The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 19, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that U.S. Marine raiders, striking in predawn fog and rain with flamethrowers and bayonets, had smashed a Chinese company this date as the Communist troops grouped for an assault on the western front positions of the allies in Korea, southwest of "Bunker Hill". The Chinese troops of one of two companies, after a three-hour fight, in which 40 of their number were killed, another 50 possibly killed and 65 wounded, had withdrawn, while the second company had hit a forward position northeast of "Bunker Hill", but was repulsed after losing nine men. There was no statement of the number of casualties inflicted on the enemy in the counter raid by the Marines, who wore armored vests and carried flamethrowers, initiating the raid behind heavy artillery and tank fire.

Drizzling rain hampered aerial strikes over Korea, but B-26 night bombers had hit enemy supply arteries leading south from Pyongyang, prior to the bad weather. Fourteen B-29s had dropped 140 tons of bombs on an enemy supply center 12 miles south of Huichon in north central Korea.

The President said this date, in his fourth press conference, that the new Russian regime would never be met less than halfway by his Administration in any effort they might make toward world peace, but that so far they had made no formal peace overture. He said that the recent attacks on American planes indicated no change in Soviet intentions. He also indicated, however, that he would not want to do anything unnecessarily provocative at the moment, such as branding Russia the aggressor in Korea before the U.N. He said that he had not heard anything on whether Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, presently visiting England, was planning to visit the U.S. On domestic matters, he reiterated that tax reduction had to be deferred until a balanced budget was in view. He opposed letting the excess profits tax expire on June 30, as scheduled, without a substitute to compensate for the lost revenue, and opposed the tax reduction proposed by Representative Daniel Reed of New York, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. He also said that he saw no point in questioning the loyalty of the nation's churchmen, as had been suggested by HUAC chairman Harold Velde, who had since backed away from the position. The President also said that his nomination of Charles Bohlen as Ambassador to Russia had been a very good appointment, replying to a question about a statement made by Senator Joseph McCarthy that the appointment had been a serious mistake for having angered several influential Republican Senators.

The Senate Investigating subcommittee would, according to its chairman, Senator McCarthy, look at how the State Department handled anti-Communist propaganda broadcasts to India, Pakistan and Iran, through the Voice of America, and how some U.S. ambassadors had reacted in Asia to the broadcasts. The subcommittee had previously sought information on the broadcasts to Moslem nations by calling Reed Harris, a policymaker in the State Department's overseas information program, but he had refused to describe the process for reasons of security. Justin Miller, president of the National Association of Broadcasters and a member of an advisory commission appointed to assist the State Department and Congress in planning a strong propaganda effort, told members of another Senate committee, chaired by Senator Bourke Hickenlooper, that the State Department had shown "open hostility and a large measure of indifference" both to the Voice and efforts to make it more effective. He had urged that the Voice be removed from the State Department and placed under a new agency, the head of which would become a member of the Cabinet. He said that it would be hard to devise a less effective information program than the one in existence. Actor Robert Montgomery also urged that propaganda be removed from the State Department, and that the Western powers should "proclaim as their ultimate objective a universal anti-Communist revolution."

In Bonn, West Germany, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, speaking before the lower house of the Parliament, said this date that West Germany had to hurry and rearm itself after the death of Joseph Stalin, as the change in regimes had increased the danger of war, not diminished it. While advocating approval of the two treaties which would make Germany an armed ally of the West, he was repeatedly heckled by leftist opposition, but pleaded with the German people to "face the facts" and join the European Defense Community, backed by the U.S. and Britain, which would require Germany to supply 500,000 men for the six-nation force. Outside, nearly 1,000 demonstrators, believed to be Communists, had to be fended off by police with fire hoses, as they protested the vote.

In western Turkey, an earthquake shook the area the previous night, reportedly killing 500 to 1,000 persons, the lower number being estimated by a Red Cross information officer at the scene, while two Istanbul newspapers gave the higher estimate. The earthquake was centered around Balikesir, across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul and near the World War I battlefield of Gallipoli. The quake reportedly had been felt over an area of more than 10,000 square miles. There were no reports of casualties within Istanbul.

An earthquake of medium intensity was felt on the central Philippines island of Panay the previous day, but no damage was reported.

In New York, a sharp earthquake 2,000 miles away in Central America was recorded early this date on the seismograph at Columbia University.

