The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 3, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the Communists and the U.N. Command this date agreed to complete the prisoner exchange program by the following Sunday, with the Communists explaining at the Repatriation Commission meeting that if for any reason they were unable to meet that deadline, they would notify the U.N. Command before noon on Saturday. It was believed that Maj. General William Dean, captured early in the war, in August, 1950, the highest ranking captive among the allied prisoners, would be the last prisoner exchanged. The Communists still had to repatriate 210 allied prisoners, 197 of whom were Americans, of the 4,597 non-Korean prisoners promised to be released, plus 458 additional South Korean prisoners. The Communists had said that more prisoners than promised would be released, including those captured late in the war. The allies still had to return nearly 7,000 North Korean prisoners and an undisclosed number of Chinese Communists, though it had been reported earlier that all of the latter group had already been repatriated. The Communists, however, had charged that the allies had been holding back 250 of the Chinese prisoners.

Of the 89 Americans exchanged this date, the first U.S. Sabre jet pilot to have been shot down over North Korea, Captain Lawrence Bach, was returned, reporting that Russian pilots were flying MIG jets in combat as early as December, 1950. He said that he had been questioned by a Russian pilot who had claimed openly that fellow Russians were flying the Russian-made jets.

Secretary of State Dulles this date denounced continued partition of Germany as "a scandal" and "a crime", saying that Russia was solely to blame. He urged Russia to attend a Big Four foreign ministers meeting, as had been proposed in a diplomatic note to the Soviets by the Big Three the previous day, to take place in mid-October, to discuss the German and Austrian problems. It appeared that the note was timed for the September 6 West German elections, in the hope of bolstering the chances of re-election of the coalition supporting Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

In Bonn, West Germany, four million West German youths, members of two volunteer groups, the Federal Youth League and the German Sport Association, were preparing to battle Communist invaders threatening to upset the nation's parliamentary elections on Sunday. Police had arrested 7,000 toughs from the Eastern Zone, who had entered West Germany, according to Government intelligence acquired from some of those arrested, with the intent of sabotaging polling places and harassing voters. Despite the arrests and heavy security at border checkpoints, it was believed that several thousand of the would-be saboteurs had been able to enter the Western Zone. Their chief target was the Christian Democratic regime of Chancellor Adenauer and his policy of cooperation with the West to build up military defenses against possible Communist aggression. The election involved 4,040 candidates for 484 seats in the lower house of the parliament, and campaigning had proceeded without disturbance the previous day. In the Bavarian border town of Coburg, however, West German police had to use clubs to protect 400 arrestees from an anti-Communist crowd, which hurled rotten tomatoes and cucumbers at them as they were marched through the streets to an interrogation center, with one of the Communists, who had spat at the spectators, almost winding up lynched, and several fistfights having broken out before the police had moved in.

At the U.N. in New York, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold indicated the previous night that he would not rehire the four American employees whom the U.N. tribunal had ordered reinstated after having been fired in connection with U.S. loyalty probes. He said that rehiring them would be "inadvisable from the point of view which it is my duty to take into consideration." The tribunal had also ruled that those not reinstated should be paid damages and back salaries totaling $135,000. The Secretary-General, in refusing the reinstatement, asked the tribunal to determine the monetary awards for the four, and indicated that he would refer all eleven cases to the General Assembly, as it was responsible for appropriating funds necessary for implementation of decisions of the tribunal.

Meanwhile, the Senate Internal Security subcommittee, chaired by Senator William Jenner, ordered an investigation into the tribunal's ruling that the firing of the eleven Americans, including the four ordered reinstated, had been illegal as having been based on an assertion of the Fifth Amendment in refusing to say whether they had ever been Communists or had Communist ties. The hearings would be held in New York, probably beginning the week of September 21.

A U.S. District Court judge in Washington ruled this date that a former airman had been illegally removed to Korea to face a military court-martial on a murder charge, and ordered him released from Air Force custody, staying the order to permit the Air Force to appeal the case, setting bond at $1,000. The 22-year old steel worker had been honorably discharged, but was arrested in his home the previous May by military police and flown to Korea, where he was then tried by a U.S. court-martial on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the killing of a South Korean civilian caught in a restricted area. The Federal judge had ruled on June 25 that he had been illegally arrested, and ordered him returned to the U.S., that order having been appealed by the Air Force but affirmed by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The President announced this date the resignation of Capus Waynick of North Carolina as Ambassador to Colombia, with no date yet set for the resignation to become effective.

