The Charlotte News

Monday, October 18, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President the previous day had taken emergency action to make Federal aid immediately available to the victims of Hurricane Hazel in the Carolinas, pursuant to the requests of the Governors of North and South Carolina, ordering use of special disaster relief funds for the purpose. The normal process of granting Federal disaster relief was for the Civil Defense Administration to survey the damage and make recommendations to the President, in this case, the President acting following a Sunday meeting at the White House, bypassing that procedure. The White House said that a request from Maryland for limited aid to three coastal islands was under study and that there had been no request for Federal aid otherwise. The Civil Defense Administration would handle distribution of the relief money, and the President also directed the armed forces to render whatever assistance was necessary. The American Red Cross said that it had provided shelter for approximately 6,000 persons in the hurricane's path, had fed most of them and had helped evacuate nearly 1,000 persons.

In Raleigh, a committee to handle immediate relief plans for the damaged areas was determined this date at a meeting of State officials with Federal Civil Defense and Third Army officers.

In Wilmington, N.C., digging out from the hurricane's destruction, coastal observers pointed out that Hazel had struck shortly after the morning high tide, higher by a foot than the evening tide, thus doing the most destruction it could at any time of the day, as well as coming a few days after the full moon when the tides were the highest of any time during the month. The combination of high wind, high tides and storm surge had caused great destruction from Georgetown, S.C., to Morehead City, N.C., with some of the worst destruction observed by reporter Noel Yancey during a trip from Myrtle Beach to Wilmington, with much the same observed at every other beach, as entire oceanfronts were destroyed. One National Guard officer at Shallotte, N.C., had told Mr. Yancey that while the cottages and hotels on the South Carolina beaches were smashed to pieces, those on the Brunswick County, N.C., shoreline had been swept away, along with the lots on which they had stood. Mr. Yancey happened to hear a man remark in Shallotte that in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., seven had died, leading to his interviewing two couples who had survived the setting after joining a group of six people from High Point in a cottage. There the 11 people had remained until the tide smashed through, whereupon they took refuge on a sand dune, digging holes in the sand for shelter, until a huge wave dissolved that dune, causing them to seek refuge in a nearby truck, putting the women inside while the men sought to steady it, with the tide helping to push the truck to a nearby hill, at which point another wave engulfed the truck, causing everyone to be scattered. When the man telling the story had surfaced, he could not see anyone, was beside a house, which he managed to enter and there held on, with one of the couples reaching the same house, while the man's wife reached the shore about 100 yards away, at which point rescuers gave her artificial respiration. Seven others of the group had been drowned, however, including the couple who owned the cottage where they had initially taken refuge.

The U.S. had confirmed 98 fatalities resulting from the storm, with 15 having occurred in North Carolina.

The Ohio River was dumping its flood waters downriver after causing thousands to evacuate their homes in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, with the worst of the flood having subsided this date, the river falling at Wheeling, W. Va., after cresting there at 44.7 feet the previous day, the city's largest flood since March 8, 1945, when the Ohio River had reached 47.3 feet. The hurricane had filled the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in Pennsylvania, forming the Ohio at Pittsburgh, which had crested there at 32.5 feet on Saturday night, more than five feet above flood stage, though damage was reportedly light because of flood control systems installed above Pittsburgh, estimated to have saved 80 million dollars worth of damage. At least four persons had been killed by the flood waters in the Pittsburgh area, with no other reports of Ohio River flood casualties, only forced evacuations of homes.

From Toronto, it was reported that disaster workers had renewed their search this date through rubble and water-filled basements for victims of the last lethal blow from the hurricane, which was now known to have taken 57 lives in Canada, with 36 others still missing. Twenty-eight persons previously listed as missing had been found safe. Most of the deaths in Canada had occurred along the Humber River, which flowed along Toronto's western outskirts into Lake Ontario. More than seven inches of rain on Friday night had turned that river into a raging torrent which had trapped victims in homes and automobiles, sweeping 19 homes from a single street in Etobicoke Township, where, along with suburban Woodbridge and Weston, all but a few of the known casualties had occurred. There were no casualties within Toronto, itself. There was no accurate estimate yet of property damage.

