The Charlotte News

Friday, May 14, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Hanoi that the French had begun airlifting this date their seriously wounded troops from the fallen fortress at Dien Bien Phu, with the conquering Vietminh having stated that they would release at least 450 of the casualties from the fortress, 250 fewer than previous French estimates of the number of serious cases remaining behind when the fortress had fallen a week earlier. The Vietminh had reported that they had captured 1,400 wounded in all at the fortress. The French high command announced this date that the first contingent of the most gravely wounded had arrived at the royal Laotian capital of Luang Prabang at about noon this date, with Dakota transport planes set to rush them from there to Hanoi and other points with hospital facilities. Only helicopters and small planes could be used to evacuate the fortress and so the French expected the airlifting of the 450 seriously wounded men to take at least two weeks to accomplish.

In the meantime, in the Red River delta around Hanoi, the French stated that they had incurred "serious losses" after resisting an attack by 2,000 to 3,000 Vietminh rebels the previous day at a point 30 miles south of Hanoi on the main road to that city, the largest attack thus far during the year in the delta area, the major target for the Vietminh since the fall of the fortress. Subsequently, French Union infantry, led by tanks, counterattacked, forcing "several battalions" of regular Vietminh infantry to withdraw into the nearby hills with "extremely heavy" losses. It was the first major attack in the delta region since the previous October.

France was reported to have asked the U.S. for direct high-level talks in an effort to determine what the U.S. was willing to do regarding intervention in the Indo-China war. The French conceded that the plan of French commander in Indo-China, General Henri Navarre, had been destroyed by the fall of Dien Bien Phu and that the Communist forces had been able to carry on more than mere guerrilla operations, making it a different kind of war from that which had been envisioned by General Navarre. Both U.S. and French officials said that the French Government had not yet formally requested U.S. intervention because of the fragile Government of Premier Joseph Laniel, which had only survived collapse by a two-vote margin in the National Assembly the previous night. The U.S. had informed France that two major political conditions would have to be satisfied prior to any U.S. intervention, those being that France would have to give the Indochinese Associated States full independence, so as to provide genuine motivation for native resistance to Communism, and that a coalition of nations would have to participate in the intervention.

On the 17th day of hearings before the Senate Investigations subcommittee regarding the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, Senator Karl Mundt, acting chairman of the subcommittee for the investigation, and Senator Everett Dirksen testified in the matter, relating behind-the-scenes approaches to them by Army general counsel John G. Adams the prior January, visits which Senator McCarthy had called "blackmail" attempts to get him to cease his investigation into alleged espionage and sabotage at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. Both Senators agreed that Mr. Adams had told of pressure from the subcommittee, chaired by Senator McCarthy, and particularly from its general counsel, Roy Cohn, on behalf of Private G. David Schine, who had been drafted into the Army the previous October after having been an unpaid aide of the subcommittee. Both Senators stated that their first reaction had been that if the charges outlined by Mr. Adams were true, then Mr. Cohn would have to be fired, but that when they discussed the matter with Senator McCarthy, he had said he would not submit to "blackmail". At that point, the subcommittee recessed until the afternoon session, at which time Senator Charles Potter, temporary member of the subcommittee, taking the place of Senator McCarthy, would also testify about his conference with Mr. Adams the prior January. Earlier in the morning session, Mr. Adams had continued his testimony for the third day, but Army special counsel Joseph Welch said that he was barred by executive order from answering questions about a January 21 conference at the Justice Department with Attorney General Herbert Brownell and top White House aides, a meeting which Mr. Adams had first mentioned two days earlier.

A photograph on the page shows future attorney for President Nixon during the Watergate scandal, James St. Clair, assistant special counsel for the Army during the hearings, conferring the previous day with a lieutenant colonel as to whether Private Schine should remain at the hearing, while Mr. Adams looked on with an irritated expression, indicating to the subcommittee that he could not continue to testify because of the stir around him.

