The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 26, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, an Indian Army major had been dragged into a prisoner compound in the demilitarized zone and held hostage for 90 minutes this date by angry anti-Communist Chinese prisoners, those who had refused repatriation. Ten members of the neutral Indian detachment, assigned to guard the prisoners while the Communists sought to change their minds over a 90-day period, rushed in with sticks and fought for three minutes with about 500 of the prisoners who had armed themselves with spiked tent poles, the demonstration ending after one of the prisoners changed his mind and asked to be returned to his Communist homeland. A commander of the Indian troops had asked what kind of Chinese they were and where was their hospitality, that they had offered his men neither tea nor cigarettes, at which point the Chinese prisoners began returning to better fettle, bringing tea and cigarettes, after releasing the Indian major, who had been manhandled and shaken a bit during the brief capture but was not seriously injured.

The U.S. and Spain this date signed a 20-year defense pact, giving the U.S. the right to develop and use naval and air bases in Spain, in return for which assuring Spain of military equipment from the U.S. The three agreements also specified conditions under which Spain would receive U.S. military aid, providing for 226 million dollars under the Mutual Security program during the current fiscal year. The defense agreement would be enforced for five years unless formally terminated by either party. The agreements were subject to Senate ratification. U.S. military planners had sought the agreement with Spain to bring Spain into resistance to Soviet aggression, as it was not part of NATO.

In Vatican City, Pope Pius XII, in an encyclical this date, proclaimed 1954 as a Marian year, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the pronouncement by the Roman Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary's immaculate conception, that dogma having been proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

Presumably, prior to that date, poor Mary had been consigned to less than immaculate status. Sorry, Jesus, but your mama… Well, let us just say, that was why they were relegated to the stable on that first Christmas Eve. No marriage certificate, pal, no room at the inn, that's the policy. Sorry, but Herod will have our hide otherwise, ye know? No can do. No sense arguing. The little lady's condition won't spare us our license to operate if the Romans come by.

In Reno, a sharp earthquake occurred the previous night, prompting calls to police reporting crashing sounds, explosions and rumbling. Gamblers only paused and then continued their games. A dealer at Harold's Club said that the place had grown strangely quiet for a moment when the shaking began and some customers had grabbed onto tables, but when nothing further occurred, the gambling resumed. The quake was felt in Sacramento, about 150 miles away.

In Baltimore, in the lobby of a movie theater, a squad of FBI agents cornered in a telephone booth a Los Angeles fugitive bank robber wanted for a parole violation and as a murder suspect, killing him, after he had shot an agent who subsequently died in the hospital, and wounded a second agent. Most of the movie patrons, watching "I, the Jury", based on a Mickey Spillane novel, were unaware of the shooting, though some had heard what they thought were firecrackers emanating from the lobby area.

In Canandaigua, N.Y., the 19-year old male who had confessed to killing five persons but had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity had been found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder of one of the victims and was sentenced this date to life imprisonment, following the recommendation of the jury against imposition of the death penalty. The verdict came after over 13 hours of deliberation. He had admitted killing a 19-year old Hobart College student with a pistol, while the defendant was AWOL from Camp Lejeune, N.C., on March 27, hitching a ride with the victim.

In Copenhagen, a Danish doctor reported this date that actress Elizabeth Taylor was recovering from what was described as a nervous collapse, having fallen ill the previous day. Actor Michael Wilding, her husband, was at her side and neither had left their rooms at a hotel in the city.

At Edwards Air Force Base in California, a Navy F4D Skyray interceptor would attempt to break the speed record for combat planes, currently held by Britain, after first its Hawker Hunter jet had flown the previous month at a speed of 727.6 mph, that record then broken the previous day over Tripoli by a British flier in a Super-Marine jet fighter, flying 737.3 miles per hour.

In Japan, a typhoon hit the main island, side-swiping Tokyo, leaving millions of dollars worth of damage and at least 115 dead, including one U.S. soldier, as well as 288 missing and 259 injured. The storm had been packing 90 mph winds at its center. U.S. bases in Japan suffered damage estimated at millions of dollars, with Camp Otsu having incurred 1.9 million in damage.

