The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 3, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Jim Becker, that two Chinese Communist companies had attacked allied positions along the front in Korea the previous night and this date, but had been repulsed, in the "Kelly Hill" sector of the western front and on "Pinpoint Hill" of "Sniper Ridge" on the central front. Both actions took place in the coldest weather of the winter, at ten degrees below zero in the "Sniper" area.

In the air war, Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers flew in clear skies against rail and supply routes in North Korea, and attacked Communist front-line positions.

In the week ending January 2, the Air Force said that U.S. Sabre jets had destroyed two Communist MIG-15s, probably destroyed another and damaged a fourth. There were no Sabre jet losses. A U.S. F-51 Mustang had been lost to Communist ground fire and a Sabre, a Mustang and a B-26 light bomber had been lost to other causes, presumably mechanical failure.

An Eighth Army briefing officer said that the allies had inflicted 9,429 enemy casualties during December, including 5,763 killed, 3,630 wounded, and 134 captured, the lowest number of casualties since the previous July and more than 5,000 fewer than the November total.

The new Republican-controlled 83rd Congress convened this date, the Republicans holding the majority for only the second time in 22 years, the other having been the 80th Congress between 1947 and 1949. The session consisted mainly of formalities, the swearing in of new Senators and the members of the House, and making official the selection of the officers already chosen by the Republicans in party meetings the previous day. The new Senate Majority Leader was Senator Taft, and the new Speaker of the House was Joe Martin of Massachusetts. It marked the end of the Democratic New Deal and Fair Deal administrations. Congressman Charles Halleck of Indiana, the new House Majority Leader, said that the number one task for the new Congress would be to cut Government costs, which he said could be done without endangering security or hampering Government services. GOP Congressman Daniel Reed of New York, who would chair the Ways & Means Committee, already had a bill prepared to reduce income taxes of most individuals by 11 percent, to become effective on June 30. Democratic Congressman John Dingell of Michigan, a member of the Ways & Means Committee, had a bill to end the amusements tax which added 20 percent to the cost of theater and movie tickets. Most Republican leaders were taking the stance that Congress had first to determine what it could do about reducing expenses before considering tax cuts.

The Republican majority announced this date through Senator Taft that Senators whose election had been challenged would be sworn in despite the protests. Senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico had been re-elected in November, but his election had been challenged by his Republican opponent, General Patrick Hurley. There had been a challenge also to the election of Senator William Langer of North Dakota. Any challenges, said Senator Taft, could be taken up later in the Rules Committee.

Senator Joseph McCarthy was sworn in for his new term without any reference to the Elections subcommittee challenge to his honesty. The Senator had dared members of the subcommittee, who had just issued a unanimous report on the Senator's questionable finances, to try to keep him out of his seat. The report had recommended that he not be seated until the entire Senate had a chance to review the evidence contained in the report. No one in the Senate had contested his seating this date.

For the first time in 43 years, Congress was organized without Congressman Robert Doughton of North Carolina, 89, former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, who had retired. It was also the first time in 24 years that North Carolina had sent a Republican, Charles Jonas, to the House. Mr. Doughton was donating his large number of documents and souvenirs to his home state, including UNC. He was retaining, however, his water buffalo antlers from the Philippines as one of his travel relics.

President-elect Eisenhower arranged to confer this date with a committee he had named recently to study reorganization of the executive branch, to be chaired by future New York Governor and Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, and including Dr. Arthur Fleming, president of Ohio Wesleyan University, and the new President's brother Milton, president of Penn State. The latter, however, had not yet reached New York, and might not be able to participate in the meeting this date.

At the U.N. in New York, Secretary-General Trygve Lie charged publicly the previous night that the State Department had delayed in providing information which he could use to oust disloyal Americans from employment at the U.N., and in some cases had denied him the information. He had submitted the statement on December 23 to Senate investigators and the State Department, but its public release had been delayed. The Department declined comment on the claims, but officials had told the Senate Internal Security subcommittee at a hearing on December 31 that the Department would have taken steps to try to work out a new procedure for supplying Mr. Lie with personnel information had he complained earlier about the methods being used. The statement of Mr. Lie said that he had sought information from the State Department since 1948 on about 2,000 American staff members, and that adverse comment had been received on only 24 of them. There had been long delays in obtaining replies from the Department on names submitted to it, and in four cases, the Department had withdrawn its previous adverse comments.

