The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 31, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss had said this date, during the press conference of the President, that a hydrogen bomb large enough to wipe out any city in the world, including metropolitan New York City, could now be produced by the U.S. He attended the press conference to provide a partial report on the recent hydrogen bomb tests on March 1 and March 26 in the Marshall Islands, indicating that they had been successful and added "enormous potential" to the country's military posture. He denied reports that the March 1 detonation, which had reportedly exposed to fallout a number of Americans, Japanese and Marshall Islanders far from the site of the explosion, had been out of control. He described it as a "stupendous blast", which was about twice what the scientists had anticipated, not an unusual margin of error in testing a new weapon. He said that an unanticipated shift in the winds had carried the fallout to the area where the Japanese fishing trawler had been cruising, about 80 miles from the blast site.

The President said at the conference that some of his advisers believed that there was some possibility that the Russians were preparing to talk earnestly and honestly about a plan for international peacetime use of atomic energy.

The President also said that the Government's call, as set forth by Secretary of State Dulles in his Monday night speech, for united action against possible Communist conquest of Indo-China and all of Southeast Asia meant that there had to be readiness to meet any kind of attack. The Secretary had said that Communist control of Southeast Asia would pose a grave threat to the free world and that the possibility should be met by "united action", providing no detail on what he meant by that phrase. The President said he had reviewed the speech in advance and had found himself in full agreement with the Secretary, as usual. The President said that the Secretary was referring to united action by all of the countries in Southeast Asia to meet any kind of attack. When asked whether "united action" included direct intervention by U.S. troops, the President responded that he could conceive of no greater disadvantage to the country than to deploy U.S. ground forces all around the world. He said the objective was to make the allies strong enough to take care of local situations themselves, and that each situation had to be treated individually, with no general rule applicable. When asked about whether the U.S. should be placing all of its eggs "in an EDC basket", referring to the proposed European Defense Community unified army comprised of forces from West Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries, the President replied that he had been threatened with defeat before on EDC but still favored creation of it, and would not comment on any possible alternative as long as the possibility remained that EDC would be ratified by the participating nations.

Earlier this date, Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois said before the Senate that the U.S. should "get ready for the worst" by enlisting forces of Pacific free nations to fight Communists in Indo-China if they were needed. He said that he did not know what measures the Administration planned or whether the Republicans in Congress would support the President, but that reading the record against the gravity of Secretary Dulles's words, he had misgivings.

In Moscow, Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had called in the ambassadors of the U.S., Britain and France this date and handed them a note containing proposals for European security. The ambassadors did not immediately disclose the contents of the note, which was ten pages long. It was apparently intended as an advance statement for the Geneva peace conference of the Big Four and Communist China, set to begin April 26.

Civil Defense Administration head Val Peterson said this date that the Government would provide the American people with a film of the November 1, 1952 hydrogen explosion, with the purpose of furnishing basic facts about such "new and terrible weapons", and not intended to scare them or create a sense of hopelessness. He said that the 28-minute censored film, titled "Operation Ivy", the code name for the 1952 test on Eniwetok, would be made available on April 7, pursuant to approval by the National Security Council the previous week.

The President also said at his press conference that he would sign this date the 999 million dollar excise tax cut bill and believed that it would help stimulate business. The cuts would become effective the next day, impacting dozens of products. The bill had passed the House by a vote of 395 to 1 and the Senate, by 72 to 8. Most of the cuts would likely be passed to consumers, providing stimulus to retail trade. G.E. and Westinghouse announced that their home appliances would be reduced by the amount of the tax reduction, as did Philco and the Crosley and Bendix Division of Avco Manufacturing, as well as other makers of home appliances. Jewelry and fur dealers said that they would pass on the savings to their customers also.

In New Delhi, 43 Indian Army personnel were drowned while crossing a river during maneuvers the previous week, as reported to the Indian parliament this date by the Minister of Defense, who said that 1,500 men had crossed the river successfully during the exercise on the night of March 26-27, and that the 43 who had drowned had apparently strayed off the marked route.

In Dacca, East Pakistan, a cyclone hit the Collia district the previous night, killing more than a dozen people.

In Cheektowaga, N.Y., at least seven children had been reported killed and at least another 19 burned or otherwise injured the previous day in an explosion and fire in an annex of an elementary school in the Buffalo suburb. No cause for the explosion was provided.