In Amarillo, Tex., Air Force chief of staff General Nathan Twining said this date, in a speech prepared for an Armed Forces Day ceremony, that the new Russian heavy jet bomber, comparable in size to the U.S. B-52, had been developed for the sole purpose of reaching "important targets" in the U.S. He said that the Soviet medium bombers could reach "any important target in Europe or Asia or North Africa", that only the heavy bombers could reach important targets in the U.S. He said that the Soviet Union now had thousands more combat planes than the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines and Army combined. His estimate appeared to be in some conflict with that of Representative Errett Scrivner of Kansas, chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee handling military funds, made the previous month, that the U.S. outnumbered Russia in the air by a three to two ratio. It was not clear at the time whether Mr. Scrivner had been referring to overall air strength or only to combat aircraft. As of the previous January, the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines had about 33,000 planes of all types, of which one-third were jets, while Russian strength was estimated at 20,000 planes in active service, with another 20,000 in reserve.

In London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, ranking prelate of the Church of England, had accepted an invitation to attend the final London revival meeting of the Reverend Billy Graham, that meeting to be held on May 22 at Wembley Stadium, where a crowd of 110,000 was expected.

Off Cape Hatteras, N.C., a 200-foot freighter of Panamanian registry had run aground this date in raging seas at Hatteras Island, three miles north of the fishing village at Rodanthe, and the Coast Guard had removed its crew of 14 by breeches buoy. The wooden-hulled vessel had been reported to have left Philadelphia the previous day with a cargo of scrap iron headed to Havana. The Coast Guard said that the vessel was owned by Frank Cohen of Havana.

Pictured on the page is Caryl Chessman, convicted of kidnaping, rape and robbery for a series of crimes committed in Los Angeles in 1948 and sentenced to death based on kidnapings charged under former Penal Code section 209, subjecting the defendant to either the death penalty or life imprisonment without possibility of parole where the kidnaper acted with intent to hold the victim "for ransom, reward or to commit extortion or robbery or to exact from relatives or friends of such person any money or valuable thing" in cases where the victim suffered bodily harm. He had been granted a stay of execution by a California judge for at least 60 to 90 days pending the outcome of his habeas corpus petition on the basis that his trial transcript was inaccurate and fraudulently prepared from notes of a court reporter who had died during the trial, one of the preparers having been of notorious reputation and given to abuse of alcohol. The case subsequently, in 1955, was certified for appeal on the same ground to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which subsequently affirmed the prior conviction without issuing a writ and hearing evidence on the issues raised by the petition, whereupon the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and, in a per curiam decision, reversed and remanded to the District Court for determination on the merits of the claim, concluding after an evidentiary proceeding on the writ of habeas corpus, that there was "not a scintilla of verity in the allegations made by the petition" regarding fraud, that the trial judge, district attorney and substitute court reporter had diligently endeavored to establish an accurate record of the trial from the notes left by the deceased court reporter, and that due process therefore was satisfied. In 1957, the Supreme Court, however, again reversed, 5 to 3, in an opinion announced by Justice John Harlan—to be appointed to the Court in 1955 by President Eisenhower following the death of Justice Robert Jackson the subsequent October—, on the ground that due process was violated as the petitioner had not been represented in person or by counsel at a critical stage of the proceedings, when the transcript was being settled, requiring the State of California to undertake the process again of reconstruction of the record, affording Mr. Chessman presence or representation by counsel during the process. Justices William O. Douglas and Tom Clark dissented on the basis that, while agreeing with the basic rule of necessary due process enunciated by the majority, due process had been afforded in the case as Mr. Chessman had participated actively in the process of establishing the record, though it had been conducted ex parte, without his actual presence or representation by counsel, which he had refused. Justice Harold Burton briefly dissented on the basis that due process had occurred. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who had been Governor at the time of the original trial, took no part in the decision. In 1959, after resettlement of the record, the California Supreme Court again affirmed the convictions based on the resettled record regarding the substantive claims raised by Mr. Chessman. The U.S. Supreme Court would issue a stay of execution in October, 1959 without opinion and, eventually, after affording the State of California time to file opposition to the alleged grounds for the new appeal, would, also without opinion, vote to lift that stay. Mr. Chessman was the author of a bestseller, Cell 2455, Death Row—and would, in 1960, ultimately be the last inmate executed in California for such a kidnaping where death had not ensued in the course of the kidnaping. His eventual execution for crimes not involving the death of the victims would become an international cause celebre for opponents of capital punishment, as well as for those in favor of it, placing subsequent Governor Pat Brown in the middle.

