The Charlotte News

Friday, March 13, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Stan Carter, that U.S. Sabre jets had shot down six MIG-15s this date over North Korea, with one other probably destroyed and one damaged. The toll of the day ran the total number for the war to 604 MIGs destroyed, of which 585 had been shot down by Sabres, with 52 Sabres lost in air combat through March 7, resulting in a victory ratio of nearly 12 to 1. In addition, 24 Thunderjets bombed an enemy troop center south of Kangdong, while others hit rail and road supply lines, as well as along the front. B-29s hit enemy supply dumps on the west coast.

In ground action, enemy foot soldiers jabbed allied lines in a dozen spots, but were repulsed with heavy casualties. Warm sun and clear skies which had allowed the planes to return to action, had also dried the muddy front. No major engagements were reported, but sharp patrol clashes had flared all along the lines.

In Bonn, West Germany, Britain charged the Soviet Union this date with a deliberate, brutal act of aggression and murder in the shooting down the previous day of an unarmed Royal Air Force Lincoln bomber near Hamburg, taking the lives of six British airmen. The protest had demanded punishment of the responsible Soviet fliers and reparations for the lives and property lost to the British. Earlier, Soviet authorities had delivered a note to the British High Commissioner for Germany, Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick, saying that after investigation, they could find no guilt on the part of the Soviet pilots. In response to the incident, the Second Allied Tactical Air Force, a NATO unit comprised of British, Belgian and Dutch squadrons, had ordered its planes not to fly within ten miles of the Iron Curtain border. The U.S. and British air forces challenged the Communists by flying as usual along the Iron Curtain border this date, with the U.S. indicating that it was adding a complement of 25 Sabre jets to replace the outmoded, slower F-84 Thunderjets in Germany.

The U.S. informed Czechoslovakia this date that U.S. authorities in Germany would take necessary measures to prevent further border attacks by Czech aircraft, after the Tuesday attack by two Communist MIG-15s on two U.S. Thunderjets, one of which was shot down, with the pilot parachuting to safety. The note charged that the Government of Czechoslovakia had falsified the facts in contending that the American plane had violated Czech territory. The note said that the American jets had been under U.S. radar surveillance at all times and had not crossed the border into Czechoslovakia. It was not clear what the Allies intended to do beyond delivery of protesting diplomatic notes.

The President nominated this date Philip Young, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, to be chairman of the Civil Service Commission. The White House said that Mr. Young would attend Cabinet meetings and serve as the President's personal representative in matters relating to civil service. Two other vacancies remained on the Commission, and there was no indication when they might be filled.

The wage-price control law, on the books for 27 months, was set to expire on April 30 unless extended by Congress, but, for all intents and purposes, the consumer economy was now again free, as there had been a gradual release of consumer price controls over the previous six weeks, with controls remaining only on defense materials and on rents in critical areas. The President had indicated he would not seek from Congress standby emergency controls. Since the price control on coffee had been released, coffee prices, price officials and coffee traders agreed, might rise by as much as 10 to 12 cents from their current 89 to 95 cents per pound price on most brands, though grocers might absorb some of that increase. A New York coffee merchant indicated that if the price rose over a dollar per pound, there would be great consumer resistance. Price officials said that the price of beers and ales might go up one-half to one cent per can or bottle, and that fuel oil, reported to be in ample supply, might increase in price in the event of a cold snap and depleted supplies.

In Kyoto, Japan, former Governor of Illinois Adlai Stevenson was informed that a London tailors' magazine had dubbed him one of the ten best dressed men in the world, something which he was delighted to hear, which the piece indicates might have been especially welcome, considering the pictures which had been circulated during the previous fall presidential campaign showing the hole in the sole of one of his shoes.

In New York, a teacher, chairman of the Bronx High School science's department of mathematics, who had made a propaganda broadcast for the Voice of America the previous year, refused this date, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment, to tell the Senate Investigations subcommittee whether he had been a Communist in 1948. He said that he was a loyal American and was not a member of the Communist Party and had not been a Communist when he participated in the broadcast. The chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Joseph McCarthy, said that the Voice had caused a million dollar blunder in fitting out a shipboard radio transmitter to beam Voice programs behind the Iron Curtain.

