The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 18, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George McArthur, that some 4,000 Communist Chinese infantrymen, with tank and artillery support, had crossed the Kumsong River this date, stalling the advance of South Korean troops to recover ground lost in the bulge at the river the prior Monday and Tuesday. In addition, a North Korean regiment of about 2,500 men struck three hill positions northeast of the "Punchbowl", about 15 miles east of the "Bulge" at Kumsong. After three hours of fierce fighting, the South Koreans had repulsed the attack and killed or wounded an estimated 977 enemy troops. The South Korean forces had regained up to 5.5 miles during the previous three days, but had run into their first stiff opposition when 700 Chinese troops counterattacked in the predawn hours, hurling back the South Korean troops from four hill positions taken originally with little resistance. By noon, however, the South Korean troops had won back two of the hills and were assaulting the other two. Infantry of the U.S. 45th Division had repulsed two 700-man enemy attacks near "Christmas Hill".

In the air war, allied planes strafed and dive-bombed the enemy troops as they crossed the Kumsong River on bridges or by fording. Heavy enemy trucks had been used to traverse the shallow water, providing targets for the bombers. Air spotters saw more tanks in the area of the Bulge than in any one sector during the prior two years.

The Air Force reported that U.S. Sabre jets had shot down 120 enemy MIG-15s during the previous 71 days, without a single Sabre lost in aerial combat. The last such jet which had been shot down was on May 17. During the week, 15 MIGs had been shot down and seven more damaged. Six planes had been lost by the Fifth Air Force, but none of them were Sabres. Enemy ground fire had shot down two F-84 Thunderjets and one Marine F9F Panther jet. The other jets and one propeller-driven aircraft were lost to other causes. Weather had cut the air effort during the early part of the week when the enemy ground forces had launched their heavy offensive on the east-central front.

The expected showdown this date in the truce negotiations was postponed for 24 hours, as the Communists sought the delay during a one-minute session with liaison officers at Panmunjom this date. The North Korean negotiator said that the delay was necessary for "administrative reasons", as the allies were anticipating a reply from the Communists to their latest demand for immediate conclusion of the truce. Terms had been completely agreed upon previously, until the release by South Korean President Syngman Rhee on June 17 of the North Korean prisoners who resisted repatriation, followed by demands by the Communists that the prisoners be recaptured, which the allies said was not possible as the prisoners had taken safe harbor in South Korean homes. Another fly in the ointment had developed when the South Korean Government said it would resist a truce which left the country divided, but that had since been resolved, with President Rhee agreeing earlier in the week to abide by the truce terms.

John Randolph of the Associated Press reports from the western front that for the previous ten months, a "warm, romantic" woman's voice frequently had drifted across the Korean battle front, appealing to U.S. troops to give up the fight and join her in a good time. The U.S. Marines had dubbed her the "Dragon Lady" and jokingly claimed that she was the only woman in the world who could be shut up only with artillery. On July 13, she had broadcast that peace would come within a few weeks, possibly within a few days. "Spend merry Xmas at home," she had encouraged, pronouncing it "ex-mas". Often she would play music and invite the soldiers to fire two shots if they liked it. Usually they refrained. Once her position was spotted, the artillery would begin to fire at the location, shutting her up. Mr. Randolph notes that the original Dragon Lady was a beautiful character in George Wunder's comic strip, "Terry and the Pirates".

In London, it was reported that the Soviet Union, having signed trade pacts with France, Denmark and other Western European nations, appeared to have launched in earnest its long anticipated trade offensive. It was believed to be aimed at relieving the economic ills of the restive satellite nations, where protests had erupted during the prior month regarding the lack of consumer goods. It was also part of a plan by the Kremlin to woo Western nations from economic and military ties with the U.S. The French and Soviet governments had announced the previous day that they had signed a three-year commercial pact, their first since 1934.

The Navy released the names of five survivors and 41 killed in a crash of a Marine cargo plane near Milton, Fla., the previous midnight, the piece listing the survivors and the dead. The plane had carried 41 young Naval ROTC midshipmen and crewmen when it crashed on a farm and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Whiting Field. Of the five survivors, two were reported in critical condition and the other three in serious condition. There had been a sixth survivor who had died in the hospital without regaining consciousness, about four hours after rescue from the burned wreckage. Milton was about 30 miles north of Pensacola. The stop was for refueling as the plane was flying from Corpus Christi, Tex., to Norfolk, Va., for another phase of the ROTC summer training program, which took place in both cities.

