The Charlotte News

Monday, April 13, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Stan Carter, that the previous day, U.S. Sabre jets had shot down seven enemy MIG-15s and probably destroyed another, while this date one enemy jet was destroyed.

In the ground war, there were 29 small fights along the front the previous night.

The battleship New Jersey fired its 16-inch guns on enemy targets in Chongjin in northeast Korea, and 75 Navy warplanes from the cruiser Los Angeles struck at east coast positions.

Allied soldiers and Marines staged a dress rehearsal this date, covering every detail of the planned exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war, which would begin the following Monday. Final details of the exchange were settled this date by U.N. and Communist staff officers. The U.N. had sought an earlier start to the exchange, but the Communists had refused. Lt. General Maxwell Taylor, U.S. Eighth Army commander, headed a group of high-level officers who witnessed the drill.

In Seoul, the 5th Regimental Combat team, the third oldest in the U.S. Army, celebrated its 145th anniversary the previous day. It had fought with several U.S. divisions in Korea.

At the U.N. in New York, Israel's Labor Minister Golda Myerson, later Golda Meir, in a speech this date before the political committee, praised the recent cessation and repudiation of anti-Jewish propaganda by Russia and expressed the hope that it would be a permanent change. She urged the Soviet Union to permit its Jewish population to emigrate to Israel to help prevent anti-Semitism from again flaring up. She said that the Russian and Czech charges the previous winter claiming a Jewish-led conspiracy had been "evil nonsense" and that the repudiation of those charges, especially the charges against the Jewish doctors, accused of deliberately allowing certain military leaders to die, had been received with "deep satisfaction and relief". The speech was part of the debate of a resolution proposed by Poland for a plan of world peace, incorporating the usual Soviet-bloc conditions which had repeatedly been rejected by the democracies.

In Jerusalem, Eric Johnston, chairman of the U.S. International Development Advisory Board, said this date that the Government was not likely to abandon its Point Four technical assistance program to underdeveloped countries. He was presently on a special mission investigating the program, and had traveled from Jordan to Israel the previous day and would fly to Rome the following day.

Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota said this date that a group of Republican Senators would insist on a shakeup of top-level policy-making officials in the State Department. He said it was not a question of loyalty or security but rather fulfillment of the promise made by Republicans during the campaign to rid the Department of Acheson loyalists. He indicated that a study of the State Department's directory had shown that with the exception of a handful of top officials, the Department had the same lineup who had made policy for former Secretary of State Acheson and President Truman, despite perhaps hundreds of them not being protected by Civil Service. He said the demand would have the support of Senators Styles Bridges, Joseph McCarthy, Homer Ferguson and other members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Secretary of State Dulles was planning to testify before the Committee soon to request the Department's budget.

The President and his family, including Skunky, flew this date to Augusta, Ga., to begin a week-long golfing vacation, his second such vacation since becoming President on January 20. He would fly back to Washington on Thursday to address a luncheon of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, to be televised and broadcast via radio on all the national networks, and then return to Augusta, with a stopover in Salisbury, N.C., Thursday afternoon and evening for the bicentennial celebration of Rowan County. It was believed that the Washington speech would pertain to foreign policy and that the President might set forth a specific program designed to test the sincerity of the Russian peace overtures.

Henry Grunewald told a House Ways & Means subcommittee this date that he was hired for an investigation by John L. Lewis when Mr. Lewis and the UMW had faced contempt charges in Federal Court. He refused to answer whether the investigation was directed at the judge in the case, who later fined Mr. Lewis $10,000, and the UMW, 3.5 million dollars, for disobeying the court's back-to-work order—the union's fine later reduced to $700,000 by the Supreme Court. Mr. Grunewald was presently awaiting sentence on one charge of contempt of Congress, and the Federal District Court had said that his willingness to cooperate in the subcommittee hearings could impact the severity of his sentence.

In Detroit, assembly lines at 13 of Ford Motor Company's 18 plants across the country were closed this date because of a strike of 2,200 workers in a Monroe, Mich., parts plant. The closing idled 47,000 of Ford's 130,000 production workers, and a Ford spokesman indicated that the total number of workers idled could reach 75,000 as more plants ran out of parts. The UAW had walked out at Monroe, a plant which produced wheels, coil springs and chrome parts, on April 1, charging a speed-up in production, a claim denied by company officials. Negotiations had failed to produce a resolution.