Samuel Lubell, in the first in a new series of grassroots survey reports, having earlier provided a series of such reports from five Midwestern states, indicates that when the midterm election campaign had begun, it appeared to center on whether the Republicans could maintain their slim controls over both houses of Congress, but with unemployment and lower farm prices causing erosion of support for the Republicans, the more crucial question now was whether the Democratic gains would be heavy enough to upset the conservative dominance within Congress, which included Southern Democrats. A moderate Democratic victory or a surprise narrow Republican victory would leave the House under the working control of the same coalition of conservatives in both parties which had dominated every Congress since the war, but a landslide which would restore Democratic strength to the levels of the New Deal period would produce a Congress drastically different in its political composition. Angry farmers were protesting the rise in their costs while their prices had fallen and that group, added to the normally heavy Democratic support in the large cities, made for a combination which could produce a Democratic landslide. Mr. Lubell, however, indicates that his judgment of the forces in conflict in the election indicated that the next Congress would remain essentially moderate. He had talked to voters during recent weeks in nine of the most hotly contested Congressional districts, while reporters from other newspapers had been ringing doorbells to interview voters in 28 other key districts, such that by election day, nearly 50 districts and 12 Senatorial contests would have been sampled to provide perhaps the most comprehensive grassroots survey of Congressional voting which had been undertaken in many years, with his findings and the reports thus far from others indicating a sufficient Democratic trend to take the majority in the House, but not strong enough to sweep as deeply and widely as in 1948. The main drag on the Democratic swing appeared to be coming less from the popularity of the President than from the personal political appeal which many Republican members of Congress had. In heavily Irish neighborhoods of South Chicago, for instance, several voters who had voted for President Truman in 1948 and for General Eisenhower in 1952 had told Mr. Lubell that they had turned against President Eisenhower because the tax cut was strictly for the wealthy, or because lots of their friends had been laid off from employment. Yet, those same voters said that they would continue to support Republican Representative Fred Busbey in their district because he never let up on the fight against Communism or because they had never heard of the person running against him. Similarly, in southern Illinois, where many farmers had suffered drought for two or three successive years, Mr. Lubell had heard grumbling to the effect that they would vote Democratic during the fall.

In New York, a two-day trucking tie-up, which had threatened the economic life of the metropolitan area, appeared to be diminishing this date, as employers flocked to local Teamsters offices to sign their approval of union terms, despite the threat of one employer spokesman saying that a ten million dollar damage suit would be filed during the day against the Teamsters and seven companies, which had earlier disrupted the unified employer front by signing the agreements. New York City police at the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels said that big and little cargo carriers were moving without evidence of a strike, but officials of the Port of New York Authority, which operated the tubes, said that truck traffic was only 25 percent of normal through the Holland Tunnel during midmorning, while almost no trucks were moving through the Lincoln Tunnel. An average of 37,000 trucks used the two tunnels and other Port Authority crossings into the city each day. There were no figures immediately available for the other crossings. It was possible that the reported low volume of trucking was the result of the delay between signing the contracts and getting the trucks back on the job, following a Saturday walkout of 23,000 general cargo truck drivers and helpers in a wide area from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to Trenton, N.J. The chief union economist said that firms employing 5,900 of 11,800 New York City drivers had agreed to the demanded 25-cent hourly wage-welfare package, but he had no figures immediately for the situation in New Jersey.

In Cleveland, O., the trial of Dr. Samuel Sheppard, charged with the first-degree murder of his wife, Marilyn, on July 4, was ordered to begin this date on schedule, the trial judge having turned down a defense request for a continuance based on the extensive pretrial publicity. The defense had also requested a change of venue, which the judge left in abeyance pending jury selection, during which, he said, the determination could better be made as to whether a fair trial was possible in Cleveland. Dr. Sheppard maintained that he was innocent of the charge and that an intruder or intruders had killed his wife, found by the doctor, after he had been awakened in the wee hours of July 4 by his wife's screams interrupting his long nap on the living room couch, being beaten to death in an upstairs bedroom of their home, the doctor claiming to have then encountered the person or persons in the bedroom, who had immediately knocked him out and then fled, after which he had given chase, only to be knocked out again on the lakefront beach adjacent to their suburban home.

