The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 22, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, the Guatemalan delegation reported this date that Government forces were driving back the invaders in all sectors of the fighting within Guatemala, but said that aggression against Guatemala continued, and again asked the Security Council to take further steps against it, as the aggressors had not complied in any way with the Security Council resolution which had been approved on Sunday, requesting a cease-fire. Guatemala had withdrawn its complaint of "foreign aggression", previously lodged with the Inter-American Peace Commission of the Organization of American States.

The Senate Investigations subcommittee which had heard the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, concluding its hearings the previous Thursday, this date set August 1 as a tentative date by which it would render its verdict on the matter. Temporary chairman of the subcommittee during the investigation, Senator Karl Mundt, said that unless the subcommittee reached its findings within a week after adjournment of Congress, it might become impossible to do so until after the November midterm elections. The subcommittee, he said, had assigned special counsel Ray Jenkins and his aide, Charles Maner, the task of drafting a "balance sheet" of the most salient testimony, with an index to show where in the record the pertinent evidence would be found on each such point, to guide the subcommittee in writing its final report. Mr. Jenkins had estimated that it would take him 3 to 4 weeks to provide the synopsis. The Senator said that Mr. Jenkins would not recommend any particular findings, but would only summarize the evidence. The subcommittee had agreed to consider at a subsequent meeting whether to meet a demand by Assistant Secretary of State Struve Hensel for a more complete vindication than the subcommittee had already provided to him, and whether to ask the Defense Department why it had withheld for more than a year the requested security clearance for two members of the regular staff of the subcommittee. Senator Charles Potter of the subcommittee had urged the firing of some employees on both sides of the controversy, that is staff of Senator McCarthy and staff of the Army Department, but had not provided names. He had met with the President the previous day, but would not say what they had discussed, saying to newsmen that he still believed that the regular subcommittee, chaired by Senator McCarthy, should not undertake new hearings before undertaking a "clean-up". As chairman of a subcommittee charged with inquiring into reports that many U.S. citizens listed as dead or missing were being held captive behind the Iron Curtain, he said that he did not wish to start any new hearings before the staff situation was straightened out.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this date that the cost of living had increased by three-tenths of a percent during May because of higher food prices, bringing the index to 115 percent of the 1947-49 average, the same level recorded the previous August, November and February. It represented a one percent increase over the same period a year earlier.

In New York, the stock market generally gained ground this date, as investors interpreted the Federal Reserve Board's reduction of commercial bank reserves as an inflationary gesture, but tobacco stocks were under strong selling pressures following the American Cancer Society's report the previous day linking cigarette smoking with increased risk of cancer and heart disease. American Tobacco stock was down at the opening bell by $3.50 per share, at $56, a new low for the year. Phillip Morris declined $2.50 per share to $37.50, and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco B stock was off two dollars, down to $35, as were P. Lorillard and Liggett & Myers. The tobacco industry declined comment on the ACS report and individual cigarette companies likewise had no comment.

Also in New York, CBS television news commentator Don Hollenbeck, 48, had been found dead in his gas-filled apartment this date, with police indicating that the circumstances suggested suicide. A CBS spokesman said that Mr. Hollenbeck had recently been in ill health. He had won the Polk Memorial Award from Long Island University in 1954 for his series of broadcasts titled "CBS Views the Press". He was heard each night nationally on the network's 10:00 p.m. newscast. He had handled various spot news assignments and was a member of the news team which reported events of the past on the network's "You Are There" series. He had begun his journalism career as a reporter for the Omaha Bee News, being a native Nebraskan. He had joined the Associated Press news photo staff in New York in 1937 and was transferred by the AP to San Francisco in mid-1939 as news photo editor, resigning a year later to become picture editor for the defunct PM, later becoming its national affairs editor, and during World War II, had gone to Europe for the Office of War Information, returning to the U.S. in 1944 to recover from malaria and jaundice, then going back to Europe in 1945 and broadcasting from Germany, France and England. He had joined the CBS radio staff in 1946.