In New York, Joseph Ryan, the boss of the East Coast longshoremen, was arrested this date on a 30-count grand larceny indictment, accusing him of misuse of $11,390 in union funds, occurring between 1948 and 1951. Mr. Ryan had conceded using union money to take a Caribbean cruise, to purchase Cadillac automobiles, to pay golf club dues and other personal expenses, but said that he had later restored the money from his own funds.

In Washington, Otto Verber, an Austrian-born former U.S. Army intelligence officer, pleaded guilty this date to conspiring to spy on U.S. defense secrets for Russia. Sentence would be imposed later, and the defendant faced a maximum of ten years in prison.

Rebecca F. Gross, in a piece for the Associated Press, indicates that three Moscow factories, using the continuous-process technique for making candy, baking bread and manufacturing automobiles, had been visited by American editors while touring Russia during the week. The Red October chocolate factory was described by its managing director as the largest of its kind in the Soviet Union, having obtained its name from the fact that some of its workers had taken part in the original 1917 Revolution. She provides considerable detail.

In London, a subway crash at the East End Station the prior Wednesday night between two crowded trains homeward bound with workers, had resulted in at least ten persons being killed, while six remained in the hospital, though none in serious condition.

In Stillwater, Minn., for the first time in the previous 48 hours, food had been served to some 800 inmates in two cell blocks at the Stillwater Prison, which had been damaged and littered during a weekend uprising in protest of the cessation of negotiations regarding prisoner grievances, which had begun the prior Wednesday with a protest against serving of liver patties for lunch. The bedlam at the prison had continued until late Saturday night and broke out intermittently on Sunday. The new warden told the prisoners over a loudspeaker system that they had to conduct themselves properly before they would be fed. The warden did not indicate when the inmates would be ordered back to the prison twine and farm machinery factories.

Near St. Petersburg, Fla., an 83-year old lecturer and former university president had shot and seriously wounded a man who attempted to kidnap his daughter in a weekend invasion of their home in suburban Gulfport. He had also accidentally shot his daughter, 58, in one hand, and she was treated for the wound plus shock. The sheriff indicated that the man who was shot had been interested romantically in the daughter since she had hired him to do carpentry work three years earlier, and the police had been called several months earlier when he had gone to the home to try to woo the daughter. The previous night, when the father had ordered him to leave, he picked up the daughter and ran out of the house with her, followed by the shooting. No charges were filed. The father was an international authority on the theory of relativity and astronomy, and had authored a book, The Universe, Its Origin, Nature and Destiny. He had served as a professor of English and literature at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., before becoming its chancellor in 1939 and its president in 1941. Perhaps, the father merely invented the suitor to suit his fancy, as a practical joke on his daughter.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, a waitress cracked open an egg for a customer during the weekend, and a penny fell out.

Were there any strawberries and oysters, also, to complete the cuisine?

On the editorial page, "Redevelopment Amendments Needed" argues in favor of two amendments to the existing enabling law for slum redevelopment in the state, as passed by the 1951 General Assembly.

One was the amendment to eliminate the proviso that if a single building was not in a blighted condition, within an otherwise blighted area so designated, then eminent domain could not be exercised over that building by the State, thus virtually destroying the ability to redevelop the particular blighted area.

The other amendment would do away with the requirement of competitive bidding in resale of the land to private developers after it had been cleared of slums, permitting direct negotiations through regular real estate agents with potential purchasers, making the likelihood of success of redevelopment much greater.

"What Chief Justice Vinson Really Said" indicates that during the controversy over the Bricker proposal to amend the treaty-making power under the Constitution, to add the requirement that both houses of Congress approve treaties before they were implemented, in addition to the existing requirement of two-thirds Senate approval for ratification, and that the process would be made applicable as well to executive agreements, one of the reasons advanced for the amendment was that Chief Justice Fred Vinson, in his dissent in the steel-seizure case in spring, 1952, had supposedly indicated that U.S. obligations under the U.N. Charter, coupled with the President's proclamation of an emergency, justified the seizure of the steel industry, though there had been no statutory authority for it. But in fact, the Chief Justice had only said that the U.S. had been instrumental in securing adoption of the Charter and that treaties were not merely legal obligations, but also represented Congressional recognition that mutual security for the free world was the best security against the threat of aggression. He had not, however, stated that the Charter or any other treaty justified the seizure of the steel industry by President Truman. He said only that the seizure had been justified by the power and duty of the President to see that the laws were faithfully executed, and that given the national emergency, the programs initiated by Congress provided the President with the power to seize the industry in the emergency.

