The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 28, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Olen Clements, that the heavy U.S. cruiser Los Angeles had steamed into Wonsan Harbor this date on the northwest coast of Korea and begun what the Navy described as a "heavy bombardment" of the battered Communist port. There was no explanation immediately as to whether the action was significant. Wonsan had been shelled daily since February 15, 1951, the longest siege in U.S. Naval history.

There were only scattered patrol clashes with the enemy along the battlefront this date.

Airstrikes had been reduced to a minimum by low clouds.

The Air Force reported that four allied warplanes had gone down over North Korea the previous week, but none from air combat or ground fire. U.S. Sabre jets had destroyed four enemy MIG-15s, probably destroyed three others and damaged six during the week, without any loss. That brought the total to 573 destroyed MIGs, compared to 51 lost Sabres thus far during the war.

A first sergeant with the U.S. 45th Division in Korea complained about being shot in the arm, not because of the injury, but for the fact that it had ruined his tattoo which he had for 16 years.

In Tehran, a mob, bent on keeping the Shah in power, had driven Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh from his home this date and forced him to take refuge in a U.S. Point Four headquarters next door. Members of the mob had driven a jeep through the Prime Minister's front gate, whereupon his house guards fired on them, injuring 4 to 12 persons. The mob had come from the Shah's palace, where they had forced the Shah to cancel plans for leaving the country this date. Later, pro-Mossadegh mobs appeared on the streets, and a struggle for power was apparently imminent. There had been reports abroad that the Shah had intended to abdicate, but Tehran dispatches did not confirm that directly. Parliament was summoned for a session this night, which could prove decisive in the struggle. The Shah had appeared before the crowds and brushed away tears, explaining that he had planned a brief trip out of the country for the sake of his health, but that the show of patriotism had caused him to change his mind. The Shah had sought to remain aloof from politics, in the tradition of modern constitutional monarchies, since the Prime Minister's nationalist bloc had come to power, nationalizing the British oil interests, leading to a controversy with the West.

In Ankara, Turkey, Yugoslavia signed a formal treaty with Turkey and Greece, declaring their joint determination to defend themselves "against any exterior force". The treaty said that the three Balkan neighbors were resolved to "unite their efforts to render more efficacious organization of their defense against all outside aggression".

The Senate voted 79 to 0 in favor of a resolution condemning Russian persecution of Jews and other minorities, forecasting similar support for the President's resolution denouncing Soviet "subjugation of free peoples" in derogation of previous agreements made during World War II, at Tehran in November, 1943, at Yalta, in February, 1945, and at Potsdam, in July, 1945. Fifteen of 17 absent Senators sent word that they would have voted for the anti-persecution resolution had they been present. Only Senators Guy Cordon of Oregon and William Jenner of Indiana were not officially recorded. The resolution asked the President to appeal to the U.N. for suitable reprisal against the Soviet acts of persecution. It needed no action by the House.

The sixth drop in farm prices during the prior six months had added new fuel to the dispute between Republicans and Democrats about who was to blame for the falling prices. The Agriculture Department the previous day officially announced a decline of 1.48 percent from mid-January to mid-February, which placed the level 8.84 percent below the prices of a year earlier. Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson had announced several price-support moves intended to stabilize farm prices, saying that the Department would continue to support butter and other dairy products at 90 percent of parity for another year, and that it would support the present year's corn crop at a national average of $1.58 per bushel, two cents below the previous year's support price, and rice at $4.84 per hundred pounds, 20 cents less than that of the previous year. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire blamed recent Democratic Administrations for the lower farm prices and income, plus "unmanageable surpluses". He said that the new Administration and Secretary Benson would "restore again to American agriculture stability, freedom of action and local control." Senator Bridges said that the Democratic Administration had allowed 142 carloads of Government corn to spoil when it could have been used by drought-stricken cattle feeders in the Southwest. Senators Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Robert Kerr of Oklahoma responded, with Senator Humphrey indicating that there was a depression in the making, that farm prices were off 11 points while consumers were paying only 2 percent less for food. He indicated it was the beginning of a repudiation of a campaign pledge by the President that there would be 100 percent parity for farmers. He said that Senator Bridges was saying meanwhile that there would be a "return to low flexible price supports".

In New York, Mickey Jelke III was convicted of two counts of compulsory prostitution out of the three counts charged, involving alleged hiring out of three high-priced prostitutes to support him while he awaited his margarine inheritance. He was acquitted on a count involving one of the three young women. The defendant's counsel said that they would appeal the verdict after sentencing, scheduled for March 20. He faced a maximum of 20 years on each of the two counts and a minimum of two years, which could be suspended with a probationary sentence. The jury had recommended mercy after deliberating for less than five hours, following the 25-day trial in which the defendant opted not to testify.

In Sundown, Tex., the previous night, a high school shop teacher called a friend out of rehearsals for a play about murder, titled "Meet the Body", and shot him to death, then told the other actors to go get the body of the man he had shot, a vocational agriculture teacher. He admitted shooting his friend 12 times with a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. The sheriff indicated that apparently there had been some kind of trouble involving the assailant's wife and the victim, who was also married.