In New York, a 26-year old man who had been residing in "Jungletown", a few shacks under the Third Avenue bridge at 129th Street, who earned eight dollars per day plus tips as an auto repairman, had resisted the most recent attempt by the Jungletown "government" to force him to contribute his earnings for collective purchase of food, cigarettes and wine. Everyone in the community had a title, this man being called "Citizen", others being dubbed "king", "judge", "district attorney", "grand juror", a woman "attorney", and a "sheriff". Citizen got tired of the routine and refused to turn over his pay, prompting King to order an immediate investigation, producing $1.18 in one of Citizen's shoes, whereupon he was tried, represented by Woman Attorney, and convicted of "holding out". Judge sentenced him to be beaten, whereupon King hit him across the back with a lead pipe. Citizen, however, protested that Judge had ruled that he should be beaten over the head, whereupon Judge took aim with a shovel and District Attorney hit Citizen with a lantern and kicked him. After he went to the hospital, Citizen filed a complaint with the police and the Magistrate ordered District Attorney held without bail and Judge held on $2,000 bail, both charged with felonious assault. Meanwhile, Citizen had renounced his "citizenship" forever in "Jungletown".

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead's legislative program suffered its first setback in the General Assembly this date, when the Senate voted against the bill calling for mechanical inspections of motor vehicles, the bill seeking to improve on a 1947 law which had required State inspection, producing long lines at the inspection stations, leading to abrogation of that law in 1949, the new bill allowing private service stations to conduct the inspections. A new bill was introduced in the State House by a Representative to regulate the sale and distribution of eggs in the state.

The last thing we want is unregulated sale and distribution of eggs.

In Charlotte, News reporter Dick Young tells of bids on the new three million dollar auditorium-coliseum complex having been submitted this date and having come within striking distance of the available funds which City officials had envisioned for completion of the project within two years, 2.9 million dollars. The low base bids totaled 3.5 million dollars. It was believed that if some of the non-essential items were left off the project for the time being, the prices could be brought within the range of the bonds on hand. It was anticipated that the committee would have its recommendations ready to submit to the City Council on April 1 for the formal award of the contracts. The complex was to be built on a 24-acre tract at the eastern edge of the city on Independence Boulevard.

Leave out the seats and lights and you will make the budget line.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of a reporter having tiptoed up to Mayor Victor Shaw for a comment regarding the bids, to which the Mayor had said that he was so nervous he could not comment on anything. The Mayor had led the forces which had won approval of the bond issue and had kept in close touch with the building committee, after a study committee, chaired by merchant David Ovens, had recommended the site for the auditorium-coliseum complex, with the auditorium to seat 2,500 and the coliseum, 10,000.

A piece reminds the superstitious that this date was Friday, the 13th. They had two in a row, in both February and March.

Speaking of bad luck, the previous night, in the Mideastern Regional of the N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournment, in Chicago, Indiana, number one in the Associated Press poll, nipped DePaul, 82 to 80, and number 17 Notre Dame beat Penn, 69 to 57. In the Midwestern Regional, at Manhattan, Kans., number 6 Oklahoma A&M beat Texas Christian University, 71 to 54, and defending 1952 champion Kansas, number 5, beat number 10 Oklahoma City, 73 to 65. This night, in Raleigh, in the Eastern Regional, Holy Cross would beat number 12 Wake Forest, 79 to 71, the latter the winner of the Southern Conference Tournament over N.C. State the previous Saturday by a point, 71 to 70, and number 7 LSU, led by star Bob Pettit, would beat Lebanon Valley of Pennsylvania, 89 to 76. This night, in the Western Regional, at Corvallis, Ore., number 2 Washington would beat number 14 Seattle, 92 to 70, and Santa Clara would beat number 16 Wyoming, 67 to 52. The winners of the Thursday games would play this night in the finals of the Mideastern and Midwestern Regionals, and the winners in the Eastern Regional and Western Regional games on Friday would play the following night to determine the winners of those regionals. The national semi-final games would be played in Kansas City the following Tuesday, March 17, and the finals would be played the next night. The field had started with 22 teams, including number 19 Navy, Fordham, Eastern Kentucky, Miami of Ohio, Idaho State and Hardin-Simmons, each of which, positioned in either the Mideastern, Eastern or Western Regionals, had lost in the opening bye-round played the prior Tuesday.

