The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 22, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Shah of Iran had returned to Tehran this date after an exile lasting six days, and was overcome with tears as he declared that he could not contain his "immense joy". His followers wept and kissed his feet at the airport, after he had piloted the plane himself from Baghdad, accompanied by a phalanx of Iraqi aircraft. Special precautions were taken to protect his life against any assassination attempt by followers of the imprisoned Mohammed Mossadegh, who had been overthrown as Premier in a military coup during the week, led by the new Premier, Maj. General Fazollah Zahedi. The new Premier was on hand at the airport to greet the Shah. Reports had come from Samirum, about 50 miles from Tehran, that a police garrison had been captured by a tribe loyal to the former Premier. A pro-government newspaper published reports that the Communists were plotting an armed uprising and that the Government was taking strong steps to stop it. Some 3,000 soldiers from garrisons in the north, where the Shah had many loyal followers, had been transferred to Tehran to reinforce police patrols.

In Rabat, Morocco, tribal chieftains and Muslim religious leaders gathered to greet the new Sultan, Moulay Mohammed Ben Arafa, cousin or uncle of the dethroned Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef, who had been sent into exile by the French on Corsica the previous day. It was still feared that the decision to switch Sultans could produce rioting among the followers of the rival chieftains. Strong French army and police forces held Rabat under tight military control, but a curfew put into effect in the city following the ouster, had been lifted. The Arab population remained quiet but glum, despite it being the middle of a religious feast when normally there would be rejoicing. The 16-nation Arab-Asian bloc of the U.N. sought an urgent session of the Security Council to obtain action against France for its "unlawful" dethroning of the prior Sultan. France had maintained that its administration of the French protectorate was a domestic matter and warned that it would walk out of the U.N. if it intervened.

At Panmunjom in Korea, many of the 94 Americans and 43 of the non-Korean prisoners repatriated this date were white-faced, bandaged and too ill to rejoice, in contrast to the joyful British and U.S. prisoners released in previous days. An American Marine corporal said that some of the Americans had come from Camp No. 9, near Kanggye, which held only men captured during the last five months of the war, suggesting that many were still recovering from their battle wounds. The corporal said that his treatment had been "pretty good", indicating that one of the five hospitals in the camp had been an elaborate structure entirely underground, with the top story having been a recreation room with movies, radio and game space, while the other floors consisted of wards and operating rooms, containing about ten men per ward floor. He said the facility was very clean, had a ventilating system and electric lights and treated primarily Chinese soldiers. He saw only one other American prisoner there. Two other liberated prisoners this date told of an 18-year old American soldier having been publicly executed by the Chinese Communists while fellow American prisoners watched helplessly. They said that the Communists had told the prisoner to run and after he had gotten about 12 feet, shot him in the back six times. Before he had been told to run, the Chinese had read the charges against him, accusing him of shooting a Chinese soldier just behind the front, immediately after his capture. The execution had taken place in North Korea on June 5, 1951. One released corporal from Indianapolis told of captured Japanese-American soldiers from Hawaii and at least one U.S. officer having been tortured by the Communists in an effort to obtain military information about Pearl Harbor.

The remainder of the 437 allied prisoners released this date were from two other camps, No. 6 near Pyoktong, and No. 10 at Manpo. The Communists indicated that they would repatriate 150 Americans and 250 South Koreans the following day, equaling the largest group of Americans returned in a single day and putting the total number of Americans returned over the halfway mark. Allied officers said that 24 of the first 50 allied released prisoners the previous day had been stretcher cases. The U.N. Command resumed its delivery of prisoners this date, interrupted for two days by a typhoon delaying transportation, returning 2,400 North Koreans.

