The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 25, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that around the country and the world, Americans were celebrating this date Thanksgiving, although weather over much of the nation left much to be desired. It would nevertheless be one of the most joyful of the annual observances, with the world's shooting wars stilled by an uneasy peace, enabling the nation to provide thanks, echoing the President's Proclamation: "We are grateful that our beloved country … remains free and strong, and that each of us can worship God in our own way.".

The President and First Lady were in Augusta, Ga., for the holiday, celebrating Thanksgiving with their guest, Field Marshal Viscount Bernard Montgomery, deputy commander of NATO. Vice-President Nixon was vacationing in the Bahamas with his wife, Pat, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for 35 guests at the Nassau home of the U.S. Consul.

Government economists had calculated that the traditional turkey dinner would be cheaper than the previous year, as turkey was down by four to ten cents per pound

The Justice Department indicated in its brief submitted the previous day to the Supreme Court, in the implementing decision of Brown v. Board of Education, that the process of integration of public schools should be carried out under local Federal court supervision rather than by general order of the Supreme Court, to account for differing local conditions, but that the Court should retain jurisdiction to make further orders as necessary. Briefs filed on November 15 by the states of Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and South Carolina had also suggested that the district courts supervise the desegregation, as did briefs filed on behalf of parents seeking desegregation in the original case, albeit the latter seeking implementation by the beginning of the following school year. The District of Columbia, also subsumed under Brown, had informed the Court that its public schools were already undergoing integration. The State Attorney General of Georgia, Eugene Cook, commented, after hearing of Attorney General Brownell's proposal, that it was immaterial to the people of Georgia what method they used to enforce the decision because the people of Georgia remained determined to "circumvent the decision at all hazards." Georgia, along with South Carolina and Mississippi, were proposing to abolish their public school systems to avoid having to implement desegregation.

In Lewisburg, Pa., FBI agents and Federal penitentiary authorities this date continued to investigate the death of William Remington, who had been convicted of perjury and was serving a three-year prison sentence, hit while he slept the prior Monday with a sock-covered brick and dying the previous day of a skull fracture. Two other prisoners were charged with the murder, both men serving time for auto theft. Mr. Remington had been convicted for his denials in a prior trial for perjury, a conviction therein having been reversed on appeal, that he had provided secret documents, obtained from his job as a Government aide, to Elizabeth Bentley, admitted former Communist courier during the war, for transmission to the Soviets. The acting warden of the prison had no comment when asked whether the killing had anything to do with anti-Communist sentiments among the inmates. Alger Hiss, housed in the same prison, was set to be released in two days after serving 3 1/2 years of his five-year sentence for perjury, receiving time off for good behavior.

In Needles, Calif., 35 persons had been injured in a Thanksgiving eve derailment of the Santa Fe Chief as it passed through the Mojave Desert the previous night, most of the injuries being minor, only two of the passengers having been hospitalized out of the 95 aboard.

Elizabeth Blair of The News tells of the Carolinas Carrousel parade and "all-star" show in Charlotte during the afternoon and evening of this date, with approximately 600,000 persons expected to show up for the celebration. About 125 units of the parade would carry celebrities, along with 1,500 musicians marching in 27 school, Army and professional bands, and about 50 professional floats. Celebrities would include the King and Queen of Carrousel, crowned the previous night at the third annual Coronation Ball of the Royal Society, Knights of Carrousel. Miss Universe and Miss USA, Miriam Stevenson of Winnsboro, S.C., Miss America, Lee Meriwether of San Francisco, Miss North Carolina, Betty Jo Ring of Lexington, Miss South Carolina, Rankin Suber of Whitmire, Miss Charlotte, Doris Cloninger, baseball stars and Charlotte area natives Hoyt Wilhelm and Whitey Lockman of the New York Giants, Western movie star Tim Holt, Howdy Doody television show star Clarabell the Clown, Philip Morris trademark celebrity, Johnny, and the Old Gold Dancing Girls were also among the celebrities on hand. The celebrities would be part of the first annual all-star show at Griffith Park following the parade, which would begin at 3:00, with gates opening at the park at 5:00. Johnny Applegate will perform on the Hammond organ, along with Clarabell, at 6:30. You do not want to miss all of that.

