The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 22, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the Communists stated this date that at least 20 Americans and Britons, and more than 300 Koreans, had refused repatriation and would be returned as scheduled on Thursday to the custody of the Indian troops in the demilitarized zone of Korea, while their fate was being determined over the course of 90 days, during which U.N. representatives would interview them and seek to change their minds about returning home, just as the Communists would be afforded the opportunity to do with regard to the U.N. prisoners who had resisted repatriation to their Communist homelands. A Communist correspondent, who often spoke for Communist officials, had said that there were 23 Americans and one Briton, plus 335 South Koreans. He also imparted that the American prisoners had adopted a dog as a mascot which they named "Non Repat". (That's kind of a cumbersome name to utter every time you want the dog to fetch, probably shortened to "Pat".)

The allies the previous day rejected as "totally unsatisfactory and unacceptable" a Communist preliminary report regarding the 3,400 men on a list presented by the U.N. demanding an accounting for those who had not been returned among the released prisoners but who had apparently been captured. The report had said that, in fact, they had never been captured or, in the case of some on the list, had already been released.

The North Korean pilot who had flown his Russian-made MIG-15 jet to Seoul and surrendered it to the allies, indicated this date at a press conference that the Communists had flown jets and propeller-driven bombers into Korea since the Armistice, in violation of its terms. He said that he had fled North Korea because he did not want to stay there, saying that he hoped to study in the U.S. He said that he knew that Russian pilots had flown MIGs in combat during the war and that Russians had been his instructors, but had flown no missions with Korean pilots. The jets flown by the Russians had radar equipment while those flown by the North Koreans, he said, did not. He said also that he had not planned his escape to obtain the $100,000 reward offered by the U.N. Command to the first pilot who would surrender a MIG, saying that he had not been aware of the reward, but was glad when he heard about it. He had declined use of his name, but the story includes a name provided by a South Korean newspaper. He said that he had planned his escape from Communism since 1945. He knew only two words in English, "okay" and "no", and so spoke through an interpreter.

At the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, the U.S. this date proposed that the U.N. and Communist representatives at the Korean peace conference, set to start by October 28, should decide whether they wanted any neutral nations to participate. U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., made the proposal before the 15-member steering committee of the Assembly, opposing a move by Russia's chief delegate, Andrei Vishinsky, to have the Assembly reopen the debate on the composition of the peace conference. The British and French delegates supported the surprise proposal of Ambassador Lodge.

A report from London indicated that Premier B. M. Bakhradze of the Georgian Soviet Republic had been purged and replaced, along with the first secretary of the Republic's Communist Party. It was the second shake-up in Georgia during the previous three months and part of a continuing Kremlin purge of subordinate republic governments begun after the arrest of L. P. Beria, head of the secret police and Vice-Premier of Russia, that arrest having been announced the previous June. A radio broadcast monitored in London had noted that a secretary of the central committee of the Soviet Communist Party had taken part in the work of the Georgian plenary session which had resulted in the ouster of the Premier. It was obvious from the broadcast that the Premier had been ousted because of his failure to carry out a housecleaning of supporters of Mr. Beria.

Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey said this date, in a speech before the American Bankers Association, that the ten percent income tax cut which was to take place at the end of the year, would occur on schedule, and that there would be no request for renewal of the excess profits tax, also set to expire at the end of the year. He also said, however, that there was need for caution, in light of the Russian threat, in cutting taxes and defense expenditures, that there was a "real possibility of an atomic Pearl Harbor hanging directly over our heads."

In St. Louis, former Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin, who had recently resigned from the Eisenhower Cabinet, said to the AFL convention this date that the President had reneged on a deal which he had personally made to Mr. Durkin to amend Taft-Hartley, but still considered the President a friend. The President had never answered Mr. Durkin's charges of having broken his pledge to go along with the 19 proposed amendments to the Act. The White House had arranged for Vice-President Nixon to speak at the AFL convention the following day, conveying a personal message from the President. In a speech in Boston the previous night, the President had said that an Administration study of Taft-Hartley amendments was continuing and that he would have recommendations for the next session of Congress, to begin in January, which would make "more secure our industrial peace and productivity, more clear and explicit the rights of labor, its unions and its employers."

