The Charlotte News
Monday, November 29, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the debate on the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy resumed this date after an 11-day hiatus so that the Senator could recover from his sore elbow, caused by a supporter shaking his hand too hard against a glass table, resulting in his having been in Bethesda Naval Hospital for the interim. The Senator proposed this date that the censure debate end at 3:00 on Wednesday afternoon, that he was prepared for whatever the Senate might do, that "in the interest of the overall national welfare", he believed that no good could be achieved by continuing the debate beyond that point. He said that the pending censure charges against him boiled down to the accusation that he had used "discourteous and offensive words", and he admitted that at times he had been extremely blunt in expressing his opinions, that he did not claim to be a master of words, but that being so, he extended to those who believed they had been offended by him that he had "no intention in the words that were used of hurting the feelings of anyone", that in the "facts and opinions" which he held, however, he remained unchanged. He said that during the "painful days" he had spent in the hospital, he had the opportunity to review the charges against him, leading to his statement this date. The Senator still had his arm in a sling, the piece being silent as to whether he also had breath suggestive of his daily imbibing of bourbon during the speech, usually slurred from the admixture of vitriol and booze—as well as lending the more probable explanation for his severely banged elbow.
Senator Wallace Bennett of Utah
stated that he would offer a third count to the censure resolution,
regarding remarks which Senator McCarthy had made about the
six-Senator select committee which unanimously had recommended
censure. The Senator had accused members of the committee of having
harbored preliminary bias against him, singling out Senators Edwin
Johnson of Colorado, the vice-chairman of the committee, and Sam
Ervin of North Carolina, both of whom had denied any such bias. He
had also been critical of the committee chairman, Senator Arthur
Watkins of Utah, and generally characterized the committee's work as being "handmaidens of the Communist Party"—perhaps a subliminal mental back formation in some fashion of "being caught Red-handed", insight
Communist China had refused to free 13 Americans jailed as spies, despite a strongly worded protest from the State Department, warning that the imprisonment was in violation of the Korean War Armistice of July, 1953, demanding their release. The 13 persons included 11 Air Force crewmen whose B-29 had been shot down over North Korea during the war and two civilians who were employed by the Army, all alleged by the Communist Chinese to have been CIA operatives engaged in supplying by air drop Chinese spies, who had also been convicted of espionage and sentenced to death or long prison terms. The State Department had termed the charges "baseless". Secretary of State Dulles was scheduled to provide a major foreign policy speech this night from Chicago, to be broadcast by the Mutual and NBC radio networks and by NBC television this night at 10:30, during which he would touch on the situation with the 13 Americans. The President had indicated the previous week, in a message provided through press secretary James Hagerty to the mother of one of the imprisoned Air Force crewmen, that the country was willing to do all "within peaceful means" to obtain the release of the men. The President had made no comment during his Thanksgiving holiday weekend regarding the suggestion by Senator Knowland during an interview that a blockade should be imposed against Communist China until the Americans were released. It was also anticipated that the matter might be brought up in debate before the U.N. Political Committee regarding the Korean peace settlement deadlock.
Former North Carolina Governor Kerr Scott was sworn in this date as the new Democratic Senator from North Carolina, replacing interim Senator Alton Lennon, who had been appointed by the late Governor William B. Umstead to succeed Senator Willis Smith at his death in June, 1953. Senator Sam Ervin, who had been appointed as an interim Senator by Governor Umstead the prior June after the death of Senator Clyde Hoey, was also sworn in for the unexpired term of Senator Hoey, through 1956. Senator Scott was elected to the remainder of the term of Senator Smith, expiring at the end of the 83rd Congress, as well as to the new six-year term starting in 1955. The "branch head boys", Senator's Scott's nickname for his rural supporters, were, it was reported, planning to fry Stokes County ham and eggs for him on the Capitol steps this date, an idea originating with his Stokes County supporters having presented him during the Senate campaign with a frying pan used in a fish fry during his 1948 campaign for governor, which the new Senator suggested they bring to Washington if he won the election. Some North Carolinians believed that he had been successful in the Democratic primary campaign against Senator Lennon based on his two million dollar farm-to-market road program championed while he was Governor. Recognized as a friend to both the farmers and workers, he was considered a liberal, and had appointed liberal former UNC president, Frank Porter Graham, to the Senate to succeed the late Senator J. Melville Broughton in March, 1949, just two months after the beginning of Senator Broughton's first Senate term, after he had defeated interim Senator Umstead in the 1948 primary, Senator Umstead having been appointed in late 1946 by Governor Gregg Cherry upon the death of Senator Josiah W. Bailey. Senator Scott would also die in office, in 1958, the last North Carolina Senator to die in office until Senator John East would commit suicide in 1986. As indicated, no North Carolina Governor has died in office since Governor Umstead, who had died earlier in the month, succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Luther Hodges, who would eventually appoint Senator Scott's successor, B. Everett Jordan, after Governor Hodges would be elected to a full term in 1956.