In Kershaw, S.C., high winds blew the roofs from two stores during the morning and uprooted a number of trees which lined the residential streets. Kershaw police said the storm lasted a half hour, with winds ranging up to 60 mph, and that no one had been reported injured and no other property damage reported.

In West Los Angeles, French actress Corinne Calvet, 27, was reported by the police to have attempted suicide early this date by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. She had been found lying on the floor of her bathroom in the early morning hours with 20 pills missing from a medicine bottle containing seconal. She was sent home after emergency treatment in a hospital. Her physician said that she had been under great emotional strain for the previous two months because of personal and professional circumstances. She had won a divorce two weeks earlier from actor John Bromfield, after testifying that he had refused to let her have children. Mr. Bromfield arrived at the hospital a few minutes after she was brought in and accompanied her home later in an ambulance.

Betty Boyer, in her weekly "Grocery News" column this date, provides the scoop on mayonnaise for 15 cents per pint, among other well-promulgated news items of the previous two days, regarding coffee and coupons, keeping you, undoubtedly, in anticipatory anxiety which can only be abated by reading her recipes for a successful culinary adventure in the home. We await her recipe for the atomic aspic.

In addition, by the way, to Audrey Hepburn winning the Tony Award for best performance by a female in a dramatic play for 1954, for "Ondine", and David Wayne, for best performance by a male in a dramatic play, for "Teahouse of the August Moon", which also won best dramatic play and the best writing award, presented to playwright John Patrick, among the other 15 Broadway winners in 1954 were: "Kismet", winning the best musical award and for writing of a musical, to Charles Lederer for the play, adapted from the book by Luther Davis, and George Forrest and Robert Wright for the musical arrangement; John Lunt, for best director, for "Ondine"; Dolores Gray, for best female performance in a musical, in the short-lived "Carnival in Flanders", apparently a flop otherwise; Alfred Drake, for best male performance in a musical, also in "Kismet"; John Kerr, for best supporting or featured actor in a play, for "Tea and Sympathy", (the tea, no doubt, being Tetley, and the sympathy, because we were wrong about Betty Boyer's "real coffee"); Jo Van Fleet, for best supporting or featured actress in a play, for "The Trip to Bountiful"; Gwen Verdon, for supporting or featured actress in a musical, for "Can-Can"; and Harry Belafonte, for best supporting or featured actor in a musical, for "John Murray Anderson's Almanac". Ms. Hepburn had won the Best Actress Academy Award as well, for her performance in "Roman Holiday", presented the prior Thursday. (On the subject of the Academy Awards, Louella Parsons reported on Monday that Nancy Sinatra, accompanying her nominated and eventually winning Best Supporting Actor father to the ceremony at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, had given him, for good luck, a St. Genesius medal with a small Oscar engraved into its obverse. Had she been blessed with complete augury, she would have also included a little boot next to it, in mystical cryptic.)

Incidentally, as the "Grocery News" page also reveals, we made a mistake in assuming that WSOC, channel 9, had gone on the air in television broadcasting by this point in 1954, in supplementing, between commas, a recent letter to the editor regarding a writer's frustrations with the newspaper's printing only the afternoon and evening schedules for radio, forcing her to have to turn to the Observer to obtain the morning schedule, despite publishing morning and afternoon schedules for both television stations in the market. WSOC only began television broadcasting three years hence. The other tv station in Charlotte at the time was WAYS, channel 36, a UHF station. WAYS was around only for a year or so and went off the air in 1955. As we have said before, we did not grow up in Charlotte and so sometimes our absence of first-hand, regular experience with the community shows. We duly apologize to all of those who might have noticed our faux pas and were horrified by it and ready to write their Congressman in protest, especially to the former staff of the short-lived WAYS, who, hopefully, were hired by WSOC-TV. Our ways and means may not always please the reader, just as with The News of the time, but we continue to serve nevertheless and despite any and all brickbats which might be hurled in our direction.