Do not expect, incidentally, the same level of detail which we normally provide to the Tournament, for 1953, as we have no means of present comparison for inducing serendipitous interest, this year. For Coronavirus U. won the Tournament in 2020.

On the editorial page, "Home Rule—How It Works" indicates that under present State law, salaries of elected county government officials were fixed by the General Assembly, meaning that the members of the Mecklenburg County delegation introduced a bill setting new salary figures and then it would automatically be approved by the Assembly, along with hundreds of other local bills of the same nature. For all practical purposes, therefore, the County delegation was the General Assembly on such local matters.

A State Representative from Robeson County had introduced a bill which would take local legislation from the General Assembly and turn it over to the county commissioners. The Mecklenburg delegation, however, was planning to have Mecklenburg excluded from the measure. It concludes that it was how home rule worked, or did not work.

"Curtains of Secrecy Shred Easily" again addresses the banning of the press and public from the vote on the motor vehicle inspection bill by State Senator H. Pou Bailey earlier in the week, to protect the members of the committee from "embarrassment" when he announced a 6 to 4 vote in favor of the bill, but without disclosing how members had voted. A reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer had discovered how each member had voted and read the list to Senator Bailey, which had turned out to be correct, as committee members later admitted.

The matter had received widespread attention because Senator Bailey had violated the tradition that public business should be transacted publicly, and because the secret voting had created suspicion and mistrust all over the state, possibly leading to eventual defeat of the measure. If the bill were to be killed, it ventures, a good measure of the responsibility ought be charged to Senator Bailey for his lack of skill in dealing with it.

"Credit Where It Is Due" again deals with the Firemen's Retirement Fund and its problems. It indicates that at Tuesday's session before the City Council, there was confusion as to what the State legislators had told the firemen, and a plan was approved by the Council incorporating the freezing of retirements for two years, while adding $80,000 to the City's contribution during that time. As the taxpayers would have to pay that bill, it advocates publicizing which Council members had voted for or against that increase in the City's contribution.

"The Parkway in March" tells of driving toward Deep Gap and the Blue Bridge Parkway in March and how it looked. If you have never seen it, you may read the piece. But it is actually better to go in mid-April, as March can still be a bit lionish at times, especially in the mountains. You may not get back.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Last Resort", indicates that frustration and despair regarding traffic law violators appeared to be worldwide, and suggests that proposals to remedy the situation ought be considered from points worldwide. The Daily Star of Beirut, Lebanon, an English-language daily newspaper for the Middle East edited by a young American with North Carolina connections, had suggested following the example set by Syria, whereby each driver caught in a traffic violation was summarily tried on the spot by the police officer and taken to jail for a short stay, during which his head was shaved, making him a mark so that people would not wish to ride with him, at least until his hair grew back. The piece had indicated that it was a last resort in traffic control and should be regarded as such, undertaken only after careful training of the police. It had also suggested that women drivers should not be subject to shaving, to preserve their dignity.

The News & Observer indicates that that the latter was a loophole, and that if safety were to be secured, the same rules ought be applied to everyone, though there would be a problem with those who were already bald. It concludes that the perfect plan had yet to be devised.

So as not to give some lunatic any ideas, states long ago abandoned and abolished corporal punishment insofar as the criminal context, as cruel and unusual under the Constitution, albeit preserved in some limited instances for informal school discipline in 19 states. Moreover, aside from those who are naturally bald, shaved heads would hardly stick out any longer in today's world, wherein, somehow, being a skinhead at some point became "cool"—adopted, of course, from movies of the 1980's with those skinhead action heroes, who looked and acted like utter morons.

Drew Pearson indicates that the President's new psychological warfare expert, C. D. Jackson of Fortune magazine, had been working late at night and most Sundays in trying to figure out moves to take advantage of the death of Joseph Stalin. His efforts, however, were being frowned upon by the State Department, which opposed any propaganda at the present time, for fear of rocking the boat in an unstable period of transition in Russia, believing it might drive the leaders in Russia together rather than apart. The latter position was supported by Prime Minister Churchill.

The death of Stalin had caught the foreign policy planners completely unprepared. For years, former head State Department planner George Kennan, who was also former Ambassador to Moscow and author of the containment policy regarding Communism, had talked about the momentous possibilities following the death of Stalin. Charles Bohlen, the new Ambassador to Moscow, had done likewise. Yet, no concrete, comprehensive plan had been prepared for the contingency.