In Miami, Fla., it was reported that Dr. Karl Pace, 66, of Greenville, N.C., was named "Family Doctor of the Year" by the AMA. He had been a practicing physician in Greenville for 40 years and was active in many community activities. Fellow citizens had described him as "one of the most golden assets of his community." He had been a leader in building a hospital in Greenville, had started the first venereal disease clinic in the state in 1920 and had served as a director of the Red Cross and the Boy Scouts, the Chamber of Commerce and the State Bank & Trust Co. During World War I, he had commanded a military hospital train in the British sector of Château Thierry in France.
In Cleveland, O., the trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard, accused of first-degree murder in the killing of his wife, Marilyn, the prior July 4, continued with a physician, Dr. Richard Hexter, testifying this date that Dr. Sheppard had injuries on his mouth, face, forehead and ribs when he examined him during the day after the discovery of his wife in the wee hours. He said he could not make a diagnosis, however, on whether the doctor had suffered a spinal cord injury. Dr. Hexter testified that the doctor's responses were "normal", that he had swelling of the right cheek bone and across his right forehead, as well as having a black eye, and exhibited difficulty in moving his head. He found no discoloration and very little swelling when a neck pad placed around the doctor's neck was removed. He also found several small abrasions on the inside of the doctor's mouth. He indicated that the brother of Dr. Sheppard, Dr. Stephen Sheppard, had asked him whether he wanted to see X-rays which had been taken of the doctor's neck and spine and that he had responded that he did not because he was not familiar with the normal appearance of the doctor's neck and believed an examination of X-rays ought be left to an expert. He said that he had been summoned by the coroner on the afternoon of July 4 to examine Dr. Sheppard—who had told investigators, and then subsequently testified before the coroner's inquest, that a bushy-haired intruder had killed his wife, encountering that intruder in the upstairs bedroom after the doctor had awakened several hours after having fallen asleep on a couch in the living room at around midnight while his wife and a neighbor couple had been watching television in the living room, awakened by his wife's screams, then rushing upstairs where he was momentarily knocked out by the intruder in the darkened bedroom, eventually, after regaining consciousness, giving chase to the intruder, who had fled onto the adjoining lake shore, where the doctor again encountered the intruder, and again was knocked unconscious, that upon regaining consciousness after an undetermined time, reentered the house and again went upstairs to check on his wife, finding that she had no pulse, at which point he had contacted a neighbor who was mayor of the village, and told him that he believed "they" had killed his wife.
In Salem, Mass., just before the scheduled start of trial on a
first-degree murder charge, the female defendant pleaded
guilty this date to second-degree murder in the killing of her
husband, apparently entered pursuant to a plea
bargain. On the question of whether there was any witchcraft
involved, the story is silent
In Grand Rapids, Mich., it was
reported that it was against the law in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to
go sleigh riding
Erwin Potts of The News
states that the age of McCarthyism was not dead but that the Senator
was no ladies' man, at least based on an informal man-on-the-street
poll taken in midtown Charlotte, making no claims to anything more
than a random sampling of passersby. Males among the respondents
split on the issue of whether or not the Senator should be censured
while women clearly favored the censure. Of the 11 men sampled who
provided responses, six agreed that Senator McCarthy was within his
rights and should not be censured, but of the 13 women, only two
supported the Senator, with the other 11 registering remarks such as,
"Won't even talk about that skunk
Julian Scheer of The News indicates that the rest of North Carolina rejoiced with Charlotte area residents during the weekend when rainfall had been fairly abundant. Nevertheless, the water problem still remained throughout most of the state, though there had been no water problem in Charlotte, as rainfall continued below annual average despite good amounts during the previous month. A problem remained with water treatment and pipelines in Charlotte, of which the City Council was aware and on which action was expected soon. The city's water supply was fed from the Mountain Island dam, the water level of which was controlled by Duke Power Company, which had to maintain a constant level for its River Bend facility, with the city assured of a high level of supply from the Catawba River. But from May until three or four weeks earlier, the situation had been acute in the Gaston County area neighboring Mecklenburg. Mr. Scheer provides other details.