There was a new addition to the News this date, called the "Junior Editors", a daily section of the newspaper designed to keep boys and girls busy and happy, while helping them learn by doing, prepared with the aid of child experts and teachers to provide educational entertainment for those between the ages of four and eight, supplying coloring, cutting and pasting designed to appeal to youngsters eager to learn more about the world around them. You may find it on page 2-B.

On the editorial page, "A Noxious By-Product of Urban Life" indicates that as fall had arrived, the prospect of Charlotte's smoke problem would return. Though it was present probably the year-round, it became particularly unpleasant when furnaces began belching soot and ash into the atmosphere, covering the landscape like a shroud.

A group from the Chamber of Commerce was developing new plans to convince Charlotte's municipal government that it should increase its smoke abatement program, discussed the previous Thursday at a meeting of a Chamber committee.

Such smog as hung over U.S. cities was a man-made hazard, coming from the automobile, the backyard incinerator, the factory smokestack and other such contributory factors. Smog was worst when there was a warm air lid over a layer of cool air, which, in the absence of wind, trapped smoke, tars, gasoline vapors, fly ash and other pollutants, holding them close to the earth. The worst smog in the country existed in Los Angeles and its suburbs, which had just been through two weeks of concentrated smog. New York had a severe smog problem the previous fall, as had Philadelphia and industrial New Jersey. The smog capital of the world was London, where, some 19 months earlier, thousands of people had died from the condition.

It indicates that smog could kill if concentrated enough. Magner White, science writer for the Los Angeles Examiner, had reported that California doctors had responded to a poll by indicating that smog damaged health in 18 different classifications, from eyes, throat, heart, lungs and brain to the skin.

It urges that the problem could be conquered, as Pittsburgh had done, achieving some of the best air quality of any industrial area in the country, through a concerted effort of industry and community organizations, making the use of smoky coal illegal and enforcing the law, resulting in an estimated savings of 6.7 million dollars per year in cleaning costs. It recommends it as a lesson for Charlotte and other cities with such a problem and hopes that the matter would no longer be avoided by the City government, that it would reactivate its smoke abatement program and enforce it this time.

"What Do You Think about the Stink?" indicates that a woman who worked for the Charlotte Filter Center, watching for Russian bombers and in need of volunteers, said that people had called or come by to say that they would sign up in any way they could to get rid of the stink at Sugaw Creek, mistaking the "Filter" for sewage problems rather than spotting of cold war bombers.

It indicates that a man had leaned across the editorial writer's table at lunch and pointed to an editorial from the newspaper regarding the Charlotte Historical Society, saying that if the new organization would do something about Sugaw Creek, he could get excited about it.

It finds that such people had made their point and that to get something done about the continual discharge of industrial waste into Sugaw Creek meant forming an active organization of indignant local taxpayers to get it cleaned up.

"A Common Enemy Confronts Mankind" indicates that Republican Representative Harold Ostertag of New York had said that there was an increasing tide running in the direction of the "Fortress America" concept, that is neo-isolationism. He believed that the concept of America's safety being dependent on other nations was at last being cut down to size and put in its place, with the notion that the country's strength lay in itself.

It indicates that it would be tragic for both the country and the world if Mr. Ostertag was correct, that man's strength lay in all mankind and in the concept penned by John Donne three centuries earlier, that no man is an island. It posits that mankind was now confronted with a common enemy, the ignorance and confusion in his own heart, and that unless enough people realized that the bell tolled for all of mankind, "some other breed of animals may have to take over the earth—or what's left of it." Man's only hope, it urges, rested on unity and cooperation with other men. Otherwise, if embracing the "Fortress America" concept, the nation might awaken some morning to find itself back in the Neolithic Age.

"Opera Can Have a Southern Drawl" indicates that for more than 70 years, the Metropolitan Opera in New York had dominated vocal music in the country, despite at times financial challenges, which were again becoming acute. It suggests that it was possible that one day operatic music in the country would rest in the hands of the few second-string houses and vigorous provincial groups, such as the Charlotte Opera Association, which were blazing a cultural trail through the backwoods of the country, making Mozart, Verdi and Wagner as familiar to millions of Americans as the music of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers.