In Seoul, the Eighth Army said this date that it had awarded 105,625 decorations for gallantry and service to the 750,000 men who had served in that Army during the Korean War. The number did not count Purple Hearts, provided for battle wounds, and including that award, a total of about 210,000 medals had been given. Marine and Navy decorations were not included. Of the decorations, 65 had been the Congressional Medal of Honor, 688 had been the Distinguished Service Cross, 62 had been the Distinguished Service Medal, 10,903, the Silver Star, 1,133, the Legion of Merit, 723, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 543, the Soldiers Medal, 20,487, the Bronze Star for valor, 35,243, the Bronze Star for meritorious service, 9,619, the Air Medal and 21,150 had been the Commendation Ribbon. A total of 2,056 decorations had been awarded by the Eighth Army to South Korean and other United Nations troops, of which 994 were awarded to the South Koreans.

Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks this date reinstated Dr. Allen Astin as director of the National Bureau of Standards, a position from which he had been fired the previous spring after pressure had come from a California company regarding the Bureau's finding that a car battery rejuvenation additive manufactured by the company was worthless. Mr. Weeks said he had changed his mind and that Dr. Astin served the best interests of the Bureau and the public. The firing had been denounced by scientists at the Bureau, who had threatened to resign in large numbers. Mr. Weeks had asked Dr. Astin to remain on the job temporarily until his successor could be determined.

Senator Joseph McCarthy had brought the issue of newspaper postage rates into his quarrel with the Washington Post, which had said that the Senator had not shown that he was qualified to become "chief censor" of what news could be sent through the mails. The previous night, the Senator had sent a letter to seven newspaper editors, charging that J. Russell Wiggins, managing editor of the Post, had been responsible for publishing a deliberate falsehood about him, that an editorial in the Post had falsely claimed that James Wechsler, editor of the New York Post, had been subjected to intensive interrogation about editorials in his newspaper critical of the Senator, when he had been questioned at a closed session of the Investigations subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy. One of the editors to whom the Senator had written, James Pope of the Louisville Times-Courier, said the previous night that he could not find in the transcript of the hearing any questions about editorials critical of the Senator, though there had been questions about Mr. Wechsler's attitude toward the heads of other Congressional investigative groups. The Senator had said in the letter that it had to be remembered that the Postal Department had requested 240 million dollars for the current year to make up the difference between what was paid by newspapers, magazines, and other publications for postage and the actual cost of handling those publications. He said he was sure that the reader of the letter would agree that Congress and the taxpayers would be strongly opposed to having that money used to disseminate "falsehoods". Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, had said in a statement the previous night that the newspaper did not agree with Senator McCarthy that newspapers should be compliant with a Senator's demands just because the Congress had voted mail rates which might provide a subsidy to newspapers, that the Post had stated in its editorials that newspapers should be charged the full cost of mail service. He also said that if the Senator would "close his mouth long enough to read a little American history," he would realize that freedom of the press did not give newspapers "any special rights".

Registered lobbyists had spent more than 2.3 million dollars in connection with their "legislative interests" during the first six months of the year, reported by more than 400 individuals and organizations registering with the clerk of the House and filing expense statements under the lobbying act. The top spender was the National Association of Electric Companies, and the runner-up was the Association of American Railroads, with the AMA and the National Education Campaign, next in order. A list of the top spenders and their spending is provided.

The President, still on vacation in Denver, had spent the previous day with friends at a ranch about 50 miles southwest of Denver. The President had to stay away from the river because of a sore elbow which had developed a week earlier after a day of casting for trout. After lunch, he saw the others doing some practice casting about 300 yards from the river and so joined them, and soon was headed to the stream. He stood on the bank and cast for about ten minutes without any luck and finally gave up, saying it was too hard on his arm. It began raining and he sent for a raincoat, while watching the others fishing. One of his friends, a Washington automobile dealer, hooked a rainbow trout in a spot which the President had suggested, prompting the President to shout, "Atta boy, atta boy." Just before starting back to Denver, the President cut open an ice cold watermelon and offered slices to eight newsmen who were along, saying that anyone who did not eat a slice was crazy. He had a couple of pieces, himself.