In New Orleans, the ninth advisory on hurricane Florence was issued by the Weather Bureau this date, indicating that the hurricane was moving inland between Fort Walton and Panama City, Fla., registering wind speeds up to 90 mph, which would diminish during the day as it continued north-northeast, moving at about 10-15 mph. Heavy rains and winds were expected to hit southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia during the afternoon, and in east central Alabama and west central Georgia this night. The hurricane had already struck a lightly populated area in Florida and caused only minor damage. The Bureau said in Charlotte that though the hurricane would lose its force by the time it reached the Carolinas, it would have an effect on the eastern and central portions of both North and South Carolina, the latter of which it would reach by late in the afternoon, striking between Myrtle Beach and Florence. It would move into North Carolina and then blow out to sea near Cape Hatteras the following morning.

In Chapel Hill, a donation of $5,000 to the Journalism Foundation by the estate of the late W. C. Dowd, former publisher of The News until early 1947, was acknowledged at a meeting of the University Development Council this date. It was the largest single donation to the Foundation thus far. Holt McPherson, president of the Foundation, said that the contribution was timely because the Foundation was moving into its projected role of attracting to the deanship of the Journalism Department an outstanding national figure as successor to dean O. J. Coffin.

Daylight Savings Time would end this night at 2 a.m. in the 22 states, or parts thereof, where the program had been adopted. Be sure and set your clocks back an hour so that you will not be early for school or work on Monday. If you live in North Carolina, however, you do not need to worry about it. Leave your clocks alone. If you voted for Trump, you are hopelessly behind the times anyway.

On the editorial page, "Hydrogen Bombs in Wholesale Lots" indicates that since Atomic Energy Commission scientists had successfully detonated a hydrogen-type device, U.S. defense experts had based their plans on the assumption that only those countries far along in development of the atomic bomb would ever be able to build an hydrogen bomb, as no other force except an atomic bomb could generate the necessary high heat for the trigger mechanism of the fusion-based hydrogen bomb.

During the week, after a meeting of the National Security Council, a story had leaked out that U.S. scientists were working on new methods of making hydrogen weapons which might prove so simple and inexpensive that any nation with a moderate military budget would be able to produce them in large numbers. With such bombs able to be delivered to targets at speeds faster than the speed of sound and in large numbers, hydrogen bombs could paralyze a large nation in a matter of minutes. Scientists said that the basic theories behind these transportable hydrogen bombs had been known since the mid-1930's and that Russian scientists were presumed to be at work on them.

Gordon Dean, former AEC chairman, had recently told a group of textile men in New Hampshire that the free world might only have a year to ensure its security against possible atomic destruction.

If such gloomy predictions were based on fact, it appeared that the human race would be forced to adopt some system which would prevent its vast destruction, and the attempt had to continue.

It finds one consoling thought in that process, that the atomic era was becoming so frightening that even the Russians might be forced to agree on a workable system of arms control for self-preservation.

"S.C. Republicans Still A-Feuding" tells of there being two factions within the South Carolina Republican Party, one of which was led by J. Bates Gerald, a Charleston lumber dealer and Taft supporter at the 1952 convention, as well as having been the long-time boss of a handful of dedicated South Carolina Republicans. The other faction consisted of a new group made up largely of independents and former Democrats, who were following the leadership of a Myrtle Beach real estate man, William A. Kimbel, who supported President Eisenhower.

Since the previous November, when the independents had polled over 158,000 votes to only 9,800 for the regular Republican ticket, Mr. Kimbel had been close to the RNC and its current chairman, Leonard Hall. Although Mr. Gerald was the national committeeman, patronage was being handled through Mr. Kimbel. The Kimbel faction offered the only real hope for building a strong, effective Republican Party in the state.

Mr. Gerald had always operated a kind of private club with a small membership, making no effort to enlarge the grassroots base of the party, and was out of favor with Washington and the people of the state. Yet, he had gone to court, claiming to represent the legal party, certified by the South Carolina Secretary of State, obtaining a court order to restrain the Kimbel faction from using the name of the Republican Party. No one knew what the outcome of the litigation would be, but historically in Southern states, Democratic judges had usually ruled in favor of minority factions, to maintain the Republican opposition small, divided and ineffective.