If the Met were to die, it would be a calamity to every music lover, but opera would continue in the country, thanks to the efforts of Charlotte's opera group and many like it across the nation. It finds that an example of the Charlotte Opera Association's cultural contribution to the community could be heard this night when La Bohème opened at the East Mecklenburg High School, with Clare Simmons as Mimi and Harold Daniels as Rodolfo, providing proof that great vocal music could be heard and enjoyed far from the Met.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Please Drawl, Y'all", indicates that Miss Tennessee, who had won a $1,000 scholarship for finishing among the top ten finalists in the Miss America pageant, was reported in the press as having said she would use her prize to pay tuition at the Pasadena Playhouse, so that she could get rid of her Southern accent which she did not think would serve her well on television.

It questions whether she was really seriously planning to "eliminate the sugar" from her speech and sound like every other young and beautiful girl in television or movies, conforming to a speech pattern which would render her indistinguishable from the mob. "Can it be that you want to swap your purr for a burr?"

It urges her not to get rid of it but rather to modify it, assuming it was a heavy drawling accent. It agrees that if it were an "authentic bottom land cornfield Southern accent", it would not go over well on television or in the movies, as some, though by no means all, Southerners spoke as if they were holding a mouthful of hot mush. But it also indicates that she did not want to be indoctrinated with the nasal twang of New England or the flattened speech of the Midwest, as disastrous as maintaining the status quo, "provided the status is too syrupy and the quo is wrapped in flannel."

It advises that the most pleasing enunciation was the Southern accent which had been modified by putting "a slight corner on the 'Rs' and retaining a suspicion of the final 'g'."

Drew Pearson indicates that the Internal Security Committee, chaired by Senator William Jenner of Indiana, did not want anything published regarding the secret examination of the diary of former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, serving under President Roosevelt at the time when the late Harry Dexter White was in the Treasury Department, Mr. White having been connected during HUAC hearings in August, 1948 to espionage for the Communists, shortly before his death by natural causes. The Republicans of the Committee wanted to make headlines for the midterm elections by connecting members of the Roosevelt Administration with Mr. White and any hint, therefore, of Russian espionage. To that end, Jonathan Mitchell, husband of famed feminist Doris Stevens, had ventured to Hyde Park, to the Library of the late President, where the diary of the former Secretary was maintained, and Mr. Pearson had obtained copies of some of Mr. Mitchell's reports, which showed that he had thus far not come up with very much of consequence.

In one confidential report to the Committee, he had stated that he had gone through 14 volumes of the diary, slowed down by documents on British and French lend-lease, over which Mr. White had charge of the negotiations and therefore in which, he had hoped to find material of interest to the Committee, admitting that, despite careful reading, he had found very little.

Mr. Pearson points out that previously, the diaries of Mr. Morgenthau had been maintained in secret from the scrutiny of outsiders, having provided probably the most thorough account of the important years of the Roosevelt Administration, with the Secretary having noted in detail everything of significance which he did as Secretary, more voluminous than even the copious diary of the late Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes. Mr. Morgenthau had provided permission to the Committee to inspect his diaries, after questioning by the Committee about Mr. White, in the wake of the accusation by Attorney General Herbert Brownell the previous fall that he was a Russian spy, more or less accusing the Truman Administration of having at its disposal knowledge of that status and yet maintaining him in his position. Mr. Morgenthau had stated to the Committee that he knew of no evidence that Mr. White was a spy during his time at the Treasury Department.

At the same time, the office of Senate Majority Leader William Knowland had been pushing the State Department to publish all diplomatic documents related to the Yalta Conference of February, 1945, with the hope of uncovering the involvement of Alger Hiss as an alleged Communist spy, related to the so-called sellout to the Communists by the Roosevelt Administration, as characterized by some Republicans, to enlist Russia's aid in the Pacific war, in the end, obviated only by the successful test in mid-July, 1945 of the atomic bomb, which was quite theoretical and problematic still in February, 1945, when a costly land invasion through the Japanese islands appeared the only way to defeat Japan. The State Department, despite there being a Republican Administration, had thus far refused to fix a publication date prior to the midterm elections, notwithstanding an urgent request by the Senate Majority Leader's floor assistant.