It notes that former Democratic presidential nominee in 1924, John W. Davis, attorney for the steel companies before the Supreme Court, was opposed to the Bricker amendment.

Incidentally, that section of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as subsequently amended, to which reference is made in the dissent of Chief Justice Vinson in conjunction with footnote 18, 50 U.S.C. 4511, originally codified as 64 Stat. 799 (1950), enabling the President, when deemed essential to national defense, to allocate scarce and critical materials, remains in effect, at least through September 30, 2025—an easy date to remember for the deadheads as the 70th anniversary of the Porsche death near Paso Robles of James Dean—, subject to use therefore in the current health crisis in the country in 2020, provided a determination is made by the President that remedy for the scarcity of items, such as personal protective equipment, ventilators, tests and contact-tracing capability, or other health care essentials, is deemed "essential" to national defense. Presumably, if viewed sensibly, to allow such equipment to go "viral" in the country, and not through the filter of ingesting disinfectants or internal injection of sunshine, that is, radiation, or any other crackhead remedy as ready anodynes to the coronavirus or any other health malady, that rationale would run that national defense depends on an available health care apparatus nationally in the event of a national emergency occasioned by war or attack on the country, such as that which took place on December 7, 1941 or on September 11, 2001, and that the threat to the capacity, therefore, of the health care system posed by COVID-19, the coronavirus disease first discovered in China in 2019, is an immediate threat to the national defense, requiring, to the extent possible and with all reasonable celerity, not just deliberate speed, that the health care facilities be freed up by provision of all necessary equipment to fight the disease, and so...

It is doubtful that even the usual five-Justice "conservative" majority of the current Supreme Court would find fault in that analysis under the current circumstances, where 40,000 Americans have died from the disease just in the last 19 days, since April 5, when the 10,000-death mark was passed, now topping, as of April 24, more than 51,000, set therefore at current rates to surpass the death toll for Americans in the Vietnam War between 1964 and 1973, 58,000, within a few days, and when the total number of confirmed cases of the disease in the country, now over 900,000, most reported during the previous month, have reached nearly one-third of the 2.8 million cases reported globally—even while some idiots and beachcombers, with the wind in their hair and the wild in their asses, in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and some other islands of sunshine enlightenment governed presently by right-wing Republicans in critical need of their wool-hat constituencies for re-election, might have problems with the concept as being part of a globalist conspiracy, fomented by Obomber and UNC and other radical leftists and Commie Pinkos, to deprive the individual permanently of freedoms—the freedoms to die and take as many fellow countrymen down with you as possible, the antithesis, last we heard, of anything remotely resemblant to patriotism, wave flags aplenty though you might with impunity while being accompanied along the beaches by that old, old Stranger, Absurdity, governing every other one of your thoughts and mind, those in between centered on your asses.

We trust, by the way, that the Time "Person of the Year" Award for 2020 will go to either the insidious virus, itself, or to the emblematic facemask, in theory, protecting against its further spread, or, as a gesture to humanity over the too much stressed material world, to the health care workers treating daily its victims at substantial risk to their own health.

Helpful hint: Do not expose your N-95 facemask, should you have one, to prolonged sunlight as ultraviolet rays significantly diminish its effectiveness, just as with most things receiving too much sun, including some occupants of the Oval Office. (We hit the motherlode two days ago, as we discovered three—three—N-95 masks in our garage, hiding in a plastic bag where we left them about 17 months ago, left over from sanding a floor, just a little bit used in the final sanding phase, a little lipstick around the tailpipe, so to speak, and so still useable, with a momentary dusting off, on a rotating schedule, for going to the market and such, in short entries for maybe 20-25 minutes at a time, once per week. It is well to think in advance and be prepared for all emergencies. What good are your guns and bunkers, now, stupid? Are you going to try to hold us up to rob us also of our three used N-95 masks? Good luck with that.)

"How the FBI Operates" indicates that increasingly, the FBI was concerned with gathering raw data for loyalty checks. The data, which often consisted of hearsay and rumors, sometimes from sources indicated as reliable and sometimes indicated as being of "questionable reliability", was maintained by the Bureau in close confidence, with only summaries by the agents compiled for use by the individual departments concerned with particular governmental personnel.

The Bureau had denied that, in the case of Charles Bohlen, during his confirmation as Ambassador to Russia, there was any leak of his file to Senator McCarthy or anyone else, though the Senator had contended that he knew what was in the file and that it was derogatory—Marquis Childs having claimed that the information had come through subcommittee counsel Roy Cohn, who, until recently had worked in a high-level position in the Justice Department, though Mr. Cohn had denied awareness of even a file on Mr. Bohlen.

