The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 16, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senators William Knowland of California, the Majority Leader, and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, president pro tempore of the Senate, indicated in separate interviews this date that an effort was ongoing to construct a compromise proposal to the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy, Senator Bridges advising that he would make a speech in support of such a compromise. Neither Senator gave any hint as to the nature of the compromise. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois told reporters that such a compromise might be patterned after the suggestion of Senator Francis Case of South Dakota, a member of the six-Senator select committee which had unanimously recommended censure. Senator Dirksen said that a compromise would require the consent, however, of Senator McCarthy. Senator Case had suggested that the Senate might dispose of the controversy without censure if Senator McCarthy would apologize for his statements about his behavior regarding the 1951-52 Senate Elections subcommittee, for which he was charged under the censure resolution as holding in contempt for refusing to appear before it. Senator McCarthy had already indicated that he did not intend to make any apologies. Senator Knowland said that he was not aware of any actual ongoing head-counting of Senators at the present time or any effort to get them to back a particular compromise proposal. Senator William Jenner of Indiana, a supporter of Senator McCarthy, said that he would ask the Senate to kill the resolution entirely. Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan predicted that the effort of Senator Jenner would fail, that most Senators wanted to meet the issue squarely and not in any indirect manner. The previous day, during debate on the Senate floor, Senator Jenner had stated that "the strategy of censure was initiated by the Communist conspiracy". He said he had discussed his intention to try to kill the resolution with colleagues and that he had found a generally good reception. His motion would seek to cut off debate and bring a vote on the parliamentary question of tabling the resolution.

Secretary of State Dulles said this date that he believed the Administration's foreign policy adequately covered present needs and that there was no emergency requiring an extraordinary review. He thus appeared opposed to the call indicated the previous day by Senator Knowland for Congressional review of policies to see whether a basic change in direction was needed. He also appeared to dispute Senator Knowland's contention that an atomic stalemate between the U.S. and Russia could mean the weakening of the free world through "nibbling aggression". The Secretary, appearing before a press conference, said that under American leadership, the free nations had been continuously taking measures to strengthen themselves against Soviet aggression, and that on the whole, those measures had been quite successful.

The President, a short time before Secretary Dulles's press conference, had addressed a convention of land-grant colleges and universities, saying that one of the problems of the world was lack of Russian understanding of America's motives and lack of appreciation in the U.S. of the Russians' culture and history. He urged that better understanding between the peoples of each country was the only way to a lasting and just peace.

Earlier in the day, Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, had said that Senator Knowland was engaging in "dangerous talk" when he said "ultimate Communist victory" would result from "coexistence and atomic stalemate". Two other members of the Committee, Senators Alexander Smith of New Jersey and John Sparkman of Alabama, said that they were also puzzled over the point that Senator Knowland was attempting to make.

An examiner for the Interstate Commerce Commission said this date that the Commission should put an end to racial segregation of railroad passengers in interstate travel, that the practice of some railroads of assigning separate facilities aboard trains and in station waiting rooms to whites and blacks during interstate trips was a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act, which prohibited "undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage" among interstate patrons of the railroads. The examiner indicated that to assign separate accommodations, with the implication of inherent inferiority solely based on race, was unreasonable. He made the report following public hearings on a complaint filed with the ICC by the NAACP, challenging segregation on railroads traveling interstate. The examiner recommended that the ICC enter an order prohibiting the continuation of those practices. Another ICC examiner, however, in an earlier case, had considered a complaint of a black WAC who said that she was discriminated against during a bus trip from New York to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., when she was refused a seat among the white passengers south of Richmond, Va. That examiner said that there was nothing in the law prohibiting separate accommodations, provided they were equal. Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York had protested that examiner's finding the previous month in a letter to the ICC chairman, Mr. Powell later having made public a response from the chairman, indicating that the case still had to be decided by the full Commission and that he could not understand how the examiner had arrived at his conclusion. The NAACP complaint was filed against more than a dozen railroads as a test of segregation practices. Some of the carriers had denied that they practiced segregation while others admitted that they did, maintaining either separate or divided coaches to conform to the customs or state laws of areas through which they traveled.