Emery Wister of The News tells of the crowning the previous night of the new King of Carrousel, Col. J. Norman Pease, with UNC president Gordon Gray and University of South Carolina president Donald Russell crowned dukes in the Royal Society. Fifteen prominent Charlotte men were also dubbed knights in the Society, and Ms. Meriwether was dubbed a duchess. Mr. Wister describes some of the pageantry surrounding the celebration.

Numerous pictures of the events appear on the page.

A report on page 13-B of this date's newspaper contains an error, reporting the death of Bobby Becker, a popular wrestler, who was hospitalized in New York, the story explaining that the newspaper had been informed at midday, via an authoritative source in Charlotte, that Mr. Becker had died. He continued to be critically ill. You wrestling fans can rest easy for Thanksgiving. Have a drumstick for old Bobby.

On the editorial page, "Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation" reprints verbatim President Washington's October 3, 1789 proclamation of Thanksgiving during the first year of his Presidency and the first year of the republic. We shall not try to summarize it, except to indicate that he declared Thursday, November 26, 1789, as a day of devotion "to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be."

Some of our latter day Republicans and Fox News hosts will, no doubt, find objection in the fact of his omission of "Christian" to modify "God", and label him therefore a pinko subversive, probably having lied all along about throwing the silver dollar across the Potomac.

"Multiple Blessings and Stormy Days" indicates that on this Thanksgiving Day, America paused to provide thanks to God for blessings, as Americans sought to forget their fearful restlessness and suspend their querulous disagreements as they bowed their heads in prayer. It finds it inevitable that thoughts would go back to the harassed men and women of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, who had ventured over the Atlantic as Separatists from the Church of England, eventually establishing independent churches at Scrooby and Gamsborough in the early 17th Century, having fled to England from Amsterdam to avoid persecution in 1608, then, meeting further misery in Leyden, Delftshaven and Southampton, departed then from Plymouth, England on September 6, 1620, bound for the New World aboard the Mayflower. Late in December, 1620, they had founded the colony of Plymouth in Massachusetts.

Despite hardships, the Pilgrims had survived the first months on the continent and after their first harvest in 1621, established a day to provide thanks to God, a time of solemn worship and feasting. A day of general Thanksgiving was subsequently proclaimed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, by Connecticut settlers in 1639, by the Dutch in New Netherlands in 1644, and by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. It leaves out the next official proclamation of Thanksgiving after 1789, by President Lincoln on October 3, 1863, also setting November 26 as the date, a week after his Gettysburg Address, dedicating on November 19 the National Cemetery for the Union dead of the battle of the prior July 1-3.

It indicates that there was much about which to be thankful this Thanksgiving, as guns of war were not as prevalent around the globe as they had been in recent years, with Americans living in freedom in the midst of plenty, with most adequately fed, clothed and housed, enjoying one of the highest standards of living the world had ever known, while, most important of all, living in peace. "It is a shaky, rickety peace but it exists and Americans are thankful."

"The Empty Stocking Is Hanging Up" indicates that thanks to the readers of The News, hundreds of families in the community benefited each year at Christmas time by way of the Empty Stocking Fund, sponsored by the newspaper. It explains that the Fund had begun during the depths of the Depression, initially collecting money to purchase toys and provide Christmas parties for children of families unable to afford to provide Christmas. Later, food baskets were distributed. Then, the Christmas Bureau, operated by community leaders and as part of the United Community Services, was instituted to provide cash gifts directly to the families in need. The work was coordinated so that duplication of donations was avoided as much as possible, and the Bureau avoided interference with established Christmas charities, merely seeking that they register in the Bureau's confidential files the names of families they intended to help, with the Bureau then taking care of the remainder.

It concludes that the Fund belonged to the readers, had been successful during the previous years because of them, and expresses confidence that it would again bring joy and happiness to donors and recipients as they shared the spiritual and material concept of Christmas.