The Charleston News & Courier had charged that Mr. Gerald's group wanted to "foul up the channel" and wondered who was supplying the money for its court action. The piece indicates that the answers would be found in the history of Southern Republicanism, as it was not the first time such had happened and would not be the last, unless the national party were to take the initiative and eliminate dissidents and hangers-on, placing its reliance on the new, more able, and more aggressive Republican leaders springing up all over the South.

"A Time for Tolerance and Understanding" finds the bitterness and disbelief expressed by parents of U.S. soldiers who reportedly had refused repatriation to form one of the most heart-rending stories of all time. It finds that no one could truly imagine how badly they had been disappointed, after waiting for months for their sons to return home after their captivity, only now to be told that they did not wish to return home.

It urges that the American people would wrong the prisoners of war who had decided to remain if they were to leap to the conclusion that they were traitors. They had undergone an experience for which they had not been prepared, perhaps because they were too young, or did not fully comprehend the cause for which they had been fighting. U.N. representatives would seek to talk to them during the ensuing 90 days to seek to free them from fear of oppression. It urges that judgment ought be suspended until they had a chance to choose finally between freedom and Communist slavery.

A piece from the Charleston News & Courier, titled "Indent Yes  Exclamation Point", tells of it being National Secretaries Day, and that a national survey had shown that 83 percent of personnel experts believed secretaries were more efficient presently than ever before, and that 73 percent of the secretaries said there was nothing which they disliked about their jobs—all replete with punctuation marks stated as words.

"And Miss Jones comma if we have punctuated this incorrectly comma we know we can count on you to fix it for us period. We are going to lunch. Most sincerely etc."

Drew Pearson names several Washington socialites appointed by the President as Ambassadors, all of whom had been given farewell parties before departing Washington. None had been more impressive than that for Ambassador to Portugal Bob Guggenheim, copper millionaire. The wife of General Anthony McAuliffe, who famously had responded "Nuts!" to the German demand of surrender at the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944, had asked Mr. Guggenheim how he anticipated getting the Portuguese to dine at 8:30, by which time he had demanded his dinner to start promptly, when the Portuguese did not dine until 10:30, to which Ambassador Guggenheim replied that it would be his Embassy and so if they did not arrive at 8:30, they would not receive dinner. He said that in his home dining room, he could seat 75, whereas at the Embassy in Lisbon, he would only be able to seat 22, to which another guest stated that it was a good thing because he could obtain information. He said that because the Embassy was so small, he would have visitors stay at a hotel, would reserve their rooms and then send them the bill, to which Mrs. McAuliffe had complained that on an Army officer's salary, she would be unable to visit, to which the Ambassador replied that he was sorry but he could not share his bathroom with anyone.

A member of the FTC, Steve Spingarn, had done a lot to revive the Commission's original concept of free competition. He had begun as a Theodore Roosevelt Republican, doing his best to prevent the American economy from becoming dominated by big business, taking the exact opposite view from that of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, former president of G.M., busy concentrating military production in the hands of three or four large firms. Naturally, therefore, when Mr. Spingarn's term on the FTC had expired the previous day, he was not reappointed by the President. In stepping out, he warned that funds for protecting free enterprise had been cut dangerously low and demanded that FTC funding be fixed directly by Congress rather than by the White House via the Budget Bureau. He said that Congress had set up the FTC as an independent agency to check on the executive branch and not to kowtow to it. He also criticized the oil cartel, which he had helped to expose and prosecute, leading to the grand jury investigation of five of the nation's top oil companies, a probe which had been dropped by the new Administration. He said that since the end of price controls and the prosecution, the oil companies had raised prices to the point where it would cost American consumers up to a billion dollars per year. He also said that a major company had taken cash dividends out of its Middle Eastern oil holdings during the previous five years, amounting to 1,489 percent of its average investment. He had won several medals and battle stars during World War II invasions and for operating the Fifth Army's counter-intelligence in North Africa and Italy, planting U.S. spies behind enemy lines and catching enemy spies behind Allied lines.