A difficulty in issuing propaganda was that the State Department was a policymaking organization, and not an executive organization, its personnel involved in thinking and planning, rather than doing. Operating propaganda organs was not within the Department's province. A second difficulty was that the State Department, nonetheless, was acting as final censor of all official U.S. propaganda, to prevent the Voice of America and other such agencies from issuing statements contrary to official U.S. policy. A third difficulty was that Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia had been set up as private organizations to get around those limitations on official U.S. propaganda. But it was known in Europe, including Russia, that those two organizations were actually subsidized by the U.S., which was why Radio Free Europe had lost part of its effectiveness, and why Radio Free Asia had spent six million dollars with little to show for it.

C. D. Jackson had formerly headed Radio Free Europe, making it into a "livewire influential organization", but it had gone downhill since that time. By way of example, Mr. Pearson presents the contents of a program beamed to Hungary on February 15, which included the explanation of Valentine's Day, playing of Bing Crosby records, presentation of a story of a young ape which escaped in New York and was rescued by firemen, the superstition of Friday, February 13, the story of crippled Boy Scouts, and from Berlin, the story of a German doctor who had given advice against sports for men and women over 40 and had recommended weight-reducing exercises.

General Walter Bedell Smith, the new Undersecretary of State, former CIA director, was in a paradoxical position regarding propaganda. While CIA director, he had poured several million dollars into Radio Free Europe, partially competing at the time with the Voice, causing deep resentment among many State Department officials. Now, he was the head of the Voice.

The problems suggested the need for complete overhaul of American propaganda, rather than a Congressional witch-hunt to discover what Voice executives had written when they were students in college, as undertaken by Senator McCarthy. There was also the need of a private committee of prominent Americans representing business, labor, farmers, and the service organizations, to make it clear to the Russian people the importance attached to peace by the American people. Individual Americans could do quite a bit at the present time to extend the hand of friendship behind the Iron Curtain.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, former president of G.M., had to dispose of his stock in that company by the end of the month, and Democratic Senators were planning to ask him how and to whom he had sold it.

Senators Estes Kefauver and Robert Hendrickson had undertaken an important study of the rising rate of juvenile delinquency in the country, as more than a million children each year were getting into trouble with the police, and the Senators wanted to discover a way to ameliorate the problem.

Marquis Childs indicates that Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia had, during his 20 years in the Senate, been a lonely voice seeking elimination of waste, extravagance and debt in the Government. But tax reduction was that on which many Republican candidates had campaigned the prior fall, and many Republicans in Congress were now eager to accommodate their constituents accordingly.

Senator Byrd had been telling the President and his Budget Office director, Joseph Dodge, that the tax cuts had to be deferred for more than another year to avoid a huge deficit. The President was opposed to immediate tax cuts, contrary to Congressman Daniel Reed, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, who was seeking to implement a ten billion dollar tax cut to become effective June 30, by way of offsetting the 11 billion dollar tax increase passed to fund the Korean war effort. He also wanted to allow the excess profits tax on corporations to expire at the same time. Speaker of the House Joseph Martin was also opposed to an immediate tax cut, but the majority of the House appeared to approve of Mr. Reed's proposal, and if it were to pass and then proceed to the Senate, Senator Byrd feared that it might pass and that the President might then be inclined to effect a compromise, whereby the tax reductions would begin to apply at the beginning of 1954. Senator Byrd had indicated that the new Administration would not have had enough time by that point to pare down the budget, that an increase in defense spending, the largest share of the budget, would likely be required rather than a decrease. Senator Byrd, therefore, did not want any tax reduction implemented until July 1, 1954. He believed that 7.7 billion dollars in cuts could be made by then to the budget and that a tax reduction of 5.4 billion dollars would then be possible, including the cut in personal income tax and the expiration of the excess profits tax.

Senator Byrd remained chairman of the Joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Federal Expenditures, giving him a vantage point and a staff capable of digging into Government spending. Presently, he was examining the unexpended balances in nearly every department of the Government, concluding that unspent funds on July 1, 1953 would be more than 81 billion dollars, plus another 20 billion authorized for various loan and management funds. The Senator had called on Budget director Dodge to establish a definition of what "obligated" meant and then, provided the department head failed to prove the need for those obligated amounts, Congress could cut those funds.