A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "Chicken Coops Fade Away", indicates that no one talked anymore about chicken coops, which it proceeds to describe, telling of them having been displaced by hatcheries, brooders and roosting places, that it supposes there were still some in existence but that they did not see them around.

You apparently have been sitting around the newspaper offices too long and not getting out into the county. They were certainly still around through the mid-1960's, and probably thereafter. Did not you ever go to the county fair? What kind of a reporter are you?

A piece from the Asheville Citizen indicates that the Weather Bureau was predicting that there might be a change in the method of naming hurricanes, primarily because Hurricane Hazel had caused indignation to some based on its level of damage and association with women. So it proposes naming hurricanes instead for men, A being for Attila, the Hun, B for Beelzebub, C for Cyclops, D for Dracula, E for Egbert, a name it simply does not like, F for Frankenstein, G for Genghis, and H for Hitler, stating that it had not thought much beyond the I's and J's, Ivan (The Terrible) or Jack (The Ripper), as it appeared unlikely that the major storms would exceed eight in number.

You have not factored in global warming, to produce more and fiercer storms through time, though it was a factor being considered by scientists at the time, even making it into at least Japanese popular culture.

Drew Pearson discusses the convenience of Senator McCarthy's sore elbow, relegating him to the hospital for 11 days while the proceedings on the censure resolution against him were put on hold, and reveals that Senator Herman Welker of Idaho had somehow predicted that Senator McCarthy would wind up in the hospital prior to the censure vote. During the return flight from the funeral of Senator Pat McCarran in Reno, several weeks before the start of the censure debate, Senator Welker had commented loudly to Senate president pro tem Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, who was sitting in the middle of a group of Democratic Senators, including Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, James Eastland of Mississippi and John Stennis of Mississippi, that Senator McCarthy was "a sick man" and probably would not last through the censure debate without going to the hospital. He was referring to the past problems of Senator McCarthy regarding a sinus and throat condition, which had provided him medical alibis at convenient times in the past. For instance, during the 1954 midterm election campaign, he had avoided a showdown with the RNC by entering the hospital just before he was scheduled to make a series of speeches, had done so at the height of his own 1952 re-election campaign, taking advantage of sympathy at the 11th hour to make a dramatic appeal for votes. At one point during the Army-McCarthy hearings of the prior spring, he was delayed in returning to the hearings, beset with a throat infection in the West, and after those hearings, the Senate Investigations subcommittee could not meet to fire counsel Roy Cohn because Senator McCarthy was again recuperating. He also had a sinus attack during the backlash against him in the spring of 1950 for his charges of Communists in the State Department. Mr. Pearson concludes that the doctors had described his elbow as being from "traumatic bursitis", which he indicates meant no more than a sore elbow.

Someone ought to have gotten Senator McCarthy to demonstrate how exactly he injured his elbow by having his hand shaken too hard by a supporter against a glass table. It likely would have been every bit as entertaining as the effort of President Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, showing how, in 1973, during transcription of the Watergate tapes, she erased the infamous 18 1/2 minutes, leaving a gap of that length in the tape of June 20, 1972, three days before the plot was hatched to use the FBI to pressure the CIA into aborting its investigation into the Watergate break-in of June 17, becoming subsequently the primary ground for the obstruction of justice article of impeachment in 1974, demonstrating in reenactment for press photographers in 1974 her contorted boardinghouse reach with her foot from the pedal operating the Uher while she stretched across her desk to answer the telephone, inadvertently causing the tape to record over the existing material, forever left in mystery. Ms. Woods did not wind up in the hospital, though one might speculate that perhaps she might have, had she not performed dutifully her role. Pardon us for being slightly skeptical of the notion that the gap contained only innocuous material rather than something even more damning than the "smoking gun" tape of June 23. You had to live through those times to have full appreciation of them. Every day brought a new story out of or concerning the White House, more bizarre than that of the previous day—until it all finally came crashing down in August, 1974, the rest being memories of Vail in the snow and President Ford smoking his pipe while seeking to re-establish the dignity of the office, gone begging, on the floor with the dogs, for the prior five years.

