The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 1, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in the 24th day of the hearings before the Senate Investigations subcommittee regarding the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, usual chief counsel for the subcommittee Roy Cohn testified this date that he had not ever threatened to "wreck the Army" or to cause the dismissal of Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens if former subcommittee aide and friend to Mr. Cohn, Private G. David Schine, was sent overseas. He called the charge "ridiculous and untrue", as related earlier in the testimony of Army general counsel John G. Adams. Mr. Cohn also denied having ever asked for Private Schine to be assigned to the New York area, again disputing the testimony of Mr. Adams, as well as that of Secretary Stevens. He admitted to subcommittee special counsel Ray Jenkins that he had referred the name of the regimental commander of Private Schine at Fort Dix in New Jersey to the McCarthy staff for investigation, but claimed that the referral was not connected to the Private's treatment at Fort Dix, that it was instead because he had been informed that the commander was not in sympathy with the subcommittee's work and had referred to it as "a witch hunt" and a "red herring"—only, in that event, echoing the words of former President Truman, at least in regard to the similar work of HUAC in 1947-48. An Army witness, Lt. John Blount, had testified that Mr. Cohn had once said that the regimental commander and Capt. Joseph Miller, who had testified previously, had been uncooperative in relation to the attempts to have Private Schine relieved from weekend kitchen duty, and that Mr. Cohn would not forget their names. Later in the examination of Mr. Cohn, Mr. Jenkins recalled testimony of Mr. Adams that Mr. Cohn had threatened to wreck the Army and declared that Secretary Stevens would be "through as Secretary", to which Mr. Cohn replied that he was sure he had not made such a statement.

Only the transcript of the afternoon session of the hearings this date is available online. Mr. Cohn continued his testimony.

Senator McCarthy refused to provide to the subcommittee this date the complete files on which Private Schine had worked, saying that he would not do so because they contained the names of confidential informants. Mr. Cohn had delivered the files a few moments earlier in a large cardboard box to Mr. Jenkins. The subcommittee had issued a subpoena to Senator McCarthy regarding the files, so that the subcommittee could document the assignments performed for the subcommittee by Mr. Schine while he was on leave from Army training. Mr. Cohn said he would produce the documents without a subpoena, but said this date that while he could not be certain that the box of documents he delivered contained all of the documents and papers on which Mr. Schine had worked, it was all which the staff members could assemble during the Memorial Day weekend. He said that some of the documents had names of confidential informants while others did not.

In New York the previous night, the President had delivered an address, nationally televised, in recognition of the bicentennial of Columbia University, of which he had been president from spring, 1948 until accepting his position as supreme commander of NATO in early 1951, thereafter having been on leave of absence until shortly before his inauguration in January, 1953. In the address he called for "more knowledge and intellect and less prejudice and passion" in regard to the fight against Communism, urging a "crusade of truth" both at home and abroad. He said that through knowledge and understanding, the country could "drive from the temple of freedom all who seek to establish over us thought control—whether they be agents of a foreign state or demagogues thirsty for personal power and public notice." His voice had grown thick with emotion when discussing demagogues and division, and those parts of the speech had received loud applause. He had mentioned no names in denouncing "would-be censors and regulators" and those who "divert our attention from the main battle" of opposing Communism. Subsequently, White House press secretary James Hagerty had been asked whether the President had meant to refer in the speech to Senator McCarthy, to which Mr. Hagerty replied that he would not seek to interpret the President's remarks. Senator McCarthy could not be reached for comment. About 1,800 persons had attended the address, which took place in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

A bill drafted by the House Ways & Means Committee regarding expansion of the Social Security program coverage to embrace an estimated ten million additional persons and increase benefits and taxes to both employers and employees, would come before the full House this date for debate and probable certain passage, embodying a large part of the recommendations made by the President. The bill could not be amended from the floor. It had little or no opposition, but would still have to pass the Senate.

Representative Paul Shafer of Michigan said this date that the commission charged with locating a site for the new Air Force Academy had not been able to agree, according to information he had received. He said that it was his understanding that the commission might report to Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott later this date. In the absence of agreement by the commission, the Secretary would pick the site from the commission's top three recommendations. Mr. Shafer said that the top five sites picked by the commission were St. Mary's, Calif., Colorado Springs, Alton, Ill., Madison, Ind., and Battle Creek, Mich. Representative William Springer of Illinois, in an interview, said that the commission members had thus far been unable to agree on the top three among those five sites. The Huntersville, N.C., locus, near Charlotte, previously among the possible sites under consideration, was not mentioned by Mr. Shafer. Had the latter been selected, would Dean Smith of Kansas, subsequently becoming an assistant basketball coach in Colorado Springs, been hired by Frank McGuire in 1958 as his assistant? Would UNC's football team, in that event, have faced off against the Air Force in the 1963 Gator Bowl?