In Cleveland, O., the first-degree murder trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard, accused of murdering his wife, Marilyn, the previous July 4, continued this date, with the county coroner, Dr. Samuel Gerber, testifying that he found the imprint of a surgical instrument in a large bloodstain on the underside of the pillow where the head of Mrs. Sheppard lay after she died of severe bludgeoning about the head. He held up the pillow before the jury, showing a large bloody spot divided by a blank white space, which he contended was created by the surgical instrument. The inference to be drawn from the testimony was that Dr. Sheppard, an osteopathic neurosurgeon, was the killer. The State was seeking to prove that the couple had argued about the doctor's love affairs with other women, leading to the fight. Dr. Sheppard claimed that he had been awakened by his wife's screams in the wee hours of the morning as he slept on the living room couch, where he had gone to sleep the previous evening while Mrs. Sheppard and a neighbor couple were watching television, then, responding to her screams, rushed upstairs to the bedroom, where he encountered a bushy-haired intruder standing at the end of the bed, whereupon the doctor was struck in the back of the neck and knocked momentarily unconscious, after regaining consciousness, pursuing the intruder, who had left the house on the lakefront side, then encountering the person again on the lake shore, where the doctor was then knocked out a second time. He said that when he regained consciousness, he did not see the intruder and returned to the house, checked the pulse of his wife, believed her to be dead and called a neighbor who was also the mayor of the village, indicating his belief that "they" had killed his wife. The doctor had previously testified at the coroner's inquest the prior July 22. The murder weapon had never been located. Dr. Gerber's testimony regarding the surgical instrument was the first time in the case that the State had advanced any theory about the missing weapon. Also testifying on cross-examination this date was a 16-year old high school football player who was a neighbor of the Sheppards and the son of the mayor, having been called originally by the State the previous day to explain finding on the afternoon of July 4, by the steps outside the Sheppard home leading to the lake shore, a green bag which contained a watch, some jewelry, a key chain and a ring, saying this date that he had never seen the doctor lose his temper or quarrel with his wife during visits through the prior spring to the Sheppard home, where he and several friends occasionally used two rooms over the Sheppard garage as a "club house".

In Los Angeles, following one hour of jury deliberations, an oil man had been acquitted of murdering a movie stuntman during a party brawl the previous June at the home of Barbara Clampitt, oil heiress. The stuntman, Philip Ahlm, 48, had been shot twice and died ten days afterward. The defense had contended that he had been convalescing from the bullet wounds and died of a cerebral hemorrhage, not proximately caused by the shooting. The defendant testified that the stuntman was drunk and had attacked him, and that his gun had discharged five times during the ensuing scuffle, with two bullets striking the stuntman. Whether Uncle Jed testified is not indicated.

Near Lillington, N.C., two automobiles collided at high speed on a highway early this date, killing seven persons, and injuring two others. A car driven by an Army sergeant from Fort Bragg had collided with a car driven by a man, killing the sergeant and six of eight passengers in the other car. Both cars appeared, according to the Highway Patrolman investigating the accident, to have been traveling at high speed, and judging by the tire marks left on the pavement, the sergeant's car appeared to have swerved into the path of the other vehicle. Two of the dead were young children. Four soldiers had been killed the previous March in an auto accident involving two vehicles at the same location, at the crest of a hill on the route between Lillington and Fort Bragg.

In Bessemer City, N.C., picket lines this date halted construction of a seven million dollar refining plant being established by the Lithium Corporation of America. Work had also been slowed at the company's mining site about 11 miles north. Management said that the strike was a wildcat labor disturbance and that the picket lines were composed of 18 "disgruntled" workers who had been laid off recently. The manager of the construction project said that five "strangers" had organized the discharged workers. One report indicated that the workers were members of the Teamsters Union. The project managers said that the workers had been laid off because a bridge over Indian Creek in Lincoln County had to be completed before ore from the mine could be moved, and the workers had been engaged in operations at the mine. The company mined spodumene rock in the area, the ore of which produces lithium.

In Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges said this date at a press conference that he agreed with the principle of separation of the State Prisons Department from the Highway Commission, and approved of freedom of the press to cover legislative proceedings, as opposed to the secrecy law passed by the 1953 Assembly, authorizing executive session hearings on budgetary matters, contrary to previous practice. He added, however, that he believed there would have to be some mutual agreement between reporters and legislative committees on what should be reported. He told reporters that he did not contemplate releasing his views, prior to the convening of the 1955 General Assembly in January, on how the state's serious budget problem ought be met. He said he was still working on the budget which he and the Advisory Budget Commission would present to the Legislature. When asked about the brief of the State Attorney General's office presented the previous day to the Supreme Court as part of the implementing case in Brown v. Board of Education, he said that he believed it had been "thoughtfully done". The brief had sought time and provision of wide latitude to Federal District Court judges, with deference to local school authorities, in effecting implementation of desegregation of the public schools.