Scrutiny of the diaries of Mr. Morgenthau had thus far chiefly revealed what newspapers had already published, that Mr. Morgenthau had been, while Secretary, eager to preserve Russia as a friendly ally and had pushed a ten billion dollar peacetime loan to Russia in the closing days of the war, to win Russian confidence. He favored stripping Germany of its industrial war potential and keeping it as an agricultural state, the so-called Morgenthau Plan, ultimately rejected as being too harsh and preventing the easy rebuilding of Germany.

Mr. Pearson indicates that apparently Mr. Mitchell believed that it was part of his job to report also on the political views of the archivist of the Roosevelt Library, as he had written that he was an "egg-head", until the day after the election in September of Congressman Edmund Muskie as Governor of Maine, when the archivist had sidled up to Mr. Mitchell and another member of the Committee staff, and delivered a "sudden, sneering attack" on Fulton Lewis, Jr., the conservative radio commentator.

After Mr. Mitchell had promised Mr. Pearson as a former fellow reporter who had served together for a time on the staff of the New York World, that he would help him out anyway he could, he had provided "no comment" answers or referred the matter to the Committee, in response to every question which Mr. Pearson posed, as he sets forth. He indicates that in the following day's column, he would publish the full text of one of Mr. Mitchell's reports to the Committee regarding the diaries, plus remarks made by the FDR Library archivist and by Fulton Lewis, Jr.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the closely divided Senate membership, with the Republicans holding a two-seat majority, could be revised considerably before the final vote on censure of Senator McCarthy after the midterm elections and the swearing in of some new Senators in advance of the start of the 84th Congress in January. The special session to consider the censure would begin November 8, at which point, at least ten Senators would be serving by appointment, with four of those, Senators Sam Ervin of North Carolina, Thomas Kuchel of California, Ernest Brown of Nevada and Thomas Burke of Ohio, having been nominated and seeking regular election on November 2. The other six were Nebraska's two Republican Senators, Eva Bowring and Sam Reynolds, Robert Upton of New Hampshire, Alton Lennon of North Carolina, Charles Daniel of South Carolina and Edward Crippa of Wyoming. Senators Daniel and Brown had been appointed since the Senate had adjourned on August 20, to be sworn in on November 8, with officials of both South Carolina and Nevada having said they would serve until January 3 at the start of the next Congress.

The Senate winners in the midterm election, elected while the Senate still was technically in session, would be qualified when their states certified their election. State law varied as to when certification took place, and in some states, it could be accelerated or delayed.

It reviews the situation in each of the eight states represented by appointed Senators, indicating, for instance, in North Carolina, that Senator Lennon would likely yield prior to the end of November to Senator-nominate Kerr Scott, running unopposed for the unexpired term of the late Senator Willis Smith, and opposed only nominally by a Republican for the full six-year term set to start in January. Senator Ervin was unopposed for the remaining two years of the term of the late Senator Clyde Hoey.

Robert C. Ruark suggests that the country call on a sense of humor, a valuable American asset, and rewrite the archaic rules dealing with the conduct of prisoners of war, while relaxing the traditional admonition about only giving name, rank and serial number when captured by the enemy. The recent courts martial for supposed collaboration with the enemy had suggested that brainwashing techniques and torture had become the stock equipment of the Communists in prisoner of war camps, and that the prisoner who did not collaborate received the standard treatment. It placed a heavy burden on some men, not all of whom were capable of being heroes in the face of torture and threatened death. Just being a prisoner was a challenge to morale, and if, on top of that, carefully designed treatments transpired to reduce the prisoner to the status of a beast, the prisoner was apt to lose whatever pride which had made him a good officer or enlisted man, without even being tortured. Just the filth, hunger and boredom, plus the lack of privacy were enough. He believes that those circumstances should relieve the prisoner of the consequences of signing something or delivering a broadcast which would help to keep him alive, especially given that no one below the rank of general could do very much as a captured prisoner to influence the outcome of the present form of modern warfare.