In Denver, Mutual Security Administration head Harold Stassen this date said that the Russian possession of the hydrogen bomb was an "important factor" in world security, reporting to the President a big acceleration in U.S. deliveries of military equipment to the free nations of the world.

In Charleston, W. Va., Mrs. Walter Clark, 59, principal owner of the Charleston Daily Mail, had been found slain at her home this date, the apparent victim of a murder, according to the chief of police.

In Labelle, Fla., a 16-year old "coma mother" had returned home this date with her month-old son and her husband, also 16. The girl's mother remained in Miami pressing her petition for custody of her daughter, whom she had nursed through several months of illness while in a coma, after a brain injury sustained in an automobile accident on January 27 at Monroe, N.C. A judge granted a habeas corpus petition and signed an order placing the wife and infant son in the young husband's custody. Medical authorities had testified at the custody hearing that the girl had the mind of an infant as a consequence of the brain injury and resulting meningitis. The girl had traveled to Labelle by ambulance, was pale and unable to walk, but appeared in good spirits. The mother said that she did not believe she had gotten any justice before the judge, that there should have been more investigation, and that she hoped to obtain better justice in juvenile court, where she had filed her petition seeking custody.

On the editorial page, "What Did the Wheat Vote Prove?" indicates that a good many unwarranted conclusions had been gleaned from the overwhelming vote in favor of wheat marketing quotas the prior week by the wheat farmers. Senator Milton Young of North Dakota had said that the vote proved that farmers would rather have fair prices and government controls than low prices and no controls, warning that there would be no hope for the Republicans winning the farm vote in 1954 if Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson did not eliminate his flexible support "disaster insurance" approach in favor of fixed high price supports. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia had said that the vote had repudiated those national farm organization leaders who had opposed fixed high price supports, predicting that Congress would extend the high parity laws beyond 1954 for producers of all basic commodities. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had concluded that the wheat farmers agreed to Government regimentation as the price of 90 percent parity.

It finds that it was a mistake to assume so much from the wheat referendum, that the wheat growers had not been passing on long-range farm policy but rather choosing between two alternatives, to have their production pegged at about $2.21 per bushel or to face a glutted market, with a support price of about a $1.20 per bushel, choosing the lesser of the two evils to avoid financial disaster the following year. It suggests that Congress ought take it as a grim warning that a better farm price plan was needed, that continuation of the fixed high price supports could only lead to further accumulation of unmanageable surpluses, with disastrous effects on domestic and foreign markets. It indicates that it was not a new problem and would have come to a head long earlier had it not been for the abnormally high demand during World War II and the indirect subsidy to U.S. agriculture by the various postwar foreign aid programs. It further states that the problem would not be solved by cheap political promises in the Congressional campaigns of 1954, but only by bipartisan effort which put the welfare of the whole nation, including farmers, above that of the politicians.

"They Stood up to the Veteran Lobby" indicates that Congress during the first session and the President had stood up to the veterans' lobby better than had their predecessors. Veterans who could not pass civil service examinations were no longer assured Government jobs, as had been the case previously. It had been the case that a veteran who did not achieve a passing score of 70 on the civil service examinations would obtain five bonus points, or 10 bonus points if disabled, and quite often thereby achieved a passing score. But under the changes in the law, everyone now had to achieve at least 70 prior to any bonus points to be considered for a Government job. Also, a disabled veteran had to have at least a ten percent service-connected disability before being moved to the top of the eligibility list.

In addition, free dental treatment was available only for dental trouble which could be traced directly to military service or had been aggravated during service. Previously, the veteran received free dental service for any trouble which could be shown to exist within a year after his discharge.

It indicates that the new regulations did not hurt the deserving veteran and would keep out of Government jobs those who were not qualified to hold them, while reducing V.A. expenditures on veterans with no just claims for free medical and dental services.