In St. John's, Newfoundland, two U.S. Air Force planes had crashed the previous day and all 33 aboard were believed dead. One of the planes, a ten-engine RB-36 bomber, with 23 men aboard, including Brig. General Richard Ellsworth, had hit a hilltop on the east coast of Newfoundland. The other plane, a B-29 with a crew of ten, had crashed in St. George's Bay on the west coast of Newfoundland. Both planes had been on training flights. Weather had been poor in the area this date, with freezing drizzle and low visibility.

A photograph appears of Marshal Tito watching, with British air officials, an aerial show at Duxford, England, where two jets collided in midair.

In Raleigh, Assistant Attorney General I. Beverly Lake, later gubernatorial candidate and State Supreme Court Justice, accused this date the Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Co. of attempting to "perpetrate a fraud" on the State Utilities Commission, and of seeking to make it a "dupe", by applying for a two million dollar per year rate increase. The company's lawyers described Mr. Lake's remarks as "demagogic and unwarranted", "vicious and malicious". Mr. Lake asked the Commission to dismiss the company's petition, but the chairman of the Commission overruled the motion, saying he regretted that personalities had been injected into the case, whether intentionally or otherwise.

Also in Raleigh, the Senate Committee on Manufacturing, Labor and Commerce this date heard arguments for and against a bill calling for a minimum wage of 55 cents per hour, or $30 per week, for North Carolina workers involved in intrastate commerce only, and thus not subject to Federal minimum wage laws. State Senator H. Pou Bailey's bill to legalize the sale of paper caps for cap pistols was defeated by the House Committee on Propositions and Grievances, after it had passed the State Senate. A member of the House indicated that he believed that if the bill were approved, it would be a foot in the door to approval of the sale of fireworks, presently prohibited under state law.

They won't even let us have caps? What is the world coming to?

In Asheville, James Baley, Jr., chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, indicated that he would probably be a candidate for United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, after hearing from the state's Republicans as to whether he should remain as chairman or seek the U.S. Attorney post, appointed by the President.

In New York, a conference of television and radio officials, merchants and police, the previous day determined that commercial stunts, freak fashions and bizarre interviews would be ignored, receiving no publicity, in the year's Easter Sunday parade along Fifth Avenue the following Sunday. Platforms for television interviews would also not be allowed on the avenue.

No jokers allowed. Ho-ho-ho, he-he-he.

In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the swallows returned on schedule this date, after two or three had arrived the previous day. Traditionally, they returned to the mission at around dawn of St. Joseph's Day, March 19, taking over the nests of the swifts which occupied them during the winter. The previous year, the main complement had been a few hours late.

In Chicago and Columbia, S.C., two Indiana sisters who had been married in a double ceremony the previous May 29, had made a bet as to who of the two would have the first baby, with the payoff to be a $25 war bond. Both sisters gave birth to sons on Tuesday, with the one in Columbia beating the other in Chicago by 28 minutes.

The Women's Magazine section of the newspaper appears as a special feature this date, regarding foods and fashions, and including columns by Earl Wilson, advice columnist George Crane and others. Unfortunately, you will have to go to the library to read it.

Not on the page, in Hollywood and New York this night, the 25th annual Academy Awards ceremony would take place, the first to be nationally televised, with Best Picture honors going to "The Greatest Show on Earth", beating out "High Noon", "The Quiet Man", "Ivanhoe" and "Moulin Rouge".

John Ford would win the award for Best Director for "The Quiet Man", beating out Joseph Mankiewicz for "Five Fingers", John Huston for "Moulin Rouge", Fred Zinnemann for "High Noon", and Cecil B. DeMille for "The Greatest Show on Earth".

The Best Actor award would go to Gary Cooper for "High Noon", in competition with Kirk Douglas in "The Bad and the Beautiful", Marlon Brando in "Viva Zapata!", Jose Ferrer in "Moulin Rouge", and Alec Guinness in "The Lavender Hill Mob".

The Best Actress award would go to Shirley Booth for "Come Back, Little Sheba", in competition with Joan Crawford in "Sudden Fear", Susan Hayward in "With a Song in My Heart", Julie Harris in "The Member of the Wedding", and Bette Davis in "The Star".

The Best Supporting Actress award would go to Gloria Grahame for "The Bad and the Beautiful", in competition with Thelma Ritter in "With a Song in My Heart", Colette Marchand in "Moulin Rouge", Terry Moore in "Come Back, Little Sheba", and Jean Hagen in "Singin' in the Rain".

