The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 11, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that as the Senate continued the censure debate this date on Senator McCarthy, his partisan supporters flocked into Washington to hold a "National Rally for McCarthy", to be held this night in Constitution Hall, with many of them intending to buttonhole Senators to urge a vote against censure. Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts told reporters that 60 persons from his state had visited him, bringing signatures from 4,000 supporters of Senator McCarthy, and that he had told them that he would listen to the debate before making up his mind. Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana said that he would propose that the Senate delay the vote on censure until January, after the new Congress convened, a proposal which appeared to have little support. Republican Majority Leader William Knowland of California told newsmen that the present extraordinary session had been called for the specific purpose of acting on the censure resolution and that he believed it should be disposed of during the present session of Congress. Senator Saltonstall expressed a similar view, as did Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, a leading supporter of Senator McCarthy. The latter said that he was "distressed about the theatrical atmosphere" surrounding the censure and the tension in the air among the crowds. He said that he was unaware of any move among supporters of the Senator to filibuster the resolution, as confirmed also by Senator Knowland. Senator Henry Jackson of Washington predicted that Senator Capehart would fail if he sought to get the Senate to postpone the vote until January.

The State Department was drafting a new note to Russia regarding the incident of the shooting down of the U.S. Air Force plane over Hokkaido in Japan the prior Sunday, hoping to find out whether the Soviets would like to avoid such incidents in the future, as there was an unusual absence of belligerency in their attitude on this occasion, as pointed out by the President at his press conference the previous day. Soviet Premier Georgi Malenkov expressed to U.S. Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen, at a Moscow dinner, the desire to make greater use of diplomacy in resolving differences between East and West, the Premier saying that means should be employed to prevent relatively minor incidents from becoming major disputes. The new State Department note would reflect the conciliatory tone established by the President the previous day regarding the incident, and would respond to paragraphs of a Russian note of the previous Monday, which appeared to create a slight hope of avoiding such aerial clashes in the future. The Russian Government had expressed "regret" that previous "violations" of Soviet frontiers by U.S. military planes had led to "absolutely unjustified losses", and that it would be in the interest of both the Soviet Union and the U.S. "to take measures for the prevention of further violations of the Soviet state border by American aircraft." U.S. officials rejected the Russian claim that the attacks were the result of flight over Soviet territory, but indicated that they were studying the Russian proposal.

Representative Sterling Cole of New York, chairman of the joint Atomic Energy Committee, said this date that he had been informed that the controversial Dixon-Yates power contract and a memorandum of understanding had been signed. He said that as soon as the contract was signed, he would meet with the Committee for further hearings and a vote on the President's requests for immediate approval of the contract, as communicated by the President in a letter the previous day. Absent a waiver by the Committee, the law required that the contract could not become effective until it had been before Congress for 30 days.

At Arlington National Cemetery, the newly designated Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was recognized, with Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott being the designated representative of the President, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Immigration Service had selected the day as an appropriate occasion for the mass swearing-in of 50,000 newly naturalized citizens, most of them displaced from their European homes by Nazi or Russian armies. Some 16,000 were to take their oaths of citizenship in New York City, where Attorney General Herbert Brownell was set to speak at two ceremonies, one at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field and the other at the Polo Grounds. Similar ceremonies were scheduled in other cities across the country and in Hawaii and on Guam. Armistice Day had begun as an annual observance of the end of World War I at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, and the name was changed officially this year, with the support of the national veterans organizations, pushed through Congress primarily by Representative Edward Rees of Kansas. Strictly speaking, there were no national holidays in the United States, and so Congressman Rees had written the governors asking them to proclaim the date as Veterans Day, and 31 had thus far either done so or indicated that they would.

In Abilene, Kans., the President this date reviewed a colorful Veterans Day parade in his hometown, where he would dedicate the $325,000 Eisenhower Memorial Museum, to house memorabilia from his time as a soldier. Early on this morning, he had visited the graves of his parents, accompanied by his grandchildren, his son John, an Army major, and his brothers, Milton and Earl. The President received warm applause from a large crowd which had assembled across the street from the position above the marquee of a hotel from which he observed the parade. As he watched, he occasionally rumpled the hair of his six-year old grandson, David, with his left hand, while waving with his right hand to the crowd.