Mr. Pearson relates that one of the spies he had captured, Carla Costa, an Italian girl who spied for the Nazis, eventually confessed and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, subsequently released by the Italian Government. She complained about a series of articles in the Saturday Evening Post, in which Mr. Spingarn had stated that she had confessed, which she vehemently denied. The previous summer, Mr. Spingarn had asked his mother, visiting Europe, to look her up in Rome, which she then did, finding her to be a Fascist who was one of the chief troublemakers for the pro-U.S. Government of Alcide De Gasperi.

Marquis Childs discusses the Administration debate between continued spending for defense and economy plus tax reduction. Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey was the primary advocate for balancing the budget and reducing taxes at least by a little. As he was quite persuasive and articulate, his arguments were likely to prevail.

In a recent address to the American Bankers Association, he had said that the scheduled income tax reduction by 10 percent, to compensate for the 10 percent increase in taxes during the Korean War, would go through as scheduled at the end of the year, as would the expiration of the excess profits tax on corporations.

He was convinced that there was major waste in the defense expenditures, which had to be curtailed.

His friendship with Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson made it likely that Mr. Wilson and his Deputy, Roger Kyes, would ultimately side with Mr. Humphrey. The latter had recently suggested to Mr. Wilson that the Pentagon still had some "economic colonels" whose concern was to brood over the relationship between guns and butter, a small example of the waste and duplication which produced large deficits. Mr. Wilson had responded that if they were there, they would not be the following day.

Others in the Administration believed that Soviet atomic development and its growing capabilities within its air force made it necessary either to forget about budget balancing or to launch a dramatic plea for higher taxes. Some of the President's recent speech in Boston suggested that he had decided to leave aside economy and seek more defense spending.

Secretary Humphrey and his economizers understood the need for greater continental defense but believed that elimination of some past defense expenditures should be made, to make way for such things as a radar fence. Treasury experts were working with experts of the House Ways & Means Committee, trying to effect agreement on a comprehensive tax bill which Mr. Humphrey expected to be sponsored by the Committee chairman, Daniel Reed, who had vowed that during the coming session of Congress, there would be no new taxes and that he was opposed to a sales tax.

Secretary Humphrey indicated that every type of tax was under consideration, including a sales tax. But, urges Mr. Childs, during a campaign year, it was unlikely to be proposed. If Mr. Humphrey had his way, disagreement within the Administration and with Congress would be maintained at a minimum, and the budget balancers would be happy.

A letter writer from Florence, S.C., finds that the criticisms leveled at the Eisenhower Administration by South Carolina Senators Olin Johnston and Burnet Maybank, as well as by former President Truman, the AFL, the CIO and others, would act as detriment to the national Democratic Party, adding fuel to the fire already burning in independent Jeffersonian Democrats who had voted for the President in 1952, the majority of whom, he warrants, had no regret in having done so.

A letter writer from Marion indicates that he had just watched "Ticket to Freedom", narrated by Edward R. Murrow of CBS, and found it quite wonderful, explaining how each individual's vote and ideals could be made to count for something in the country if each citizen would do their part. The program had suggested that people think about what they wanted from government and what was best for the country. People agreed that honesty was the first essential, after which came ability and willingness. The writer asks where honesty could be found and how ability could be acquired, posits that honesty was inborn but could be abused, finds that the rest should be learned first in school and then at church, but that since there was no compulsory church attendance, emphasis had to be placed on the schools, with stress on having the students think for themselves while they learned. She urges voting for the upcoming school bond issue to provide proper facilities for the public schools.

A letter writer commends the Police Department for its efficiency and speed in apprehending a young woman who had been passing fraudulent checks in downtown stores, having made the arrest within an hour after receiving the complaint.

A letter writer indicates that she had enjoyed the homecoming at Wilmont Baptist Church, with old members present and all having a happy time, hearing a wonderful sermon, after which the attendees went to the front of the church and clasped hands with the pastor and former pastor, re-dedicating their lives to God. She indicates that one day there would be a homecoming which would never end, and she hopes there would be no family circles broken.

Framed Edition [Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]Links-Date Links-Subj.