In Charlotte, at the Baptist State Convention, held at the First Baptist Church, speakers urged more than 758,000 North Carolina Baptists to contribute 20 percent more to Baptist colleges, orphanages, hospitals and other causes the following year than contributed during 1954. The general board issued a challenge to raise 2.7 million dollars in the following year for its Cooperative Program, which involved the missions and benevolence funds of the denomination

In Barcelona, Spain, a parrot was kicked out of the national championships for talking birds this date for using gutter language. The judges said that it was a shame, as the parrot could speak seven different languages. The star of the show thus far was a parrot capable of whistling six popular Spanish tunes. What did the foul-mouthed parrot say?

On the editorial page, "Gradual Adjustment Is the Answer" supports the argument of the brief by the North Carolina Attorney General's office submitted in the implementing decision of Brown v. Board of Education, set for oral argument before the Supreme Court on December 6, that more time was needed for compliance to enable gradual adjustment to desegregation of the public schools, with wide latitude given to Federal District Court judges to adjust desegregation plans to local conditions.

It indicates that ordinarily aggrieved persons who were having their rights infringed were entitled to immediate relief, as the plaintiffs in Brown had sought. But the Court had raised the possibility of gradual adjustment. It appeared, according to a representative of the North Carolina Institute of Government in Chapel Hill, that the Justice Department also had argued in their brief for gradual adjustment. The decision would have an impact on millions of students in 17 states where schools remained segregated, and so the decision was much more difficult to implement than previous decisions of the Court regarding state-supported institutions of higher learning, affecting relatively few schools and students.

It suggests that the best examples for deferred compliance with rulings of the Court had come in the area of antitrust law. The armed forces had been gradually desegregated after World War II, and the effort remained ongoing after six years.

The Court realized that the problems of desegregation involved considerable complexity, which could not be solved overnight. It hopes that no precise limit would be placed on the transitional period, as the problems differed between states and among local communities, and it suggests that the general rule ought be that local communities would be required to show the Federal courts that they were making reasonable progress toward completion of desegregation through time.

It concludes that whatever the Court decided, it trusts that North Carolinians would show that democratic methods could solve even the most serious problems in a peaceful and reasonable manner, without resort to "bloody race riots" or abolition of the public schools by the State, as mentioned by State Attorney General Harry McMullan in his brief as potential consequences of immediate implementation.

"A Bow to Stanly, Union and Anson" finds the vote of those three counties commendable for being against their own interests regarding the defeated amendment to the State Constitution which would have prevented each county from having more than one State Senator, with Mecklenburg, Guilford and Forsyth Counties being entitled, by virtue of their 1950 population, to two Senators each. Most of the counties which had less population but had two Senators tended to vote for the amendment, such as Edgecombe and Halifax Counties.

But Stanly, Union and Anson, comprising the 19th Senatorial District, with a population of 106,000 in 1950, voted against the passage of the amendment despite its defeat meaning that they would probably lose a Senator. It indicates that it was proud of Mecklenburg's neighboring counties and their disinterested concept of justice and equality.

If the premise of the piece appears to the reader a little backward, you are not alone. But that is what it said. Perhaps, we misunderstand some of the nuances of the failed proposed amendment, but if the amendment proposed a limit of one Senator per district coextensive with a county, and Stanly, Union and Anson, comprising one district, would lose a Senator in their district after defeat of the amendment... Anyway, we need not bother with it. It was defeated and it was 67 years ago. Presumably, the premise assumed redistricting in the coming 1955 General Assembly—despite the State Constitutional provision requiring same every decade having been bypassed since 1940—, which maybe causes it to make better sense. We'll have to think on it. One hundred counties, 33 districts, a third of the counties, 50 Senators. Got it.

"Have a Shot?" indicates that a few cases of flu had been reported in Charlotte already, that there was a possibility that it would reach epidemic proportions in the community during the winter, as it had done in other parts of the world the previous summer and fall. Health authorities said that the flu strain was not particularly severe and nothing about which to become alarmed. Mass public vaccination was inadvisable because of the expense of about a dollar per shot and the fact that this flu was not particularly dangerous.