On the editorial page, "Aspirins Won't Lessen Pain of North Carolina's Highway Headache" indicates that the state was getting along with many roads which were designed for Model T's, with few straight expressways yet in existence and palliatives rather than remedies having been of principal reliance. Even former Governor Kerr Scott's multi-million dollar program for secondary roads in 1949 had only scratched the surface of the state's needs. Despite improvements and continuing repairs, the state's primary road system was essentially the same main highway system which had developed in the 1920's, at a time when the designers could not envision the rapid growth of automotive transportation, along with increased vehicle speeds, size and weight. The result was that many segments of the arterial highways of the state were in advanced deterioration or obsolescence.
"A Report on North Carolina's Highway Needs" had been filed the prior Saturday by an engineering firm from New York, supplying facts, figures, maps and charts on every phase of road requirements, planning, costs, financing, building and operation. They estimated that a practical ten-year improvement program would cost nearly 1.5 billion dollars, of which all save 19.5 million would become available during that time from normal revenue sources. But they indicated that the major portion of the highway deficiencies required improvement during the first six years of that contemplated program, during which revenues would fall far short of the needed expenditures and that therefore a pay-as-you-go improvement program would not be feasible, necessitating postponement of many critical improvements, requiring therefore establishment of a program of deficit financing, with the debt service met from the excess revenues expected to accrue in the highway fund during the latter years of the program and beyond. Revenues from existing sources could be further supplemented during the entire life of the bond issue by the adoption of certain reforms.
It indicates that whether the state believed it should undertake such a large highway bond program required thoughtful study and consideration, that the reforms advocated by the highway engineers could help the state find the additional funds necessary for the improvements, including early elimination of major inequities in the tax laws, the reduction of losses from poorly conceived collection practices and a general reorientation of fiscal policy to minimize the diversion of highway funds.
The firm had also wisely recommended that the full cost of operating the prisons of the state should not be imposed on the Highway Department.
It indicates that a number of other recommendations which the experts had made deserved the consideration of the General Assembly in 1955, including suggestions that a system of cost accounting be established for all functions including improvements and maintenance, that controls be placed on access to expressways, that scrutiny be provided to the plan to establish a diesel fuel tax rate of approximately 11 cents per gallon to provide equivalence between charges levied on gasoline trucks and diesel trucks of the same weight classifications, etc.
It concludes that the State Highway & Public Works Commission had done a generally creditable job in maintaining over 68,000 miles of roads within the state with the funding it had available in the past, but that given the necessary funds and authority to make certain reforms, could provide the state with the road network in the ensuing decade which would contribute enormously to the general welfare of the state.
Today's editorial stress on the page, insofar as the state was concerned, was a theme which would be repeated ad nauseam by state officials during the ensuing three decades, schools and highways. By the 1980's, we had heard it enough to make one want to flee to another state, as it tended to occupy the field to the exclusion of other progress, a kind of idee fixe, along with preservation of what was already understood as outmoded by those who could understand the tea leaves, an agricultural economy too reliant on tobacco, with a consequent political bent accordingly. But to say that in those times in North Carolina was considered heretical, surely an indicator of holding Communist views generally.
"Footnote" quotes from the aforementioned engineering firm's report on North Carolina's highway needs, that the roads of the state could encircle the earth at the equator more than 2 1/2 times, that if stretched between New York and San Francisco, would form a highway 50 miles wide, encompassing 71,962 acres of paved roads in the rural sections alone, equal to over 112 square miles of pavement, 9.5 times as large as the area of Raleigh.
