The Charlotte News

Monday, November 22, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, 70, had died this date following a heart attack. Word had quickly spread through the body, which was debating the President's "atoms for peace" program before the 60-nation Political Committee. All U.N. meetings for the day were adjourned out of respect for Mr. Vishinsky.

The atoms for peace proposal, which had been hoped would come to a vote by Saturday afternoon, had been delayed by submission by the Soviets of amendments late on Saturday, despite their indications of agreement on the proposed program. They had suddenly revived, however, their demand that the proposed international atomic agency be placed under the Security Council, with its five-power unilateral veto for each of the permanent members, and that the door be left open to invite Communist China to the proposed conference on atomic energy, proposals which the U.S. and its six Western cosponsors of the resolution adamantly opposed.

Also before the U.N. this date, prior to the death of Mr. Vishinsky, French Premier Pierre Mendes-France said before the General Assembly that France was willing to hold a Big Four meeting in Paris the following May, following ratification of the London and Paris agreements providing sovereignty and NATO membership to a rearmed West Germany. The Premier said that the proposals of Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov for a Big Four meeting had been intended to hinder and divide rather than solve the East-West differences, and so proclaimed that France was open to negotiations. He said that the signing of an Austrian peace treaty, ending the four-power occupation of that country, would do more to improve the international climate than ten suggestions of international conferences expressed for propaganda purposes.

The Supreme Court this date postponed oral argument on the implementing decision in Brown v. Board of Education, originally scheduled for December 6, delayed because of the vacancy on the court occasioned by the death in October of Justice Robert Jackson, with the nomination pending of Justice-designate John Harlan as his replacement. Senate action on his confirmation had been delayed until the new Congress would convene in January after Senator James Eastland of Mississippi had asked for the delay as a member of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, saying that he wanted more time to obtain information regarding Judge Harlan's qualifications. The request had automatically put the matter over until the new session. No new date had yet been set for the oral arguments.

The President this date signed an executive order providing permanent career status, or, in some cases, conditional career status, to approximately 450,000 Federal workers presently serving on an indefinite basis. The order would be effective January 23, 1955, establishing a career-type appointment system in the competitive civil service for the first time since 1950. Philip Young, chairman of the Civil Service Commission, told a press conference, in response to a question, that he estimated that about half of the 450,000 employees affected by the order had been hired since the new Administration had taken office in January, 1953. The White House said that the order was designed to strengthen a civil service regulation which prohibited political consideration in appointments to jobs in the competitive civil service. A question was posed to Mr. Young as to whether instructions recently sent out by the White House to bring the RNC into recruitment of workers for Federal jobs, particularly some positions near the top, were not in conflict with the President's order, Mr. Young stating that he did not believe so, that the instructions were designed only to broaden the sources of recruitment.

Near Baltimore, the two crew members of a Martin B-57 jet bomber had been killed this date when the plane apparently exploded in midair and crashed into the backyard of a private home near suburban Essex. The occupants of the home had escaped without injury. The plane had been on a routine flight when it crashed, and no cause for the explosion was indicated.

In Cleveland, O., the first-degree murder trial of Dr. Samuel Sheppard, accused of killing his wife, Marilyn, the prior July 4, continued this date, with a doctor, who was an overnight guest in the Sheppard home, testifying for the State that Dr. Sheppard had confided in him on two occasions that he had thought about divorcing his wife, one occasion having occurred in California during the summer of 1950, where the Sheppards were living at the time, and the second having been in Cleveland in the spring of 1953. On both occasions, the doctor said that he had advised Dr. Sheppard to think it over before making any decision. The doctor was one of the last persons to see Mrs. Sheppard alive, having been a house guest of the Sheppards for less than a week before Mrs. Sheppard's murder by bludgeoning, departing the day before.

In Charlotte, a City fireman had suffered shoulder and back injuries this date in a fall while fighting a fire at a four-family apartment building, which had caused several thousand dollars worth of damage. The occupants were not at home at the time of the fire.