The Best Supporting Actor award would go to Anthony Quinn for "Viva Zapata!", in competition with Richard Burton in "My Cousin Rachel", Arthur Hunnicutt in "The Big Sky", Jack Palance in "Sudden Fear", and Victor McLaglen in "The Quiet Man".

The Best Foreign Language Film award would go to "Forbidden Games", directed by Rene Clement.

Best Screenplay, adapted from another medium, would be awarded to Charles Schnee for "The Bad and the Beautiful", beating out Michael Wilson for "Five Fingers", Carl Foreman for "High Noon", Roger MacDougall, John Dighton and Alexander Mackendrick for "The Man in the White Suit", and Frank Nugent for "The Quiet Man".

Best Story and Screenplay from an original source would go to T. E. B. Clarke for "The Lavender Hill Mob", beating out Terence Rattigan for "Breaking the Sound Barrier", Sydney Boehm for "Atomic City", John Steinbeck for "Viva Zapata!", and Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin for "Pat and Mike".

Best Story would go to Fredric Frank for "The Greatest Show on Earth", beating out Leo McCarey for "My Son John", Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard for "The Narrow Margin", Edna and Edward Anhalt for "The Sniper", and Guy Trosper for "The Pride of St. Louis".

Best Song would go to "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin'", from "High Noon", by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington, Mr. Tiomkin also winning for the same picture the award for Best Score of a drama or comedy, as opposed to a musical.

On the editorial page, "A Display of Courage and Good Sense" again addresses the resolution regarding the funding of the Firemen's Retirement Fund which had been found nearly insolvent, providing a description of what the City Council had adopted the previous day as a recommendation to the legislative delegation of the county, that an extra contribution by the City during the ensuing two years of $80,000 would not render the fund sound and would discriminate against police officers and other municipal employees, and that an overall study of all four retirement systems covering city employees was necessary to determine their financial solvency, adequacy of benefits, and equality of treatment. Thus, the Council reversed its decision of the previous week to provide the $80,000 to the Firemen's Fund.

It agrees with the decision and finds that the Council members who had voted for the recommendation had shown great courage politically, as they had been under pressure from both sides. Now, the ball was in the court of the Mecklenburg legislative delegation, which had asked for the Council's opinion on the matter, and it hopes that the delegation would stand behind the recommendation of the Council.

"Modern Election System in Sight" indicates that the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections had begun a study, shortly after the near breakdown of the electoral process the prior November, with long lines and many voters having to wait one or two hours to vote, hundreds having given up, the study thus seeking to improve the process. The Board studied voting in other cities, and the previous day had recommended to the County Board of Commissioners and the City Council a proposed new registration system which would give the city and county fast and efficient voting.

Each voter would be registered in a loose-leaf, alphabetical binder, and divided further along alphabetical groupings in larger precincts. A demonstration of the system the previous day had cleared voters more than twice as quickly as under the old system. Officials of the Board estimated that it would cost $30,000 to implement and the two governing bodies agreed on the amount.

The piece approves the change, but indicates that other changes in the offing, a central registration office open year-round, a smaller number of precincts, larger polling places with better entry and exit, were also long overdue.

"The Other Side of the Picture" indicates that Federal Comptroller-General Lindsay Warren, originally from North Carolina, in an address the previous night to the North Carolina Citizens' Association, had criticized inefficiency, waste and bungling in the executive branch. As the official watchdog for Congress, he was supposed to do that, but he was also a fair and wise man, and saw the positive side of the Government as well, saying that the vast majority of people in the Government were not only competent, capable and conscientious, but favorably compared with those in private business. He also said that it would be foolish to contend that there had not been corruption in government, but that the bribes had been instigated from the outside by private interests. He also reminded that the same forces who had sought favors from the previous Administrations would now be seeking favors from the present one.

The piece thinks his advice quite appropriate, as a reminder that there would always be dishonesty among those seeking favors from government, regardless of which party was in power, but that there were, by and large, able and honest persons in government positions.

"Forerunner of a Policy" discusses the Supreme Court decision of the prior Monday, which had upheld the authority of the Federal Power Commission to license the private construction of a hydroelectric project at Roanoke Rapids, N.C. The six-Justice majority ignored the socio-economic argument posed by the three-Justice minority, and held that the FPC's authority to license the Virginia Electric & Power Company to build the dam on the Roanoke River had never been revoked by Congress, and thus the license which had issued many months earlier was valid, enabling VEPCO to proceed with the construction.

