The Charlotte News

Friday, January 9, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Forrest Edwards, that several U.S. soldiers had been killed or wounded by an unidentified warplane the previous day, prompting military investigators to study the burned tents and bomb craters left in its wake along the western front. There was still no official report as to the exact number of men involved, and there was no confirmation of some unofficial reports that it was an allied plane or planes which had been responsible for the incident. One soldier, who declined to be named, said that the plane was an F-84 Thunderjet which had come in low and destroyed, riddled or burned ten tents and one building. The soldier said that a truck loaded with fuel was set on fire and a jeep had been riddled with bullets and its driver killed. But the information officer for the Far East Air Forces said that there were no indications that Air Force planes had been involved. A check was still being made, however, of Navy and Marine planes. Surprised officers had dove for cover before being able to identify the plane.

In ground fighting, South Korean infantrymen repulsed four enemy attacks by North Korean troops in the eastern sector, and then chased three of the enemy groups back to the Nam River, chopping one to pieces.

Major James Jabara, the world's first jet pilot to become an ace, with six kills in combat, hitchhiked a ride to Korea the previous day instead of waiting for his scheduled flight from Travis Air Force Base in California, after bad weather over the Pacific had grounded his scheduled flight. He became the lone passenger on a Navy DC-6 cargo plane, after volunteering for another tour of active duty, leaving a desk job in Illinois. His six kills had occurred in 63 missions flown during his first tour of duty.

The President submitted this date a budget to the 83rd Congress, totaling 78.6 billion dollars for the 1953-54 fiscal year, which Republicans called "fantastic" and to which they promised sharp cuts. That, however, had been the typical reaction of Democratic Congresses also, and eventual cuts often fell short of promises. The proposed spending was four billion dollars higher than projected by the President for the 1952-53 fiscal year, and 12.5 billion more than in the 1951-52 fiscal year. Increases were almost entirely for national security programs, with large increases in foreign aid, mostly for military assistance to European allies. The President said in the message accompanying the budget that 73 cents out of each dollar would be for programs directly related to national security, and 14 cents for paying for previous wars—leaving 13 cents for the rest. If enacted, the budget would produce a projected deficit of about ten billion dollars. The proposed budget was subject to adjustment by the incoming Eisenhower Administration.

The President, in submitting to Congress the first volume of a recent report of his special Commission on the "Health Needs of the Nation", called on Congress to establish, per the recommendation of the Commission, a program immediately to "bring adequate health care within the financial means of all our people". He did not call for a comprehensive national health insurance program as previously, but instead urged authorization for a series of Federal grants-in-aid to state plans for comprehensive personal health services. He said that there was an urgent need to provide more physicians, dentists, nurses, and health technicians, as well as additional health care facilities, including medical schools, hospitals and local and public health units. He said that the commission found that most people who lacked adequate health care were in that position because its cost was beyond the individual's control.

The Senate approved this date a new plan for increasing the size of nine committees and decreasing four others. One result of the reorganization was that Senator Wayne Morse, a Republican who shortly after the election had declared as an independent, would likely lose the opportunity to be on two committees of his choice and would become a member only of minor committees. The formal assignment of Senators to committees and the committees' formal organization would transpire the following week. The Republicans had sought Democratic approval of a plan whereby Senator Morse would become a practical member of the minority in terms of committee assignments, but the Democrats had rejected that proposal, as it would have given them the responsibility for assigning Senator Morse to committees. Republicans agreed to the alteration to avoid a filibuster on the issue. By not assigning Senator Morse two important committees on which he already served, Labor and Armed Services, he would not be able to wield the deciding vote therein, as he would have as a member.

From Tokyo, a Japanese patrol ship had reported this night that 33 crew members of the Swedish tanker Avanti, which had broken in half during a gale the previous day, had been rescued and eight more were dead or missing.

In Montpelier, Idaho, hope had nearly vanished for finding any survivors of the C-46 transport plane carrying 40 persons, including three civilian crewmen and a stewardess, plus 37 veterans of the Korean War, which had disappeared Wednesday morning and remained unaccounted for despite a widespread aerial and ground search across Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, where various lights and radio signals had been reported by locals. The search was to be resumed this date. An F-51 Mustang fighter plane was also reported missing the previous night in the same general area.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill departed Washington this date in the President's plane for a two-week vacation in Jamaica, following four days of conferences with President-elect Eisenhower and President Truman. Neither the President nor Secretary of State Acheson saw Mr. Churchill off at the airport, as at the end of previous visits. The Prime Minister waved his black bowler hat to a handful of spectators at the airport as he climbed aboard the plane, smoking a freshly lit cigar.