In Raleigh, the state's highest elected officials paid tribute to Senator Clyde Hoey, who had died on Wednesday in Washington at age 76. Governor William B. Umstead would head a large group of State officials who were planning to attend the late Senator's funeral services in Shelby the following day. The contingent from the State Supreme Court would include Justices J. Wallace Winborne, William H. Bobbitt, and Emery B. Denny, the latter mentioned among the possibilities for appointment as Senator Hoey's successor. Not included was the actual successor, Justice Sam J. Ervin, who had also been mentioned among those who were possible appointees to the seat. Nor was included Lieutenant Governor Luther Hodges, who would succeed Governor Umstead at his death the following November.

In Shelby, the body of Senator Hoey was brought home this date by train from Washington for funeral services and burial. Vice-President Nixon would head the official delegation from Washington, including 45 members of the Senate and a dozen members of the House, who planned to attend the funeral. The Senator would be buried alongside his wife, who had died 12 years earlier. Among the Senators attending would be Senator McCarthy, along with Army Secretary Robert Stevens. Also expected to be present were Senate Majority Leader William Knowland and Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson. Virtually all of the Southern Senators were also expected to be in attendance. Shelby, with a population at the time of 15,000, would suspend all business activity the following afternoon for 90 minutes, in tribute to Senator Hoey. (It is probably a good thing that Nannie Cash, mother of W. J. Cash, buried in 1941 13 feet from Senator Hoey's grave, and backyard neighbor to the Hoeys from 1942, would not be present at the funeral to see that "old latterned-jawed" Mr. Nixon in person, though she was not given to any form of direct insult, being gentle in temperament, but more prone to state her actual opinion when face-to-face with some individual appearing on the television screen. Special note, however, to Mr. Nixon: Please do not step, inadvertently, on Cash's grave.)

On the editorial page, "Say, Buddy, Where's the Fire?" indicates that the Mecklenburg County Medical Society would shortly submit a worthy recommendation to the City Council that emergency vehicles should observe the prevailing speed limits appropriate to the area in which they were operating, unless moving under police escort.

It finds the proposal a worthy one, suggests that the Council take a look at Hartford, Conn., and Montréal, Québec, where the respective chiefs of the fire departments had adopted rules under which their drivers had to halt at stop signals before going through the intersection, not forced to wait for the green light, but making sure that no cross traffic would be in danger of collision.

"Immigration Policy Invites Lawlessness" indicates that Indiana Senator William Jenner, chairman of an Internal Security subcommittee, had announced that it would investigate the "subversive dangers inherent" in the illegal immigration of Mexican "wetbacks" across the Rio Grande.

The piece finds that it was time for such an investigation, as the head of the Immigration & Naturalization Service had stated the previous December that approximately "100 present and past members of the Communist Party" had been crossing daily into the U.S. via the El Paso area of Texas. But, it observes, Congressional investigators had been so busy investigating each other and competing for headlines that they had neglected that situation, where actual spies could easily enter the country from Communist-controlled Guatemala. The situation was being made infinitely more difficult for the Border Patrol by encouragement of illegal immigration by ranchers in the Southwest, desiring the cheap Mexican labor. It suggests that if those employers were forbidden to hire illegal immigrants and prosecuted if they persisted in doing so, the flood of immigrants would be curbed. It also finds that a full investigation of the matter would uncover the ludicrousness of the nation's immigration policy, that while that back door was wide open for illegal immigration of real spies, legal ports of entry were blocked by outmoded laws and red tape. The previous August, an act providing for the admission of 200,000 refugees had been signed into law, but during the ensuing six months, only five such refugees had been admitted to the country. Meanwhile, during a seven-month period the previous year, 700,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended on the Mexican border, and no one knew how many others had entered the country without being detected.

It finds therefore that U.S. immigration policy encouraged lawlessness and would continue to do so until the President or members of Congress insisted upon a rational revision of an "inane policy".

"Rock Hill Sets a Good Example" indicates that the town in South Carolina had formed a Council on Human Relations after several months of consultation among City officials, civic leaders, representatives of the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths and both races, to its knowledge, the first such organization in that state. It suggests that such a group could do a great deal to supplant bigotry with brotherhood and to iron out little problems before they became big ones, and congratulates the citizens of Rock Hill, commending their action to other communities, including Charlotte.

"The Monitor Belongs on Hatteras" indicates that there was an effort afoot to salvage the U.S.S. Monitor off the coast of Cape Hatteras, sunk by a storm in 1862 during the Civil War, led by a retired Michigan postal worker, four photographers from Life magazine and a couple of divers. They wanted to raise it and take it to Norfolk for restoration, then decide what to do with it.