In Boca Raton, Fla., Acting Governor Charley Johns proposed this date that the President call a special session of Congress immediately to submit a constitutional amendment to allow the states to maintain separate but equal public schools on a segregated basis. He made the proposal at the opening of the annual Southern Governors Conference, urging the conference to make the request to the President, or in the alternative, that Southern governors call special sessions of their legislatures to petition for enactment of such an amendment. The move had come as a surprise to an extent, because segregation was not on the official conference agenda and most governors attending the conference had expressed views in separate interviews that each state should decide for themselves what course they should pursue regarding desegregation of public schools.

In North Augusta, S.C., the police chief said this date that a Camp Gordon soldier had wagered his buddies that he could drink a fifth of liquor in 30 minutes, and had won the contest by consuming the liquor in 10 minutes, but then had died of acute alcoholism in a hotel this date. The wager had been made at a nightspot the previous night, and it was reported that after the soldier had drunk the liquor, he became unmanageable and his companions attempted to get him back to the post, located in Georgia, but the post guard had refused his admittance because the car they were in was not properly tagged. The party then drove to South Carolina where they obtained quarters for the night at the hotel, and one of the soldier's companions, who had occupied a bed with him, awakened during the morning to find him dead.

In Long Beach, Calif., a woman said that she would refuse a $200,000 inheritance from her grandmother on the ground that she believed she did not deserve it. She had been informed by her uncle that her grandmother, who resided in Luxembourg, had willed her extensive vineyards and a small inn there. The woman said that she had never had anything to do with the vineyards, that her uncle deserved the land. She also said that America was her home, that she had been in the country since she was four years old, and did not wish to become mixed up in anything that would cause her to leave.

In Philadelphia, a "kissing room" was sought to be established by the City's aviation director at the International Airport, after hearing reports from Mexico of the success of such a room in its airport. In budget hearings the previous day, however, a member of the City Council said that a room set aside for couples who "expect and need privacy" for their farewells was a fine thing but not within the budget, as there would be no revenue derived from it, according to the aviation director.

On the editorial page, "The McCarthy Method and Objective" indicates that when Senators returned for the extraordinary session to debate the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy, they found on their desks some reprints from the Communist Daily Worker, distributed by aides of Senator McCarthy.

The newspaper had received copies by way of the franking privilege of Senator McCarthy, and the Worker articles had indicated that the Senator ought be censured, quoting various Americans in support of its position. Aides of the Senator stressed the names of former President Truman, Governor Stevenson, Senator Herbert Lehman of New York and Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, the latter having originally proposed the resolution of censure.

The piece finds that it showed what the Senator had meant when he said he would not defend himself but intended to make a record so that the people would know what the Senate was doing, that he was engaged in an offense to prove that the Senate was working with the Communists, that the bipartisan six-Senator select committee which had unanimously recommended censure, and included Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, had "done the work of the Communist Party," had "not only cooperated in the achievement of Communist goals" but had "imitated Communist methods" in writing its report. The Senator believed that if the Senate went along with the committee, it would be equally suspect.

He also included writers, radio commentators and a majority of the press in the cabal out to get him. And Presidents Eisenhower and Truman were also targets, as, according to the Senator, attacks against him had been emanating from the White House.

It concludes that, according to Senator McCarthy, if a Senator was for censure, they were a tool of the Communists, and if the Senate voted to censure him, only he could be depended upon to save the nation. It finds it to be the McCarthy method and objective, in all its nakedness. It suggests that even his defenders ought see clearly by this point his design, consistently claiming, by expression and implication, that disagreement with him was the equivalent of disloyalty.

"One Big V-Day—or Peace Day" indicates that there were three commemorations of the end of wars, coming from just two world wars, and if it kept up, and there were a couple of more wars, there would be more "V" days than any other type of celebration. It indicates that it meant no disrespect, that it was thankful for the end of bloodshed in World War I, and in World War II in Europe and in the Pacific.