The State Department removed a diplomat from its policy planning staff and suspended him for 30 days without pay after he had been arrested for public drunkenness while carrying secret papers, paying a fine of $8.25 in Arlington County, Va. His wife had appealed a court conviction for drunk driving after their car had run into a telephone pole in the early hours of December 6. The State Department press office said that the diplomat had violated security regulations by having with him papers marked "secret". The couple had been on their way to a party at the time. His wife had picked him up at the State Department after work, and he had placed the secret papers in the trunk of the automobile, which was in a locked garage during the party. The presence of the papers became known after the diplomat, with the car apparently being impounded, insisted that he could only provide his briefcase to an authorized State Department officer, at which point a security officer was summoned to meet him to collect the papers.

In Raleigh, Governor-elect William B. Umstead and Lieutenant Governor-elect Luther Hodges, along with other elected State officials, would be sworn in and the Governor inaugurated to succeed Governor Kerr Scott the following Thursday; and the new General Assembly would convene its 1953 biennial session at noon on Wednesday.

Also in Raleigh, an Air Force C-47 transport plane had crashed the previous night near the Raleigh-Durham Airport, with three of the crew having died. The fourth crewman, who was battered, bloodied and dazed, had stumbled into the airport early in the morning, reporting that the plane had crashed as it sought to conduct an emergency landing in rain and fog. About six hours later, search parties discovered the wreckage a half-mile from the airport. The plane had been returning from a routine training flight in New York.

In Venice, Italy, two freight-car loads of hand grenades exploded on a transport barge, killing seven workmen and injuring six others. Hundreds of gondolas rushed to the rescue of other workers who had plunged into the cold water as a result of the blast, which shook the whole city.

In Clarksburg, W. Va., the previous day, a 33-year old man and three young boys, ages 9 to 12, drowned, while the man sought to save the three boys after they had fallen through ice while ice-skating on a lake. The man had just been released from the hospital the previous week following surgery. Two other boys who had been skating with the three who drowned, had sought to shove a log toward them but were unable to reach them. They spotted the man driving toward his home and flagged him down. He dove into the icy water, but in his weakened condition was pulled under by the three frightened boys.

In Los Angeles, a 25-year old Polish war-bride sued her husband for separate maintenance, claiming that despite having suffered the tortures of hell in a Russian concentration camp, her husband had treated her worse, alleging that the 37-year old furrier had demanded that she kiss his feet before giving her money to buy food and had forced her to sleep on the floor at the foot of his bed. She said that as a result of the harsh treatment, she had been forced to commit herself to a state hospital for the mentally ill the previous December 4. She sought custody of their two children. The couple had been married in Iran in 1945.

In San Francisco, a meteor flashed westward through the sky shortly after midnight, observed by thousands of persons over a 150-mile area, as its shock waves rocked homes over the entire peninsula. An expert at the California Academy of Sciences said that the shaking had been caused by air waves set up by the meteor. Pilots of airplanes also observed the meteor. A Civil Air Patrol officer on duty at the Oakland Airport described it as "the biggest and brightest" he had ever seen, and believed initially that it had plunged into the Bay, but later determined through the San Francisco Airport control tower that it had disappeared westward over the ocean. To the south, the San Mateo sheriff's office reported that it had received excited telephone calls for an hour after the meteor had passed overhead.

That was just the spaceship bringing in Superman's younger brother from Krypton on C-Day.

On the editorial page, "Preferential Primary, Washington Style" indicates that citizens in the State of Washington were preparing to propose to that state's legislature a law whereby a presidential primary would be established in which the unit rule would be abolished, with delegates apportioned to each primary candidate in accordance with their primary vote, with candidates able to enter the primary by either certification of the national committee or the state central committee of each party, or by a petition of at least 1,000 registered voters, and under which it would not be necessary to obtain the consent of the candidate before entering his name in the primary. In addition, the delegates to the national conventions would be bound by the primary votes until the candidate received less than ten percent of the total convention vote or until he released the delegates. The primary would be open to all voters, with all registered voters able to cross party lines. The third Wednesday in May had been suggested as the date for the primary, so that it would have some realistic relation to the approach of the conventions.