Winston-Salem will, on July 1, get color television via WSJS, channel 12, owned by Piedmont Publishing, owner of the Winton-Salem Journal and Twin City Sentinel. About 186 tv stations in 53 cities will have color broadcasting capability by early 1955, according to NBC, provided the individual stations obtain their own color broadcasting equipment. Now that the excise taxes have been lowered, you can afford to purchase a color set and be the first on your block to have one, even if there are practically no programs yet being so broadcast, and won't be until around 1959, even then only a couple or three, "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" and "Bonanza". Or, if you are not ready to commit to a purchase, maybe you can rent one.

On the editorial page, "The 'New Look' for Collective Security" indicates that the call of Secretary of State Dulles for "united action" to block Communist conquest of Indo-China had left more unsaid than said, as he had not explained what "united action" meant, nor whether such action should be taken through the U.N. or some other channel. He also had not made it clear whether the aggression by the Chinese Communists to which he referred would be only the direct type across the border or would include an increase of indirect aid and assistance presently being provided to the Vietminh troops. Nor had he said whether "united action" was a substitute for his recently stated policy of "instant retaliation", or merely supplemental to it. Likewise, he did not state how the President would get the permission of Congress to use U.S. troops in such "united action", if that became necessary.

The nebulous nature of the phrase suggested that Secretary Dulles was trying to provide a "new look" to the Truman-Acheson policy of "collective security". But it did not change the fact that Secretary Dulles was trapped in the same corner as had been Secretary of State Acheson, that while the best hope of protecting the free world from Communist aggression lay in collective effort of like-minded nations, Republicans who had attacked the Korean War effort in 1951 and 1952 had made the policy of collective security politically unpopular in the country, causing Secretary Dulles to adopt the new phraseology.

The U.S. was bearing 80 percent of the cost of the Indo-China war, was providing most of the weapons and planes and furnishing technical assistants. Nevertheless, the Vietminh were maintaining pressure on the French, who were continually growing more restive about the war and desiring its end after eight years. Without increased outside help, the French could easily lose the fight.

It concludes that Secretary Dulles, in trying to convince the free world to join in "united action" against aggression and in trying to convince the American people that the loss of Indo-China would be a serious threat to their own long-term security, faced enormous difficulties and would need more understanding and help from the Republican leadership in Congress than he had thus far received.

"Young People in Politics" finds that one of the relatively few trends in American politics which could be called healthy was the rapid growth of organized activity by young people. The Congressional Quarterly had completed a national survey, finding the spirited activity of Young Republicans and Young Democrats a "phenomenon".

The YD club dated back to 1932, and although there had been local YR clubs since 1854, the national organization was formed in 1935, and the Young Republican National Federation had been made the official instrumentality of the Republican Party for reaching young people in their twenties and thirties only in 1946.

Both tickets during the 1952 presidential campaign had made open bids for the support of young people, and President Eisenhower had followed through by naming several key YR members to positions of executive responsibility, while Governor Stevenson continued to hold his large contingent of followers among the Young Democrats.

It suggests that the phenomenon showed that Shakespeare's dictum, "Crabbed age and youth cannot live together," had no application to modern politics. Until the previous two decades, U.S. politics had been dominated by elder statesmen, and, it suggests, the growing participation of young people ought produce change and progress.

"The Helicopter Is Here To Stay" indicates that recently, the American Society of Planning Officials had made a survey of the helicopter's growing use in domestic transportation and had found that daily passenger service between Miami and West Palm Beach was the first feeder service between a large city and an outlying smaller city, taking 77 minutes to cover 75 miles, that a service between Idlewild and Newark Airports, shuttled passengers back and forth in ten minutes at a cost of $10, compared with 80 minutes and $12 to $15 by taxi, that helicopter airlines in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas, presently carrying cargo and mail, plus the New York line, served a combined total of 84 communities, with 46 other communities having been certified for service by the Civil Aeronautics Board, and more than 40 applications for helicopter operations on file with the Civil Aeronautics Board covering virtually every major city in the country.

The cost of a helicopter landing pad was a fraction of the cost of an airport for modern planes, and the pattern appeared to indicate that Charlotte would become the hub of a helicopter network covering the cities and towns within a radius of 50 miles, giving those places a fast and efficient means of connection with the planes operating through Charlotte.

"A Word to the Wise, Etc." indicates that 141 safety engineers at a recent conference of the Federal Safety Council had been asked how far it would take an automobile to stop at 20 mph, and only 42 of them had come within ten feet of the correct answer, only 11 answering correctly the query regarding the stopping distance at 50 mph.