An Army private from Charlotte, age 24, was one of 20 Fort Bragg soldiers accidentally drowned when an engineers' training boat had capsized on the Army reservation's Lake Smith the previous day during a training exercise. He had been in the Army about a year and had been stationed at Fort Bragg during his entire service. The Army indicated this date that panic had been responsible for the drownings, after the military craft, carrying 40 soldiers, had capsized. Many of the men could not swim, with one survivor reporting that he had started to swim away when two or three of the men started grabbing at him. The report said that the boat had not been overloaded. None of the 40 soldiers had been wearing life preservers, not normal in any event for that type of training. Army officials in Washington said that they believed it had been the worst training accident, not involving aircraft, since World War II.

In St. Louis, at the American Legion convention, a floor fight erupted over the Administration's five billion dollar Air Force budget cut, as the business of the convention was winding down. CIO president Walter Reuther and Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson were scheduled to speak to the group this date.

The Government announced this date that the Order of Railway Conductors had canceled a threatened strike for September 10 after an agreement to postpone until after October 1 had been reached between the conductors and the carriers. The conductors were seeking new pay rates graduated to the relative size of locomotives.

A massive cool air front provided welcome relief to a prolonged heat wave which had been responsible for 114 deaths, setting temperature records almost daily in every state affected, with millions of dollars of crops ruined by the sun and lack of moisture. Temperatures dropped to freezing in Yellowstone National Park, where snow, sleet and ice forced the closure of an entrance. Rain and winds up to 60 mph hit Denver the previous day, dropping the temperature from the mid-80's to 49. In New York City, by contrast, the temperature was expected to hit 89 by 10:00 a.m. and shoot past 90 for the tenth consecutive day, to become the hottest September 3 in the 82-year history of the Weather Bureau. The Chicago Weather Bureau said that the East probably would continue to swelter until the weekend.

Hurricane Carol, now packing 138 mph winds, would, according to storm forecasters, likely begin a course which would keep it over the open Atlantic, away from all land areas. It was only about three miles in diameter, a relatively small storm wrapped tightly around a tiny center, according to the storm warning center at the Miami Weather Bureau. They believed it was likely to bypass the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico, then swing to the east of Bermuda and remain well away from the mainland U.S., but warned also that if it stalled over the Atlantic, the pattern could change, requiring new predictions.

In Venice, Italy, movie star Errol Flynn was consigned to bed with a backache, a form of arthritis, described as painful but not serious. He had come to Venice for the international film festival which ended this night, and had been in Italy for nearly a year producing films in which he starred. The back pain was attributed to the dampness of the city's canals.

On the editorial page, "A Necessary First Step" indicates that for many years, the widening of 11th St. from Brevard to Graham had been high on the priority list of the City Planning Board, but that the expense of a new bridge over the rail lines parallel to College St. had blocked the project. Municipal officials had, however, during this week, worked out an agreement with the three railroads, whereby the railroads would bear 75 percent of the cost of the bridge while the City would pay the remaining quarter and all other expenses incidental to the project. It was expected that the City's share would be about $100,000, cheap enough and an important investment.

It finds that it would be money wasted, however, unless three other things were done, which it lists, but that the first step toward achieving those three objectives would be the building of the new overpass and the widening of the street, which had now been authorized by the City Council. It indicates that it would anticipate the same resolute action on the other three steps—which, should you have a peculiar interest, you may discern for yourself. None of them included references to nuclear warfare or providing aid to French Indo-China, or even Communists, President Eisenhower or former President Truman.

"Much Hullabaloo over Little" finds that much ado about nothing had been made in the previous day's discussion by the City Council of Drew Pearson's "slur" against Charlotte, with Councilman Basil Boyd having risen to the defense of the police department, the mayor, the Council, and the citizenry, while former Mayor Herbert Baxter picked up on the defense and suggested a three-day ultimatum to Mr. Pearson, demanding that he tell all or else, the latter not having been specified, as the motion was defeated.

On his weekly Sunday radio show, Mr. Pearson had made an assertion about the crime situation in Charlotte which, on its face, was quite absurd and would have merited only silence in response, except for the fact that it had been made at a time when a careful study of the Police Department was underway by a special committee, appointed by the Council, opposed by Messrs. Boyd and Baxter, and so the statement by Mr. Pearson had given them an opportunity to focus public attention away from the careful work of the special committee and onto this sensational story. It finds that Mr. Boyd's motion for a vote of confidence in the "honesty, integrity and ability" of the Police Department was not necessary, as those characteristics had not been questioned by any responsible authority, only its efficiency, morale, pay scales, organization and working conditions.

It does not disclose precisely what Mr. Pearson had said anent crime in Charlotte.

"Too Many Brains in the Classroom?" indicates that the "poor teacher" had to behave better than other people, that she was not paid much for teaching more students than ever before, that she had to attend summer school sometimes, and that added to those problems was a new one, that some teachers were apparently too smart to obtain a job.