It suggests it as a good plan, which should be followed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

"The Battle for Men's Minds" tells of 387 former Communists in a town in southern Italy having stood together a few days after Christmas, renouncing their party affiliation in a public ceremony, tearing up their membership cards and being received into the Christian Democratic Party, according to a story in the New York Times. Had it been an isolated incident, it would have little significance, but similar desertions had been taking place all over Italy during the previous two or three years, such that the total was now in the thousands.

Italian Communists were breaking away from domination of the Kremlin because they had found out that Communist promises were deceptive and illusory and because the Italian Government was carrying out a new land reform program which gave landless peasants a chance to own their own farms. Another reason was the effective work of American psychological warfare experts, working under the joint direction of the State Department and the Mutual Security Agency. The latter were obtaining results through radio programs, newspaper stories, posters, pamphlets, motion pictures and public speakers.

It indicates that the battle between freedom and Communism took many forms, an air attack in Korea, the debate in the U.N., or an international broadcast. In the long run, the efforts would add up to victory for freedom if the battle was waged "steadfastly and courageously", with careful attention to the notion that a bad idea could only be overcome with a better idea.

Man is a down-going and an overcoming.

"A New Tar Heel Institution" comments on the fourth annual Dixie Classic three-day basketball tournament which had concluded in Raleigh on New Year's Eve, featuring the Big Four North Carolina schools and four prominent schools from outside the conference, each team playing three games to determine the champion and each place in the tournament.

It indicates that the tournament was becoming a state institution, placing the state on the sports pages of every major newspaper in the country, and on occasion displaying the best in traditional North Carolina friendliness and hospitality. The 1952 edition of the tournament had gone smoothly and everyone appeared to have been pleased with it, especially the out-of-state coaches and players, who had praised the state, their schools taking away a sizable chunk of cash from the record-breaking total attendance of 61,400.

It indicates that of interest to residents of Charlotte was the fact that no afternoon or evening session of the tournament had been a complete sell-out, as it had been argued that the proposed 10,000-seat Charlotte Coliseum was too small. It suggests that if the Dixie Classic, held in an area where interest in basketball had reached "the stage of madness" and able to draw on student bodies of all four nearby schools, UNC, Duke, N.C. State and Wake Forest, as well as other fans from the out-of-state schools, could not fill the 12,000-seat William Neal Reynolds Coliseum, it was not likely that any sports event in Charlotte would draw more than 10,000 fans.

Wait until you get to 1968 and 1969, and the North-South Doubleheader, featuring UNC, in the top three nationally both years, as well as in 1967, and the University of South Carolina, considered among the top three in the ACC at the time, if slow to gain recognition nationally. We were there, and tickets not bought well in advance were scarce or going for high scalpers' prices. And by then, the seating capacity had been increased to 11,666, every last seat filled virtually every year. So, you do not know whereof you speak, into the future.

And to the man or woman, incidentally, who perennially left their lights on and their motor running in the parking lot outside the arena, we hope you finally slowed yourself down just a little bit, enough to enable thinking in the moment—which is, also, good advice to the current UNC basketball team, having its share of problems right now. Don't worry, relax, and things will perk up. Remember that 1997 season, when UNC was 12 and 6 at the end of January, and nevertheless went on to the Final Four. We expect the same result this year. But get with the program, now.

"Poor Gerhard" tells of Gerhard Eisler, who had jumped bond in the U.S. and eventually made his way to East Germany, with the approbation of Communists on both sides of the Atlantic, and having obtained a big job as a propagandist. But a few months earlier, a German Communist had sharply criticized him, leading to a charge that he had criticized Stalin in the 1920's, which, it posits, might eventually cause him to wind up on the gallows.

It suggests that former Congressman Vito Marcantonio of New York, who had, a few years earlier, praised Mr. Eisler, might also wind up in hot water were he to move to any of the Iron Curtain countries. It suggests, therefore, that U.S. Communists would likely not be anxious to move to their "ideological motherland" anymore. "Communism is so much nicer—even for Communists—when it's in another country."