In Richmond, Va., some 7,000 Communications Workers Union members went on strike this date in telephone exchanges throughout Virginia, following the failure of a conference the previous night, assisted by Federal and state mediators, to form a new contract with the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co.

In Champaign, Ill., a Civil Defense exercise involving the Air Force and the Illinois State Police had caused false reports to arise this date that a Russian flier had landed in central Illinois in a MIG. The report was broadcast over a national television network and a Champaign radio station, causing a flood of inquiries from newspapers in several parts of the country. The flier in question was actually a member of the Air Force intelligence service squadron at O'Hare Field near Chicago, and the exercise was designed to test coordination between the Air Force and State Police.

In Charlotte, the two young boys, ages 15 and 16, who had previously confessed to stabbing to death the practical nurse on August 2, were sentenced this date in Superior Court in less than 15 minutes, with an automatic life sentence imposed as provided by law after a plea of guilty to first-degree murder. Neither youngster showed emotion in the packed courtroom. No testimony was provided. The Solicitor, Basil Whitener, said that he had misgivings about accepting the guilty plea from the older boy who had confessed to actually stabbing the nurse, but the judge indicated that because of the defendant's age, he would accept the plea. He also said, however, that if the two boys had been adults, the case should have been tried and the defendants found guilty and executed. He said that in the event of a trial, they would be found guilty of first-degree murder, but that in deference to their age, a jury would recommend life imprisonment, and the court would be back where it was at present. Both boys had court-appointed attorneys. The August 25 confessions had indicated that the boys intended to rob the nurse while she was walking home from work, the confessions taking place after six hours of questioning by police, following their arrest in connection with a string of burglaries. Because of that type of extended interrogation, without the presence of counsel, and because of the young age of the defendants, it will never be known whether they were actually guilty of the crime, there having been no physical evidence attaching them to it. People confess to all sorts of things under such prolonged interrogation, just to "get home" or get some sleep. The victim had been quoted by a passerby, who came upon her bleeding to death, as having mumbled that a black "man" had been chasing her and she believed she had gotten away from him. Police Chief Frank Littlejohn had stated, however, after preliminary investigation, that he believed that statement was irrelevant to the crime, that she likely had been recalling an incident in which she had been followed some time earlier.

In New York, an early morning haze in combination with a gale-force wind had caused 300 migratory birds to crash against the Empire State Building, killing them. About 1,000 other migratory birds flying over the building had missed it. A similar combination of conditions had caused the deaths of a number of birds four years earlier. ASPC agents were called to a liquor store where a bird with a two-foot wingspan and rapier-thin beak flew menacingly around a stack of Scotch whiskey bottles, the bird having been hauled away to the Bronx Zoo for identification. It was probably not the first time that strange birds had hovered around the Scotch.

In Nashville, at the Tennessee State Fair, a sword swallower from Kentucky had to go to the hospital after he said that his new sword had gone down his throat crooked or had gotten stuck, before he could cough it up. He was treated for a sore throat and released.

On the editorial page, "Dulles Charts a Forward Course" indicates that Secretary of State Dulles had been receiving proper praise for his foreign policy address before the U.N. General Assembly, in which he had adopted a new and more moderate tone than in prior addresses. He said that the U.S. was ready to learn from others and realized that its own views might not always prevail, that the country would not sulk under such circumstances and would seek to accept the result philosophically, knowing that the U.S. had no monopoly on wisdom or virtue. He also reaffirmed the Administration's faith in the U.N. He urged cooperation in the establishment of a free and united Korea, the ending of hostilities in Indo-China, the establishment of a free and united Germany, freedom and independence for Austria, independence for the satellite nations bordering Russia, cessation of Russian plans for world conquest by forcible overthrow of democratic governments, a realistic effort for general disarmament, with proper inspections for compliance, and cooperation in the revision of the U.N. Charter to make the organization more effective.

The reply the previous day of chief Soviet delegate Andrei Vishinsky had not answered the Secretary's address, avoiding many of the points raised by it while repeating the old Russian line of control of atomic weaponry. It suggests that the Secretary had not expected acceptance of the conditions he had expressed, rather setting forth principles which formed the basis of U.S. foreign policy, doing so eloquently and convincingly.