In Chicago, Montgomery Ward Thorne, 20, heir to the mail order house fortune, had been found dead in his apartment on Saturday, and had left two wills. A few days before his death, he had left half of his million-dollar estate in the second will to his 18-year old fiancée, who testified before a coroner's jury that she had not known until after his death that he had changed his will to include her. She indicated that she had told her attorney, when informed that she was a beneficiary, that she did not want to have anything to do with it, because she was afraid "they" would get her, not indicating who "they" were. She said that Mr. Thorne had told her that his mother had once had him arrested as a dope fiend and a drunkard. A police detective testified that a homemade hypodermic syringe, a sleeping pill, a spoon which had been blackened by flame, and a length of thin rubber hose had been found in the apartment, indicative of narcotics usage, and the coroner stated that a postmortem examination had found nine needle marks in Mr. Thorne's arms. Both his fiancée and her mother, however, denied that he was a narcotics addict. In his first will, executed shortly after his 18th birthday, he had left his entire estate to his mother, but the new will, in addition to the half left to his fiancée, had left only one-eighth to his mother, one fourth to his fiancée's mother, and another eighth to an aunt.

In Amsterdam, evangelist Billy Graham arrived this date from Copenhagen for a hurried half-day visit, welcomed by Protestant clergymen, then addressing a gathering of church workers and clergymen in the packed Lutheran Church, scheduled to preach later in the day at the Olympic Stadium, with a capacity audience of 55,000 expected.

In Los Angeles, Malcolm Boyd, once a press agent and later a radio and television producer, having given up a partnership with Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers three years earlier to study for the ministry, had been ordained the previous day as an Episcopal deacon. He would continue his studies at Oxford University.

In Presidio, Tex., the temperature reached 107, but a man who ran a hardware store said that a lot of the time it reached 112 or 114, so it did not feel that hot, that he had been to Dallas when it was only 99 and the humidity accompanying that temperature caused it to feel hotter than when it had been 119 in Presidio. The manager of the local hotel said that the young men who had come into the lobby to spend the afternoon were not seeking a siesta from the heat but rather wanted to get out of the dust, affirming what the hardware store man had said, that it was not really hot. Presidio was often the hottest spot in the country, but Phoenix, Ariz., had recorded 111 the previous day.

The Weather Bureau's Storm Warning Service in Miami reported that a tropical disturbance was moving northeastward off the South Carolina coast, but said that it would not reach hurricane intensity.

In Muscatine, Iowa, police said that a thief had broken into a service station and managed to take only a soap dispenser and a roll of towels. Perhaps, he needed to wash his face and hands of the grapes.

In Lynchburg, Va., a 10-year old Charlotte boy was found at the bottom of a swimming pool the previous day and was revived by artificial respiration. He was reported to have gone into the deep end of the pool on a dare from an older brother, despite being unable to swim. He was revived by a lifeguard, was taken to the hospital where his condition was satisfactory.

In Charlotte, the manager of the Memorial Stadium said that after three years, the light poles had dried out somewhat and had been warping, and the wind had apparently blown some of the lights off line, and so they were refocusing them this date to specific points on the field, utilizing stakes they had stuck into the field as focal points. They had spotted some dark spots on the field during the previous football season and decided that the lights needed realignment. Electricians were also replacing burned out 1,500-watt bulbs, which cost two dollars each, only about a dozen of which burned out each year.

Also in Charlotte, the bookkeeper in the municipal accountant's office, after two weeks of intermittent hiccuping, had finally ceased his spell after undergoing treatment at Memorial Hospital, enabling him to return home. No cause had been discovered. He had received several suggestions in the meantime, such as a proposal to blow up a paper bag, eat damson preserves directly from the jar, apply a cake of ice between his shoulder blades, and to stop up his ears and drink a glass of water while lying flat on his stomach, but had not taken any of the advice, instead listening to the attending physician.

It was a big day in the news.

On the editorial page, "For State Senator, F. J. (Jack) Blythe" favors the named candidate in the runoff primary against incumbent State Senator Fred McIntyre, and provides reasons for its choice.

"New Rule Would Mess up Farm Program" indicates that Mecklenburg, like thousands of other counties across the nation, had a county Agriculture Stabilization & Conservation committee, composed of three farmers, who helped to administer and police operation of Federal farm programs, each of the members being elected each year by farmers in their county, each receiving only seven dollars per day, obviously causing them to lose money by serving. The 45 members of the Mecklenburg committee had been re-elected year after year and their cumulative experience was one of the principal reasons for efficient local administration of the agricultural program.