It suggests that a step in the right direction had been taken when Armistice Day, November 11, was changed to Veterans Day, but it was in the right direction in theory only, that in practical terms, the date had no significant bearing on the end of World War II, either in Europe or Asia. It thus wonders why there should be an observance of the end of World War II on the anniversary of the end of World War I and why there should be any celebration any longer of the end of the latter war. It urges that perhaps the simplest solution would be to set an arbitrary date as Veterans Day, or better, Peace Day, and let it suffice for all of the "V" days.

"Harlan Is Qualified for the Court" finds that the President could have made no better appointment than Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte to the Supreme Court vacancy, but he had been passed over in favor of Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Harlan of New York, who appeared to be a good choice, with a better background for the job than most of the current Justices and those who had been appointed during the previous 20 years.

He had not been active in politics and so the appointment was not a pay-off or reward for service to the party. Prior to being appointed to the Court of Appeals the previous March by the President, he had a good deal of trial experience, had been the chief counsel of the New York Crime Commission, and had good experience as a member of one of New York's outstanding law firms. He was a Republican, which would lend balance to the Court, which had only two other Republican members, Chief Justice Earl Warren, appointed by the President a year earlier, and Justice Harold Burton, appointed in 1945 by President Truman at the retirement of Justice Owen Roberts. He was also from the same geographic region of the country as Justice Robert Jackson, whose death the previous month had prompted the appointment.

It concludes that the President could have done better, but that he also could have done much worse.

"Mencken and Nathan and God" indicates that in 1954, iconoclasm had died. First, H. L. Mencken had decided to support the President and then, George Jean Nathan had announced his engagement. Together, they had edited the Smart Set and the old American Mercury, poking fun at everything from sex to salvation. A couplet in those times had gone: "Mencken and Nathan and God/ Yes, probably, possibly, God."

Early in the year, Mr. Mencken had admitted that President Eisenhower was a "better than average President … for a general." He had previously denounced Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman.

Ten months later, Mr. Nathan had announced his intention to marry actress Julie Haydon. Earlier he had said that "to enjoy women at all, one must manufacture an illusion and envelope them with it; otherwise, they would not be endurable." He had also said that marriage "is based on the theory that when a man discovers a particular brand of beer exactly to his taste, he should at once throw up his job and go to work in the brewery."

"Iconoclasm—rest in peace."

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "That's the Thrifty Spirit, GSA!" indicates that in Washington, according to the Wall Street Journal, the General Services Administration had embarked on a new program of thrift by collecting stamps, through stamp salvage. It wonders why no one had thought of it before.

A member of the White House staff had come up with the idea, and after consulting with the GSA, the Post Office division of philately, the Smithsonian Institution's division of philately, the reference division of the Library of Congress and the recreation division of the Veterans Administration, the plan had gone into effect the previous spring. Government agencies were directed to save all incoming foreign stamps and all domestic commemorative stamps having a value exceeding three cents. The GSA had then collected the stamps, accumulating 55 pounds worth, which were sold by the pound on competitive bids, receiving for them $339. After that start, the GSA had decided in June to make the program a continuing project. By September 1, 42 pounds of stamps had come from just three agencies, and when the program developed fully, the GSA estimated it would bring in between 400 and 500 pounds of stamps per month, for a net gain of $3,000 per month.

It worries, however, that a new bureaucracy would be set up around the stamp collection. It also suggests that, in addition to the revenue, Government employees with male children at home, who would likely inquire of their fathers as to whether they brought them any stamps, could honestly reply that the GSA had taken them all, while imparting a lecture on the virtue of thrift in a Republican Administration. It suggests that there was no telling how that might affect the voters of the next generation.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Democrats might have a harder time keeping their slim majority in the Senate than people realized. When the Senate convened in extraordinary session for the censure debate on Senator McCarthy, interim Senator Charles Daniels from South Carolina, a close friend of Governor James Byrnes, was having his picture taken with Vice-President Nixon, saying that he was eager to work with him in every way possible and that Senator-elect Strom Thurmond, who would replace Senator Daniel, felt the same way. Mr. Nixon had told him that when Mr. Thurmond arrived, he should send him to the Vice-President and they would give him a royal welcome.