General Maxwell Taylor, commander of the Eighth Army, left Tokyo this date for the U.S. via Honolulu, planning to take a vacation.

During the three-day Memorial Day weekend, at least 523 persons had died in traffic accidents, drownings, and miscellaneous occurrences, breaking the previous record of 510 for a three-day Memorial Day period in 1952. The traffic toll had been at least 355 deaths, 15 above that estimated by the National Safety Council prior to the start of the holiday weekend. The record had been 363, set in 1952.

In Duluth, Minn., a Minnesota National Guard plane, flying in heavy fog, crashed into a gravel pit near the Duluth Airport the previous night, killing nine troops aboard and injuring four others, three of whom were in critical condition. The plane was returning from a practice flight to Indianapolis, where the 14 persons aboard had attended the annual Indianapolis 500 race.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, it was reported that the Brooklyn soldier who had broken his hip in a 1,000-foot fall off Mount McKinley was evacuated by Air Force helicopter early this date and flown to Fairbanks for hospitalization.

In Genoa, Italy, the Italian Yacht Club had turned down the application for membership from former King Farouk of Egypt, not disclosing why it had blackballed him.

In San Pedro, Calif., while adults were unable to catch any fish, two small boys in the outer harbor had caught a whole raft of fish, prompting someone to call the police to investigate, finding that the two boys had been fishing in a floating tank in which many varieties of fish, some rare, were being kept alive to put into an aquarium presently under construction. The police seized what they could of the catch and returned them to the tank, and the boys were taken to the juvenile bureau, where they were given a talk about fishing in a private tank. Don't hold them responsible, as they were simply the victims of watching "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", believing everything depicted therein was just okay and not possibly against the law, or they would not have put it on the tv as good, wholesome entertainment. That Thorny is a bad influence.

In Silva, N.C., a 58-year old mountaineer, who had been convicted 15 years earlier of killing two men in a gun battle, for which he had served a prison term, was charged this date with first-degree murder arising from a shooting which took place the previous day, after an eyewitness accused the man of handing a gun to his nine-year old son and telling him to shoot a 15-year old companion, following an argument between the 15-year old and the younger boy's father, arising from the 15-year old's guitar playing and singing. The witness, 19, said that he and the boy were in a truck playing the guitar and singing, when the father approached to complain, at which point the argument ensued.

In Charlotte, a man who had led the Saturday Democratic primary race for constable of Charlotte Township was scheduled for trial this afternoon in Domestic Relations Court on a charge of domestic assault against his wife. Because he had not received a majority vote, he faced a runoff primary in June. A man of the same name had been previously charged with housebreaking and larceny in 1946, for which there had been no probable cause found. In early 1947, a man of the same name and about the same age had been charged with highway robbery, on which probable cause was found, and apparently the same individual had again been charged with public drunkenness in 1949, for which he paid an eight dollar fine, again charged and convicted of public drunkenness the same year, with the same fine, then had a case nol-prossed on a charge of embezzlement in 1950, and was charged with impersonating an officer and fined $50 in August, 1953.

In Albuquerque, N.M., a nine-year old girl was building a spaceship which she intended to use to visit the Martians, having written a letter the previous week to them, telling them to come to her house on Sunday night "to stop the earth people from fighting" as "all they have is war, war, war and I'm getting tired of it, so be here." She had enclosed a hand-drawn map showing where the Martians should meet her, at a nearby playground, indicating that she would leave her window open and promised that she would never tell anyone about them. But the Martians had not shown up, causing her to feel "sort of mad", and so she vowed that when she grew up and became a scientist, she would build a spaceship and go to see them, that as soon as she turned 12, she could start studying for that prospect. She wanted to tell the Martians to "scare the people on earth because there's too much war."

Oh, come on. The Martians landed in Washington in 1951, the earth stood still, and they are still warring as much as ever. You ought to know, kid, that it won't change anything except for a few days. Martians won't like it here anyway, as they would be segregated and then investigated by Senator McCarthy as probably holding Communist sympathies. You need to address your concerns to earthlings. Write the U.N. or your Congressman, but try to use a little less demanding, gentler approach.