Marquis Childs tells of Republican campaign orators during the midterm election campaigns, including RNC chairman Leonard Hall, having called the Democratic Party the war party and the Republican Party the party of peace, but that it was not an exaggeration to say that there was a war party and a peace party within the Administration, itself. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland wanted a stronger line against Communist China, with reprisals for such actions as the sinking of the Nationalist destroyer escort in the Nationalist-held Tachen Islands, while the President had stated that he wanted to find a way out of the stalemate with regard to Chinese policy.

One of those within the Administration who was actively advocating a stronger line against China was Admiral Arthur Radford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, plus Admiral Robert Carney, chief of Naval Operations, and General Nathan Twining, chief of staff of the Air Force, all of whom had advocated for permitting Nationalist China to undertake bombing raids against mainland China, as well as participation of U.S. bombers should the Nationalists appear to be losing that battle. The President had vetoed that proposal before the National Security Council, but, nevertheless, Admiral Radford had continued to advocate the policy, relying for ideological support on his friend William Bullitt, former Ambassador to Russia, who now spent part of each year on Formosa as an informal and friendly adviser to Chiang Kai-shek.

Usually, when visitors talked to Admiral Radford about policy, he produced a book by Mr. Bullitt, The Great Globe Itself, published in 1946, reading aloud from it passages which he had heavily underlined in pencil. The theme of that book was that as long as the Communists were in control anywhere, there could be no real peace in the world, a theme which Admiral Radford had adopted. The book did not advocate preventive war, but stressed use of every means short of it to liberate the satellite peoples and the Russians themselves from Communism. He had quoted Lenin and Stalin repeatedly to the effect that any period of peace had to be merely a truce, preparatory to a new attack for attaining the Soviet goal of Communist domination of the world.

Mr. Childs indicates that those who thought like Mr. Bullitt believed the danger to the country was far greater than at the end of World War II. Admiral Radford had urged direct intervention to save the beleaguered French fortress at Dien Bien Phu in Indo-China the previous April, which had eventuated in the loss of that fortress and finally the truce between the French and the Communists of late July, ceding the northern territory of Vietnam to the Communists. Admiral Radford had been overruled partly because the British had refused to share responsibility in such support of the fortress and partly because General Matthew Ridgway, chief of staff of the Army, was adamantly opposed to the intervention, with the President allowing General Ridgway, in unprecedented fashion, to provide a personal presentation to the NSC, wherein he argued that U.S. ground troops would almost immediately be needed for support of aircraft carrier-borne U.S. planes.

He indicates that there was every likelihood of an intensive public campaign to end diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Russia, probably to be spearheaded by "For America", the organization headed by Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick, that organization having recently announced an impressive list of new sponsors, including a number of former generals and admirals, among them General James Van Fleet and General Albert Wedemeyer, both ardent advocates of a "get tough" policy with respect to China. Mr. Childs suggests that therefore the President, who did not like controversy, would have to take a stand.

Meanwhile, Democrats were taking the attitude of "I told you so" regarding defense and foreign policy issues, with many Democratic campaign orators during the late midterm elections having criticized the Administration for making defense cuts, which they contended had imperiled national security. Some Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader, shortly to assume the mantle of Majority Leader in January, Lyndon Johnson, and Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, who had easily won re-election, were taking a line nearly as strong as that of Senator Knowland.

Within his own Administration, the President had staunch allies on the peace issue, as Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had imposed restraints on those advocates of a policy of toughness toward China, working with his close friend, Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, to reduce the defense budget and the military establishment.

Mr. Childs concludes that in the forthcoming weeks, particularly after the new Congress convened in January with the Democrats in control of both houses, much more would be heard on the issue of toughness toward China and it would not be decided by one statement or by a single Senate debate. But, he posits, if there were many more incidents like the one involving the RB-29 photo reconnaissance plane shot down by two Communist Chinese jets over Hokkaido Island in Japan recently, resulting in the loss of one of the crew members, the question could be "quickly fanned to white heat."