Adlai Stevenson rarely referred to his grandfather, who had been the Vice-President during the Administration of President Grover Cleveland. But recently, Mr. Stevenson and his advisers were in the hotel suite of former Connecticut Senator William Benton in New York when they received a telegram from Vice-President Nixon, demanding that Mr. Stevenson retract his comment that the Vice-President was following the Communist Party line. Advisers offered Mr. Stevenson several suggestions for reply "to the man the Democrats now call 'McNixon'", with Mr. Stevenson saying he could reply that he had now received two telegrams from a Vice-President, the first having been from his grandfather, but decided not to send the telegram.

One of the first investigations which the Democrats would undertake in the new Congress would be to dig into politicking on the Railroad Retirement Board by the appointees of President Eisenhower. The Board was set up to administer the pensions of railroad workers and was operated through the money withdrawn each week from their salaries. It was not a political organization, but the President had appointed as new chairman Raymond Kelly of Chicago, former Michigan commander of the American Legion. Frank Squire, another Chicagoan, was next appointed, and together they had proposed removing ten administrators from civil service to make room for worthy Republican appointees. As an excuse for the change, a rumor had been spread that there was a cell of ten known Communists within the Board office. A special assistant to Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois was the primary spreader of the rumor, despite his working for the RNC for the re-election of Senators, doing also public relations work from that position. The assistant had been permitted by Senator McCarthy to help cross-examine Brig. General Ralph Zwicker in secret session the prior February, when the assistant had no more right to cross-examine than a member of the press. That was one of the issues before the Senate regarding censure of Senator McCarthy. The fact that the assistant to Senator McCarthy and the two members of the Railroad Retirement Board wanted to replace Democratic members of the Board with Republicans would now be probed by Democrats, in addition to being helped by a few Republicans.

It had taken 50 pounds of wax to weatherproof the Iwo Jima Memorial which had been unveiled the previous day at Arlington National Cemetery, and the statue would have to be re-waxed every five years, as its sculptor, Felix de Weldon, had found that the best way to preserve bronze statuary.

Republicans in California were touting Governor Goodwin Knight for the presidency.

There was good reason to believe that if Senator McCarthy had attacked other Republicans the way he had Clifford Case of New Jersey, they might have won, as Senator McCarthy's attack on Mr. Case had actually helped him win his narrow victory in the Senate race.

Doris Fleeson indicates that the first decisive actions of the Democrats in the new Congress, both houses of which they had won control in the midterm elections, would be in the security field, which Vice-President Nixon had taken over during the campaign. The DNC was going to issue a detailed analysis of the ways in which Republican campaigners had sought to convey the idea that Democrats were "soft" on Communism. For a long time, that was the only issue which had angered House Democratic Leader Sam Rayburn, to become again Speaker in January. Democratic Leader in the Senate, Lyndon Johnson, had also, in his first press conference after the elections, expressed resentment on that point. A target of the effort would be the security firings of the Administration, used by Republicans as proof that the prior Administrations contained a large number of subversives. Democrats would press for names rather than just numbers, as well as raising the issue of use of FBI files, after they had gotten a firm impression that the Vice-President was privy to files during the campaign. Since FBI files consisted of unevaluated material, they were not proof, but could be made to sound sinister.

The fact that the Democrats had begun to grumble about the use of the FBI indicated the strength of the Democratic resentment, that they were no longer concerned about expressing what they actually believed about J. Edgar Hoover having appeared as a witness regarding the late Harry Dexter White and the attempt by Attorney General Herbert Brownell the previous fall to brand him a subversive of whom the Truman Administration was aware while he continued in the Treasury Department.

Such discussions might take place within the context of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia would be the new chairman, or before the Government Operations Committee, of which Senator John McClellan of Arkansas would be the new chairman. The latter, however, did not wish to concentrate that Committee's time on subversion, believing that the Committee should be devoted instead to its actual purpose, to check on Government operations and their economic efficiency. Representative Francis Walter, to become the new chairman of HUAC, was in favor of abolishing that Committee and replacing it with a new joint committee.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that such Democratic activities would not necessarily bring the Democrats into direct conflict with the President, as he had deplored the use of the Communist issue and remained aloof from it personally. But how he might react to an attack on the Vice-President was another matter. The midterm election campaign had been under Mr. Nixon's charge and Republicans, including the President, had not complained when he began harping on the subject of softness of Democrats on subversion.