Also in Charlotte, a multi-million dollar shopping center would be built on the Thompson Orphanage property, to be developed by the James W. Rouse Co. of Baltimore. Various types of businesses and stores would form the shopping center. It was the fourth shopping center planned for the city, the first having been Cotswald, the second, the Park Road development, and the third, one recently announced for Wilkinson Boulevard.

On the editorial page, "The Feeding of a Hungry Giant: A Check List of Local Legislation" provides a catalogue of local issues which ought come before the biennial General Assembly session to start in January, indicating that the City Council would meet the following day to draw up a list of its needs which would require action in Raleigh, and that the County Commission was doing likewise.

It indicates that the checklist it provides for the 1955 session was not complete and that it might add more items as time went on. If you are particularly curious about them, you may read of them.

"Modern Art and Editorial Sixguns" tells of the Greensboro Daily News, which often knocked contemporary culture, having found fault with practically everything which had occurred in the art realm since the Davidian revolution, and particularly with what it called "chaos in modern art". Recently it had stated that "art reflecting chaos isn't art."

It finds it a fairly broad statement, given that much of the art of both the ancient world and the modern world reflected chaos. Good examples of ancient chaotic art could be found in Romanesque painting, which developed in Western Europe from the beginning of the 11th Century. Rhenish, French and Italian artists had introduced life and movement into formulas coming to them from Byzantium. That ancient art was a reflection of those times, just as modern art was a reflection of contemporary times.

But what for years had disturbed the Daily News most was its inability to make out the flowerpots and apples in a modern still life, that the measure of abuse was determined by the number of recognizable images found in the picture. Dr. James Opper of Woman's College in Greensboro had pointed out that the viewer of art had to overcome the desire to see subject matter, if he or she was to appreciate and understand modern art. Most contemporary painters believed that literal content was the most superficial basis for art judgment, that in concern for the literal, one might lose sight of the real painting, the use by the artist of color, line, space, form and texture, the way the artist organized it all into "an interacting and expressive whole composition."

Andre Malraux had stated in his Psychology of Art that whether originally created to glorify God as part of a cathedral or the power of the ruling class as the portrait of a monarch, art prior to the 19th Century had existed primarily by virtue of its "extra-aesthetic function", whereas modern art was purely aesthetic and completely intellectualized, painting becoming an end, no longer a means. Art had become its own value instead of subordinating its formal qualities to the expression of some extra-aesthetic value.

It concludes that Americans should promote and encourage contemporary art and artists rather than abusing them, that the often heard lament that there were no Rembrandts or Michelangelos in the country reminded of the proverbial young man who, after having murdered his father and mother, asked the judge to be lenient because he was an orphan.

Drew Pearson indicates that lame-duck Senator Guy Cordon of Oregon had held an urgent, private conference the previous week with Jim Murphy, the head of the Citizens for Eisenhower organization, along with Oregon's national Republican committeeman, with the Senator complaining that his campaign for re-election was in the red by $26,000, pleading with Mr. Murphy to make up the deficit from the funds held by Citizens for Eisenhower. Mr. Murphy was not receptive to the idea, said that if that were done, he would have to make up campaign losses in Michigan and West Virginia, which would cost $200,000, more than the organization could afford. He also said that the organization was folding up its operations. The Senator, angry, claimed that the organization had promised to pay $750 to install telephones for the phone campaign, that he was able to get the phones installed for $540 and yet had not received anything from Citizens for Eisenhower in reimbursement. Mr. Murphy said that no one had authority to commit the organization to pay the bill. The Senator said that he really didn't care about that particular bill, rather was interested in making up the $26,000 deficit in his campaign, but Mr. Murphy again refused. The Senator said that the Republican Party would have to be rebuilt from the precinct level in Oregon. The committeeman present looked around the room and remarked that he hoped Drew Pearson was not listening.