Robert C. Ruark, in Talek, southern Masai, Kenya, continues to talk about Hollywood, indicating that he probably should not be so bitter about it as they, themselves, were taking a few pictures, and he had brought on the safari his own photographer, who had formerly shot promotional photos for an airline. The first day out of Nairobi, they had found a cow rhino with its young calf, so that he could take pictures of a rhino charge, but it had caused him to distrust rhinos permanently.

The second day, they found several elephants for him to photograph, but Mr. Ruark was obliged to shoot one of them as it was charging them with its ears flapping, causing his photographer to distrust elephants. Later, the photographer was charged by two old jumbo bulls, one chasing him for 500 yards on foot and then further, after the photographer reached their jeep, the other stopping short at the jeep, which had no doors or top. They had also found about 100 lions for the photographer to shoot from a distance of about ten feet from inside their jeep, on the theory that a lion would not charge a car. But the Masai lions, protected by law, were not afraid of humans, and a charging lion was a formidable sight. They had also found a leopard and buffalo for the photographer to shoot, while sitting in a blind, causing the photographer to admit that his hands had been shaking "like a Cuban maraca waver in a rumba band."

He informs that his photographer now drank straight gin, spoke Swahili, commanded lions to hold still for the camera, and was called by the natives "Bwana Kidogo", meaning "Tiny", for his 250-pound girth. He was ready and willing to go on another safari, but wanted two female models, an advertising man for gunbearer, and an assignment to the South Seas, where there were no rhinos.

A letter writer indicates that as a longtime reader of the newspaper, she was delighted to find the addition of the weekly television guide, which added greatly to her enjoyment of the excellent programs which WBTV offered, and increased her high opinion of the newspaper.

Why, soon, you won't even need to read the newspaper, except for the tv listings.

A letter writer from Gastonia, the business manager of the North Carolina Orthopedic Hospital, thanks the newspaper for its section presented on February 27, titled "Good Health—A Report to the People".

A letter writer comments on the letter from Harry Golden on March 9, regarding comments of Senator Willis Smith anent the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. She believes that Senator Smith was an outstanding American and that it was a blessing he was in the Senate. She sees no reason for any "loyal Americans" to be confused by the Act, that while the country had always been the melting pot, it was also reasonable to assume that "any 'pot' filled, indefinitely, will eventually boil over". She finds that opposition to the bill had been led by a "left-wing coterie", the most prominent of whom had been Senators Hubert Humphrey and Herbert Lehman, two "Fair Dealers" who had offered a substitute bill "which would have opened the gates to a virtually unrestricted flood of aliens, including of course many subversives from Europe and Asia." She regards it as fortunate that the substitute was voted down, that it had been written by Felix Cohen, who had identified himself as a "collectivist" dedicated to the elimination of the capitalist system and was the brother-in-law of Harry Rosenfield, who had been director of the Washington chapter of the Lawyers Guild. She says that the Communists and fellow travelers did not want the Act on the books because it would "bar their overseas comrades from entering" the country and would deport those who had entered by fraud. She believes that President Truman, who had vetoed the bill, had been duped into siding with pro-Soviet enemies, as had the two Senators. She finds it significant that the CIA, the Department of Justice, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the American Legion, the DAR, the Sons of the American Revolution, and more than 100 other patriotic and civic organizations had supported the bill, and finds it ironic that many Protestant churches had opposed it, as the churches would be the first to suffer should "atheistic communism" win in America.

A letter writer from Chester, S.C., believes that President Eisenhower had been raised up by God to lead the country out of the corruption which existed and to work with God as co-pilot for the country, but that unless he had the cooperation of those associated with him in the Government and the sympathy and prayers of the people, the burdens would become too heavy, and the enemy would prevail.

A letter writer indicates that she had never seen a truer piece than a letter written the prior Saturday regarding indecent television and "carrousing [sic] around", that if more parents were to spend more time praying and training their children correctly, the world would not be in "such a fix", that the parents should wake up, get right with God, and set their house in order.

And, undoubtedly, they should not be watching that disgusting "Studio One" garbage, with all those writhing young bodies kissing each other on the mouth, while scantily clad in bathing suits.

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