"Edward J. Flynn, Politician" indicates that Jonathan Swift, in his satire on British politicians some 250 years earlier, had said that the person who could increase agricultural production was more valuable to his country than the whole race of "politicians" put together. Artemus Ward, the 19th Century American humorist, had said, "I am not a politician, and my other habits are good." William Allen White, the Emporia, Kansas, editor, had coined the phrase "tin horn" in reference to politicians. Because of its negative connotation, many people avoided use of the word, opting instead for "civic leaders", "legislators", or "statesmen".

Yet, the recently deceased Edward J. Flynn, boss of the Bronx and former DNC chairman, was a politician and proud of it. He had once said: "No democracy can exist without political parties—without politicians, without party leaders. It is because of disagreements between political parties that we have an active, virile democracy in this country." He had been one of the dwindling number of political bosses who had formed the basis of the Roosevelt coalition, teaming up with James Farley to obtain the nomination for FDR in 1932, had also engineered FDR's third term victory in 1940, after Mr. Farley had split with the President and Mr. Flynn had become DNC chairman. He had also been responsible for gaining support for Senator Harry Truman as the vice-presidential nominee during the 1944 convention.

Mr. Flynn was well-read and well-traveled, had talked with Stalin and the Pope. Most of the mud thrown at him had not stuck. He belonged to the era of American politics in which big-city bosses achieved their greatest influence in national elections, but had lived to see their power begin to wane. At his death, he had become a symbol of the type of politician who would exist as long as American voters permitted others to shepherd them to the polls and do their thinking for them.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "Hideous, but They'll Love It", indicates that it had been about six years since the fashion world had been thrown into such a tizzy as being raised about the new skirt length introduced in Paris by Christian Dior, who had developed the "New Look" in 1947. For over 20 years, the skirts had been about 12 to 13 inches above the floor, until "this Diablo" had raised the hemline to 16 to 17 inches from the floor, coming to just below the knee.

It indicates that not all women could wear short skirts and remain chic, and the present calf-length skirt covered a multitude of knobby knees, prompting an unidentified Richmond fashion coordinator to declare that "the knee-length is hideous." The piece agrees, as had many outraged women in Berlin, The Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland. Nevertheless, it ventures, those same women would likely get out the scissors, needle and thread and start raising their hemlines, "just because some fellow in Paris named Dilly, Dumbo, or something like that, said it was the Thing to Do."

You have not seen anything yet. Wait about 15 years.

Drew Pearson indicates that a renowned fortune teller, Jeanne Dixon, had been dropping in at the White House during the spring and summer at the request of First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, for whom she had been foretelling the future for a decade. Ms. Dixon had foretold the Korean truce and that Native Dancer would place but not win the Kentucky Derby. She said that she could use three psychic media, the crystal ball, palmistry and astrology, but that her usual method was to touch the subject's fingertips and simultaneously peer over her shoulder into the crystal ball, where she sometimes saw symbols, at other times, pictures, occasionally numbers. She had predicted a number on one occasion which had won a gambling friend $10,000 by playing it, and to show his gratitude, he had bought her a new $800 crystal ball.

In any event, he goes on about this quack. She was a damned Republican to the core and we lost all conceivable respect for this charlatan when she bragged, with crocodile tears aplenty, about having successfully predicted in 1956 the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. We hope she is happy in hell. Making such predictions publicly often leads to other-fulfilling prophecies by nuts who figure it is their destiny to make the prophecy mystically come true, or perhaps in another vein, to use it as signal of the inevitability of an untoward event to enable a reticulation of conspirators to make their conspiracy appear alternately improbable to some and justified to others for its provision of the sacrificial martyrdom among mortals necessary to appease the mystical realm of the gods, as if something out of Aristophanes stripped of his irony and satire.