A piece from the Cincinnati Enquirer, titled "There Are Smiles", posits that art and medicine did not always mix, and doubts that few art historians would agree with an hypothesis advanced at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology in New York, where it had been suggested jocularly in a panel discussion, regarding what patients sometimes complained of as "a lump in my throat", that the Mona Lisa smile might have been the result of such an ailment.

It indicates that Leonardo da Vinci had painted a similar smile on a number of subjects, leading inevitably to the conclusion that all of his smiling models therefore had lumps in their throats or that he had used the same model multiple times.

It notes that the smile was a venerable convention in art, observable in Hellenic sculpture on the face of some of the Apollos, on certain representations of Buddha, on Gothic statues of the Virgin, and in scores of paintings from the Renaissance, all of them pretty much the same enigmatic smile as adorned the Mona Lisa. It finds that while Leonardo's version had become the most publicized, some of the others were powerful enough to give the observer a lump in the throat, which was a matter of emotion and not a medical symptom.

Drew Pearson indicates that an important backstage debate was ongoing regarding Latin America, which could only advance the cause of Communism. Ambassador Merwin Bohan had resigned as Ambassador to the Rio de Janeiro Economic Conference because the conference would be run by Wall Street, not for the good of Pan American cooperation. The conference was scheduled to open the following week, and had been held out as bait by Secretary of State Dulles at the Caracas conference, when he was able to get Latin American allies to support the U.S. regarding Guatemala. He said that great things would be accomplished at the Rio conference, a cover for the lack of progress made at the Caracas conference, promising large U.S. loans and economic aid. But Ambassador Bohan had resigned for the reason that no real economic aid or loans would be forthcoming.

Mr. Pearson explains that for some time, Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had argued that the U.S. should not provide money to Latin America but that Latin Americans should borrow it from the International Bank. The President's brother, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, after visiting Latin America, opposed the stance of Secretary Humphrey, and it was the President's brother's position which prevailed for a time. But the latter had returned to his position as president of Penn State, while Secretary Humphrey continued in his position as about the most powerful member of the Cabinet, and would be the top U.S. delegate to the Rio conference. Mr. Humphrey had continued his policy that loans would not be made by the Export-Import Bank unless Wall Street, operating through the International Bank, turned them down.

State Department advisers did not entirely like the policy of Secretary Humphrey, but they were discreet in their opposition, given Mr. Humphrey's power. They suggested that loaning money to Latin America was not a financial matter but rather a political one, that the country should not be loaning money to a semi-Communist country even if it was sound financially, while on the other hand, it might want to loan money to an ally which needed help to resist Communism. The diplomats argued that the State Department, rather than Wall Street bankers, was qualified to make the decision.

Secretary Humphrey had proposed an "International Finance Corporation", which would undertake borderline loans to Latin America, but Latin American finance ministers regarded that as a nebulous promise, the future of which they were skeptical.

Latin Americans at the Rio conference would likely remember how Prime Minister Mohammed Ali of Pakistan had gone home recently with a gift of 105 million dollars, while Iran was obtaining about 240 million in U.S. aid, and Egypt, close to 100 million. So the Latin Americans remarked that perhaps they needed to be more cozy with the Communists so that they would obtain U.S. aid. Otherwise, argued some of the diplomats, they could obtain money only through the tough terms of Wall Street.

Mr. Pearson concludes that, amid the censure news, that story did not make headlines, but that it could cause the country more damage by Communist encroachment than the claimed Communists of whom Senator McCarthy warned had ever thought of doing.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of there being only about 12 to 20 Senators who would stick by Senator McCarthy in the censure fight, some admiring his demagogic ability, some motivated by fear, and others by political calculation. There were at least a handful who genuinely liked the Senator and enjoyed his company, such as Senators William Jenner of Indiana and Herman Welker of Idaho.

There was, however, a somewhat larger group of Senators who detested not only that for which the Senator stood, but the man himself. Those included Senators J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, Herbert Lehman of New York, Paul Douglas of Illinois and tradition-minded Republicans such as James Duff of Pennsylvania and John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky. Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, powerful and intensely conservative, also probably belonged in that group, though he had never spoken publicly against Senator McCarthy.

Then there was a much larger group of Senators, who had tried for a long time to pretend that Senator McCarthy did not exist. Among Republicans, that group included Senators James Watkins of Utah, chairman of the select committee which had recommended censure, Francis Case of South Dakota, and Frank Carlson of Kansas. Those who most intensely disliked Senator McCarthy, however, were conservative Southern Democrats, especially the older members, such as Senators Walter George and Richard Russell of Georgia.