One bright young college graduate had told a professor at the University of Illinois that the placement bureau director had told her that prospective English teachers who had straight-A averages were very apt to become scholars rather than good teachers, that good students rarely had the ability to understand people, and that the emphasis on subject matter and knowledge of it were outdated because teachers did not teach subject matter, rather children.

It indicates that the instance was not isolated, as several Virginia teachers had been complaining to the Richmond Times-Dispatch about similar experiences. In one case, an honors graduate had insisted that her principal believed she was doomed to failure as a teacher because the best teachers were those "who have only a slight knowledge of subject matter." The piece suggests that the principal was probably pulling the teacher's leg and she did not realize it, but that emphasis on methodology had been stressed so much in teacher training that perhaps scholarship had been neglected, a point worth observing.

"Formula" indicates that the president of the National Safety Council had a formula for staying alive over the Labor Day weekend, of which this was the beginning, that being to cut the usual cruising speed by 10 mph, double check before passing or changing lanes, and not to compete in traffic. It concludes that it has a better formula, "Stay home."

Holley Mack Bell, writing in the Bertie Ledger-Advance, discusses life in small towns as being imagined by city people as slow and leisurely, where a man sat on sidewalk benches, whittled and talked about crops, while women gossiped across the back fence or sat around playing bridge all day. But, he remarks, nothing could be further from the truth, as the pace in a small town was "killing", as there were more clubs, societies, organizations and projects per 100 persons than any sizable city could support, and all of those organizations required meetings. He says that when he had lived in Charlotte, after being away from his hometown of Windsor for 13 years, he had imagined that life in a small town would be calmer and slower, affording more time to take it easy and enjoy life and read books.

But upon returning to his hometown to edit a weekly newspaper, he discovered he had miscalculated how much time that would take, now realizing it was a 70-hour per week job. On top of that, there were the meetings for the clubs and organizations, of which he provides some detail. After one particular day, which he describes, he went home to pack to move from one apartment to another the following day, concluding that "life in small towns, city people imagine, is so peaceful."

Richard Walser, writing in the State magazine, tells of a young man who had been in North Carolina for about two years, saying that he wanted to begin a collection of about 15 books on the state and asked for suggestions, which Mr. Walser then pondered carefully and provided. He suggests five books which ought be on every North Carolina bookshelf, including North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State, published by the UNC Press, John Lawson's History of North Carolina, which provided a tour of the state in the early 1700's, Thomas Wolfe's novel, Look Homeward, Angel, John Charles McNeil's Lyrics from Cotton Land, a book of poetry, and playwright Paul Green's The Lost Colony.

A set of five books he would recommend as a second purchase would include Hugh Lefler's North Carolina History Told by Contemporaries, a compilation of significant documents from the 16th Century to the present, Thomas Hariot's A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, published in 1588 as the first book in English written about the New World, by one of the colonizers in Walter Raleigh's first expedition of 1585, whose account of "merchantable commodities" is contained in Explorations, Descriptions, and Attempted Settlements of Carolina, 1584-1590, edited by D. L. Corbitt, The Road to Salem, by Adelaide Fries, about the 18th Century Moravians in Old Salem, written as a novel, winner of the Mayflower Cup in 1944 as the best North Carolina literary work of that year, the first volume, Editor in Politics, out of the five-volume Autobiography of Josephus Daniels, which provided a good look at the state during the period between 1862 and 1893, and Inglis Fletcher's Raleigh's Eden, a novel about the Revolution as it took place in North Carolina.

A third set of five books he recommends would include North Carolina Authors, published by the UNC Library, with biographical data and bibliographies of more than 160 North Carolina writers, James Boyd's Drums, a novel about the Revolution in eastern North Carolina, Bernice Kelly Harris's Wild Cherry Tree Road, also a novel, about the rural sections of Wake County, any one of James Larkin Pearson's five books of poetry, and Lemuel Sawyer's Blackbeard, a play first published in 1824.

He suggests that the omission of such presumed obvious entries as Jonathan Daniels's Tar Heels, The Life and Letters of Walter Hines Page, any work of short stories by O. Henry, and The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash, was because the first two volumes were out of print and thus unavailable, O. Henry had written only a couple of stories about North Carolina, and "Cash's book, great as it is, is hardly the fare for the neophyte."

We disagree on his assessment, incidentally, regarding the level of familiarity with the state and region necessary to appreciate Cash's book, as attested by the fact that as time would go on, especially into 1954, when the first paperback edition of the book was published in the wake of increased demand following Brown v. Board of Education, the readership tended to be as much or more residing in the North as in the South. So, unless one were in elementary school, for a student of which such a book would prove fairly daunting to all but the most advanced, and even then would likely not be very well appreciated at such a young age, indeed, a problem likely to be encountered in reading the book at any time prior to college, there should be no caveat to comprehension because one happens to be a "neophyte" to the state of North Carolina or to the South generally. But, we shall return some to this topic next May, at the time we meet up with the landmark decision in Brown.