Mr. Pearson concludes her several predictions by indicating that she had said, "Beware of Russia in 1964." Just what the hell that was supposed to mean is anyone's guess, but there was no crisis with Russia in 1964, unless one stretches facts to suggest that the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August, 1964 counted as such—or, for the extreme stretchers, that Oswald had defected to Russia before the fact, never minding that he was dead before 1964, and that Premier Khrushchev would be deposed in favor of Alexei Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev in 1964 for perceived weakness in his relations with the U.S., especially in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, but with little, if any, resultant practical change in U.S.-Soviet relations. Ah, you say, but for the Warren Commission and President Johnson's perspicacity in naming it, her prediction might have been borne out. Whatever the case, she was a nut. Beware those who claim to know the future. No one does. For it has not yet occurred. You do well enough to understand the past.

The cattle ranchers of the West were hoping that the President, visiting Denver, would become better acquainted with their problems. The last delegation of them which had visited him had come away believing he was woefully ignorant about price supports. When one of the cattlemen had indicated that since the feed prices he had to pay were subject to price support, it was only fair that cattle prices ought be also, the President had responded that if the Government did so, it would have to support dairy products as well. The cattlemen did not like the idea of embarrassing the President, but Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, also present, had pointed out to the President that the Government already supported dairy products and that all the cattlemen wanted was equal treatment. Former Secretary of Agriculture and now-Senator from New Mexico Clinton Anderson had indicated that the plan presented by one of the cattlemen, to have the Government support cattle prices up to the surplus point and then cut off supports as soon as a surplus developed, leaving it to the cattlemen to get rid of their overproduction at world market prices, had been suggested by a South Dakota editor several years earlier, and the problem with it was that one could not determine how much each farmer individually would overproduce, how much was surplus which did not deserve price supports and had to be settled at world prices. The President, initially enthusiastic about the plan until Senator Anderson's statement, suggested that the cattlemen take their problems to Secretary of Agriculture Benson.

Mr. Pearson notes that the Federal aid to drought-stricken cattlemen, who had previously opposed Federal aid, had already checked the panicky selling wave and firmed up cattle prices.

Prior to the truce in Korea, the President's brother, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, had been broadcasting around Washington that "military success" in Korea was essential for the ultimate defense of the U.S.

Georgia Senator Richard Russell's doctors could not get him to follow orders to quit smoking. He had sought to lay off cigarettes for a few weeks, but gave up in despair and smoked a whole pack in one morning, then got so sick that he compromised with the doctors and agreed to ration himself to five cigarettes per day.

California Republican Congressman Craig Hosmer had provided $500 in back pay to a former secretary who had threatened to sue him unless he paid her for work she had performed prior to going on the Congressional payroll.

Stewart Alsop, in Paris, discusses Premier Joseph Laniel and Pierre Mendes-France, likely to become Premier in the months ahead. He indicates that the Premier, a wealthy industrialist, headed the most conservative Government in France since the end of the war, was the archetype of the "patriotic, moderate-minded Conservative". His foreign policy program consisted of the plan for Indo-China, jointly conceived with General Henri Navarre, French commander in Indo-China, which Mr. Alsop had reviewed two days earlier, with the idea that enabling gradual French withdrawal from Indo-China would place proper emphasis back on the home front and prompt the National Assembly to be more likely to ratify the united European army, vital to Western European defense. Domestically, his plan was to economize to lift France out of its financial chaos.

But most observers believed that the new Government would fall shortly after the Assembly reconvened, and that sooner or later, a government headed by M. Mendes-France would come to power. The latter had missed winning the premiership during the summer by only a handful of votes and was widely regarded as the man of the future in French politics. He was neither a neutralist, Marxist, nor a professional America-baiter, conceiving of himself as a sort of French New Dealer. He believed that the Indo-Chinese war could not be won by military means and therefore a way had to be found to end it by other means. His plan was to offer Communist guerrilla leader Ho Chi Minh unconditional independence for Indo-China, coupled with a program for the staged withdrawal of French troops, in exchange for Ho's promise of free, internationally supervised elections and a guarantee that there would be no reprisals against anti-Communist Indo-Chinese. The plan would ultimately hand Indo-China to the Communists with the least possible loss of face, and supporters of M. Mendes-France talked hopefully of Ho's dislike of the Chinese and his supposed nationalist and Titoist tendencies.