Near Wallace, N.C., a resident of Mecklenburg County was killed and four others were injured early this date when their car overturned, as they were proceeding to Jacksonville, N.C., to do some fishing. One of the persons in the car said it was foggy at the time and the driver had hit the shoulder, then pulled the car back into the road, at which point it started swerving, the driver then applying the brakes, causing the car to roll over. The driver, a farmer, was thrown from the car and killed.

Near Raeford, N.C., six persons, including five teenagers, had been killed around midnight in a head-on collision of a car and a 1.5 ton truck on Highway 15-A. A seventh person, believed to have been driving the truck, was in critical condition in a Laurinburg hospital. The youths who had been killed had attended a Presbyterian youth fellowship meeting and afterward had gone to a theater before starting home. The accident occurred on a straight stretch of road, within sight of the home of one of the teenagers. A Highway Patrolman said that the car in which the boys had been riding had apparently been traveling at a high rate of speed, had run onto the right shoulder of the road, then swerved head on into the path of the truck. One of two brothers, both of whom were killed, was believed to have been the driver.

Near Charlotte, Mecklenburg County police reported that a 45-year old man had either jumped or fallen from a pier into the Catawba River and drowned.

In Charlotte, three children and two adults had been injured early in the afternoon in a two-car collision at Barringer Drive and Shuman Avenue. The driver of one of the vehicles had been carrying seven children to an afternoon outing at the Municipal Pool. The three children, riding in the front seat, had been thrown clear of the crash, suffering only lacerations and abrasions, but none critically injured. The four children in the back seat escaped injury. The driver of the other car was treated for lacerations to his arm. The car driven by the woman transporting the children had entered the intersection when the other car hit its right side.

In Hickory, N.C., a 26-year old expectant mother became the 63rd polio victim of the year in Catawba County, with 185 cases having arisen in Catawba and neighboring Caldwell County, where inoculations with gamma globulin of the 14,000 children under ten in each county had taken place during the previous two weeks, designed to interrupt the epidemic with temporary immunization for a month. The new patient was in a Newton hospital recovering from what doctors said was a mild form of the disease. The total for the state during the year had reached 300 cases, according to the State Board of Health. At the same point in 1952, 68 cases had been reported statewide.

As pictured, it was so hot in New York City the previous day, at 95.8 degrees, the highest temperature for that date since 1905, that an unidentified boy dipped his head into a tub of water which had been provided by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for thirsty horses.

On the editorial page, "Highway 29 Nears Final Test" indicates that with the calling for bids on the final surfacing of the new lane of Highway 29 from Charlotte to Concord, a modern theory of primary road building approached its acid test. If the State engineers were correct, the state could expect better and longer lasting primary roads, and if they were wrong, the new Highway 29 and other such roads could turn out to be a costly major mistake.

The State engineers had developed what they called a "flexible base of stabilized aggregate", utilizing a mixture of crushed stone, chemicals and water, to withstand the heavier modern loads of between 50,000 and 60,000 pounds passing over the roads. The base was laid to a depth of 14 inches on Highway 29, and given a light, temporary topping of asphalt. After the base would be pounded down by initial traffic, 3 to 4 inches of asphalt would then be added to the surface. Frequent patching of the new lane during recent months had caused doubt in the minds of many motorists regarding the quality of the construction, but the engineers had said that they had expected to patch the road, that defects were anticipated and were being corrected prior to the permanent surface being added.

It lists several other roads in the state utilizing the same technique. The Asheboro bypass, built several years earlier, had used an eight-inch flexible base, had developed no problems in the interim, and so the engineers were confident that the new 14-inch base would be even better.

"They Can't Take It Away" indicates that the memory of George Washington Carver had been honored in a small community near Joplin, Missouri. Born into slavery, the late Mr. Carver had led his class at Iowa State College after being denied an education in his native Missouri, going on to become one of the greatest agricultural scientists in the world. At Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he had taught thousands of farmers how to improve their methods and developed many new uses, in agriculture and industry, for the sweet potato, the peanut and the soybean.

Interior Secretary Douglas McKay dedicated the George Washington Carver National Monument, the first such monument in honor of a black man. During the dedication, an old farmer, who in his youth had known Mr. Carver, recalled, regarding the latter's father, "Old Moses Carver told him that he could be robbed of money but never of an education." Mr. Carver had never forgotten his father's remark and received a complete education, but also kept in mind that education could be acquired other than by going to school, from county agents and home demonstration agents, from libraries and bookmobiles, by reasoning and experimentation.