It recalls that a Norfolk group wanted a few years earlier to use the vessel for personal profit, and believes the present group would perform similarly. It indicates that if the Monitor were to be disturbed, it should be left at Hatteras and preserved as an historical shrine, suggests that the State Board of Conservation & Development and the historical societies could spearhead such a project and send the outlanders back to their knitting.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Science and the Typewriter Ribbon", indicates that it was a sad commentary on the low state of the country's technical science that no one had yet invented a typewriter ribbon which could be easily changed. It ventures that one day, a ribbon manufacturer would figure out a way of attaching a clear plastic leader to a new ribbon to make the process simpler.

Don't worry, in less than 30 years, they will have a ribbon on a cartridge which is insertable in whole, at about the same time they will begin to sell personal computers which will eliminate the need altogether for ribbons of any kind, unless one were using an electronic typewriter which could interface with a personal computer, when printers were somewhat expensive and bulky, enabling the ability to have computer and travel. But that transition mode was made obsolete by advances in printers and personal computers about 30 years ago, when printers got much smaller, as did personal computers. In any event, you will be pleased to know that today, in 2021, you would have to order specially a typewriter ribbon, probably at an exorbitant price.

Drew Pearson tells of Republican California Governor Goodwin Knight, who had succeeded Earl Warren the prior October, when Governor Warren was appointed Chief Justice, having staged a television movie show with the California Congressional delegation as his unwitting actors and having managed to steal top labor support away from Democrats in California. He had accomplished the latter through the AFL secretary for California, Neil Haggerty, who sat with Governor Knight during a recent session of the California Legislature. Governor Knight told Mr. Haggerty that he was the governor for the new unemployment compensation bill and that if he did not like it, the Governor would send it back to the floor to get whatever he wanted. The Governor went on to say that if the Legislature sought to pass a right-to-work bill, he would block it in committee. As a result, the AFL had officially endorsed Governor Knight for re-election in 1954.

When the Governor had been in Washington recently, Congressman Carl Hinshaw had called a meeting of the California Congressional delegation, including both Democrats and Republicans, all of whom had been dazzled with what appeared as a Hollywood movie opening, replete with Klieg lights and motion picture cameras, in the midst of which was Governor Knight. It would obviously supply excellent campaign material, surrounded by the Congressional delegation. Governor Knight praised his former opponent in the lieutenant gubernatorial race, Congressman Jack Shelley, whom he said was an influence on the AFL, obviously knowing that Mr. Shelley's labor supporters had bucked the AFL leadership and endorsed the opponent of Governor Knight.

But at a private meeting with California Republicans only, the Governor took a different stance, taking some digs at his predecessor, Governor Warren, and reversing himself on two pledges to labor, saying that nonpartisanship was unnecessary. Unlike Governor Warren, who had always straddled the fence, he would support all Republican Congressmen. That was the opposite of what he had told Mr. Haggerty, saying also that he had told AFL that he was for a right-to-work bill and then received their endorsement, saying again that he did not intend to be like Governor Warren. The contrary statements between what he had said publicly and that which he told the Congressmen privately left some of the Republican Congressmen sore, one of whom was Congressman Bill Malliard of San Francisco, who said that he was secretary to Governor Warren and wondered what Governor Knight expected to accomplish by insulting his predecessor, that he had been tempted to walk out but decided it would do no good.

Doris Fleeson finds that the warnings on policy issued by former President Truman to President Eisenhower had expressed the misgivings of a bare Congressional minority, without whose partial support no Eisenhower program could succeed. House Minority Leader Sam Rayburn and all of the Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had said privately and vehemently everything which the former President had now said publicly. Their distrust was aimed primarily at Attorney General Brownell, who, the previous fall, had resurrected the case of the late Harry Dexter White, former Treasury Department employee accused before HUAC in August, 1948 of being a Communist, shortly after which he died. The effort had been to show how the prior Administration had been slipshod in allowing Communists into the Government. The apprehensions of the Democratic leaders was why DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell had warned that Washington was full of rumors that the Democrats were again to be attacked as traitors.

