as well as the newspaper for its help given to the campaign, making it a success.

A letter writer from Blacksburg, S.C., comments on the letter from A. W. Black appearing on December 27, in which he had condemned the Christmas spirit as hypocritical, this writer indicating that some persons celebrated the birth of Christ in a way which was displeasing to all "right-thinking people", but she personally feels that it was the best Christmas she had ever known, with more real Christmas spirit and brotherly love manifested among all people, more giving of gifts with no thought of receiving gifts in return. She indicates that it warmed her heart to remember all the sincere Christmas wishes she had heard from friends, neighbors and loved ones on Christmas Day. She wishes the newspaper's staff a happy and prosperous New Year.

A letter writer indicates that the Golden Years Club of Hawthorne Center in Charlotte wished to express to the newspaper and its staff on the city desk heartfelt appreciation for its cooperation in publicity given the Club during the previous year, that it would have been impossible for the Club to have carried out its program without the help of the press.

A letter from three G.I.s in France expresses a wish for pen pals, and supplies their address.

A letter from a corporal in Heavy Mortar Company, 224th Infantry Regiment, in Korea, indicates that he had been in the country for ten months and had been having a difficult time keeping up with news from Charlotte, where he had spent many weekends while being stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, and had been thoroughly impressed with its generous hospitality, thinking of making Charlotte his home after his discharge. He indicates that he had not been getting much mail lately and would appreciate some letters from nice people in North Carolina. He says that he was 21, single and with no steady girl.

If you are a steady girl, you might wish to consider writing him. But if you are unsteady, forget it.

Eighth Day of Christmas: Eight freezing dogs whining in the cold and snow, no longer bold or with anywhere left to go.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.