The fact that the Bureau received derogatory information about an individual did not necessarily mean that a file would be established, unless the charge appeared credible or there were several corroborating reports of such information. When an individual made application for a non-sensitive Government job, the Bureau checked its files to determine whether there was any derogatory information, and if not, the applicant was promptly cleared. But in the case of sensitive positions, each applicant had to be fully investigated by the Bureau, even though they had no adverse information in the files. Field investigations of individuals often took as long as three months to complete and involved several agents.

"Perspective on Home Rule" indicates that in 1945, the state of Missouri had held a constitutional convention which, among other things, gave local communities home rule, a move which had recently received praise from the St. Louis Governmental Research Institute as providing communities with control over their own matters, which they were best qualified to understand, which checked the drift toward centralized government, and enabled members of the Legislature to do a better job for the state as a whole.

It recommends the advice to the North Carolina General Assembly, and hopes that it would adopt the pending home-rule measure, allowing counties to set the salaries of county employees.

Drew Pearson suggests that Margaret Truman was planning to run for Congress, for a seat won by a Republican from Independence, Mo., the hometown of the President, the prior November in the Eisenhower landslide. The President regarded it as shameful that a Republican was now representing his home district. To that end, Ms. Truman would take up residence in Independence when the family returned from their Hawaiian vacation, while the President and Mrs. Truman would temporarily reside in New York so that the President could write his memoirs.

Vice-President Nixon was "the boy who privately kept his fingers in the political dike last week and stopped the growing flood of Eisenhower resentment against turbulent Joe McCarthy." (Unfortunately, he would try to put his fingers in one too many dikes, 19 years hence.) The Vice-President had cut the ground from Mutual Security Agency head Harold Stassen, following his tough speech against Senator McCarthy regarding the unilateral Greek shipowners deal, whereby the Senator had obtained agreement that the the 241 shipowners would not engage in trade into or between Communist ports. Before that incident, Mr. Nixon had already convinced the President that he should get along with Senators McCarthy and William Jenner, and Representative Harold Velde of HUAC. But the President had become concerned about Senator McCarthy's contest of the confirmation of Ambassador Bohlen, and had become angry when informed of the unilateral deal with the Greek shipowners. The Vice-President had, however, stepped in and smoothed things over.

Mr. Nixon had also been holding private breakfasts for new House and Senate members and was helping General Persons, the Administration's liaison with Congress, get better acquainted with his job. He also regularly attended two White House meetings each week, those of the Cabinet and the National Security Council, and provided members of Congress the general picture of what was occurring with respect to Administration policy. He had been advising the White House that the President would have to live with Senator McCarthy for some time and that it was better to get along with him. He had arranged a luncheon between Senator McCarthy and Secretary of State Dulles, at which the latter ignored a memo by the State Department advisers that Senator McCarthy had been acting illegally in negotiating with the Greek shipowners.

Mr. Pearson notes that the President had decided that he could not afford to break with Senator McCarthy until he had first won over the Republican right-wing Senators, starting with Senator Taft and then Senator Styles Bridges, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop address the retirement from Government of George Kennan, former Ambassador to Russia and former chief planner in the State Department, who had made several accurate predictions based on his long knowledge and study of the Soviet Union. In the summer of 1947, Secretary of State Marshall had asked Mr. Kennan for his advice on whether to invite the Soviet Union into the Marshall Plan, and without hesitation, Mr. Kennan advised doing so, saying that the Soviets would never join and therefore would pose no risk that they could wreck the plan from within. Things turned out exactly as he predicted, and the Soviets disciplined the satellite countries against any indications of desire to join the plan, helping to solidify the West, forming one of the country's first major postwar diplomatic victories.

Mr. Kennan had also provided good advice in indicating that the Soviet reaction to the Marshall Plan would be a Soviet-engineered coup in Czechoslovakia, as had also occurred. He predicted correctly that either the Soviets or the Chinese would enter the Korean War should General MacArthur advance to the Yalu River in the October-November, 1950 offensive following the Inchon landing in September. He had also, the prior fall, stated correctly that there was a group within the Kremlin which wanted to change Soviet policy, as had become evident since the March 5 death of Stalin.