An Army expert had determined a formula whereby at 20 mph, it required a factor of twice the speed in feet to stop, or 40 feet, that at 30 mph, the multiplier was 2.5, at 40, three, at 50, 3.5, and at 60, 4.25, or 255 feet. It recommends to the skeptical that they try it themselves at one of the lower speeds.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "There's a Fifth Point", indicates that Dr. William Cartwright, chairman of the Duke University education department, had covered as an "irreducible minimum" four areas of instruction of teachers: knowledge of how children grew, physically, emotionally and mentally, how they learned, what drives and abilities they were likely to develop at various stages and how to measure and exploit those drives and abilities for the good of the individual and society; understanding of how the school system had evolved; a good foundation concerning the materials available to the teacher, such as books, periodicals, films, film strips, recordings, models, specimens, and people; and that the teacher had to have the actual experience of teaching under the guidance of superior teachers and other experts.

The piece adds a fifth point, that the teacher should have some real learning to teach as well as the training in how to teach it.

Drew Pearson indicates that U.S. agents had dug up irrefutable evidence that the August, 1939 mutual non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and Russia, formed just before the Blitzkrieg into Poland, had been renewed, such that the Communists were once again collaborating with Nazis in a worldwide underground network. The network had used Senator McCarthy as a propaganda mouthpiece, such as when the Senator had attacked U.S. Army personnel for torturing German war criminals being interrogated in advance of their trials for the Malmedy massacre of U.S. prisoners of war during the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944. Senator McCarthy's charges coincided with the Communist line in Germany, the charges having been circulated by the Communists at the time to stir up anti-American feeling among the Germans. Senate investigators had traced the origin of the Senator's charges to Dr. Rudolph Aschenauer, a former Nazi working with the Communists, who had helped to write Senator McCarthy's speeches and mailed them to him from Frankfort. Dr. Aschenauer, in turn had three known agents in the U.S., who also represented the Socialist Reich Party, pro-Nazi and finally outlawed by the West German Government. Yet, it had been known to be receiving money and support from the Communists. One of the pro-Nazi agents in the U.S., Frederick Weiss, had masterminded the National Renaissance Party, a group of fanatical anti-Semites with headquarters in New York State. Mr. Weiss was one of the most ardent admirers of Senator McCarthy, but was collaborating with the Communists. The FBI was interested in another of the pro-Nazi U.S. agents, Ulick Varange, author of a book on Fascist strategy, urging anti-American but not anti-Soviet activity. The third pro-Nazi agent in the U.S., Keith Thompson, had started out as a left-winger but switched to the Nazis and now claimed to have broken with them.

The purpose of the new Nazi-Communist partnership was to weaken democracy, by spreading hate, fear, suspicion and dissension. The Reporter had done an exposé of the worldwide link between Communism and Nazism, describing the Communist backing of the neo-Nazi leader, Dr. Werner Naumann, who had been nominated by Hitler to be the successor to Josef Goebbels as propaganda minister. Dr. Naumann had rallied the pro-Nazi splinter parties behind him in an attempt to resurrect the Nazi movement, and had praised Senator McCarthy while denouncing President Eisenhower. He had been arrested by the British on charges of plotting to overthrow the West German Government, a plot inspired by a Communist agent. The Reporter article had charged that the "explicit aim of the Naumann group was to establish a totalitarian West German government oriented toward the Soviet Union." Col. Otto Skorzeny, the rescuer of Mussolini in 1943, and Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler's former expert financier, were connected with a company in Spain used by Dr. Naumann as a front for a worldwide political network to keep in touch with Nazi exiles in Spain and Argentina, and pro-Nazis in other countries. Two members of the Nazi-Communist underground in Spain had taken in Roy Cohn and David Schine, when they had been in Europe the previous year acting as investigators for the Investigations subcommittee, creating embarrassment for the U.S. wherever they went.