In Chicago, a father of 14 children, in court on a charge of non-support, had agreed to turn over his paycheck to his wife and accept a daily allowance of 25 to 35 cents. He told the judge that he would walk a mile to work, carry his own lunch, and roll his own cigarettes.

In Cleveland, O., a thief had stolen a $500 lie detector from Fenn College's psychology department, and the department chairman said that he would be happy to use the machine to help police establish the guilt of the culprit when caught.

Civil Air Patrol authorities began searching this date for a light plane piloted by a Charlotte theater executive, Worth Stewart, overdue on a flight from Jacksonville, Fla., two days earlier.

In Raleigh, a capacity crowd of 650 paid $50 per plate for this night's annual Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, at which Senator Richard Russell of Georgia would be the main speaker. It was understood that the Senator would demand that Southern Democrats be given a louder voice in the party's councils and that he would probably not look agreeably on the conduct of the party's Northern and Midwestern factions. After learning of the subject of the speech, the national DNC had decided not to have the speech broadcast over ABC nationwide, but it would be carried over a number of North Carolina stations.

House Majority Leader Charles Halleck of Indiana was in Charlotte to address the Lincoln Day dinner of North Carolina Republicans this night, and said to News reporter Donald MacDonald that the new Administration would root out some of the "dead wood" presently holding Government jobs. He said that during the Truman Administration, hundreds of thousands of Federal employees had been brought into jobs without regard to the Civil Service laws requiring competitive examinations, and that those persons should not be entitled to claim protection under Civil Service.

On the editorial page, "Better Than No Bill at All" indicates that the proposed state minimum wage law, supported by Governor William B. Umstead, introduced during the week in the State Senate, was better than no bill at all, but was not truly "reasonable and fair", as touted by the Governor. It provided that jobs in intrastate commerce would have a minimum wage of 55 cents per hour or $30 per week, a strange combination, it notes, for the fact that it took 55 hours at that wage to earn $30. The bill also exempted a number of occupations, with the estimate that it would cover only about one-fourth of the total number of workers in intrastate industry and commerce in the state, or about 55,000 of the 220,000 such workers. Presently, those workers earned an average of 47.6 cents per hour, and so the proposed law would not help them much.

But, it concludes, a start had to be made somewhere, and after a year or two of experience with the new law, there would be time to amend and improve it.

"Welcome to the Republicans" indicates that North Carolina Republicans were gathering in Charlotte this date for a Lincoln Day dinner and a meeting of the state executive committee, and it welcomes them to the city, but notes that they were still plodding around in circles, despite the new Republican Administration sailing along smoothly. It observes that it had been the traditional lot of Southern Republicans because of ineffective leadership, small party enrollment, weak candidates for public office locally and at the state level, and disinterest and neglect by the national party, as well as discriminatory and unfair election laws.

It recommends that North Carolina Republicans broaden their perspective beyond squabbling among themselves between the Taft supporters and Eisenhower supporters of the previous year over patronage appointments and seek to expand their membership at the grassroots level while recruiting respectable campaigners as candidates, of the caliber of newly elected Representative Charles Jonas.

"Insure Before, Not After, the Accident" refers to the two editorials on the page, one from the Christian Science Monitor and the other from the New York Times, both favoring compulsory automobile liability insurance. It suggests that the pending bill in the General Assembly, which would provide for a security law under which drivers involved in an accident would be required to post $11,000 in security against damages from the accident, either by way of cash, a bond or a liability insurance policy, was better than no system, but was inferior to the compulsory system in effect in Massachusetts for the previous 25 years. It indicates that the pending bill would be "grossly inadequate and sometimes cruelly unfair". It favors the compulsory plan, along with that which was proposed in New York to remedy the problems experienced in Massachusetts involving hit-and-run drivers, car thieves and uninsured out-of-state motorists, by establishing a fund from which damages resulting those events would be paid.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Marriage Is Washing Dishes", tells of an interview of Zsa Zsa Gabor by Associated Press writer Saul Pett having not gone over well with those who respected the institution of marriage. Ms. Gabor had stated that "marriage will be abolished in 100 years as a useless institution" and that she enjoyed going marketing in "mink and beautiful French gloves", but was bored by the price of eggs and never washed dishes. Her mother, a refugee from Budapest, was reported to have advised her daughter, when she separated from actor George Sanders, her third husband, that she could always find another husband, but she should remain in the West Coast mansion, as she was unlikely ever to get another house like that one.

The piece advises that marriage was a "wonderful institution" and was present to stay, involved darning of socks and turning the cuffs on shirts, changing of diapers, knowing when to speak gently to the husband when he arrived home from the office with a dazed look in his eyes, required marketing for hamburger when the family desired steak, and sitting up all night with a sick child. It observes that it was a lot of the little things about which Ms. Gabor obviously knew nothing, and it pities her for that lack of knowledge. "Pfui to Zsa Zsa."