It suggests that Mr. Carver's father's observation was as sound in 1953 as when he had stated it, as education continued to be the means by which all persons, blacks in particular, could improve their lot. "No one can take it away."

"Hoey's Defense of a Principle" indicates that in a night session on July 9, the Senate had passed a bill without a record vote, designed to prevent Communists from hiding behind the Fifth Amendment by granting them immunity from prosecution for any testimony they might give before committees of Congress, as further elucidated on the page by a speech of Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina. The act was subsequently amended to provide that the Attorney General had to be notified at least one week in advance so that he would have the opportunity to object to the grant of immunity if he believed it would hamper the Justice Department in other proceedings pending against the same witness.

It believes the other side of the argument against the bill was adequately presented by Senator Hoey, against removing the protections afforded by the Constitution.

"Conspiracy" complains that an ice cube would not fit into a quart-size thermos bottle. When one sought to break the cubes with an ice pick, the hand was gashed, probably, it surmises, a conspiracy brought about by the Mercurochrome magnates and those who owned laundries, a "dirty capitalistic plot".

First cool the drink in the refrigerator and then pour it into the thermos.

"A Thought for the Week-End" indicates that historian Hans Kohn, originally of Czechoslovakia, writing in Duke University's South Atlantic Quarterly, had said that the present world crisis was no greater than others in history, such as the Black Death of the Middle Ages which had "destroyed proportionally more lives than atomic bombs would have", leaving men with "a feeling of complete insecurity." He contended that people in 1953 were simply more acutely aware of their troubles, as popular journalism had brought them closer, and because increased "moral sensitivity" led the populace to "abhor cruelty which other ages accepted without widespread protest."

It indicates that he reminded that people were "always able and sometimes willing to learn from experience… If people did not learn from living, life would become useless, but they do."

It concludes that the latter thought was as good as any for the weekend.

A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "Yackety-Yak in Dixie", indicates that Robert Wood of the Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co. had reported that the average telephone in the country was used five times per day, while in the South, it was used seven times per day.

The piece proposes that the reasons for the greater usage in the South were that there were fewer telephones per capita in the region, that rural Southerners found it necessary to use the phone more often than their urban neighbors, that Southerners were seeking to obtain more for their money, had more to talk about, were more talkative, more neighborly, more forgetful, and talked more slowly than persons in other areas of the country. It suggests that there were probably other possibilities but that the list would give an idea of what social scientists could do with Mr. Wood's statistics, and hopes that someone would take up the cudgels for such a study.

Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, as indicated in the above editorial, has a speech to the Senate reprinted anent a bill sponsored by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, before it had passed, providing that witnesses appearing before committees of Congress had to testify if the committee granted the witness immunity. Senator Hoey said that the bill was trying to do what the courts could not do under the Constitution, compelling witnesses to testify against themselves.

He indicates that he was in agreement with using every Constitutional means to reach Communists, investigate and prosecute them, but that the Constitution was for all citizens and Congress should not enable any committee to take away rights.

He says that the bill would enable Congress to grant complete immunity, preventing states as well as the Federal government from prosecuting the witness. He suggests that when a witness came before a committee and proclaimed the Fifth Amendment after being asked whether he was a Communist, that witness stamped himself a Communist, and so by granting immunity and getting that witness to admit that he was a Communist, there was nothing to be gained.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, who was facing a tough re-election campaign in 1954, was so concerned over former President Truman's discussion with General Hoyt Vandenberg, retiring chief of staff of the Air Force, urging him to run for the Senate seat of Senator Ferguson, that the Senator had summoned General Nathan Twining, General Vandenberg's successor as chief of staff, to a secret luncheon with the Senator, at which he pressured General Twining to discredit General Vandenberg's testimony regarding the Air Force budget, seeking to have him testify that General Vandenberg had exaggerated the budgetary needs and in the process had been insubordinate to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. General Twining refused to go along, whereupon Senator Ferguson called Senate hearings which put General Twining on the spot, necessitating that he testify. Subordinates at the Pentagon had advised the General to go along with the Senate and disavow General Vandenberg's statements on the budget. But in the end, General Twining took a middle course, telling the Senators that while the Air Force needed the money, it could probably get along on Secretary Wilson's proposed budget.