Personal relations between President Eisenhower and President Truman had been strained since the 1952 presidential campaign, the General having resented the President's attacks on him at the time, so much so that a chill had pervaded their enforced contacts during the 1953 inauguration. It had been relieved only after President Truman had confessed, in answer to speculation on the part of President Eisenhower, that he had ordered President Eisenhower's son, Major John Eisenhower, back from the Far East to see his father take the oath of office. But since that time, President Truman, despite frequent trips to Washington, had never been invited to the White House, despite General Eisenhower having been appointed by President Truman as Army chief of staff and supreme commander of NATO. President Eisenhower's aides had rebuffed an effort which President Truman had once made to welcome President Eisenhower to Kansas City.

President Eisenhower had told a mutual friend that one reason he had accepted Eleanor Roosevelt's resignation from the U.N. was that she had gossiped unkindly about First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, a role for Eleanor Roosevelt which was inconceivable to her friends. Nevertheless, the President believed it and was indignant about it.

It was possible that President Eisenhower had heard that President Truman had severely criticized him for his failure to uphold General Marshall when he was attacked as a traitor by Senators McCarthy and Jenner for his stand on Communist China during the Truman Administration. President Truman venerated General Marshall and fought his battles on fronts which the General disregarded as not worth his while.

Ms. Fleeson suggests, however, that if President Truman would reflect back to when he was President, he might remember that some of his staff came between him and people who could have been his friends. A possible intermediary between President Truman and President Eisenhower was George Allen. President Truman had been unmercifully criticized for his contacts with Mr. Allen, a successful political lawyer dubbed by Drew Pearson "the court jester", while President Eisenhower's much closer personal friendship with him had gone virtually unnoticed. Mr. Allen and his wife were the favored companions of the Eisenhowers during their idle hours.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Robert Dresser, a Rhode Island attorney who had warned in a speech before a special bar association committee that the current "Marxian" methods of taxation were leading the country to an early economic grave, urging a Senate committee to limit personal income taxes to a maximum of 25 percent during non-wartime. The proposal would also ban Federal inheritance and gift taxes. He likes Mr. Dresser's idea and finds it a shame that nothing would come of it because of the "hungry Treasury" and because no one ever seriously lowered a tax which was in force.

A letter from local attorney Francis O. Clarkson urges voters to vote in favor of the two-cent increase in property tax for the benefit of Charlotte College and Carver College in Charlotte, praises both community colleges for their educational efforts.

A letter writer responds to a previous letter writer who had commended doctors of the North Carolina Medical Society for rejecting admission of black doctors and had added that Americans would not stand for the "mixing, that is, mongrelization of the races". This writer says that the earlier writer had ignored the obvious fact that the nation was already one of the most "mixed" of any in the world, that if the prior writer had the courage to attend any black gathering, he would find all conceivable variations of color among the people, even those who were so white that one could not possibly know their racial composition. He also indicates that most black people were opposed to "mongrelization" of the races, but could not escape that which had already been done by the white people of the nation. The writer indicates that the race-mixing had gone on for 300 years and did not take place in either hospitals or churches, though many so-called Christians and Bible-readers had two families, one white and one black. This writer wonders whether the previous writer was aware also of the Christian injunction to "love thy neighbor as thyself".

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for supporting the "Clean-Up, Paint-Up, Fix-Up" campaign by the Jaycees in early May, which had been a sweeping success.

A letter from Bob Cherry, Jr., indicates that the entire story had not been told yet of the fall of Dien Bien Phu in Indo-China, but he would like to think that when it was told, its defenders would be shown to have had the good sense not to raise any white flags, that all had died with their "weapons spitting lead and cussin' the vicious foe to their last breaths." He hopes that the defeat at the fortress would be remembered by the people of France and that the memory would "snap them out of their ridiculous lethargy with respect to their defense at home and arouse them fully to the true and hideous intent of the common enemy." If France did not "deal her cards with the courage and doggedness manifested by her sons at Dien Bien Phu", then he believes that it deserved "no better than to have the livid and mangled bodies of those heroic sons haunt her in a state of inevitable slavery and misery".

You read too many comic books and attend too many Hollywood re-creations of never-neverland "history" culled from dime novelists. You obviously will not like President Nixon very much, though, undoubtedly, will probably vote for him twice.

A letter from the news service chairman of the Charlotte Business & Professional Women's Club indicates that to obtain equal rights between men and women, many restrictions had to be lifted, such as those restricting jury duty to men, control of property ownership to men and regarding inequality in employment. Restrictions differed in several states and made action on a national scale difficult. She thus favors the equal rights amendment introduced by Congresswoman Katharine St. George of New York.

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