In Raleigh, legislation to provide another 50 million dollars in aid to counties for building schools was proposed in the 1953 biennial session of the General Assembly this date, with half of the money to come from the general fund surplus for the school building program and the other half through a state bond issue, which could occur without a vote of the people. Another proposed bill, sponsored in part by Representative John Umstead, brother of the Governor, would increase minimum retirement benefits for retired school teachers and State workers. The Governor, in his inaugural address the previous day, had favored both increases. Another measures to be introduced the following week would call for a state-wide vote on whether to pay a State bonus to veterans of the two World Wars and the Korean War. Such a bill had been defeated in the 1951 Assembly. Governor Umstead, during his campaign, had opposed the bonus.

The State House elected a Raleigh magazine editor and radio commentator, Carl Goerch, as its permanent reading clerk for the 1953 session.

The new Governor, in his first day on the job, restored the full powers and duties of the office of assistant budget director to D. S. Coltrane, after former Governor Scott, the previous summer, had stripped him of all of his powers except those which the law specifically required for him to perform, occurring after Mr. Coltrane had refused Governor Scott's demand that he resign, remaining in office but declining to accept his monthly salary. Mr. Coltrane had supported Mr. Umstead in the primary over the candidate favored by Governor Scott, Judge Hubert Olive of Lexington. Mr. Coltrane said that he would consider accepting his back pay of about $3,500 if the Assembly voted to provide it to him.

The worst storm of the season had hit the Northeastern states this date, and a twister had cut a mile-wide swath of destruction through downtown Sarasota, Fla. Freezing drizzle and rain caused icy condition on streets and highways in southern Michigan, northern Indiana, and in Ohio, as well as along the Mississippi River from southern Missouri to southern Wisconsin. Schools had been forced to close in Troy, N.Y., after 15 inches of snow had fallen in the Adirondacks and a foot in Albany, where it was still snowing. New England had the deepest snow, with Massachusetts receiving 7 to 12 inches, with 12 to 18 inches forecast before the storm would subside the following day. Snowfall was general throughout the Northeast, except for sleet and rain in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Emery Wister of The News reports that week-long heat waves during the previous summer had raised the 1952 average temperature for Charlotte to 61 degrees, 2.3 degrees higher than the average of 58.7 and .2 degrees warmer than in 1951, though cooler than 1950, which had an average of 61.6 degrees, and 1949, at 62.8. There had been nine days during the year with temperatures at or above 100 degrees, six of which had occurred in July and three in June, with 103 recorded on July 29, equaling the all-time high local temperature. There had been 50 days higher than 90 degrees, twelve more than the average number of days. Precipitation locally had totaled 46.01 inches, .17 of an inch under the norm. Measurable rain fell on 106 days, 15 fewer than the average. It had snowed only on February 26, accumulating four inches. Clouds had appeared on 241 days, with 125 clear days, and fog on 25 days. The coldest day had been January 30, when the low had been 16. It had been below freezing on 57 days, 12 days more than the norm. On May 10, a 90 mph windstorm had passed through the area, with winds averaging 44 mph that day.

The weather just continued to happen, no matter what they did to try to stop it.

On the editorial page, "Umstead's Program—Go Forward Slowly", a by-lined piece by News editor Pete McKnight, writing from Raleigh, tells of Governor William B. Umstead having remained so quiet about the content of his inaugural address that there had been much speculation in advance of it as to what he would say, whether he would continue the progressive tradition of past Governors of the state in modern times, or would become the exponent of conservatism and economy. His inaugural address of the previous day, however, had made it clear that he wished to continue the "Go Forward" program begun by his predecessor, Governor Kerr Scott, but at a slower pace, with closer cooperation between the executive branch and the General Assembly.