It concludes that Secretary Dulles had made his share of mistakes since the prior January, but now appeared to have set forth a course which all Americans and their allies across the world could support enthusiastically.

"A Republican's View of Foreign Aid" asks whether the reader had ever heard the postwar foreign aid program described as "pouring money down foreign ratholes", as stated by many irresponsible critics of the Truman Administration program, vowing to put an end to it. President Eisenhower, after examining the world situation, put forth his own foreign aid program, to the consternation of some of his fellow Republicans.

Ambassador to Italy Clare Boothe Luce, in an interview contained in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report, had stated, in answer to a question, that the benefit from U.S. aid in Italy since the war, amounting to 3.5 billion dollars, was that many people were alive and reasonably healthy as a result, receiving clothing and fuel immediately after the war, and that in overall economic terms, the aid had assisted in creating more than a million new jobs, creating a basis for the country's own defense program. Agricultural reform in southern Italy had been helped as well, and a housing program had been stimulated. Italians had been able to streamline their business methods to improve the country's position in export markets, and a new merchant marine had been established which earned dollars without requiring large amounts of raw materials. The Italian currency, she continued, was one of the most stable in Europe, and all of that economic progress had reduced the menace of Communism.

It comments that it was good to have the Marshall Plan and its successors placed in the proper perspective by Ambassador Luce.

"Censorship" indicates that military officials had quickly intervened to censor reports regarding the North Korean pilot who had flown his Russian-made MIG-15 jet to Seoul and surrendered it, as no pictures had been permitted until military officials were certain that all markings were removed which might identify the source of the plane. The piece questions whether the military officials honestly believed that the Russians or the Chinese Communists did not know when they had lost a plane and a pilot and from where.

"Edward Carrington Marshall" laments the death of the president of Duke Power Co., who, it says, had served in that role quite faithfully, with few outside interests, devoting most of his energy to his work. It indicates that he had strong character and integrity and that his loss would be mourned generally.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Too Good To Be a Teacher?" indicates that teachers were in short supply in the country, especially those well-educated, well-trained and gifted. It was thus distressing to read reports from several cities that young people who had done "too well" in college were finding their scholastic achievement working against them when they sought employment as teachers. It cites a letter to the Richmond Times-Dispatch which told of a teacher being lectured by her principal for having graduated with honors, the principal insinuating that she was doomed to failure as a teacher, that a thorough knowledge of the subject matter which she was to teach was not necessary, that the best teachers were those who only had a slight knowledge of the subject matter.

It allows that good scholars were not necessarily good teachers, but finds it strange, as had the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, therefore to infer that good scholars were bad teachers. It concludes: "We should be loath to hear it said of any prospective teacher that he is too good a student to serve in the American classroom."

Drew Pearson recounts of the defeated Supreme Court nomination in 1930 by President Hoover of Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte, who was currently Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in light of the President presently reviewing his candidates for nomination to replace deceased Chief Justice Fred Vinson. He indicates that President Hoover had been "inept and unpopular" and that the chief indoor sport in Congress had been "kicking him in the shins", that no matter how good the candidate whom he would nominate, members of Congress would find "all sorts of sinister shapes and colors lurking in his background". It had been in that atmosphere that Judge Parker had been nominated. Immediately upon the nomination, the NAACP had located a decision of the Judge, which the NAACP found to be unfair to blacks, and labor leaders had found a decision which they interpreted as upholding yellow-dog contracts. The Senators also saw an opportunity to embarrass President Hoover and so fanned the flames of oratory until labor and black leaders all over the country wrote letters demanding that Judge Parker's appointment be blocked. Looking back on it, Mr. Pearson says that he had always felt ashamed of the episode, that he had been a young reporter covering the State Department at the time and had no occasion to write about judicial confirmations, but that had he been covering the Senate, he probably would have issued "verbal rocks" at Judge Parker, as it was the popular thing to do, just as it was popular to throw stones on Calvary 2,000 years earlier. In the end, Judge Parker was defeated by a single vote in the Senate. He had accepted his defeat in silence and gone back to the Court of Appeals, where he had become one of the "finest judges in the nation". He had even been praised by the NAACP and many labor leaders. He indicates that in his opinion, the President would right a grievous wrong done all those years earlier by appointing him to the Court.