A piece from the Robesonian of Lumberton, titled "Chance To Find Out", indicates that for a few hours each week day, parents could breathe a sigh of relief that responsibility for raising their children was in other hands, as teachers, especially in the elementary grades, became surrogate parents to the pupils.
The teachers had once taught
reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and a few other subjects
about the world in which they lived, plus discipline to keep the
pupils from getting in each other's way, and, if they were lucky,
some common sense guidance or inspiration along with the book
learning. But now, the purpose of education, as summarized by the
National Education Association, was to make good citizens, morally,
socially, economically and politically "by giving each child the
opportunity to satisfy his needs, interests and abilities." It
finds it a much larger order for teachers, one which required
facilities and services which could not be imagined a generation
earlier, including special curricula for physically and mentally
handicapped children, health facilities, special courses such as
driver's education, audio-visual equipment and, according to the NEA,
It concludes that it showed that training for citizenship and living had become regarded as the duty of the school, occurring by default as much as by design, that the school had not taken away the responsibilities from parents but had accepted them because of the indicated need to do so.
Drew Pearson tells of the President wrestling with one of the most difficult foreign policy decisions of his career, more important even than the decision to invade Normandy on D-Day, as it could mean war fairly soon or possibly long-term war. The decision involved whether to accept the peace proposals offered by Russia on the basis of coexistence, as urged by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French Premier Pierre Mendes-France, or to accept the advice of the Pentagon advisers and force a showdown with Communism in the Far East, which could lead to preventive war.
Senate Majority Leader William Knowland disagreed vigorously with the President's so-called appeasement policy, the reason for his speeches calling for a reassessment of foreign policy. It was also the reason for the return of Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen so that he could report on the extent and sincerity of the Kremlin's bid for peaceful coexistence. It was also why the Pentagon, not in agreement with the President, had been leaking stories to friendly Senators. Thus far, the President was taking a course toward coexistence and against his military advisers.
He had personally overruled the Joint Chiefs when they had proposed that the U.S. fight at Quemoy, the small Nationalist Chinese island just off the Chinese mainland. He had also been in personal contact with Prime Minister Churchill and given tentative approval to the latter's proposal for a Big Four conference with Soviet Premier Georgi Malenkov to try to end the cold war, a meeting which previously the President had avoided as an opportunity for Mr. Malenkov to use it for propaganda purposes. The reason for the President's opposition to the advice of his old military friends was, first, a dread of war which he had seen firsthand, and second, a series of reports from the U.S. Embassy in Russia, culminating in the personal visit during the current week of Ambassador Bohlen, who, for some time, had been reporting optimistically on a friendlier attitude shown by the Kremlin, believing that the old anti-American Bolsheviks, such as Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, were losing ground. At the recent celebration of the October, 1917 Revolution in Russia, Mr. Malenkov had talked encouragingly of U.S.-Soviet cooperation, while Mr. Molotov had stood by glowering at every word. Since his return to the U.S., Mr. Bohlen had gone further, reporting that Mr. Malenkov wanted to divert Soviet war production to peacetime goods and that without consumer goods, the Russian people would grow increasingly restless.
But U.S. military men had been irate and indignant when the President had glossed over the recent shooting down of the Air Force RB-29 photo reconnaissance plane over northern Japan, calling it cold-blooded murder and resenting the fact that Mr. Bohlen had been toasting Mr. Malenkov at the time, shortly after the incident had occurred. The military men warned that Russia was stalling for time and that when the time was ripe, diplomatic promises made in the meantime would count for nothing.
Thus, the President had to make a decision soon, which could not be postponed for many months longer.
Top Washington officials had recently scattered to secret caves and hideouts from 80 miles west to 200 miles north and south of Washington in a practice drill for a hydrogen bomb raid, to see how fast the Government could relocate and still continue to operate from scattered, underground headquarters. Civil Defense authorities believed the practice had worked well, but others believed that it would never work in case of an actual hydrogen bomb attack. Officials were supposed to obtain advance warning by emergency phone of such an attack and then head to the underground headquarters before the roads became clogged with traffic, but civil defense experts were afraid that during an actual occurrence, top officials would jump in their cars and head home to pick up their families, by which time the general air-raid warning of the rest of the population would have sounded causing the top officials to become stuck in traffic like everyone else.