"Go on the radio? Sure? Where's the TV? Maybe Godfrey is looking. Who started the war? Me, or was it Julius LaRosa? Is it really true that the Americans invented sex? Oh, no, sir. The Russians dood it. Or did they? I can't remember."

He concludes that after British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, at the recent London nine-power conference regarding German rearmament as part of NATO and a modified Brussels Pact, had committed the young British forever in Europe, it did not make a great deal of difference what one prisoner of war said if it made the turnkey happy, and so they might as well give the unfortunate prisoners unlimited ability to collaborate if it would get him more food, as it could not hurt the overall war effort and might prevent "some thugs from pounding on the head of a man who is the victim of circumstance."

Were Mr. Ruark to have had the same empathy for juvenile delinquents in New York City and elsewhere, he might actually have proved himself to have been an attentive recipient of his sociology degree from the University of North Carolina. He favors throwing the book and the juice at the juvenile, while giving the break to the POW who collaborates, leaving out the dark consequences often befalling those on whom the collaborator informed from among their fellow prisoners. Yet, he also despised Alger Hiss, believed the Rosenbergs got their just deserts.

A letter writer from Lincolnton commends the newspaper for its recent editorial condemning requests by the state Democratic Party for donations by State employees to the party campaign fund. He suggests that it was the type of "dishonest politics" which came from one-party rule in the state, and that Governor William B. Umstead's statement indicating that he saw nothing wrong with the practice would not eliminate it, that party loyalty rather than ability set the standard for State employees, and that the Governor's statement that he would not stand for compulsion fell short of that needed to repudiate it. He urges prompt action by the Governor to squelch the practice.

A letter writer from Fort Worth, Tex., indicates that if the parents of the land wanted to raise their sons to fight and die on foreign battlefields, they should give control of the Government to such men as former President Truman, Adlai Stevenson, former Vice-President Alben Barkley, Senator Paul Douglas, House Minority Leader Sam Rayburn, and the Roosevelts. He indicates that during the past century, the country had been involved in five wars and that every one of them had occurred during, or immediately following, a Democratic Administration, proving conclusively that the Democrats "never have had a policy, domestic or foreign, that didn't lead to war." He finds that Americans were now on patrol over nearly half the face of the earth, and that it was the Democrats who had sent them there.

Well, if that is the case, you have a Republican President who only needs to bring them all home. Moreover, we fail to see how he can include, as he apparently does, the Spanish-American War of 1898, when President McKinley had been more than a year in office, stimulated by the historically spurious cry, "Remember the Maine!", the famous charge up San Juan Hill having been led by Col. Theodore Roosevelt, succeeding, on the strength of which, to the Vice-Presidency in 1901 and succeeding then President McKinley upon the latter's assassination in September, 1901. And we refrain from even broaching the debate over whether the election of Abraham Lincoln, given his association in the popular mind with the abolitionist movement, led directly to the secession in December, 1860 of South Carolina and the start of the Civil War the following April—even if the case can be made for overly tolerant official insouciance on the question of slavery in the Southern states, and deference thereon to states' rights, during several preceding Democratic and Whig Administrations, not just the immediately preceding Democratic Administration of James Buchanan, having led in train to the Civil War. Nor do we seek to educate the writer further on the historical antecedents to World War II having been the laissez-faire and isolationist policies of the three successive Republican Administrations of Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover between 1921 and 1933 and the refusal of the Republicans in the Senate to ratify the Versailles Treaty and U.S. joinder of the League of Nations, rendering that organization too weak to counter the aggressions of the Japanese warlords, Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany during the 1930's, leading inexorably to World War II in 1939-41. In any event, the letter writer needs a history lesson, based on history as a continuum, not dots on a high school time line posted above the chalk board.

A letter writer from Asheville questions whether man would ever stop in his quest for the tools of destruction before destroying himself, finds that the finest trained brains in the world were being utilized to devise means to subdue the minds of other men by force or threat of death, in a headlong flight of fear. He questions whether it was too late for wisdom.

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.