Drew Pearson indicates that $41,614 worth of paneling for the White House had been contracted for recently under peculiar circumstances in that the low-bid contract for it had not had its bid unsealed until a day after the bidding deadline when the four other bids were already in, whereas normally bids were supposed to be opened simultaneously. Adding to the mystery was a phone call made by the chief White House usher an hour after the first four bids were opened, telling an individual to get his bid in right away, a call made to the wrong person of the same last name who worked for another construction company when the usher wanted another person of that surname at the company which placed the low bid. The negotiations had occurred while the President was on vacation in Denver. The chief usher was the top permanent functionary at the White House and the current functionary had served honorably in the post for years. Attempts by the column to get to the bottom of the matter had led to an unusually complex run-around, which Mr. Pearson describes in detail.

Marquis Childs discusses the upcoming Chicago meeting of the Democrats, at which was planned a more open attack on the policy being followed by the Republican Administration, to this point reserved to criticism of policy changes affecting certain parts of the country, such as the shift from public power to private utilities. There would be an emphasis on developing party unity. Initially, Adlai Stevenson was scheduled only to make a few remarks in the course of introducing Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois as the chief speaker at a one-dollar per plate dinner on September 14, as Senator Douglas was facing re-election in 1954. Former Governor Stevenson, however, would go beyond the usual perfunctory remarks and begin to engage in direct criticism of the Republicans.

Former President Truman would speak to the meeting, and he could normally be depended on to give the opposition hell, though there was a hazard in that he might overshadow both Governor Stevenson and Senator Douglas.

As to unity, DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell and the other planners of the meeting were claiming to be undisturbed by those Eisenhower Democrats who had indicated they would not attend. There were powerful elements in the party who did not relish the idea of Governor Stevenson again being the nominee in 1956 and wished that he might renounce any hopes of doing so. His friends, however, had indicated that he would not do that, and those opposing him, therefore, intended to push him aside. The opposition was concentrating on Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, although the Senator, himself, said that he had no interest in the nomination, albeit a fashionable attitude in current times. He had the support of the three most powerful Democrats in the Senate, Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson, Richard Russell, and Ed Johnson of Colorado. Former President Truman, however, did not like Senator Symington, had opposed him in the Democratic primary the previous year, and could, for the moment at least, prevent him from becoming the nominee—though by 1960, the former President would support Senator Symington over Senator Kennedy for the party nomination in the lead-up to the convention in Los Angeles that year.

The former President was, on the whole, loyal to Governor Stevenson, according to those close to both men. Governor Stevenson had called on the former President in Independence as his first act after returning to New York following his recent six-month round-the-world trip. Immediately afterward, the former Governor telephoned Senator Johnson and House Minority Leader Sam Rayburn. It appeared, therefore, that he would be running again for the 1956 nomination.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that a faction within the Eisenhower Administration were determined to sacrifice serious defense in favor of a balanced budget, and, at least for the time being, appeared to have the backing of the President, as suggested in a previously undisclosed, significant exchange of letters between the Budget Bureau, the Defense Department, and the White House. Before Congress had adjourned in early August, Budget director Joseph Dodge had sent a form letter to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, in which Mr. Dodge indicated that the fiscal year 1955 budget would have to show further substantial reductions from the revised figures for 1954, with the reductions having to be equal to or greater than those made for fiscal year 1954. After considering the letter for a couple of weeks, Secretary Wilson reminded Mr. Dodge that he and the President had informed Congress that the new Joint Chiefs would conduct a detailed study of all aspects of defense, and that until the completion of that review, it would not be desirable to estimate the amounts required for defense. Subsequently, Secretary Wilson received a second letter, from the President, which followed the Budget Bureau line closely, probably drafted by Mr. Dodge, instructing the Secretary to correct the Defense Department practices which had been criticized in Congress, and reiterated Mr. Dodge's discussion of the need for further reductions. Mr. Wilson circulated the letter among top officials in the Defense Department, indicating in a note attached to the letter that it meant "no change" in defense planning until after the review by the Joint Chiefs.

The Alsops indicate that it was important to understand that defense cutbacks beyond those indicated for fiscal year 1954 would mean a defense budget of about 28 billion dollars, compared to the present 34 billion, which had already undergone a five billion dollar cut from the Air Force and a total defense cut of six billion from President Truman's final budget submitted the prior January. Of the 28 billion dollars, just the expenditure for maintaining the armed forces, paid, fed, clothed and transported, amounted to 22 billion per year, an amount which could not greatly be reduced without sharply reducing manpower. Thus, a 28 billion dollar defense budget would not be sufficient to maintain procurement of aircraft and other hardware necessary for adequate defense.

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