Dr. Charles F. Carroll, superintendent of State Public Instruction, and John L. Cameron, director of school planning, in an article abstracted from the "UNC News Letter" of November 10, 1954, provide a report on the state of education within North Carolina, indicating that among the states, it ranked tenth in total population and eighth in total school enrollment. In 1933, it had adopted a unique system of financial aid to public school operations by which all of the wealth of the state would support all of the children of the state. They indicate that the wealth of the state was reflected in the fact that it ranked 44th among the states in per capita income and 14th in total income, while only four states spent a greater percentage of their income for schools.
At the beginning of the 1953-54 school year, there had been 938,000 pupils in the state, with about 250,000 of them in crowded, inadequate or makeshift classrooms, with thousands attending a school without a lunchroom, auditorium or gymnasium. The state at that time needed a minimum of 6,300 additional regular classrooms and 1,483 special classrooms, such as libraries, shops, homemaking laboratories and science rooms, in addition to facilities extant or under contract at the beginning of 1953. A conservative estimate of the costs for the needed facilities was nearly 194 million dollars.
There had been a minimum of school construction in the state during the Depression and ensuing war years because of shrinking revenues and, later, building restrictions during the war, while at the same time, the state experienced an increase in the number of children, for which they provide statistics. Now, more children were obtaining high school education than previously, again providing statistics. The growth was particularly evident among black pupils, again showing statistics. When the "war babies", presently swelling elementary schools, reached high school age, additional facilities would become imperative. There was also the need to replace outmoded wooden buildings and those condemned or otherwise unfit for occupancy. Many pupils were attending school in buildings which lacked ventilation, light, heat and sanitary facilities.
In 1949, the General Assembly had appropriated 25 million dollars for school construction and authorized a bond election to raise an additional 25 million, before which, the counties had assumed the entire burden of school construction. The bond measure carried by a majority of six to one, the largest plurality recorded for a bond issue to that point in time. In 1953, the General Assembly authorized another bond election for 50 million, which, the following October, had carried in every county of the state, with a statewide majority of better than six to one.
Of the total minimum of 194 million dollars worth of school facilities needed in the state at the beginning of the 1953-54 school year, it was estimated that by mid-1954, 13 million dollars had been expended toward meeting those needs. The increased enrollment during the decade between 1945 and 1955 indicated that an additional 35 million would be needed at the beginning of the 1954-55 school year, and that 35 million per year would be needed through 1960 to provide facilities for the increased enrollment in that time. The total needs therefore as of mid-1954 amounted to 425 million, of which about 125 million was presently available from state and local funding.
Dr. A. Whitney Griswold, president of Yale University, in an excerpt from an address delivered at Brown University, tells of conversation in the country having fallen on "evil days", with the creative art beset by forces which threatened its demise. He finds it forsaken by a technology so busy tending its time-saving devices that it had no time for anything else, drowned out in singing commercials by the world's most productive economy, hushed in dimly lit parlors by television audiences who had earlier read, argued and played bridge, an old-fashioned card game requiring speech.
"It is shouted down by devil's advocates, thrown into disorder by points of order. It is subdued by soft-voiced censors who, in the name of public relations, counsel discretion and the avoidance of controversy like so many family physicians breaking the news gently and advising their patients to cut down on their calories."
He indicates that it had been conversation, reaching its climax in the dialogues of Socrates, which in an age without books or their latter day substitutes, had laid the foundation of civilization, and it had been conversation from which the New Testament, the greatest teaching ever recorded, had been composed. It was conversation among small groups of university scholars in a bookless world which had revived learning at the end of the dark ages. Conversation was the oldest form of instruction of the human race and was still indispensable. It was the "handmaid of learning, true religion and free government."
Robert C. Ruark indicates that he missed at this time of year the more or less complete passing of the old days when a kid could take a shotgun and a dog, walk off to the nearest field and bag a pheasant or the limit of bobwhites, with shells being a nickel apiece and the shotgun costing but twenty dollars. He says that it would still be possible perhaps in some isolated sections of the South and West, but that for the most part, shooting now was limited to clubs where one paid for the privilege or took one's chances on having one's head blown off in overcrowded free areas. The farmers who had once offered their fields for free to the public for hunting had found out that they could sell the privilege, and so now hunters had to pay or poach. Thus what once had been a stroll had turned into a safari, and one could do little hunting outside the back door or from the automobile, as birds were stocked now and rigidly controlled for purposes of conservation.