Mr. Pearson notes that Justice Felix Frankfurter, 71, might retire in the near future. He would not retire until 1962.

Margaret Truman, daughter of the former President, might, he ventures, turn out to be a smarter politician than her father, should she ever run for Congress from Independence. She had an excellent sense of humor and never failed to say the right thing at the right time. Some time earlier, Senator Joe Guffey's sister approached her at a social gathering and posed an inflammatory question, to which Margaret had replied that she was glad to see her and that she was looking well, as if she were too young and innocent to understand the question. She then asked a friend whether she had heard what Senator Guffey's sister had tried to do to her. Recently, when the IRB gave the former President a $165,000 favorable tax ruling regarding his upcoming memoirs, someone had brought a newspaper with a headline which read, "Harry makes $165,000 on taxes," which Margaret laid, face-up, on a coffee table, whereupon a friend beside her turned the newspaper face-down, causing Margaret to turn it face-up again, telling her friend upon inquiry as to why she did that, "There is nothing on the other side about the Trumans, is there?"

Secret Service agents were looking for a counterfeiter passing out near-perfect $20 bills, appearing to be a one-man operation. The counterfeiter was passing out enough phony bills to live modestly and stayed in one place only for a week at a time.

The Northern Lights, suggests Mr. Pearson, might prove to be one of Russia's secret weapons, as they produced enough interference in the northern skies frequently to interrupt the North American defense radar network.

Stewart Alsop indicates that there was a significant reason why the President had decided that it was appropriate to trust the American people with a candid assessment of the national danger posed by the Russian air-atomic capability and air defense gap against it. During the mid-summer, a speech on the air-atomic power of the Soviet Union had been prepared for the President and the President, without making up his mind whether he would deliver it, had authorized its preparation, a draft of which he had carried with him during his month-long Denver vacation. He then made personal corrections to the speech but had still not decided whether he would deliver it. After news had come that on August 12, the Soviets had detonated a hydrogen bomb, the President was concerned about the ramifications, indicative of the fact that the Soviet physicists were capable of competent experimentation, thus convincing the President that the American people were entitled to understand the danger which confronted the nation and that it was his duty to impart that information, within the limits of national security.

He then approved his corrected draft of the speech and a more extensive program of speeches by members of the Administration during October and November on a weekly basis, starting October 3, being called internally "Operation Candor".

Mr. Alsop indicates that it was time to realize that the country was in a race for survival and that its competitors in that race were technically equals and, in some respects, perhaps superiors. The race would be lost if the country continued under the illusion that the rivals were "ignoramuses tied to 'an oxcart economy,' and incapable of original experiments."

The mention of an oxcart brings to mind a comment made in the last couple of days under a YouTube video posted by one of the nuts on the radio out in Texas, one of those nuts' regular diatribes contending that if President-elect Biden becomes President on January 20, all is lost in the country, that "socialism" will prevail, and that the Democrats will have "stolen the election" to advance their agenda, never minding that Trump lost by over 5 million votes nationwide and that, by his own definition in 2016, he lost by a "landslide" in the electoral college, 306 to 232. The comment in question agreed with the nuts' commentary in the video, which urged a "20 million person march on Washington" against "the steal"—which would be more than twice the population of New York City besieging Washington—but encouraged that it had to be planned elsewhere or it would be branded by conservatives as originating with the nuts out in Texas. The commenter under the video succinctly said, "Yeah, and they probably don't believe that the military had Patton killed either," yielding, in the process, no hint of artifice or sarcasm. That was only one of a large number of bizarre comments below the video, which we sometimes read for entertainment, just to see what kind of nuts support Trump. We point it out for the sake of your information, and for the sake of informing of where the seeds of any such march on Washington in protest of a "stolen election" originate. Never mind, of course, that there is absolutely no credible evidence of any election irregularities, at least any more than have always beset our elections, unless one is so stupid as to believe that "witnesses" who step forward with "evidence" after being promised $25,000 each for that evidence by an outfit called, which seeks the "truth" about the nefarious, plotting Democrats, could be considered at all credible. It would take no more than a couple of minutes for any lawyer to destroy the credibility of any such "witness" in court, by eliciting testimony that the witness was paid a substantial amount of money for their testimony. It might also be noted that paying such large sums for testimony, encouraging perjury, could be regarded as suborning perjury, provided, indeed, the testimony or affidavit is subsequently shown to be perjurious. You nuts need to get a grip on the road and realize that you cannot do just any old thing you want to do, encourage violence with false claims, without regard to the laws of the land.

