The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 7, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator McCarthy this date interrupted a hearing before his Senate Investigations subcommittee to read a statement in which he accused the President of congratulating Senators for their work on the select committee which had unanimously recommended his censure, thereby delaying exposure of Communists, while urging tolerance for Chinese Communists who tortured American soldiers. He said that during the 1952 campaign, he had told voters that if General Eisenhower were elected President, the people could be certain of a vigorous fight to expose Communism, but he had since realized that he had been mistaken. He claimed that the subcommittee work had been held up for approximately 10 months while he was being investigated, and criticized the President for congratulating Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, the sponsor of the original censure resolution, and Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, who had chaired the select committee, whom he said were instrumental in holding up the work of his subcommittee.

Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey said this date that the Administration had been following policies "designed to promote high employment, rising production and a stable dollar." He said that the policies had been advocated by Democratic-led Congressional committees in reports made in 1950 and 1952.

In Statesville, N.C., the chairman of the House Investigating Committee, Representative C. W. Bishop of Illinois, investigating charges of election law violations in the North Carolina Ninth Congressional District, emphasized this date it was not a court, that it was his desire to impress upon all who had business before the Committee to try to understand that point, that it could not acquit or convict anyone, that its function was to investigate and report to the Congress so that the House could be better guided in enacting remedial legislation or deciding contests which might be instituted involving the right to a seat in the House. The investigation had resulted from charges filed by the North Carolina Republican executive committee, and neither of the two candidates, incumbent Congressman Hugh Alexander or his Republican challenger, William Stevens, had sought the investigation. Mr. Alexander had won the election by 4,500 votes. Thirty-eight witnesses were subpoenaed for the hearing.

In Cleveland, O., the first-degree murder trial of Dr. Samuel Sheppard regarding the killing of his wife, Marilyn, the prior July 4, continued this date with the testimony of a second physician brother, Dr. Richard Sheppard, who said that Dr. Sam had collapsed in tears when told that his wife was dead, saying that he had been one of the first to arrive at his brother's home on the morning of July 4 and had hurried to Mrs. Sheppard's bedroom, thinking that she might still be alive, but quickly determined that she had been killed. Returning to the downstairs den area where Dr. Sam was located, he found his brother sitting in a red leather chair and asked him about his injuries, then said: "Marilyn is gone. There is nothing I can do." At that point, Dr. Sam had slumped on the floor on his face and began to cry, moaning, "Oh, no, no—oh my God, no." Dr. Richard also said that he had trouble rousing from sleep the seven-year old son of the Sheppards, and that he was very groggy when members of the family took him from the house. He had been sleeping upstairs in the adjoining bedroom when his mother was killed. The defense attorney showed Dr. Richard the trousers worn by his brother on the morning of the murder, bearing a blood spot on the right knee. Dr. Richard said that he noticed the large amount of blood spattered over the four walls of the bedroom where he had found Mrs. Sheppard. The defense counsel asked him whether it would be possible for a man wearing those trousers to stand beside Mrs. Sheppard's bed and commit the crime, the results of which he had observed, and have so little blood on them, to which the doctor said it was absolutely not possible. When the defense counsel sought to bring up newspaper coverage of the case at the time of the arrest of Dr. Sheppard, the prosecution objected, as it did also when defense counsel tried to elicit other incidents which had taken place at Dr. Richard's home, the objections sustained by the trial judge for irrelevance. During the recess, Dr. Richard had described to reporters two such incidents about which he was not permitted to testify, that on the night of August 6-7, more than a month after the murder, he had heard noises not far from his home, had gone outside and seen four men building a platform in a tree for which he did not know the purpose but assumed that they were trying to get a platform high enough so that they could see into their bedroom, and that the other incident had related to a trail of blood leading from his own garage to his car, causing him to be convinced that someone had planted the spots, but that he did not know who, that it was not animal blood. He said that while the jury had not heard that testimony, the defense attorney had made an offer of proof of the testimony for the record, for preservation on appeal.

On the editorial page, "Enough of 'Coexistence' Semantics" urges dispensing with the debate over the meaning of "coexistence", whether the President's criticized "peaceful coexistence", appearing to echo the Communist propaganda line, or "competitive coexistence", as someone in Washington had suggested, or "coexistence with conflict", as suggested by Field Marshal Viscount Bernard Montgomery, or "armed coexistence", as stated in New Orleans during the weekend by Adlai Stevenson, and instead concentrate on the real issue at hand, bringing about peace.

It is reminded of the observation by George Kennan in his book, American Diplomacy, 1900-1950, in which he noted that foreign policy was often imposed on legalistic-moralistic grounds, replete with slogans, emotionalism and high-minded principles, while being unsupported by force. It suggests that even the advocates of U.S. intervention in Asia were not suggesting that the taxpayers should pay for the large military machine necessary for putting their plans into effect.