She concludes that the Democrats would be exploiting a Republican family row, while attempting to lay the groundwork for the 1956 campaign.

Robert C. Ruark suggests that the country was becoming "awfully snoopy", some of it by necessity, but overall becoming scary. He thinks that the country might be slipping into the type of espionage and censorship which had afflicted the totalitarian countries. He recognizes that the country had kept its head in the sand too long concerning the danger of Communists and espionage domestically in the name of freedom and liberalism, and that a loyalty oath might be necessary to provide grounds for conviction for perjury.

He believes the Navy had gone too far, however, in forcing a new loyalty oath on its officers, as the old one appeared to suffice. He quotes the old oath, based on his memory, a pledge to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to maintain allegiance to it, while discharging faithfully the office with which the officer was charged.

He had seen that there was a special espionage system working within the Government, with its instructions secretly distributed to department heads, urging them to be vigilant regarding employee misconduct, apart from any disloyalty or subversive connections. There were also new discharges from the military service based on a relative, for instance, joining a subversive organization, though it had nothing to do with the conduct of the serviceman. There was also ongoing censorship of the press in New York regarding criminal trials. During the Truman Administration, at one point there had been withholding of all Government news, at the discretion of department heads. There was also the censorship of books in the Information Service libraries abroad. In Australia, one of the banned books was The Aspirin Age, banned because it contained an account of Sacco and Vanzetti as part of the history of the 1920's.

He says that he did not like those tendencies, that a nation of spies and counter-spies was not a pleasant place to be, that pretty soon one could not have a fight with one's spouse without it becoming the nation's business.

A letter writer agrees with Recorder's Court Judge J. C. Sedberry, unsuccessful candidate in the midterm elections against incumbent Congressman Charles Jonas, that registered Democrats were not being loyal to their party when they voted Republican, recommending enforcement of a law which stated that they could be stricken from the rolls as Democrats if found to have voted across party lines, this writer finding him to be on solid ground, and not suggesting violation of the secret ballot, as a couple of other letter writers had suggested. He finds that the word "Democrat" had been good for their fathers, good for the state and city, and apparently good enough for Republicans, not as a political philosophy but "as an advertising scheme to win votes." He says that one day, unwary Democrats would wake up when it might be too late, finding then that the city, county and state political machinery was in the hands of the few "'telephone booth'" Republicans who would have won through use of the word "Democrat".

A letter writer urges joining the Charlotte Air Defense Filter Center, located on the third floor of the Coddington Building, and volunteering for two hours per week, to act as monitors for potential sneak attack by fleets of enemy super-bombers on cities within the country.

A letter writer wonders whether they were living in Los Angeles or Charlotte, given the smoke, smog, or whatever one called it, which hung over Charlotte. She believes that the smoke violations were worse in the current year than the previous one, that the City should seek to enforce the smoke abatement regulations before determining that new ones had to be made, as the City had said the previous year. She indicates that City schools were some of the worst offenders she had noticed. She suggests that when Charlotte had a sudden outbreak of reddened, irritated eyes, strange lung irritations and hacking coughs, the city would do as Los Angeles had done after a couple of them had died, start complaining about how something should be done about it.

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that Senator McCarthy had said that a man who would hold up the discharge of a soldier accused of thievery, but not the honorable discharge of a soldier pleading the Fifth Amendment in the face of questioning about past membership in subversive organizations, was not fit to wear the uniform of a general. The Senator had refused to appear before a committee which, according to the writer, had exceeded its stated limitations in investigating him. He thinks these offenses on which the Senate select committee had recommended censure, not involving any violation of law or Senate tradition, constituted "bowing to the hysterical demand to 'get McCarthy'". He finds it ironic that there was no liberal denunciation of such an aberration of elementary justice, when other Senators had abused witnesses and refused to appear before committees. He thinks that liberals loudly demanded justice for their friends, but not for their critics, providing impetus to the "'wave of anti-intellectualism' about which they prate so much."

A letter writer thinks that movie critics on the newspapers of Charlotte were scared stiff of the theater managers and local distributors, and thus did not provide their honest opinions when writing reviews, felt obliged to call every movie "'colossal'".

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