A piece from the New York Times, titled "White Supremacy", tells of the Rev. Amos H. Carnegie, a black preacher of Washington, who recently had been beaten up on an Atlanta-to-Chattanooga bus by some white thugs after he had refused to ride in a back seat on the ground of his Constitutional rights as enunciated by the Supreme Court. He had been within his rights, as the Supreme Court had banned segregation on interstate buses, but that would offer him little consolation for his physical suffering.

It indicates that while the North could not take pride in having obtained any perfection in race relations, it could not help but be shocked at such incidents, and the feeling of outrage was perhaps the only "spiritual comfort we can extend the victim", understands that others would feel the same outrage.

Drew Pearson indicates that it was the committees of Congress which passed the laws and made or broke administration policies, and particularly the chairmen of those committees. A committee chairman could decide whether a bill was reported out of the committee or pigeonholed, could determine how much money a certain department would obtain, what salaries would be paid, and what judges would be approved or vetoed. Thus, he indicates, the success of the new Eisenhower Administration would depend in part on the committee chairmen of the new Congress. He provides a list of those chairmen.

Senator George Aiken of Vermont would be chairman of the Agriculture Committee, "honest, forthright", would cooperate with the new President.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, "shrewd, able, skilled at wire-pulling", would chair the Appropriations Committee.

Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, "prim, proper Boston blue-blood with an impeccable record for honesty, but no great record for bravery", would chair the Armed Services Committee. He would cooperate with the new President and the military.

Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, the jukebox king, would be, as chairman of the Banking & Currency Committee, for big business, desiring to raise interest rates on G.I. loans, would be opposed to extension of price controls.

Senator Francis Case of South Dakota would chair the District of Columbia Committee.

Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin would chair the Expenditures Committee, the most important investigating committee in Congress, which would enable the Senator to stage a witch hunt on supposed subversives in schools and colleges, while cooperating with the new President for about a year, until he turned on him "just as vitriolically" as he had the State Department starting in 1950.

Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado would chair the Finance Committee.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin would chair the Foreign Relations Committee, giving the new President generally what he wanted.

Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska would chair the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, was an opponent of public power and of statehood for Alaska and Hawaii.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire would chair the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, and would cooperate with the new President only as long as he believed he was right, would be a crusader for the underdog.

Senator William Langer of North Dakota would chair the Judiciary Committee, though Republicans were trying to find a way to prevent him from passing on the most important appointments, those of judges and U.S. Attorneys. He would not be as high-handed as Senator Pat McCarran, his predecessor, but would be independent.

Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey would chair the Labor and Public Welfare Committee, which in fact, however, would be run by Senator Taft. Senator Smith was a friend of the new President and would do what the President said unless pushed from the other side by Senator Taft, in which case he would go with the side which was pushing harder.

Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas would chair the Post Office Committee and would cooperate with the new President completely.

Senator Edward Martin of Pennsylvania would chair the Public Works Committee.

Senator William Jenner of Indiana would chair the Rules Committee, important for ruling on elections and the investigation of other Senators. Senator Jenner had previously called General Marshall a traitor, and he would offer little cooperation to the new President after the first year in office.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that in the inaugural address on January 20, President Eisenhower would summon Americans to a new unity and a new sense of their high task. Soon thereafter, he would reveal the broad outline of his practical program in his State of the Union message to Congress. The new President would hope to bring about a renewal of faith in an atmosphere of political squalor and ugliness. It would make 1953 a busy and probably querulous year.

Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles had asked Donald Lourie, president of the Quaker Oats Co., to undertake the job of reorganizing the State Department as a second Undersecretary of State. Meanwhile, the Korean problem would be tackled, with some of the new President's advisers discussing the possible use of atomic weapons against enemy ground forces, likely to cause turmoil among the U.N. allies. Other great problems, such as Indo-China, would also be approached, which could cause trouble with Congress. The defense budget was to be recast, with discussion among advisers of cancellation of the giant carrier program and otherwise bringing the Navy into line with national strategy, also likely to produce great controversy. The issues of the hydrogen bomb and U.S. air defense would also be involved.