In 1946, he had sent a lengthy cable to the State Department, indicating that the Soviet government was committed to a policy that the Western form of life be destroyed, seizing any opportunity to extend Soviet power—a cable summarized in the diaries of deceased former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal. The prescience of that cable indicated the great loss to U.S. foreign policy planning by Mr. Kennan's retirement.

The retirement was not exactly fully voluntary, as Mr. Kennan would have accepted a position if it had been offered. He was, however, a retiring, quiet individual, and preferred academia to government, and so was naturally following his desired course in returning to Princeton.

The failure to appoint him to a new post was, the Alsops posit, understandable, as he had become a political symbol during the recent campaign, having been identified with the policy of containment and suggested as a stooge of former Secretary of State Acheson, matters which would have been raised, no doubt, in any confirmation hearings. The recent flak in the Senate regarding the confirmation of Charles Bohlen as the new Ambassador to Russia had no doubt weighed on the State Department in not offering any new position to Mr. Kennan.

But, they conclude, it was a sad day when a non-political Government servant had to give his loyalty, not to the Government, but rather to the political party which he thought might win the next election.

Marquis Childs tells of the new Administration departing from the timeline for preparation of defenses in Western Europe, as established by the Truman Administration, for 1954, to meet the predicted time of Soviet readiness for aggression, the target date now having been pushed out indefinitely, meeting the Congressional concerns about economy and curtailment of foreign aid, and also dovetailing with the British assessment that the U.S. had been moving too fast on preparation of NATO defenses. The Russian peace initiative provided a strong excuse to neutrals and others in Western Europe who had always argued that there was no need for haste. Most of the NATO allies had sent in confidential reports in recent weeks, indicating that the rearmament push from the U.S. had been too fast and was producing an impossible economic strain, for which aid from the U.S. would be necessary. That had moved the date of readiness to 1955, and the need for economy had pushed it out indefinitely to forestall the need for provision of additional foreign aid.

If present intentions prevailed, the U.S. would propose at the NATO council meeting that the 1954 or 1955 deadline was off and the target date postponed into the indefinite future.

A letter from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover expresses appreciation for the March 31 editorial, "Mr. Hoover's Unwanted Role", indicating that the newspaper was performing a public service in bringing such facts to the public's attention.

A letter from two Marine privates serving in Korea indicates that one had received only six letters from people other than his mother in the four months he had been in the country, and that his buddy felt the same way, both wanting to hear from girls between ages 17 and 20. He says that he had received a letter from a girl in Durham who had said that she did not like to write and so asked him to stop writing her. He says he knew people did not like to write but that he did not like to fight, and asks what might occur if they stopped fighting like people back home stopped writing.

You would probably be court-martialed.

A letter from the chairman of the Citizens Committee indicates that the Committee was fully aware of the need for more taxis in Charlotte and was also aware of why the city did not have them, as they had been denied the right to operate cabs despite having every legal requirement to do so. He urges black voters to take the right to operate cabs and the right to live and work like other people to the ballot box in the coming election.

A letter writer from Alexandria, Va., thanks the newspaper for its editorial of April 6 regarding the Bricker amendment. He suggests that the 64 Senators who were co-sponsoring the measure represented the way people thought, as shown by the popularity of Senator McCarthy, and that people were more interested in witch-hunts than taking personal responsibility as the editorial had encouraged. He recommends ignoring Senator McCarthy instead of cluttering up the press with reports on him. He cites France as an example of a country which could not form a strong government because the public trust had been undermined. He suggests that the Bricker amendment and McCarthyism showed the inability and unwillingness of the people to trust elected officials.

A letter from a family in Gaffney, S.C., expresses enjoyment of the syndicated column in the newspaper, "Lenten Guideposts", finds it a spiritual blessing and an inspiration. They also indicate their enjoyment of the features page, state that they had been reading the newspaper for 30 years and commend the staff for an enlightening and intelligent product.

A letter writer from Shelby indicates observations while traveling through North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, that Virginia had automobile inspection and the people liked it, whereas in North Carolina one could drive any old rattletrap down the highway, that one could buy whiskey and beer in Virginia and Maryland and in North Carolina's wet counties, but not in the latter state's dry counties, and yet North Carolina had just as many drunk drivers in the dry counties.

A letter writer from Brooklyn, N.Y., indicates that he was trying to locate two of his buddies who were living in Charlotte, with whom he had served in "B" Co., 8th Engineers, First Cavalry Division, in Japan and Korea, providing their names, if you happen to know them.

Since the letter does not refer to Salisbury or Rowan County, we cannot refer to the letter as your "B-Centennial Minute".

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