It posits that though the issue of public versus private power was not directly involved, the decision would have a strong bearing on future Federal policy. The President and Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay had emphasized repeatedly that private interest enterprise should be permitted to undertake such projects when willing to do so. The decision would act as a step to greater cooperation between the Federal Government, the states, and private enterprise in developing hydroelectric power.

A piece from the Washington Times-Herald, titled "The Body That Stayed Buried", indicates that all during the campaign the prior fall, it was suggested that General Eisenhower knew exactly which expenditures for defense and foreign aid were essential and which were not, and was therefore better qualified than either Senator Taft or Governor Stevenson to make the necessary quick and sharp reductions in expenditures to enable tax reduction. It appeared as a plausible argument and no doubt helped to defeat both Senator Taft for the nomination and Governor Stevenson in the general election.

General Eisenhower's experience during the war in Europe and commanding NATO for about 18 months, plus his time as chief of staff of the Army, gave him an insider's acquaintance with the defense establishment which the other two men did not appear to have. Everyone knew that there were billions of dollars in waste which could be eliminated, but General Eisenhower was supposed to know where that pruning could take place without damaging the nation's security.

The piece, however, finds that now that argument appeared fallacious, as the pruning to enable tax reduction had not taken place and the Administration was now telling the country that it was unlikely they would ever find it, leading to the moral that very little could be believed during the course of a political campaign.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that it was agreed that there was nothing lavish about the $15,000 per year salary and expense allowance paid to members of Congress, considering the numerous personal, political and official expenses which each had to meet. But the job also had special privileges, ranging from free shaves for Senators to a retirement plan for members of both chambers. Each member received a salary of $12,500 and a $2,500 expense allowance, with the first $3,000 of living expenses in Washington being tax-deductible. They were provided fully equipped offices in Washington and also were entitled to office space in their home states. Each Senator received an annual allowance for employing office help, based on their state's population, the sliding scale of which is set forth. Each member of the House was allowed up to $12,500 per year for basic employee salaries, plus automatic pay increases which could nearly double that amount. Members of both chambers also had official mail franking privileges and received a quota of free long distance telephone calls and telegrams, plus allotments for airmail and special delivery postage, stationery, and one round-trip to Washington per year. They also received a voluntary retirement plan, use of hospital facilities on a room-fee basis, and the research service of the Library of Congress.

Bill Sharpe, writing in The State magazine, regards the folk language of the state, which you may read on your own, primarily centering on the phrase "ay, la", becoming in the Piedmont section, "ah, law" or "eh, law", meaning that the person expressing it was listening, the phrase serving as an interjection to keep the discussion moving, expressing, as the occasion fitted, agreement, despair or noncommitment, depending on how the listener chose to interpret it. He provides examples, while finding inadequate the citation on the subject in Frank Brown's North Carolina Folklore, Vol. 1, p. 517. (We can add to the entry that we have heard it many times, ere ago, from someone we once knew, on the variant, "They law!")

Drew Pearson indicates that while there was an investigation ongoing in Kansas of the new RNC chairman, Wesley Roberts, regarding his having taken a 10 percent commission on the sale of a hospital to the State of Kansas for $110,000, when the State already owned the hospital, there was also criticism among Republican lawmakers of Mr. Roberts in Washington. Former Kansas Governor and 1936 Republican presidential nominee Alf Landon and some in Washington had compared the matter to that of former DNC chairman William Boyle, who was forced to resign because he had taken a $1,250 fee in connection with an RFC loan to a company.

The party chairman helped to make political appointments and so had a voice in shaping the destiny of the party and the nation.

Most observers agreed that the Eisenhower Administration had gotten off to a good start with its initial appointments, for which Attorney General Herbert Brownell did the screening. But of late, Mr. Roberts had been given greater leeway in the choice of appointments, as Mr. Brownell was busy at the Justice Department. Mr. Roberts had approved the appointment of Jeff Robertson of Kansas as chairman of the Federal Power Commission, passing on oil and gas rates, vitally important to Northern consumers. Mr. Robertson, however, was immediately opposed by stanch Republicans, Senators Homer Ferguson and Charles Potter of Michigan, with the former denouncing him for his connection to the oil and gas industry. It had now come to light that Mr. Roberts had received a $3,750 fee from an important gas and oil company, Cities Service, during eight weeks of 1951 when the Kansas Legislature was in session. It was being charged that during that time, Mr. Roberts had lobbied the bill through the Legislature to provide gas companies the right of eminent domain in seizing underground storage facilities. Governor Landon called Mr. Roberts a messenger boy for the gas and oil interests.