Mr. McKnight indicates that the Governor was not a particularly gifted speaker and his speech had only elicited a "few ripples of applause", with an "unexciting" delivery. But among his major points made, the most dramatic had been his recommendation for a state bond issue to meet the needs of the mental institutions presently and for some years into the future. He did not mention a specific amount but it was believed that he would favor a 25 million dollar bond issue, the allocation of which Mr. McKnight provides. The Governor's brother, John Umstead, had long been a leader in the legislative fight for better mental institutions, and had asserted that 25 million dollars would give the state facilities equal to those of other states.

The Governor had not appeared panicky at the possibility of the Supreme Court upsetting the traditional pattern of segregation in the public schools, as had other Southern governors. He had urged no expedient legislation or legal artifice to circumvent the law in that event—as had sister state Governor James Byrnes, in office for two years, who had proposed to close the public schools of South Carolina if they were ordered integrated in Briggs v. Elliott, subsumed under Brown v. Board of Education. Governor Umstead had called instead for the state to continue to move ahead in its effort to provide modern school facilities for all children, without discrimination, urged provision of more financial aid to education on top of the 25 million dollars appropriated by the 1949 General Assembly and 25 million from a bond issue of that year. He did not state a specific amount, but it was reported that he would favor a bond issue of between 50 and 75 million dollars for the purpose.

Mr. McKnight indicates that The News was also pleased that the new Governor had taken note of the growing discussion regarding teacher certification for elementary school teachers, deterring young people from entering that part of the teaching profession, and urged the Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the State Department of Public Instruction to address that issue, to enable a broader liberal arts curriculum for those desiring entry to elementary school teaching.

He finds that the major omission from the Governor's inaugural address was the failure to recommend a specific program for rebuilding the antiquated primary road system, which could leave the Assembly directionless in that regard—going on down the road without a road down which to go.

He suggests that the Assembly would be "grossly delinquent" if it did not authorize a special commission to study reorganization of the State Government, as urged by the Governor. Equally important were the passage of an automobile inspection law and a state minimum wage law, both of which had been recommended by the new Governor.

Mr. McKnight concludes that chances were that most, if not all, of the new Governor's program would easily clear the Assembly, with its harmonious spirit prevailing during the opening week, as Mr. McKnight had reported in the column the previous day. Virtually all of the legislators appeared to like and respect Governor Umstead. Thus, he finds that, if the relationship continued, the state was moving "into an era of steady progress, fashioned by cooperative effort, and guided by a spirit of good will and good humor."

Ice cream for everyone.

We hope you appreciate our thorough synopsis of this date's lengthy piece, but don't get spoiled and expect it every time there is further comment on the General Assembly session for 1953. We fully expect those who are particularly interested in the session for historical purposes or to understand better the state legislative process to do their own reading, while we take an occasional break, after the long ordeal of the 1952 election campaign and preparation for the new Administration, an exhausting nine-month, labor intensive project in getting you to this point, ever since Marilyn Monroe appeared on the April 7, 1952 cover of Life, the week of Palm Sunday—right at the seminal moment of the campaign, when General Eisenhower made clear through surrogates his intention to return home at the start of June, just after the President had announced on March 29 his intention not to run again.

Whether it was a week of Love and Theft or Love and Theft, or Love and Death, or something else entirely, no one knows for sure...

By the way, we would be remiss not to wish Vice-President-elect Nixon a happy 40th birthday this date.

"Let's Not Hastily Drop the Lien Law" indicates that one of the first bills to come before the 1953 General Assembly proposed repeal of the law providing for liens on the property of persons accepting old-age assistance. It indicates that it had not read the bill, but that the law had been endorsed by the Association of County Commissioners when it had been passed in 1951. Its effect had been a reduction by about 10 percent of the number of persons receiving old-age assistance, because some people decided to help support their elderly parents rather than see the family property encumbered.

Welfare officials indicated some need for clarification of the existing law, and it suggests that there were probably good arguments on both sides of the issue, but it would have to hear sound arguments on behalf of repeal before going along with that action.

"Cutting Off Their Own Noses" indicates that when the U.N. General Assembly approved a Uruguayan-Bolivian proposal affirming the right of any country to nationalize its resources without obligation to compensate private foreign investors, it erected a substantial barrier to new investment in underdeveloped countries. The right of a nation to nationalize its resources had never been seriously questioned, but this new principle contained in the Uruguayan-Bolivian proposal was that there was no obligation in the process to compensate private developers who had previously invested heavily in those resources. It finds that such a principle could not be supported. The U.S. had opposed the proposal, as had Britain, New Zealand and South Africa. Twenty other investing nations had abstained. The 36 nations which voted for the proposal were mainly those which were underdeveloped.