As Governor Stevenson had said in New Orleans, "If we exclude the solution of atomic war and if we exclude the solution of surrender, all we have left is some form of armed truce which we can call coexistence or anything you like."

"Share the Amazing Charlotte Story" urges readers to send to businesses and personal acquaintances in other parts of the country the 72-page rotogravure magazine supplement enclosed in all home-delivered editions this date, to spread the word that Charlotte was a good place to live and a good place to do business, the title of the insert.

"We Were Only Kidding, Virginia" indicates that in the Saturday edition of the newspaper, the editorial having some innocent fun at a mythical department store Santa Claus had resulted in it being labeled the "Bah Humbug! Edition". One nice lady said, "Shame on you!" and another exclaimed, "How dare you?" while a contributor to the letters column had called it "brazen".

It finds it to demonstrate how firmly implanted and inviolable Santa Claus was in the folklore of the heart. It indicates that it was not poking fun at Santa Claus, but finds it a miracle that he had survived so long amid all the skepticism in a skeptical age, after being assailed by politicians, columnists, Communists, child psychologists, progressive educators and even a few disgruntled children, accused alternately of being a Marxist myth, a Freudian father-symbol, an anti-Christian device or a symbol of U.S. foreign policy.

Yet, every December, Santa returned in spirit to gladden the hearts of the very young, and every Christmas Eve, harnessed his reindeer to dash undetected through the radar nets of all nations to deliver gifts.

Despite the scoffers, most knew that Santa really existed, a belief good for the soul. "So when you hear a dancing and a prancing atop your roof on Christmas Eve, don't call the police or the McCarthy committee. It's only a white-bearded old spirit with a packful of joy for one and all. Merry Christmas."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Oh, Come Now, Mrs. Smith", indicates it was not a little dismayed at the insularity displayed in Harper's magazine by British author, Mrs. Cecil Woodham-Smith, whose brilliant examination of the Crimean War, The Reason Why, was presently near the top of the bestseller lists. She had declared in the article that the Crimean fiasco was "the last romantic war", a statement with which the piece takes issue by indicating that wars never had been romantic, that death in battle was never pleasant, but that if the Crimean War could be termed "romantic", then surely it was not the last one.

It indicates her citations of examples of romanticism, a party of 30 young ladies being invited by a Russian prince to a picnic on the heights of the Alma, from which they could witness the British attack, and another instance in which a British officer, seeing his men about to be overwhelmed, having run for help from an adjoining unit with the remark: "Excuse me, but we are in the dickens of a mess. Can you come over and help us. I was introduced to you last summer at Lady Palmerston's." It points out that less than a decade later, gay picnic parties had left from Richmond and Washington to observe what turned out to be the ghastly battle of First Manassas, and also that General J. E. B. Stewart had once met a West Point classmate on the field of battle and they chatted for awhile, until a smart Yankee battery thundered into sight over a nearby hill, prompting General Stuart to state, "I wonder whose battery is that?" to which his friend said that it was his, to which General Stuart replied that he was not aware that his friend had stayed with the Union, then spurred his horse and galloped away.

It goes on to find the Crimean War paling in comparison to the American Civil War in having such romantic episodes, including the final surrenders in both instances.

Drew Pearson indicates that the President, the Vice-President and others must have experienced some interesting flashbacks during the debate on the censure of Senator McCarthy, regarding what happened with some of the same principals in the McCarthy debate only a short time earlier. The previous October, Senator William Knowland had attended the funeral of Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, conferring at the time with Senators William Jenner of Indiana, Herman Welker of Idaho, and other McCarthy friends. Following the funeral, they came away certain that Senator Knowland would vote with them on censure, and they had been correct. Meanwhile, Senator Knowland said nothing until the previous week when he rose to announce that he would vote against the censure. Mr. Pearson quotes from his speech, which said that he had arrived at his decision only the previous night.

The second flashback was likely from September, 1952, when Governor Dewey, who had gotten General Eisenhower nominated and then became his closest adviser during the campaign, came to see the General, knowing that he was leaving for Milwaukee, where he either had to be nice to Senator McCarthy or tough with him, spending two hours trying to convince the General to be tough, advice which the General followed initially, inserting two paragraphs into his Milwaukee speech defending his old friend, General Marshall, whom Senator McCarthy had attacked. But a day later, Arthur Summerfield and Senators Homer Ferguson of Michigan and Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, with Tom Coleman of Wisconsin, had flown to meet the General's train, urging him to revise the speech, with Senator McCarthy also finally persuading him to do so, omitting the paragraphs on General Marshall. Senator McCarthy was then re-elected.