On the editorial page, "City Limits Extension Offers Much to Those Who Are Now Opposing It" indicates that it was unfortunate that the proposed extension of the city limits had already become a public issue, productive of rising temperatures and categorical statements before it was known precisely what the argument was about. It goes on at quite some length, taking up nearly the entire column this date, explaining those arguments, concluding that extension of the city limits would mean a far smaller net tax increase than at first appeared, in return for which it would bring many tangible and intangible benefits to those who currently lived in the fringe area, while assuaging the guilt which had to be felt by those living in the fringe areas and were carrying less than their fair share of the burden of operating expenses of the metropolitan community. It finds that the issue was one to be worked out by reasonable persons on both sides of the boundaries with a joint interest in the continued orderly growth of "the best metropolitan area in the South".

You have a long way to go to catch up with Atlanta, in many more ways than one. Take it from us, as we saw both communities during extended periods of each summer throughout the 1960's. Charlotte was merely a large country town by comparison. While the chicken coops and pig pens were not in evidence, the trucks and the trucks and the trucks, and their depots and repair shops, were, added to which was a comparative dead spirit to both the downtown and the remote shopping areas. The community vivacity of Atlanta was plainly lacking. The residential neighborhoods, however, were comparable, even if there were more of them in Atlanta. We were also able to attend a Major League bat day several times, and obtain a free bat as a pet, which one could not do in Charlotte.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Voice of a Tree", indicates that Edith Sitwell, writing in The Atlantic, had said that in her "Poet's Notebook", she had a quotation about a painter who painted a tree, becoming a tree, which she found to be one of the powers which made Dylan Thomas a great poet, that despite his poems initially appearing strange, if one were to hear a tree speak in its own voice, that, too, would appear strange.

The piece indicates that it did not know why it should appear strange, that Ms. Sitwell must have been thinking of people who lived in cities and never got out into the country. For there, trees were always talking to people in their own voices. One entered a pine forest and the pines would say, "Shh, shhh." Oaks, elms, maples, poplars had their own voices and should be heard. "Beauty and terror are in their speech", as they were telling today of what they had told the Persians, the Greeks and the Chinese thousands of years ago: "'If you destroy us without replacing us you will have erosion, floods and famine, and your civilization will shrivel up and die.'"

The editorial writer must have gone to our high school, which published a monthly bulletin, apparently extant for many decades before we got there, titled "Pine Whispers".

It leaves out the form of speech of trees which foretells the coming of a storm.

Drew Pearson tells of Emperor Haile Selassie having ridden down Constitution Avenue in Washington the previous week, greeted by a cheering crowd. He had become slightly faint at a reception provided by the Ethiopian Ambassador, as the altitude in Washington was about 35 feet above sea level, whereas the Emperor lived in Addis Ababa, at an altitude of 8,000 feet. He had endured Mussolini's Black Shirts in the mid-1930's and civil war with his uncle, but a Washington social soirée was a little more than he could tolerate. Mr. Pearson, who attended few such Washington social gatherings, had gone to that one.

He wonders what the Rockefeller family thought of Republican Congressmen who inspired testimony that the Rockefeller Foundation was the next thing to Communism. The Rockefellers had contributed $84,000 in 1952 to elect a Republican President, but now Congressman Carroll Reese of Tennessee, former RNC chairman, had permitted testimony which made the Rockefeller Foundation's great work stemming typhoid, bubonic plague, disease all over the world, appear tantamount to something dictated from Moscow. The Ford family had also contributed heavily to the Republicans and Ford dealers throughout the country had been asked to contribute in 1952, but the previous week, Republican Congressmen permitted testimony indicating that the Ford Foundation was akin to Communism. He concludes that Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller were likely turning over in their graves.

Dr. Ralph Bunche, the distinguished black diplomat, was having his loyalty checked during the previous two months, but it had been kept so quiet that even he had not known about it for awhile. Secretary-General of the U.N., Dag Hammarskjold, had known about it and was so upset at the Eisenhower Administration that he purposely promoted Dr. Bunche to be Undersecretary of the U.N. To offset political repercussions of the probe, the White House had publicized the fact that Dr. Bunche was invited to the official dinner for Emperor Selassie.

Dr. Philip Jessup of Columbia had been appointed as a delegate to the U.N., but Senate Republicans had refused to confirm him because he had belonged to a subversive group many years earlier, despite having the approval of the President. Channing Tobias, a black leader who belonged to nine organizations listed by HUAC as subversive, was, nevertheless, confirmed to be a U.N. delegate by Republican Senators, without any trouble, the Republicans being fearful of a well-organized minority group vote and so were afraid to oppose him.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of two unidentified Soviet secret agents of the highest rank, probably having worked in Vienna and Berlin, having defected and providing their stories to U.S. intelligence authorities. Such high-level defections had to be disturbing to the Soviets, especially in light of the previous defections by Yuri Rastovorov, who held a ministerial rank in the Soviet Embassy in Tokyo, and Vladimir Petrov and his wife, somewhat lower in rank, who had defected from the Soviet Embassy in Australia, and Nikolai Kohlkov, relatively unimportant. There had been a number of other lower ranking Soviet intelligence agents who had recently defected without attracting public attention. The defected agents provided a representative sample of Soviet intelligence from the two critical areas of Europe and the Far East, in all likelihood completely compromising Soviet intelligence.