Secretary of State Dulles again made a faux pas, this time at the swearing in of Robert Stuart, head of the Quaker Oats Co., as Ambassador to Canada. At the ceremony, Mr. Dulles stated that he had participated in quite a few ceremonies for new ambassadors lately and it gave him great pleasure "to swear in a man who is going to a decent country."

The natural gas lobby was pushing legislation through Congress which would virtually wipe out the Government's authority to regulate natural gas rates, raising consumer bills. The Federal Power Commission was helping put itself out of business, notifying Congress that it approved in theory the legislation which would take away its authority over the rates. The proposed legislation would remove authority from the Commission to regulate wholesale prices of natural gas sold by pipeline companies at state borders, going further than the earlier Kerr bill, vetoed by President Truman, but which would have deprived the Commission of authority to regulate rates at the wellhead. The natural gas lobby had obtained the support of Representatives Cal Hinshaw of California, John Beamer of Indiana, and Oren Harris of Arkansas, who had introduced three identical bills for the purpose of removing the regulation of wholesale rates. The Commission appeared willing to relinquish most of its rate-making authority and allow the companies free reign, suggesting that the lobby was dictating policy.

Joseph Alsop indicates that Senator McCarthy had just suffered his first complete defeat at the hands of the White House, but the Administration was allowing him to conceal the defeat behind misleading statements. The issue was his plan to investigate William Bundy of the CIA, prohibited by the President from testifying before Senator McCarthy's Investigations committee. Republican members of the committee, persuaded by Vice-President Nixon, had refused to support Senator McCarthy in the effort to subpoena Mr. Bundy, and so finally the Senator was forced to surrender.

Because the Administration had been appeasing Senator McCarthy up to this point, it had been a meaningful political defeat. The Senator had announced on Thursday of the prior week that he would subpoena Mr. Bundy for the reason that he had contributed $500 to the defense fund of Alger Hiss because he believed in the right of a fair trial, and because he was the son-in-law of former Secretary of State Acheson. The Senator's speech on the floor of the Senate had confused Mr. Bundy with his brother, McGeorge Bundy, and had included several lies about an imaginary letter or statement by Mr. Bundy explaining his contribution to the Hiss defense fund, incidentally containing evidence of an elaborate espionage system employed by Senator McCarthy, his "large private Gestapo".

The same day he made that speech, the National Security Council had voted unanimously to forbid Mr. Bundy from responding to any subpoena, and Senator McCarthy was informed of that vote by Vice-President Nixon. Then, on the prior Monday evening, the problem was discussed at a strategy dinner reportedly attended by the Vice-President, RNC chairman Leonard Hall, and Attorney General Herbert Brownell, with a decision apparently made to handle the matter as quietly as possible. The Vice-President had persuaded two Republican committee members, Senators Charles Potter of Michigan and Everett Dirksen of Illinois, to support the President's position in the matter. The Democratic members of the Investigations committee had resigned the previous week in protest of the Republican members having given Senator McCarthy the power to hire and fire staff. Even Senator Karl Mundt, normally in Senator McCarthy's corner, was appearing to defect.

On Tuesday morning, Senator McCarthy was still seeking Mr. Bundy, but with Senator Dirksen absent and the Vice-President having his proxy vote available if needed, Senator McCarthy had to abandon his plan to subpoena Mr. Bundy.

Enabling the Senator to save face, CIA Director Allen Dulles was allowed to go before the committee, and it was subsequently announced that the CIA would cooperate with the Senator to the extent permitted by the Agency's intelligence function. Senator McCarthy then stated that Mr. Dulles had been taught a sharp lesson, but, observes Mr. Alsop, it was actually Senator McCarthy who got the lesson.

Edward B. Orr, an editorial writer for the Christian Science Monitor, indicates that the confusion that socialism differed from communism only in degree had been employed by wings of both the Republican and Democratic Parties in political battles against many of the policies of the Truman Administration, and had remained a plague to the moderate Eisenhower Administration, adulterating appreciation by Americans of several of the most dependable allies of the country.

He indicates that Karl Marx had provided some of the ideology for socialism which had developed west of the Iron Curtain countries, as well as more completely the system of revolutionary socialism from which had grown the Communist system in Russia. The writings of men such as John Locke and Thomas Jefferson had furnished much of the philosophy for the British parliamentary and American constitutional systems, as well as for the revolutionary movements which culminated in bloody dictatorships in some of the Latin American countries. Neither the U.S. nor Britain had become dictatorships, nor had Sweden and Uruguay, both of which had moved far toward socialism.