Mr. Pearson goes on to describe two additional probable flashbacks, one in Indianapolis during the 1952 campaign, when General Eisenhower shared a stage with Senator William Jenner, who had called General Marshall, the man who had promoted General Eisenhower from lieutenant colonel to lieutenant general in the space of a year, a "front man for traitors" and "a living lie". But since the General had been told he had to endorse all Republican candidates, he posed before cameras while Senator Jenner spontaneously held up his hand like a champion boxer. The previous week, Senator Jenner had effected a similar pose, laughing hysterically, while saying, "poor old Zwicker, he does not count. He is out the window. Zwicker is out and now you want to fight communism,"—referring to the passed amended count on censure, alleging abuse by Senator McCarthy of fellow Senators on the select committee which recommended censure and of the Senate special session on censure, which had substituted for the original count regarding alleged abuse by Senator McCarthy of Brig. General Ralph Zwicker the prior February when he had appeared before the Senate Investigations subcommittee, sugesting he was unfit to wear the uniform of the armed services because of his alleged cover-up of the persons responsible for the promotion and honorable discharge of the Army Reserve dentist who had pleaded the Fifth Amendment before the Investiagtions subcommittee, when the General had been a decorated war hero.

The last probable flashback had been to March, 1953, when the new President, in office but two months, was confronted with the announcement by Senator McCarthy that he had made an agreement with certain Greek shipowners regarding trade behind the Iron Curtain, beyond the legally permitted scope of action by members of Congress. Harold Stassen, who administered foreign shipping, issued a statement putting Senator McCarthy in his place, saying that he had "undermined" U.S. policy. The following day, Vice-President Nixon, then chief defender of Senator McCarthy, had gone to the State Department and then to the White House, and later the President had announced that Senator McCarthy had not "undermined" Administration policy, prompting Mr. Stassen later to issue an humble retraction. The previous week, Vice-President Nixon had presided over the Senate during the censure debate, seeing his party torn asunder by it, a debate which, ventures Mr. Pearson, should have been settled years earlier by firm leadership from him and the President.

He indicates that it represented the crisis within the Republican Party, which would need time to heal its wounds, an intra-party bitterness greater than at any time since the days of President Hoover. The President needed the wounds healed to carry on a consistent foreign policy, but, he notes, usually such a political schism only widened rather than narrowed.

Stewart Alsop tells of the Administration being worried by the stock market boom and seeking ways to tamp it down, with two methods being discussed, either to raise margin requirements from the current 50 percent to 60 or 70 percent or to raise interest rates and return to the "hard money" policy which Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had adopted early in the Administration and then hastily abandoned. The danger in the latter method was that, instead of merely slowing down the economic boom, it could start bad trouble. The former method would largely have a psychological effect, raising a discreet warning sign.

The President's Council of Economic Advisers were nervously aware of the danger which the stock boom posed were it to get out of hand, a parallel to the argument which had gone on during the Hoover Administration in the spring and summer of 1929 between Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, who favored a hands-off policy toward the stock boom, and the Federal Reserve Board, which favored taking action to reduce it. But, adds Mr. Alsop, that sinister parallel was misleading in nearly every way. The economic experts in the Government pointed to numerous differences between the current stock boom and the 1929 boom which led to the crash of that October. The largest difference was that in 1929, stock prices rose fast, pointing to signs of economic danger, while at present, the signs indicated that the economy had passed the danger point, as unemployment was way down, probably to be reduced by a half million by Christmas, while steadily rising production would reach a point just below the all-time high of 1953 by the end of the year. Inventories were also down and in general, the nation was beginning again to consume more than it produced, and, most important perhaps, investment contracts were way up, in sharp contrast to 1929.

The forecasts of the President's chief economist, notably future Federal Reserve Board chairman Arthur Burns, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Gabriel Hauge, special Presidential assistant, had thus been vindicated. Early the previous spring, some observers had been predicting very serious trouble and proposing drastic measures to head it off, with both Dr. Burns and Mr. Hauge taking the position that drastic measures should be used if necessary, but that the economy was likely to right itself by the fall without emergency action, as had occurred.

No one was claiming that there was nothing about which to worry, as there were soft spots in the economy, and the President's advisers would be relieved if the new automobile models sold as well as the manufacturers hoped. The prospect of serious labor trouble the following spring was disquieting, but the stock market boom remained the biggest worry. It reflected confidence in the economic future, as the President's advisers believed was basically justified, but the danger was that the confidence might turn into overconfidence, pushing stock prices out of proportion with reality, and at some point producing a collapse in the market, probably reversing the hopeful trend, and so the discussions were occurring with regard to tamping it down.