He indicates that when he was a boy, he was out in the woods six days per week with a shotgun and a dog, did not rest on the seventh day, though they did not shoot on Sunday, rather having gone out with the dog after dinner to see if he could locate a quail. He says that he had never known any boy to learn meanness in the woods with a dog and a gun, saying that the communion he had with the good Lord was under the aegis of a .20-gauge shotgun and a cocker spaniel named Mickey, a pointer named Tom or a setter named Frank. "It still seems to me that there is nothing they can give you on TV that will square up to a windy autumn day, with the bluejays right and raucous and the wind crisp and the quail calling in the golden woods."
He says that they had no comic books, Space Cadets, Hopalong Cassidys or blood-and-thunderers on a mass scale. The closest he got to the Wild West was attending the William Hart Westerns on Fridays at the local theater, the name of which was pronounced "Buy-Joe" in his hometown of Wilmington, N.C. Snub Pollard had been a hot comedian and Elmo Lincoln was then playing Tarzan, and he was not allowed to attend the movies except once per week. So he depended for amusement on his dog and gun. Only a mile out of town, there were two dozen coveys of quail, a lot of squirrels, rabbits and doves. On Thursdays and Saturdays, his father had taken him on a trip to Brunswick County, some ten miles away, for major league hunting. They would park their Model T alongside a likely field and let the dogs out, then follow according to the pointers. Until he was about 15, he could not remember ever encountering another dog or hunter within the two counties where they shot and neither could remember obliterating any covey of birds, the birds shot being within a quarter-mile of the same spot the following year.
He could not spell tolerance in those days, he says, but was on excellent terms with every black family within the two counties, had been inside every one of their houses, had eaten their food, until he realized that in the South that was not done. In his youthful innocence, he had even addressed black adults as "Mr." and "Mrs."
"Maybe we suffered from lack of modern entertainment. But none of my set ever stuck up any filling stations or murdered people."
Times had changed, and times would change even further after the assassination of a President nine years hence, allegedly with a World War II-era Italian surplus rifle, though that theory, of course, has undergone considerable scrutiny through time, undermining it substantially, notwithstanding the fact that obviously some type of high-powered rifle with a telescopic scope was used, not only against the President that day but against the entire nation. From that single incident, the nation would never be really the same again, not an exaggerated statement, whether you are too young to realize its accuracy or not. It was a personal act against each and every one of us, and, for the most part, people reacted that way to it at the time, sadly and with equanimity, not anger, whether or not they had voted for President Kennedy in 1960.
Hunting, with the exception of some rural sections, and to the extent it had already not gone out of fashion, no longer appealed to most young people as an avocation after that point.
A letter writer says that as a commuter during morning rush hour, he would appreciate it if Southern Railway would keep its switching engines from blocking the streets during rush hours.
A letter writer from Iron Station finds that since the "unsavory (to us) un-American" Alger Hiss was permitted his freedom two days earlier, he can't wait to read what the newspaper's "one-worldism, socialism-minded, leftish-leaning" columnists Drew Pearson, Joseph Alsop, Marquis Childs, James Marlow and others would write about him, that as apologists for others such Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Owen Lattimore, and the Rosenbergs, they would have something complimentary to say. He wonders why the newspaper carried their leftish columns. He wants to hear from more "Star Bangled Banner Americans", like Herbert Hoover, General Douglas MacArthur, Ezra Taft Benson, General James Van Fleet and Senator McCarthy. He thinks McCarthyism was closer to Americanism than most of the followers who mouthed against him.
A letter writer compliments reporter Julian Scheer of the newspaper for a column which urged against advertising gimmicks.
A letter writer tells of a prior letter writer having caught the newspaper in a grammatical error in a caption stating "of she and her husband", but finds that the writer had also made an error in saying, "Let's you and me..." as let's is a contraction for "let us".
Wethinks yous mayhaps have missed part of the point.
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