Trump lost. Get it through your heads. He lost both the popular vote and the electoral college, the standard combination in any uncontested loss. Just because you believed that there would be enough election fraud on the side of Trump, stimulated by his urging of his supporters to vote twice to "prove" the flaws in the vote-by-mail system, to force a victory no matter what, is no reason to cry and stamp and whine "election fraud", now that it is plain he lost. Trumpism was, fortunately for the country, an anomaly, a product of the long antiquated electoral college—which, it might be noted, now substantially delays our election results rather than, as one of its supposed benefits, providing certainty to an election result shortly after the election. The only unusual thing about the 2020 election was the relative closeness of the result, given the expectations based on the pre-election polls.

All of the polling data, incidentally, except a couple of Republican polls, notably Trafalgar, actually got the overall result right, not wrong, even if the actual results showed lower percentage differences than the polls predicted in some of the key battleground states, notably Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and in the overall national vote. But the key point is that the polls, insofar as the overall actual result, both state by state and nationally, were correct. Trump lost, and by substantial margins.

Variance between the percentages predicted and the results, not only in the presidential race but in several Senate elections, likely occurred from flaws in the polls' modeling, inevitable because the modeling to determine appropriate sampling for the polls is based, of necessity, on prior election participation by the various demographic groups in each area of the country, plus new voter registration data across those groups and in those areas, rendered inexorably unreliable to an extent by the changes in election rules which have permitted easier access to voting and, in some states, election-day registration, especially in this pandemic year, when it would have been irresponsible of elected officials to do otherwise. That occurred, incidentally, notwithstanding the efforts on the part of Republican organizations to tighten the regulations on the rationale of preventing "voter fraud", having, however, the actual motive of voter suppression, accomplished through a routine of suggesting, without proof, inherent problems with mail-in voting and then encouraging Republicans to vote in person, irrespective of the inherent health risk thus occasioned, ostensibly to make sure that their votes were counted, but with the actual intent of being able to claim, as now, that the mail-in balloting was rife with fraud and that only the in-person voting was verified and accurate, a circularity in reasoning which, if adopted, would leave democracy estranged from the very franchise which makes it viable.

Stop being saps for Trump's lies. He is good at only one thing, being a salesman of the worst order, a consummate liar, a bait-switch artist who did absolutely nothing for this country and caused, in the end, the biggest mess in ninety years. The harshness of the pandemic is the result of his incompetence, obscurantism and lack of leadership, not "China". He will go down in history as the worst American President thus far, hardly the best except for Abraham Lincoln, as he so modestly has claimed. Moreover, the man may be clinically insane, proclaiming "victory" in the election because the election-day voting, tabulated first in the key battleground states, showed him leading in three of those states, before the timely mailed and received mail-in ballots were counted, that especially being true in Pennsylvania where State officials had prevented the initial counting of mail-in ballots until election night, with nine counties delaying it until the following day. Understand the facts before spewing lies.

A persistent false claim of a "stolen" election in Chicago in 1960, having at least more prima facie plausibility, for the closeness of the popular vote, than the current scenario, undoubtedly aided the self-deluded rationale for the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.

Robert C. Ruark, in Oran, looks at the Arab mind as he had experienced it, finds that the average Arab recognized nothing wrong with stealing, especially from a person who was not Moslem. He indicates that an unguarded house would be stripped clean very quickly. While admirable in many ways, the Arab was nearly devoid of kindness and pity, capable of deriving amusement from torture and mutilation of both men and animals.