Mr. Roberts also had recommended former Congressman Albert Cole of Kansas to be the Housing administrator, overseeing public housing, despite having been the darling of the real estate lobby, having opposed the housing and slum clearance bill while he had been in Congress. Some Republican Senators criticized that appointment. Senator Irving Ives of New York, a strong supporter of the President, said that he was voting for the confirmation of Mr. Cole based only on his assurance that he would fairly administer the Public Housing Act, regardless of his prior opposition. But the first thing Mr. Cole had done after his confirmation was to telephone Akron, O., to hold up construction of an important 300-unit housing project.

Mr. Roberts had also approved the appointment of Craig Sheaffer, of the well-known pen company, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce, despite the fact that he had supported rabble-rousing interests with which the President did not associate himself. Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, when examining Mr. Sheaffer, had asked him about sponsoring Upton Close, a radio commentator who had attacked certain religious groups, and for contributing to rabble-rousing Merwin Hart, to which Mr. Sheaffer responded by defending Mr. Close and offering excuses for his contributions to Mr. Hart. Congressional records showed that Mr. Sheaffer had contributed $1,300 to Mr. Hart and $1,000 to Senator McCarthy, and was a member of the Western Tax Council, which had been lobbying to limit the income taxing powers of the Government to 25 percent. When Senator John Pastore of Rhode Island had asked Mr. Sheaffer whether the limit would not drastically cut national revenue and thus lead to such things as a national sales tax, Mr. Sheaffer had replied that he did not believe it would lead to such a sales tax but that if it did, the people in the lower brackets would have the opportunity to decide whether they wanted to buy something.

Marquis Childs indicates that, with income tax filing day of March 15 past, it would be a good idea to examine the proposed across-the-board tax cut of 10 or 15 percent and what it would do for the small taxpayer versus the large taxpayer, with such a cut benefiting the large taxpayer substantially and the small taxpayer only little.

He proposes that it would be much better to raise the personal exemption from its current level of $600, having been raised in 1948 from $500, to $700, approximately equivalent to a 10 percent tax cut for middle income families. A more realistic level, he indicates, for the sake of actually paying for the raising of children, would be $1,000, but that would cost the Government 8.7 billion dollars in revenue and therefore would be unrealistic at the current time, whereas the $700 exemption would cost about 2.5 billion. (He does not indicate that the 10 percent across-the-board cut had been estimated to cost about 10 billion in revenue, the amount of the anticipated deficit under President Truman's budget submitted to Congress for the coming fiscal year.)

He further indicates that one of the injustices for middle income families had been corrected, through an amendment proposed by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, to enable profit from sale of the family home to be rolled over into the purchase of a new home, provided the amount was reinvested in the new home within a year of sale of the old home. Previously, those profits were taxed at capital gains rates, unfair to the family forced to move for work.

He also indicates that some steps had been made to ease the way for persons over 65, with the exemption presently at $1,200 and old age pensions from Social Security tax free, with all medical expenses completely deductible.

But on your proposals, the Republicans can't benefit their fatcat friends and the corporations. What good is that?

Robert C. Ruark, in Nairobi, Kenya, tells of Steve Hannagan having died in Nairobi the previous month. He had been a press agent, or, actually, a public relations counsel, with a lot of clients, including Coca-Cola, on whom he had come to Kenya to check, prize fighters, railroads, glass companies, firearms manufacturers, Miami Beach, Sun Valley, Ida., and others. His billing ran into astronomical figures.

He had flown from Cairo with Mr. Ruark's wife and was going to join their safari for a few days in the southern Masai. He then had an attack of asthma and said he was not feeling well from the trip, did not wish to join them in the evening, would see them in the morning, when he was found dead at 53. He had originally come from Indiana, had been responsible for promoting Miami Beach, where he had lived in the Jack Dempsey, Bull Firpo, Babe Ruth era, when things were boom or bust in south Florida.

Mr. Ruark goes on further to describe Mr. Hannagan and his partner in promotion of Miami Beach, Joe Copps. They had sold Miami to the world on the basis of "semi-naked women surrounded by citrus, but their news breaks were always honest and the news judgment was sound as a good city editor's. Press agents they called themselves, but unpaid assistants to journalism they were." He indicates that he would mourn the loss of Mr. Hannagan greatly.

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