The fact was, observes Mr. Alsop, that the French no longer had any stomach for the endless Indo-Chinese war and it would be folly for the U.S. policymakers to fail to recognize the fact. It was still possible that something on the order of the Laniel-Navarre plan could come to fruition to restore French confidence and the will to win the Indo-Chinese war. But on balance, he concludes, it was more probable that a government dedicated to liquidating the Indo-Chinese war at almost any cost would soon come to power.

Marquis Childs indicates that the President and former Governor Adlai Stevenson, just returned from his round-the-world trip, had by coincidence come in and out of New York within 24 hours of one another, affording observation of the striking contrast between them, which appeared to have been sharpened in the months since the election the prior November. The President had flown from Denver to New York to spend part of the day, most of it devoted to the dedication of a slum-clearence project named for the father of Bernard Baruch. The President spoke of slum clearance as a product of the desire to help one's fellow man, which he had delivered extemporaneously and not entirely successfully. He appeared earnest in his belief that if only people would observe simple laws of religion and remained good, then problems at home and abroad would solve themselves.

Governor Stevenson had just been in 30 different countries during the previous six months, and had given a press conference at which every conceivable question was directed at him. He answered them with studious effort and meticulous honesty, which had characterized his campaign speeches, often to the distress of professional politicians. He had carefully refrained from making any statement about the U.N. and the U.S. position on the upcoming Korean political conference, or the exclusion from it of India, not wishing to upset the delicate negotiations ongoing by the Administration.

Each of the two men faced immediate personal crises. The President had to realize that simple goodness and earnestness of intention would not alone suffice to cope with the problems of the world. There was some slippage in the President's prestige since the start of the Administration and only his informed positive leadership could cure it. The crisis of Governor Stevenson was much more immediate and personal, that if he was to maintain the loyalty of the millions of voters he had won during the campaign, he would have to fight a battle in the arena of practical politics, where integrity, intelligence and knowledge were not enough. There was a parallel to be drawn with the late Wendell Willkie, who had taken a round-the-world trip following his defeat to FDR in 1940, after which he had penned his book, One World. Mr. Willkie also had a genuine desire to help the country in a time of great trial and test. But he had maintained his passionate desire to become president, not so apparent with Mr. Stevenson, who had been a reluctant candidate in the first instance in 1952, drafted by the Democratic convention.

The former Governor said that he desired some "quiet, plain living", but if he would remain as leader of the Democratic Party, that would not be available to him, as there were powerful forces at work who wanted to see him pushed aside. The same political amateurs surrounded him as during the campaign and it would take more than their dedication and the resolution of Governor Stevenson to stay on top of a party, the direction of which remained uncertain and divided.

Robert C. Ruark, in Rome, says that girls were made of sugar and spice and everything nice, had no bad habits, no matter what Dr. Alfred Kinsey had said in his report published during the week. He says that all girls craved affection and were right all of the time, that affection could be translated into things such as mink, convertibles and an open account at Cartier's. No nice girls kissed and told, while all boys did so because they were heels.

He goes on in that vein, concluding that an elephant was absent-minded alongside a "dame".

"I don't really know what this Kinsey is saying in his new tome, but if it's the true dope you want check in with Dad, here. I've been married 15 years this month to the same monst—lady—and figure to know whereof I prattle."

A letter from Congressman Charles Jonas thanks the newspaper for its editorial recognizing his attendance record during the first session of Congress. He said that it was difficult to accomplish as it was hard to be in more than one place at the same time. He also indicates plans to open an office in Charlotte on September 1 and to spend a good amount of time during the fall in Mecklenburg County.

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