The other five Senators on the select committee which had recommended unanimously censure of Senator McCarthy were mystified over the sudden bolt of one of the members, Senator Francis Case of South Dakota, who had suddenly risen on the Senate floor, seeking to establish a defense for the man he had previously opposed. Senator Case said later that he was under great pressure to change his position, but refused to say with particularity why he had done so. Mr. Pearson posits that the McCarthy forces had gotten to Governor-elect Joe Foss of South Dakota and that he in turn had notified Senator Case that if he did not reverse himself on the censure, the Governor-elect would run against him for re-election two years hence. Mr. Foss, a supporter of Senator McCarthy, was a popular war hero, who had led the Republican ticket in South Dakota and was partly responsible for enabling the re-election of Senator Karl Mundt.

The President had developed a unique way of stopping long-winded conferences, which he had tried out after a 2 1/2 hour meeting between Democratic and Republican leaders recently, when Secretary of State Dulles became involved in a tedious, intricate briefing on foreign policy. Suddenly, the alarm on the President's wristwatch had gone off with a loud buzz. It was not clear whether he had set it prior to the meeting or changed it during the meeting to shut off the Secretary's long-winded briefing. Upon hearing the buzz, there was a howl of laughter in the room, with the Secretary inquiring whether that was a cue for him to stop, with the President saying that maybe it was as he did not realize they had been running so long.

During the conference, the President had been candid in admitting that he would need the help and cooperation of the Democrats on foreign policy and national defense, stating his understanding that it was a mutual proposition and that he would demonstrate his sincerity and confidence in Democratic leaders by consulting with them frequently on matters of vital interest to the nation. He did not say how often he would consult them or on what particular matters, and the Democrats had posited their assurance of cooperation on national security issues also in nonspecific terms. He quotes as much from incoming Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.

The Democratic Digest, publication of the Democratic National Committee, examines the history of censure, tells of the first House censure occurring in 1798, while no Senate censure occurred until 1902. The latter had followed by six days South Carolina Senator "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman hitting South Carolina Senator John McLaurin over the eye during a debate, with the latter having responded with a poke which left Senator Tillman with a bloody nose. The Senate voted 54 to 12 that both Senators be censured for "disorderly and flagrant violation of the rules". It quotes the colloquy which led to the fisticuffs, regarding a Philippine tariff bill, culminating in Senator McLaurin accusing Senator Tillman of a "willful, malicious and deliberate lie", immediately resulting in the exchange of blows.

Within two hours and twenty minutes later, both Senators were found in contempt of Congress and the matter was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. Both Senators were prevented from voting on the Philippine tariff bill, which easily passed. It provides detail of the ensuing days leading to the censure vote.

Robert C. Ruark tells of a young acquaintance who attended double features in the neighborhood whenever pistol-packing movies were listed and watched scratchy, old Westerns on television, having asked him why they were called cowboys when one never saw any cows. Mr. Ruark says that he was not much of an aficionado of the Westerns, but finds the question reasonable. Gene Autry apprehended bank robbers and uranium claim-jumpers, train heisters and murderers, and occasionally bad Indians, always with the help of the good Indians, "so's the Injun lobby won't get sore." He played a guitar and caterwauled through his nose, fought with his fists and wore more hardware than one could find at Abercrombie and Fitch. But the guns were pearl-handled and he only waved them. He did not drink and rarely smoked, was altogether a "milk sop". He might punch a villain, inevitably sporting a mustache, but never punched cows.

He says that his type of cowboys were the old variety, with a cud in their cheeks and bags showing under their eyes, carrying plain-handled six-guns ready to shoot the teeth out of the bad guys, as in "High Noon". Or he was the Alan Ladd type of gunman portrayed in "Shane", who looked like he might know the difference between a cow and a prime steer, or at least which end the milk came from.

He thinks that the youth of the nation were getting the wrong idea about cowboys, that what was viewed on the screen at theaters and in living rooms was a cross between a neophyte preacher, a hillbilly musician, and a social worker who could sit on a horse. Even in real life, the cowboy had passed on. He recounts that the last foreman he met, on a cattle ranch in Texas, had worn rimless glasses, a double-breasted suit, flat-heeled shoes and had a university degree. When he had inquired as to where the corral was, they walked him over to a garage and showed him jeeps and tractors. There was no saddle on the property.