Doris Fleeson indicates that Democrats, at the start of the next Congress, planned to pay tribute to the former Majority Leader and Vice-President Alben Barkley, who had won election again to the Senate from Kentucky over incumbent Senator John Sherman Cooper, by enabling him to choose his own committee, which was expected to be Foreign Relations, effectively enabling him to jump seniority. A vacancy on that Committee would occur because of the defeat of Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa, as well as a second vacancy from a contested Senate race.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, an independent since the fall of 1952, had indicated he would vote with the Democrats to enable them to organize the Senate, and, in return, Democratic Leader Lyndon Johnson had stated that he would give to Senator Morse anything within his power. (The following spring, Senator Morse would change his affiliation to the Democrats.)

Of the present Republican majority of seven on the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, an Eisenhower supporter, had been defeated, and the other six would be relegated to the minority in the new Senate, with no vacancies to be filled. Of those, only the present chairman, Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, and Senator George Aiken of Vermont were committed to the President's foreign policy. Senator Knowland had already voiced his doubts on foreign policy and called for a re-examination of it. Senators Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa and Homer Capehart of Indiana would be expected to support Senator Knowland, and Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, while not wanting to cross swords with the President, nevertheless had doubts about the policy toward Asia. The sixth Republican on the Committee, Senator William Langer of North Dakota, was a New Dealer in terms of domestic policy but an isolationist on foreign policy.

She indicates that the President had also been set back on the Senate Appropriations Committee by the defeat of Senator Ferguson, who had been the ranking Republican. Senator Guy Cordon of Oregon, next in seniority, who tended toward isolationism while responsive to White House influence, had also lost, to Richard Neuberger. There would be considerable significance for the White House in the Republican choice for the vacancy on that Committee, to join Senators Knowland, McCarthy, Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, Karl Mundt of South Dakota, Henry Dworshak of Idaho and Everett Dirksen of Illinois to form the part of the Republican minority questioning Administration foreign policy. Republicans friendly to foreign policy on that Committee included Senators Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Edward Thye of Minnesota, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, and possibly Milton Young of South Dakota.

Among the Democrats on that Committee, the only conservative isolationist, Senator Pat McCarran, had died, and the Democratic majority would be responsive to the President's views.

Aside from the special cases of Senators Barkley and Morse, Senator Johnson hoped to apportion committee positions according to the tradition of seniority, with every Senator receiving one good committee assignment, as had been the case when the Democrats were in the minority in the current Congress, though, she ventures, it might become more difficult with the Democrats back in power.

A letter writer from Santa Barbara, Calif., president of Friends of the Birds, Inc., again writes in praise of the birds and inveighs against the cats who were causing them to vanish, while "poisonous insecticides, in vain attempts to check the multi-billion-dollar losses to insects, are impairing and destroying the health and lives of the American people", because of the reduction in population of birds. She questions why, if cats were wanted on rat-infested premises, they were not kept there and not allowed to run in the gardens of other people who did not have rats but wanted to protect the birds. She informs that her organization offered a prize of $1,000 for a Cat Control bill to provide adequate bird protection, when first passed by any state in 1955. She adds quickly that no legislator or organization which first obtained introduction of the bill would be eligible for the prize—lest it appear as some kind of bribe. That bill, she explains, would have to outlaw the running at large of cats within the state to which it applied, that a bill merely to bell cats would not qualify, since belling was practically worthless for bird protection.

Well, if they weren't such bird brains, they would hear the bell and fly away, instead of waiting around like birds on a log to be stunned, pawed, snatched and gulped.

A letter writer tells of having read in the newspaper that the Postmaster General had declared chain letters illegal, even the newest one by which only the money was sent through the mail. That is what he had told people when they approached him to purchase letters, even though they said they were legal this time. He indicates that if more people would stop and think about the process of a chain latter, they would realize that people would become stuck somewhere along the line in the chain and that the money made by the winners had to come from those victims, sometimes numbering in the hundreds or thousands. He indicates that if he was going to make a few dollars, he would rather not have to do it by sticking people.

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