Wolfgang Lohde, one of the two Nazi-Communists, had regaled the two young investigators with stories of Communist infiltration of Radio Free Europe, and it later turned out that Herr Lohde had signed an anti-American manifesto circulated by a German Communist-front organization. The other informant was Herman Aumer, who had been authorized by Messrs. Cohn and Schine to spy on the U.S.-licensed German press for Senator McCarthy. Herr Aumer had been fired by the U.S. Army in 1946 because of suspected Communist affiliation, afterward proving the suspicions well-founded when he joined the board of directors of the East-West Working Group for East-West Trade, a known Communist front. The two informants tried to sabotage U.S. propaganda behind the Iron Curtain by convincing Messrs. Cohn and Schine that Communists had infiltrated the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

Mr. Pearson notes that Senator McCarthy had consistently voted the Communist line against the Marshall Plan, Point Four, and military aid to free nations, as well as playing into Communist hands by undermining Army morale, undercutting the foreign service, and sabotaging the Voice of America.

Doris Fleeson tells of former Vice-President Alben Barkley, 76, running again for the Senate from Kentucky against incumbent Senator John Sherman Cooper, for whom he had fatherly regard. He was running because he was convinced he would win—as he would. During the campaign, he would not attack the President, whom he respected and was convinced had lost control of his own party, believing that therefore it was up to Mr. Barkley as an elder statesman, along with the other elder statesmen in Congress, to direct the course of events. He would also not likely deviate publicly from the party line of the Democrats, to whom he was fiercely loyal.

If elected, by custom, he could expect no special preferment from his fellow Democrats, but they anticipated that rule to be set aside in the case of the former Vice-President.

He had been pushed into his announcement of his candidacy a little earlier than he would have liked, but the Democratic Party managers in Kentucky had warned him that Senator Cooper was popular and that if the former Vice-President chose not to run, time would be needed to build up another candidate for the Democrats, such as the present Governor, Lawrence Wetherby. There would be no primary opposition and so the former Vice-President did not anticipate beginning his campaign until September. His friends declared that despite his age, he had never been more eloquent.

Mr. Barkley would serve only slightly more than a year before his death in April, 1956. He had served, before becoming Vice-President in 1949, 22 years in the Senate, ten of which had been as Majority Leader, and, prior to that, 14 years in the House.

Robert C. Ruark, in Nagpur, India, tells of meeting His Highness, the Raja Bereendra Bahadur Sigh of Khairagarh, finding him a "pleasant, plump, dark man" who had become a public servant when he had recently signed a document relinquishing his kingdom. He had invited Mr. Ruark to lunch, where he was attired in filmy white pajamas and wore a small red spot on his forehead, denoting that he had recently completed religious exercises. He spoke excellent English and had been in the diplomatic service abroad, as well as presently being a deputy minister of the newly elected Indian Government.

Despite having renounced his kingdom, he had been allowed to keep his amassed fortune, as had the other former Rajas. Some had gone to work, entering public office while others simply played. The former Raja Sigh was living modestly in a Government-provided house of average suburban size, with servants. He had provided a very good and simple lunch of curries, chickens, rice and hot peppers. The dozen guests ate buffet style. He had shown Mr. Ruark photos of tigers and leopards he had shot on safari. There were no dancing girls, elephants, marbled halls, or three-day orgies, but just lunch with a civil servant who had once been a king.

A letter writer indicates that she had read the column of Eric Brandeis nearly every day for several years and that while "some of his stuff has been good, some of it not so good", and his article of March 26 was one she would class as "some more stuff". She indicates that the first part of the article was true, in speaking of going to perdition, but not the second part, when he stooped to calling "croakers" some of God's called men who warned America about perdition. She indicates that man's destiny did not exist in the length of the world or America's lasting power, but rather in having a desire in the heart to find God, that the "traitors, grafters, cheaters, and thieves" were all enemies of God because their exploits were of the devil, and so there was a need to tell the unbelievers of the only way to turn away from the road to perdition.

A letter writer finds that Charlotte and its surrounding areas needed to form a family type entertainment for the citizenry which was permanent and open all year, and which was educational as well as recreational for children and grown-ups. He suggests a zoological garden and botanical garden to house animal and bird life from all over the world. He presents a very detailed plan for it and suggests that the Mayor, the chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission, and the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners should be members ex officio of the board of trustees which would control the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Zoological Society, which had been organized as a vehicle for voluntary community effort in establishing such a program.

You need to start by rescuing that giraffe from the Barnum & Bailey roustabouts before they stick a knife in it, cook it up and sell it to Mexico as goat meat.

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