The action, it indicates, had created an unfavorable climate for U.S. investment abroad and had seriously curtailed the possibility that Point Four projects, financed by Congress, would accomplish their basic purpose of encouraging private investment in technical assistance to underdeveloped nations. Thus, it had saddled the new Administration with another big problem in foreign economic policy. While it still would be possible for the U.S. to work out treaties with individual nations to provide for compensation to investors in the event of nationalization of resources, it would have been better, comments the piece, for it to have occurred at the U.N., and finds the passage of the Uruguayan-Bolivian proposal therefore to be "incredibly short-sighted".

Wallace R. Deuel, writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, indicates that Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas had called for major changes in American information and cultural programs in Western Europe, as chairman of a special six-man committee appointed the previous year to study the programs and make recommendations. He had recently returned from a three-week survey of France, Germany, Austria and Italy, and believed officials in charge of U.S. information and cultural projects in those countries were able, hard-working and basically doing a good job, that the program should be continued on about its present scale. He stated that bad substantive legislation, for instance, erection of tariff barriers so high that foreign nations could not sell their goods in the U.S., would undermine the best propaganda for the nation. He also found it shocking to return to the U.S. after time abroad and suddenly realize the unfair treatment and criticism of Government officials working in foreign lands.

The change he would recommend had to do with adapting the programs to new circumstances, shifting their emphasis for maximum effectiveness. He recommended that "old-fashioned, self-adulatory" propaganda about the U.S. be curtailed, that there ought be more emphasis on matter-of-fact reporting of American news and views, that administration of the programs ought be simplified and better coordinated, that the Mutual Security Agency's independent information activities ought be cut considerably, that all information and cultural programs in Germany be reduced when the peace contract with West Germany would go into effect, that much or all of the short-wave broadcasting from the U.S. to Western Europe be eliminated, that the exchange program be expanded, and that authority and responsibility in all information and cultural activities be decentralized and greater freedom of action given to officials abroad.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Fulbright spoke with special authority on foreign policy generally, and in particular with regard to information and cultural programs. He had been president of the University of Arkansas before becoming a Senator and had been the author of legislation creating the Fulbright Scholarships, which enabled U.S. students to attend universities abroad and foreign students to study in the U.S.

Drew Pearson tells of Patrick Hurley receiving a Silver Star in June, 1919, seven months after the Armistice, not so long as the decoration received by Senator Joseph McCarthy eight years after his service in World War II, but still after the fighting had ended. General Hurley had become Secretary of War during the Hoover Administration and twice was a candidate for the Senate from New Mexico. Mr. Pearson provides the wording of his Silver Star award, indicating that then-Lt. Colonel Hurley had voluntarily made "a reconnaissance under heavy fire" on November 11, 1918, the day World War I officially ended with the Armistice, his "reconnaissance" having taken place about one hour before the signing in the railroad car at Compiegne, at a time when there was no "heavy fire". Mr. Pearson provides the details of the incident giving rise to the award, as described by a colonel with the Third Division. Lt. Col. Hurley had been a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps when the colonel spotted him, about 2,000 yards behind the front lines, together with another JAG Corps member. The colonel told them that the war was nearly over and that no one was wanted at the front, especially Army lawyers, and that they had instructions to keep sightseers away. Lt. Col. Hurley, however, insisted on going forward, as he wanted to see the "end of the big show". Then, seven months later, he was cited for "gallantry in action" for his "voluntary reconnaissance" under "heavy fire". Mr. Pearson concludes that it was no wonder that the Third Division Association, which had been at the front at the time, refused membership to former Secretary of War Hurley when he had applied for same.

He suggests that Senator McCarthy had deserved his medals more than had General Hurley and more than Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, had deserved the medals he had received from dictator Juan Peron of Argentina and other foreign governments merely because of his position. But because some veterans had been mailing in their medals to the Senator in protest and had written the column inquiring about the awards, he provides the facts obtained from official sources. The Navy had declined to give the Senator a Purple Heart for alleged wounds incurred in action, based on the fact that the Senator had not been wounded, but had only suffered a slight injury to his foot while being initiated by "King Neptune" during horseplay aboard a Navy seaplane tender as the ship crossed the equator, part of the traditional hazing by the sailors of landlubbers making their first crossing. Mr. McCarthy had been climbing down a ladder with a bucket tied to his ankle during the initiation, had slipped, breaking a bone in his foot. He had claimed since that he had "ten pounds of shrapnel" in his leg.

The Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded by the Navy during the early part of the war only for rare and heroic action under fire, but after the Navy found that the Army Air Corps had been handing out Flying Crosses at a rate 100 times that of the Navy, the Navy decided, on December 18, 1944, to award the Flying Cross automatically to any man who had participated in 20 air missions. Mr. McCarthy had asked to be mustered out of the Marines in October, 1944, when the Pacific War was at its peak. Earlier, he had received a leave of absence to run against Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, though it was against regulations to run for office while on active duty. After his defeat, Mr. McCarthy then wanted to run for a judgeship, and so the Marines granted his discharge. It was at about that time that the he had applied for a Flying Cross, stating in his application that he had participated in 32 air missions. But when the Marine Corps headquarters in Washington processed the application, it was noted in Mr. McCarthy's file that he had flown on only nine missions, causing his application to be rejected. But then in 1952, Senator McCarthy had reapplied for the medal, and through some friends in the Marine Corps, was able to get the application approved by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Floberg, who was a former member of the law firm which represented the Chicago Tribune, a paper which vigorously supported Senator McCarthy. The award had been held up inexplicably since the previous August until recently and, wonders Mr. Pearson, why it had been granted after being refused in 1944 remained a mystery. Navy officials gave no explanation.

Mr. Pearson notes that the Senator's claim of 32 air missions conflicted with one of his own campaign leaflets issued in 1944, reporting that Mr. McCarthy had participated in 14 dive-bombing missions. He had also been given the nickname "Tail-gunner Joe" in the campaign literature, though Navy records showed that his trips were as an intelligence officer-observer.

Marquis Childs tells of there being a fair amount of dissension within the Republican Party beneath the surface unity, regarding the appointments of President-elect Eisenhower because they had been heavily weighted toward persons from the business world rather than established politicians. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the Republicans had been out of power for 20 years and thus without patronage appointments during that time. Some Republicans believed the process to be the result of a scheme secretly propounded by Governor Dewey to build a machine of Federal officeholders, with 1956 in mind. Those Republicans suspected that the President-elect would not run for a second term and that Governor Dewey would then be in position to get the nod for the 1956 nomination.

Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine had written a newspaper article in which she indicated that all patronage would be withheld from Republican Senators by Attorney General-designate Herbert Brownell, in charge of patronage appointments, unless the Senators surrendered completely to the President-elect. She said that she had learned that Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois had not been consulted on the appointment of Secretary of Labor-designate Martin Durkin, head of the plumbers union from Illinois, despite the fact that, traditionally, Senators were consulted on appointments made from their state. Senator Smith pointed out that each Senator traditionally had the final say on such appointments and an objection made from the floor to an appointment as personally objectionable would generally kill it. She concluded that some Senators, based on the Durkin appointment, were seriously thinking about resorting to that objection.

Mr. Childs finds those statements surprising coming from someone as independent of party affinity as Senator Smith, who had no reason to be grateful to the Taft wing of the party. It suggested the level of dissatisfaction even among those who had been supporters of General Eisenhower from the beginning of the campaign.

Mr. Childs ventures that in his opinion the President-elect and his chief advisers had been earnestly seeking the ablest persons for the top jobs and that the motivations for appointing them appeared sincerely designed to produce the most effective government. But considering the rivalries and resentments within the party, it was difficult to put together such a government, and two or three appointments which had been decided but not yet publicly announced would further strain the "Republican family tie".

Frederick C. Othman reports on the formal count in Congress during the week of the electoral votes, having found that there were no mistakes and that 442 votes were cast for President-elect Eisenhower, with 89 for Governor Stevenson, just as the public had been informed shortly after the election. He describes the formalities of the ceremony, finds it on its face "ludicrous", steeped in formal language and pomp. At the end, Vice-President Alben Barkley banged the gavel, declaring the final vote conclusive, officially making General Eisenhower the President-elect. The Senators then departed the chamber to open their debate on the effort to amend the cloture rule to close off filibusters. The Representatives stayed in the chamber, however, as they had some one-minute speeches to make to one another.

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