He attempts to clarify the distinction by indicating that socialism, as defined in the platforms of socialist parties in the U.S., would own and operate the major processes of production and transportation, particularly the means of harnessing natural resources, and possibly some means of distribution and services. Government, rather than private enterprise, would dominate under such a system. It had weaknesses, stultifying individual initiative, substituting political considerations for the pragmatic economic tasks imposed by a system of private enterprise, and restricting individual action while broadening action by the state. The degree of danger posed by the system would depend on how much room it gave the processes of democracy. In Sweden, there was considerable latitude for individual action, preserving freedom and means for the people to change the system as they desired. No socialist nation had converted to communism unless the Red Army was on its borders. While socialism was not for the U.S., it was still not communism.

Communism was a system, as practiced by the Soviets, which was anti-religious, non-democratic and violent, allowing little political freedom and few civil liberties, having more in common with fascism and Nazism. "Socialism is the welfare state carried to extremes; communism is the police state complete."

He indicates that Senator Taft favored moderate government participation in solving the housing problem, but had called "socialistic" the standby price-wage freeze proposed by Senator Homer Capehart, a conservative Republican.

The American Socialist Party had disbanded partly because much of its program had been adopted by the two major parties, and in another part because it had given up on accomplishing its more extreme objectives.

The Soviets were oriented toward social welfare in the socialistic sense only incidentally to their orientation toward world strategy. "The sowing of suspicion and hatred between Americans and between Americans and their allies, the persistent fomentation of labor-management strife, the strident echoing of Moscow's shifting propaganda line—these are all far firmer clues to what is communistic than is advocacy of social insurance or public housing."

He indicates that the American system had always been mixed, with free enterprise capitalism dominating while socialism was practiced regarding such things as city waterworks, public roads, protective tariffs, navigational aids, and farm stabilization. The co-operative movement had helped to keep corporate and private business consumer conscious. Pragmatism had governed, based on what worked best under particular circumstances. The nation had to remain open-minded in the face of emergencies and adjust to change, without regard to fears of taint by socialism or communism. Rational discussion had to continue as the basis of social decisions to keep the society free and democratic.

He might have added, both with 20-20 hindsight to the Hoover and earlier Republican-dominated post-Civil War past and augury of the past returned as the future, that deregulation of the economy to enable "trickle down" economics, the theoretical flow of higher business profits achieved by unfettered progress in production to the workers through fuller employment and higher wages, better working conditions, etc., theoretically then contributing in turn to greater consumerism forming a nice full circle of economic prosperity shared by all, actually accomplishes nothing, in the end, save a power grab by the largest corporations, the big fish eating the little fish under a system of social Darwinism, not the answer to a free society's ills—as we have been readily reminded yet again by the present regime, cum morass, in the executive branch and the Senate majority.

The regime is always sold on the convenient hook, never realized, of righting the ever-existent social ills of which the undereducated continually complain, chimeras dreamed up in the dead of night from the bogeys under the bed, either free-for-all abortions born of illicit, profligate sex and the removal of prayer and the Bible and the Pledge of Allegiance from the public schools or busing to bring about racial integration to accord the Constitution's guarantee of Equal Protection or the omnipresent complaint of too lenient treatment of "criminals" lurking at the doorstep, awaiting an opportunity, as soon as you relax the tension on your Second Amendment trigger, to kill you or rape your daughter or mother or sister, and its completely nonsensical contemporary corollary, the need for a border wall to keep out the rapist and murderer who is also coming to take your job, which was, incidentally, shipped overseas to eliminate the economic attraction of the rapist and murderer border-hopper, or a hundred other such fear-conjured monsters of the night, the conduct of which, to the extent it actually exists in aberrant circumstances, can never be eliminated by Draconian punitive laws which disregard the basic humanity and rights of all for the sake of politically convenient provision of satiety and security to the inordinately fearful squeaky squawker-gawkers, while ignoring the basic needs of every society, the dissemination of proper information regarding health care, made readily accessible without stint to those who truly need it, and care of the human environment without the usual compromise with the corporate polluters eschewing climate change as a natural, God-made, rather than man-made, phenomenon, designed, as it were, if it is at all, ultimately to make your mountaintop dwelling beachfront property, a la Ararat and the Millennium come again, in just a few decades down the compacted macadam.

The St. Louis Globe-Democrat says:

"As Whittier might have said it:

"Of all the words of mouth or pen
The saddest are: It's 90 again."

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