He indicates that he had been writing in his hotel room in Oran recently when he heard a clamor emanating from the street outside, and when he looked, saw that a half-blind, deformed cripple, who was forced to drag himself along begging for alms, a familiar sight along the main street of the city, was being taunted by a street cleaner, who laughed every time the cripple lunged at him, struggling to avoid the filthy water which the street cleaner was pouring in his direction. Every time the cripple managed to drag himself toward his tormentor, he would be shoved back into the gutter. A crowd of some 200 people had gathered, expressing amused laughter at the scene, until a cop arrived, who watched for about five minutes while also laughing heartily, then in good humor dispatched the crowd, then walking over to the cripple, kicked him to his feet and took him by the arm across the street. At that point, Mr. Ruark returned to his typewriter.

On his way to Sidi Bel Abbes to write a piece on the French Foreign Legion, he had passed an Arab with a cart, pulled by a scraggly horse, the horse on the ground after falling between the shafts of the cart, and the Arab beating the horse, though not angrily. The horse tried to get up but failed and the Arab was beating the horse when Mr. Ruark drove out of sight.

He also recounts of stockades where female prisoners were maintained and, to get out of jail, had to provide cut-rate prostitution for the Senegalese troops, of children sent out to beg in the streets while their parents lived comfortably on a government social security plan given by the French in Algeria, and of the French Foreign Legionnaires' accounts of Arab women doing horrible things to their captives. He indicates in conclusion his concern as to how the Arab nations would ever build a U.N.-type world of "sweet accord with such raw material to work with."

There is some more raw material for the nuts on the radio out in Texas to work with, from 67 years ago. We hasten to add that Mr. Ruark, though a graduate of UNC, did not always take his college education along with him when he wrote such pieces, full of stereotypes and giving little in return in the way of positive anecdotes about a given people, never stopping to realize that he would find some of the same type of examples in some parts of America of the time. He was more interested in running with the bulls with Hemingway and then going on safaris in Africa than being objective. The killing of animals for sport, Mr. Ruark, appears little different in the abstract from that of which you complain regarding Arabs. Does that lack of empathy also extend to human-kind? We have little evidence from your columns to suggest otherwise, unless the human happens to be a fellow veteran, in which case you provide ready empathy. Everyone else, for the most part, except President Eisenhower and the First Lady, appears, in your columns, to be worthy of only taking a hike.

A letter writer from Lincolnton, N.C., takes exception to the minister who had responded with a letter critical of an editorial note which explained that The News did not accept liquor advertising but that it did accept advertising for wine and beer on the notion that they were considered dining table beverages. He says that the minister might have cited also Proverbs 31, reading: "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine nor for princes strong drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." He suggests that the minister had only quoted the reference in Proverbs which had negative things to say about "strong drink", that "wine is a mocker". He says that only a fool would drink whiskey or any other liquid to excess, that even drinking too much water could make one ill, but that a little wine and beer never hurt anyone, "except the people who think a person should never be happy unless he's sad".

Yet, it is all too easy for people drinking a little to drink a little more to get too happy, then to get behind the wheel of a car and wind up killing people. That does not happen by drinking too much water.

A letter writer says that "trouble comes to all, and to all that comes with blessings, when we let the pressure of trial bond us more closely together in one humanity under God."

A letter writer from Pittsboro comments on a September 18 editorial, urging voting for the bond issues on the ballot on October 3, indicating that he would look forward to other editorials promised on the matter, finds it a service to the community. He says, however, that he would vote against bonds for education because he did not know what sort of educational system the Supreme Court would permit the community to have. He regards the silence on that part of the issue to be ominous, as he could find no official expression regarding it. He thinks the bond issue ought await the expression by the Court on the matter of integration. He also comments on a September 17 editorial, which had stated that it would be many years before integration could become effective if desegregation were ordered by the Court, assuming that each school district would fight the matter. He says that kind of fight would be expensive and would be disruptive of all "goodwill and amity between the races". He says that he believes in education for all but wants to see where the community would land before jumping.

You must be from Outward Town.

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