The Alsops indicate that a new relationship between Congress and the White House had to be formed, and few of the advisers to the new President would seek to base that relationship on continued peaceful cooperation with Senator Taft. Taxes, inflation, wage and price controls, farm policy, and internal security policy had to be revised or redefined.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, during his visit to the United States, to begin the following week, would almost surely lay before the new President a new British plan for currency stabilization, which might involve drastic U.S. tariff reductions and would certainly seek a massive U.S. contribution to a broader monetary stabilization fund for the West.

They indicate that because of these issues, those who believed the new Administration would be a political golden age were in for a sad disappointment. But the fact that the new President and his advisers planned such an aggressive attack on so many problems at once was encouraging, as the Government had for too long been "languid and palsied", operating with loss of vigor and self-confidence.

The chiefs of staff of the Western nations believed that it was the time of greatest danger because of the completion of the Soviet rearmament program. Time would tell whether the Western alliance could hold together and whether the U.S. could do its job as the leader of the free world. They posit that no President, not even Abraham Lincoln, had come into office with such a heavy burden of immediate responsibility amid such dangers. If the new President failed, the last best hope would fail with him. They suggest, however, that by the signs apparent at the beginning of 1953, the new President would succeed.

Marquis Childs tells of former officeholders rarely going home, choosing instead to remain in Washington, consisting usually of lawyers establishing firms, but more recently a new type of former officeholder became a consultant, either for the economy, public relations or politics. Some supplied valuable information and background, while others were simply lobbyists, selling the remains of their power and influence on Capitol Hill to a well-heeled client back home.

More than at any other time in the previous 20 years, people were moving from the Senate and House office buildings and from the executive departments into other office buildings. These consultants and lawyers knew how to navigate through the bureaucracy of government to get things done.

Some government departments and commissions had put regulations in place to prevent former members of government boards and commissions from practicing before those same bodies within a particular time limit.

During the previous 20 years, lawyers had moved out of government to establish successful law firms, extending as far back as the early Roosevelt era. Former Attorney General J. Howard McGrath had opened a Washington law office following his firing earlier in 1952 by the President.

He ventures that the reason why most former government officials did not return home was that they became accustomed to the parade of cocktail parties, hotel suite dinners and the like where "so much is so cozily arranged".

New faces would arrive with the new administration, but most of the old faces would remain. He suggests that the song of the lord high executioner in "The Mikado", which had the refrain, "They never would be missed, they never would be missed," did not apply in Washington.

Robert C. Ruark, in Cairo, tells of having had lunch with two "dead dames", both of whom had been dead for about 4,500 years, stacked neatly on a shelf in the storehouse at Sakkara, where his friend, Dr. Ahmed Fakhri of Cairo University, had been excavating a new pyramid. His assistants had just found a pillar identifying the pyramid's occupant, the wife of King Isesi, a fifth-dynasty ruler who had died around 2500 B.C. There was evidence that the wife had taken over the government after his death and had been fairly successful in canceling out some of her husband's accomplishments and re-writing history in her own image.

They had also passed a photographer through a hole to take some color photos of the murals on the tomb of a Mr. Pepi-Ankh, alias Sethu.

Mr. Ruark had not noticed the "two dead dolls" until about halfway through lunch, apparently having been ladies-in-waiting from Pepi-Ankh's establishment. One of them still had her hair but had lost most of her neck. The photographer remarked that he had seen worse looking women around Greenwich Village. As Mr. Ruark had lunch, he felt very insignificant in the face of so much ancient history.

Dr. Fakhri had explained to them about a revolution in which the poor had overthrown the kings and nobles and moved into the palaces, while the noble ladies sold their children and the lords became lost in the desert. The servant girls wore their mistresses' finery and drank the boss's liquor. Mr. Ruark found it uncomfortably modern.

As they left to return to modern times and their hotel on the Nile, the photographer remarked that he had decided that a man's best friend was his mummy. It was why, says Mr. Ruark, that the photographer's bones would be discovered someday in the tomb of Pepi-Ankh.

Tenth Day of Christmas: Ten dogs lost at the poles, seeking to find through the whispered vapors the one who was the mole.

Eleventh Day of Christmas: Eleven dogs creeping in the dusk, never knowing that on A-Day, they were slated to be vaporized by the cussed.

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