He suggests that they dispense with use of the term "cowboy" and substitute another, such as "chorus boy". "Because the cow has passed from our culture, and the dogie has done got along. It went thataway."

And so, too, he might have added, must the worship of guns and the misapplication of the Second Amendment, sans any recognition of the modifying "well-regulated militia" clause, lest it be used by the stupid, who either, for political reasons of pandering to the almighty gunmen among their patrons, refuse to read or can't, to become the death of us all.

A letter writer comments on the November 19 editorial, "Hi-Fi Bull in a China Shop", finding it knowledgeable and artfully done. He indicates that one could not simply go out and purchase a phonograph record anymore without having the addition of special labels, such as "Living Presence", "Natural Balance", "Full Dimensional Sound", "New Orthophonic Sound", etc. People who had never bothered to listen to Mozart's 39th Symphony were now gathering around $1,250 worth of hi-fi equipment to listen attentively for the tinkle of a triangle during the third movement. He finds that record collections were full of assorted "clinks, clanks, clumps and spongs", rather than music. People were drawn to the Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert LP not because of the quality of music being played by Messrs. Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Jess Stacy, Harry James and Gene Krupa, but rather because of the rendering of realistic applause between the numbers. He thinks the motto of this curious cult of audiofanatics had become, "How hi the fi?"

A letter writer from Gastonia comments on the same editorial, indicating that the tape recorder mentioned in the piece was a hi-fi fan's prayer answered, hoping that the sound was as weird as the newspapers said it was and that it would be soon recorded. He indicates that hi-fi fans had to wade through about 30 minutes of a Tchaikovsky symphony just to hear two minutes of percussion or some upper-register fiddles. He wonders how he could obtain a recording of "Speed the Parting Guest".

The editors respond that they did not know, that the whole thing might "just be a hi-fi aficionado's dream—or nightmare."

A letter writer from Kannapolis indicates that he had enjoyed the November 19 editorial, "'Shut, Shut the Door, Good John!'" but thinks the newspaper should not have incorporated the recollection of the Notre Dame vs. Iowa football game of 1953 into the mix related to Senator McCarthy's censure and his attempts to delay it by his elbow injury, wonders whether the editors meant to imply that the Fighting Irish lacked courage by stopping the clock with a fake injury, so that the final game-tying touchdown could be scored before the clock ran out. He says that such a strategy was quite common in football, that practically all teams did it and it did not mean that they were yellow.

The editors respond that no such implication had been intended.

By the same token, we are fairly certain, the editors did not intend implication of any connection between Senator McCarthy's reliance for putative delay on his bursitis in his elbow from too much vigorous handshaking and A Christmas Carol, or with Lionel Barrymore, by the happenstance of whose recent death and the newspaper's lionization of him as an actor the previous week, it had mentioned his popular annual portrayal of Scrooge, when Mr. Dickens relates at the start of the story of the death of Scrooge's partner, Jacob Marley, who was "as dead as a door nail", nor intending to suggest by association that FDR, who liked each Christmas Eve to read selected parts of the Dickens story to his family and guests, had any affinity whatsoever with Senator McCarthy or his tactics, by the fact of the quote from Alexander Pope, seeking that the knocker be tied and that he be proclaimed sick, dead, or that the dead door-nail knocker was intended as a figure to represent Senator McCarthy's bum elbow, in no wise meant to convey "Krum Elbow", the name given by FDR to the Roosevelt estate at Hyde Park on the Hudson, rather than, say, the beckoning softer tones of a bell, more in keeping with the coming season of Christmas, while yet perhaps also, in some instances, becoming a harbinger of ill foreboding in its same strain of monotonous knell, as in the case of the censure sharp, of which Senator McCarthy had said he would little reck, due before Christmas.

Pardon us as we take our leave to wash apart all the melding words and blent wristwatches of the time with some music.

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