Southern conservatives believed that the Senate was a distinguished body, not only for heroes and statesmen, but also a club for old friends, where everyone addressed each other as their "distinguished colleague". Senator McCarthy did not fit into that atmosphere, but for a long time, the Southerners had simply disregarded him, as it appeared nothing could be done to remedy the situation. But in the previous few months, it had become impossible to disregard him in the wake of the Army-McCarthy hearings and the flamboyant remarks outside the Senate by the Senator, such as calling Senator Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey "a living miracle … without brains or guts."

The Southern conservatives also had a feeling of loyalty to the Democratic Party, which Senator McCarthy had assailed as the "party of treason", and Governor Thomas Dewey having come close to saying the same thing, while Vice-President Nixon, during the midterm elections campaign, had been calling the Democrats the party of war and of "softness on Communism". Mr. Nixon had been the leader in the effort to find a compromise regarding censure, but to have any chance of success, it required Democratic votes to make up for the Republican Senators who would vote for nothing less than censure. The logical place to look for such votes would be among the Southern conservatives, but they had responded to the Vice-President by nixing any compromise.

Senator John Stennis of Mississippi gave a speech on the floor which called for censure on the ground of "political morality", and he had, no doubt, cleared his speech first with Democratic Leader Lyndon Johnson.

The Alsops conclude that it was possible that the Democratic lines might break, but if they held on the censure resolution, they might also hold on other issues, suggestive of the great harm which Senator McCarthy had done to the old conservative coalition between Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans, which had ruled the Senate since the war.

Marquis Childs, in the second of a series of columns on Owen Lattimore, indicted for perjury a second time after dismissal of the heart of the first indictment, for claiming before a Senate committee that he had no sympathies with or belief in Communism, stresses in this piece the effort by the Government to have Judge Luther Youngdahl recuse himself for bias toward the defendant, based on his dismissal of the principal counts of the first indictment for their vagueness and violation of the First Amendment.

It was rare that the Government sought to recuse a judge for bias, usually a motion made only by the defense. It was even more rare to seek the recusal based on the judge's decision-making in the case. The effort appeared to stem from politics. Judge Youngdahl had been Governor of Minnesota and the Administration had wanted him to run for the Senate against incumbent Senator Hubert Humphrey, but Judge Youngdahl had declined. As he was popular in Minnesota and might have been able to win the election, Republicans were upset with him. Judge Youngdahl had made his decision based on personal health, as he had been advised by his doctor to give up politics as he had high blood pressure, and so had decided not to run for a fourth term as Governor, instead accepting a judicial appointment from President Truman in 1951. At the time, Harold Stassen, former Minnesota Governor with presidential aspirations, denounced the move as a "lousy political trick".

The recusal motion had resulted in strong editorials condemning the Government's claims as a threat to the independence of the Federal judiciary. "And the reputation of a man whose character has been outstanding is drawn into the ever-widening feud."

A letter writer from Albemarle responds to a letter from a corporal who asked that servicemen be remembered, indicating that after reading it, he thought of the many things for which Americans had to be thankful to God and members of the armed services on the coming Thanksgiving Day of November 25. He thinks it should be a day of prayer to give thanks to God and tribute to the courageous men and women of the armed forces.

A letter writer wonders why the honest American men who were opposing Senator McCarthy should not have their pictures printed in the newspaper, instead of "old 'Gutter Bum' McCarthy." She indicates that they had never dreamed that the country could be cursed with such a character who regarded nothing as sacred. She suggests that if the newspapers printed the pictures of loyal Americans, there would be a better country, that Americans were as much afraid of fascism as of communism.

A letter writer from Locust had received a paper from Representative Sam Rayburn following the election, titled "Congressional Record", and wonders whether Mr. Rayburn would admit that he was looking at the record of the 83rd Congress through Democratic eyes, that he had painted the Democrats in rosey terms while portraying the Republicans only with thorns, absent the roses. He thinks conditions were far better than during the period of Democratic leadership, with the Korean War ended, believes that conditions should not return to the way they had been in 1951.

A letter writer from Easley, S.C., indicates that Americans had freedom of speech and thought, but that no one had the right to do anything which was liable to injure another person, that people should live according to the law and principles which govern a civilized society.

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