The reason for the defections was the execution by the Soviets the prior December of former secret police head L. P. Beria, sending through the ranks of the secret police doubt and apprehension, as all officials linked to Mr. Beria were at risk. The defections probably had caused the Kremlin to lose confidence in the secret police intelligence system everywhere in the world. The first such defector had been Igor Gouzenko, in Canada, revealing to Canadian authorities that between three and five different Soviet intelligence system were operating in Canada, that while the principal network might be compromised, the subsidiary networks, not connected with Mr. Beria and competitive with the secret police, were likely still in operation.

The fact that the name of Mr. Rastovorov had leaked, apparently through Army intelligence in Tokyo, against an expressed promise that if he did defect, the CIA would protect his identity, was the undoubted reason why the two new defectors' identities were not being revealed.

In the case of Mr. Kohlkov, his story was initially not believed, especially regarding his claim that he was under orders to be an assassin, as well as his plea to the CIA to extract his wife and child from the heart of the Soviet Union. He was subjected to ruthless grilling before the CIA placed any credence in his story. His insistence upon extraction of his wife and child and belief that the CIA could accomplish it, demonstrated the fear of U.S. intelligence within the ranks of Soviet intelligence.

While U.S. intelligence had performed admirable work in obtaining these defections, most of the credit was due the Soviet system, itself, for consuming their own and the fact that their spies were those most spied upon.

Robert C. Ruark discusses long johns, which he regards as the most comfortable article of clothing ever developed, especially in earlier times when it was cold all over the house except in front of the fireplace or the large stove which sat in the parlor. His grandfather wore them year-round, with a lighter set in the summer, insisting that it was unhealthy to be uncovered during the chills and fevers of the night air. He had finally died in his eighties of "corn liquor and cancer", with the help of the first having resisted the second for 17 years.

He thinks that if all of the "nonsense" of the McCarthy hearings had been conducted in red flannels, the hearings would have been much shorter, as "no man is a hero in long handles."

With the U.S. contemplating intervention in Indo-China, with some at the Pentagon contemplating a preventive war against the Soviets before they could achieve intercontinental missile capability, with the desegregation decision regarding the public schools handed down two weeks earlier by the Supreme Court causing consternation to too many in the South, with Senator McCarthy openly challenging the authority of the President to issue executive orders to executive department employees not to cooperate with the Congress in providing testimony or documents regarding private discussions, Mr. Ruark chooses to discuss underwear. One can be entertained by simply turning on the television or the radio. The newspaper's editorial page should be reserved for, more or less, some serious or at least enlightening exposition. If you want to contemplate or discuss among yourselves underwear, it is quite all right with us. But leave us out of the conversation. As many people read The News, undoubtedly, just before sitting down to dinner in the evening, or just afterward, while they were trying to digest their food, such subject matter has to be placed in its proper context. Underwear, even edible underwear, is not food for thought.

A letter writer indicates that listening to a program on television recently, containing some of the points of view of students on segregation, had been "quite something". (He does not identify the program, but presumably it was "See It Now", introduced by Edward R. Murrow, aired on May 25, on the comparative receptions to the Brown v. Board of Education decision in the nearby town of Gastonia and the town of Natchitoches, Louisiana, to which we linked yesterday.) One girl had said that they could not afford to go to school with a black person because it would lower a white person's standard, because blacks did not come up to their standard—as expressed at the 10-minute mark of the program. The writer finds that standards of most black students reached far beyond those of any who had spoken on the program he had watched. "Let each one examine himself and see if he will find any difference only in the color of the skin. Our skins are black, but it is something to be proud of." He urges consideration of how blacks had gone to foreign countries to fight against enemies, and then the country had turned around and allowed the enemy to come in as citizens. Yet returning black veterans were still not accepted in white society. Black mothers and daughters went into white homes for twelve hours each day and took care of the family's needs and still they were not accepted. He wonders what was wrong with the people of North Carolina, urges thinking twice before speaking, and contemplating whether the country was really free. He indicates that black citizens were only seeking a chance to be recognized on some other level than second-class citizenship, to be paid decent salaries so that they could earn a decent living, "like you all do". He says that he loved his state, but that it was hard to call it the "friendly state". "No one wants to go to your churches or come into your homes to visit you as you seem to think, although we are just as good as you are."