The President reviewed the economic situation at least twice weekly, once when Dr. Burns briefed the Cabinet on the economic picture and once in a regular weekly conference with Dr. Burns. The President, according to those who had sat in on those discussions, was surprisingly knowledgeable of economic matters, exhibiting none of the instinctive aversion to economic planning which some of the businessmen within the Administration had. The President was determined to use the whole power of the Government to prevent or reverse any serious downturn in the economy, and that determination was a good reason for confidence in the economic future—at least until the recession of 1958, fueled in part by the public's revulsion to the dual-headlamped 1958 model cars appearing in the fall of 1957, four eyes stuck into the same basic design of front fender brows where one on each side had been suitably planted the previous year, a kind of Detroit monstrosity for which the style-conscious public was not prepared, emblematic of which was the rejection of Ford's Edsel line, but we digress...

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the censure of Senator McCarthy would not likely shake the support given to him by certain groups long active on the periphery of American politics, groups led by such controversial figures as Gerald L. K. Smith, Gerald Winrod, Merwin Hart and Joseph Kamp, each of whom had played a vocal role in rallying opinion to the side of Senator McCarthy.

Recently, they had not enjoyed as much publicity as the recently organized Ten Million Americans Mobilizing for Justice, which had sponsored a last-minute drive for petitions against the censure. But during the censure debate, for example, Mr. Smith, who headed the Christian Nationalist Crusade, had circulated a message to Senators that they were keeping careful tabs on them, that in case of war or intensification of the cold war, any Senator who made it difficult for Senator McCarthy would be "automatically retired as an appeaser of Communism."

Mr. Winrod, head of the Defenders of the Christian Faith, had distributed a report during the debate titled "Senator McCarthy's Persecution", denouncing as a "crucifixion" the work of the Senate select committee which had unanimously recommended censure, and warning that "Christians" would work to defeat each of the six committee members, three of whom were Republicans, when they came up for re-election. During World War II, Mr. Winrod had been indicted for sedition for allegedly working with 29 Nazi sympathizers to accomplish National Sozialist aims within the United States, their trial having ended when the trial judge had died, with the indictment later dismissed.

Mr. Kamp had distributed a special issue of "Headlines" during the debate, a newsletter put out by his Constitutional Education League, with articles bearing such titles as "White House Masterminds Plot to 'GET' McCarthy" and "Good Americans are FOR McCarthyism". In 1950, he had spent four months in jail for refusing to reveal the officers and contributors to the League.

Mr. Hart's National Economic Council had circulated a petition urging people to "Stand Up With Us And Be Counted", in the face of a "Communist smear campaign to silence Senator McCarthy". In 1950, the House Select Committee on Lobbying had said that the Council showed "an ill-concealed anti-Semitism".

Messrs. Smith, Winrod, Kamp and Hart were only the better known of the fringe publicists supporting Senator McCarthy. In California, former Major Robert Williams, whose commission had been terminated by the Army in 1951 "in the best interests of the service", was one such example, and Gregory Bern, whose annual bulletin, "Know Your Enemy", had listed the brother of the President, Milton Eisenhower, and Secretary of State Dulles among the many prominent Americans identified as "enemies" of anti-Communism, was another. There was also Frank Britton, editor of the American Nationalist, who worked to combat the "Jew Marxist program of world conquest."

A letter writer indicates that the editorial of Saturday, "Toyland Revisited or Santa's Sorrow", had been neither timely nor correct, that he had played the part of Santa for many years and had talked with many thousands of youngsters and could not agree with the Santa of the piece that all the boys and girls were "brats and stinkers", that his experience had been that the overwhelming majority were extremely nice and very wonderful. He had been well paid for his job but had always had a great love for children and got a big thrill from talking with them. He also disagrees with the letter writer of the previous day who stated that he had always suspected that department store Santas really hated kids, correcting that nothing could be further from the truth, that he knew men currently playing the role of Santa and they did not hate kids. He says that he would be playing Santa during the week for free to a very large and wonderful group of crippled children from a nearby city and did not think of them as brats or stinkers, that they were great and he loved them. He played Santa for several church parties for children and for other organizations in the city, and had not met hoodlums, brats and stinkers there either.

A letter writer takes issue with the same editorial, finding it in very bad taste, that one of the editorial staff apparently was "without spirit, dead to the glorious tradition of joy and happiness living within the hearts of those, who as yet unspoiled, believe in the goodness of Santa and look far beyond their limitations of reality into the land of fantasy …where Santa lives as their King of Kindness." He feels the newspaper had to correct the injustice to the many followers of Santa and had violated every courtesy extended to the newspaper by those who invited it into their homes, finding it "brazen" enough to mention Santa as a Communist. He says that such editorials appeared in the Communist papers and that despite such negative treatments, Santa would live on and that it was too bad that the children of Charlotte did not have a great paper editorially, such as the New York Sun which had answered the famous query in 1897 by young Virginia regarding the existence of Santa Claus.

A letter writer from Gastonia says that she enjoyed the spoof on Santa Claus, but wants the newspaper to carry it a step further to urge the people to put Christ back in Christmas, as it was a religious holiday and should not be tied to "gimme-gimme" materialism, as it had lately become.

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