The piece, incidentally, confuses sister Eva with Zsa Zsa, who was Sari, not Eva, originally.

An editorial from the Christian Science Monitor, as stated in the above editorial, addresses the issue of compulsory automobile liability insurance, as had been required in Massachusetts for the previous 25 years, the only state in the nation at that time to have such a law, being considered in New York. New York and New Jersey were seeking to remedy the shortcomings of the Massachusetts law by creating a fund to pay awards in cases of hit-and-run drivers, financially irresponsible operators, or those who were uninsured from out-of-state. It supports the compulsory law.

An editorial from the New York Times, as also indicated in the above editorial, likewise addresses compulsory liability insurance, also supporting the plan, pointing out that the proposed New York law differed from existing law only by requiring drivers to provide financial responsibility before they had an accident rather than afterward, as was the case under the existing security plan.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Republicans were considering what to do about RNC chairman Wesley Roberts of Kansas and his having collected a commission of $11,000 for the sale of a hospital to the State of Kansas for $110,000, when the State already owned it. Mr. Roberts was not registered as a lobbyist and so there was a question as to why he should have collected a ten percent commission in the first place. The Republicans had become upset when DNC chairman William Boyle had been found to have collected a $1,250 fee from a company which had received an RFC loan, Mr. Boyle having contended it was a legal fee, but having been finally forced to step down by Democratic leaders. Mr. Pearson gives the background of the hospital case in Kansas. When the building had been sold to the State in 1951, there was no record of the $11,000 commission paid to Mr. Roberts, and the fact had leaked out only a few days earlier. Mr. Roberts had been Republican state chairman in Kansas for four years and was one of the most powerful politicians in the state. He had been a Taft supporter less than a year earlier during the campaign for the nomination. When Kansas Republican legislators learned of his commission, they demanded a full probe, but Governor Ed Arn refused, while the White House issued a statement that the President had investigated the matter and was satisfied with Mr. Roberts's conduct. But 1936 Republican nominee for the presidency and former Kansas Governor, Alf Landon, raised a protest, and later the same day, Governor Arn changed his mind about defending Mr. Roberts, issuing a press release saying that the investigation would proceed.

Presidential aide Robert Cutler, a former Boston banker, began his work days at 7:00 a.m. and remained at his desk until 10:00 p.m.

Vice-President Nixon did not like razor blades and used an electric shaver—perhaps accounting for his notorious 5 o'clock shadow which dogged him during the 1960 campaign for the presidency, making him appear as Duke Mantee. Switch to a safety razor, Dick, and fear not those razor blades. Just put out of your mind the idea of using one on your wrist and all will be well.

Staffers of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, all of whom had recently been fired, were considering selling apples outside the White House in protest.

Marquis Childs tells of radio and television personality Arthur Godfrey having accompanied General Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command, on hthe latter's recent trip to Paris during which he addressed the NATO Defense College. The foreign military officers present were puzzled by the fact that an entertainer was sitting in on a high-level, secret discussion of military strategy against the threat of the Soviets. Radio and television entertainment in Europe was not nearly so developed as in the U.S., and there was no comparable star figure. Thus, the European officers did not understand the publicity value of Mr. Godfrey for the military. He was a Naval Reserve pilot and, according to Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott, "an enthusiastic student and exponent of aviation", the ostensible explanation given for his inclusion in the trip, as provided to Congressman Errett Scrivner of Kansas, who had wanted to know why he had accompanied General LeMay.

Mr. Childs suggests that the competition for publicity between the Air Force and the Navy was the trouble spot in the episode, and that some economies could be discovered in that competition which might pare down the large defense budget, providing the publicity for which Americans had been waiting quite a long time.

A letter writer from Bennettsville, S.C., thanks the newspaper for printing the weekly television schedule each Saturday.

A letter writer says that she had read in the newspaper several letters from men in service who were not receiving letters, and says she would be glad to correspond with them, provides her address.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its series of articles called "Lenten Guideposts", which had started on the front page on February 18 with a piece by Bob Hope about the value of humor to recuperation of the soldiers, but the column had not again appeared on the front page. The writer finds it a good way to bring to the attention of people the fact that God was constantly at hand to supply their needs.

Mr. Hope, no doubt, will be glad to find out that you equate him with God.

A letter writer finds that the wets were undemocratic. He believes that God was on the side of the drys—and, therefore, by logical extension, the Chicago mob boys, proteges of the late Al Capone.

A letter writer from Mount Holly responds to a proposal by the United Forces for Education to the Legislature regarding certification of teachers, and indicates that his letter of February 25 had been edited by someone who had misinterpreted a phrase referring to "A certified teachers", meaning teachers with class A certificates, and had changed it to read "a certified teacher". He wishes to clarify his prior point.

A letter from the commander of the Queen City Chapter No. 10 of the Disabled American Veterans thanks the newspaper for its informative article of February 20 regarding returning veterans and their progress in training courses.

A letter from the commander of the Hornet Nest Post No. 9 of the American Legion compliments the same article.

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