In that latter portion of his letter, he precisely echoes the sentiments expressed by a black woman who spoke at the Gastonia black PTA meeting, at the 16-minute mark of the "See It Now" program, however impracticable, economically and socially, such a system of continued striving for equality and freedom within that process had become, through separation occasioned by dint of the borders of the racial divide long established, postbellum, in residential neighborhoods, the separation, itself, not alloyed, having been responsible for the bitterness born of fragile stereotypes accumulated, many times subconsciously through the influence of intrusive media, whether print, visual or aural, on each side of the divide for want of familiarity with how the other part of that divide lived, as acquired ordinarily through personal interaction, achieved ideally within the classrooms, where interaction could occur on a level of personal observation through use of all of the senses, without the barriers of social and economic caste interfering, at least when orchestrated by good and proper teachers treating each student as an individual human being.

It might be noted that the letter writer accentuates, perhaps, too much the negative white opinion, at least from Gastonia—which Mr. Murrow, despite his Greensboro birth and early life, pronounces as the Germanic "Wachovia", that is "Gaston-i-a", whereas for the native Gastonians and most other native-born North Carolinians, each of the latter two "i's" of the latter word, incidentally, always pronounced as a long "e", not short "i" or long "y", as Mr. Murrow adopted that separately distinctive "e" sound for the "i" in Gastonye—while ignoring the positive, as evinced by the far more progressive attitudes articulated by the two students who immediately followed the girl at the ten-minute mark, one of whom said she had spent several years in her earlier grades in integrated New Jersey schools, though not betraying any such Yankee heritage in accent from her ewt, having obviously been acculturated within the Southern schools, though without imbibing too much the Southern culture, having learned her "other"—I and Thou—lessons well in both places, to avoid the hell of it all, while the latter of whom had suggested some healthy engagement with The Mind of the South or at least with those elders who had read it and discussed it in his presence along the stream of time during the prior 13 years.

A letter writer from Marshville, N.C., urges acceptance by the states of the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, regarding the school desegregation decision, explaining the relationship between the Fourteenth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment, the latter providing the states or the people with the residual powers not expressly provided to the Federal Government in the Constitution, the police powers being those left to the states, to provide for health, morals, safety and welfare of the people. He also suggests that if in the future, a situation were to arise in a non-segregated school which endangered the health, morals, safety or welfare of the students or staff, the cause of that situation could be remedied by the legislature or the executive branch—the latter, of course, including police action by either police, sheriffs, state National Guard units, or the Army, though he does not specify precisely what he has in mind in that regard.

A letter writer indicates that as a Southerner, he did not believe in mixing black and white children in the schools, recommends that Southerners band together and "get rid of some of these crooked politicians, before it is too late." He thinks that it had been the New Deal Democrats and Northern Republicans who wanted to mix the white and black children in school.

What is your problem? Fear of the unknown and superstition obviously govern your every thought. You probably avoid walking on the crack relief-grooves in the sidewalk, for fear that, one day, it might break apart and you will fall through the earth into outer space.

A letter writer responds to another letter published on May 26, indicates that he was proud of that writer's Confederate flag, measuring six feet by four feet, but could not say much for his desire to start a new Civil War. This writer says that he was a Yankee and proud of it, had lived in the South, Southwest and West for more than 30 years, could simulate a Southern brogue as well as a native son and had tolerated "so-called" Southern hospitality as a matter of course, put up with high taxes, "ignorant as well as ignominious voting, enticed by smooth-tongued politicians", and had been fatigued by religion governing almost all walks of life throughout the South. The country was free in terms of equal opportunity, and citizens striving to make the country live up to those standards should not be subject to slander and hatred. He informs the prior writer that he would be one of the first ten Yankees whom the writer could pay for his complete moving costs to return to the North.

When you say that you had affected a Southern brogue as well as the natives, you could not possibly mean some of the various brogues heard in the "See It Now" of the prior week. And, furthermore, a born and bred Southerner, regardless of how he or she speaks among the varied speech patterns evidenced, will always be able, with a trained ear, to spot a fake or acquired Southern accent, affected for the purpose of blending with the environment, accomplished with or without a voice coach. There is just something about it, a nuance not possible of imitation, one plainly acquired from hearing other fake Southern accents in media representations, such as "Gone With the Wind" or "A Streetcar Named Desire", which does not quite work, causing inevitable suspicion to arise that the outsider was a spy sent to ingratiate him or herself to the community to inform the Yanquis of the tendency to treason of the rebels, whether whistlin' "Dixie" or not.

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