But, based on a recent Agriculture Department ruling, they would be ruled ineligible to continue in office if having served three consecutive terms. The order also forbade officers of farm organizations from holding those positions. The Department had said in justification of the new rules that it was to promote greater participation by farmers. But the piece does not understand how that would be and finds the changes senseless, as much so as forcing the retirement of experienced members of Congress, executive department officials or, in private life, incumbent members of boards of directors. It hopes that the Department would rescind the order.

"A Man with a Plan and Ability" indicates that the new French Government of Premier Pierre Mendes-France, the 20th since the end of the war, might be short-lived, as he had set a July 20 deadline for bringing about a settlement of the Indo-China conflict or he would resign.

He was not a mediocrity acceptable to the National Assembly only because he had not antagonized the majority of it, as with so many of his predecessors. He was a brilliant economist and financier, who had first been elected to the Assembly at age 25, and had his own program. He wanted austerity in the nation's economy and had long called for an end to the Indo-China war, believing it to be a drain on social and economic reforms at home and thus enabling the Communists to exert pressure on the domestic situation, while not effectively combating Communism in the colonial war in Indo-China.

It indicates that it was a sign that perhaps France was finally resigning itself to inevitable changes. The fact that Premier Mendes-France had kept the Foreign Ministry for himself, showed a change, as, with the exception of one month, there had been only two Foreign Ministers since the end of the war, Robert Schuman and Georges Bidault. While the new Premier was not as enthusiastic about the European Defense Community as had been those two Foreign Ministers, he was a solid friend of the West.

"Sharp" nominates for the best two-sentence editorial of the year an Associated Press story out of Washington the prior Friday, which had begun: "A tall, Bible-toting man came to the Capitol today to protest the end of the McCarthy-Army hearings. He was taken to a hospital for mental observation."

A piece from the New Orleans States, titled "Such Chivalry!" indicates that one of the spectacular springtime maladies of the college campus had erupted at Northwestern University a few days earlier, a panties raid on a girls' dormitory by some 300 male students, which was promptly quieted when the dean demanded that they each give their names and draft numbers, at which point they turned and fled. "Such chivalry! Such knights in shining armor!"

Drew Pearson indicates that the residents of Lake Geneva, Wisc., one of the cities bidding for the new Air Force Academy, did not want it to be the site and its residents had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington to enjoin Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott from selecting Lake Geneva. Secretary Talbott had refused to hear a group of Lake Geneva citizens when they came to call on him, and so the prominent citizens promptly filed the lawsuit. The Secretary had narrowed his choice to Colorado Springs, Alton, Ill., and Lake Geneva. The bulk of the citizens of the latter believed that the Air Force Academy would change and spoil their resort community.

Mr. Pearson next indicates that political pull within the armed services had come to light during the Army-McCarthy hearings and should be completely eliminated. In one instance, the Mayor of Baltimore had obtained a commission for his son in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, where he had not been likely to see combat during the Korean War. The Mayor had accomplished the favor through Senator John Butler of Maryland, who approached General Miles Reber, and the son of the Mayor was pulled out of basic training and given a direct commission. In early 1953, the son of Congressman Harold Velde, HUAC chairman, was transferred, at the behest of the Congressman, to Bolling Field, just ten minutes from Washington, immediately after he finished Air Force ROTC training. Former Senator "Pass-the-Biscuits Pappy" O'Daniel of Texas had wangled three different attempts for his son to pass officers' candidate school, after flunking twice, normally being washed out after one such failure, and eventually, after success on the third try, transferred to Fort Washington in the District of Columbia. Former Congressman Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, who had gone to prison for taking salary kickbacks, had been trying to transfer soldiers to lush assignments and then collect from their families for his efforts.

In addition to members of Congress, General MacArthur, while a major in the Philippines during the Harding Administration in the early 1920s, had been able to get his father-in-law, a partner in the J. P. Morgan firm, to go to the War Department and tell Secretary of War John Weeks that he wanted Major MacArthur promoted, which then occurred. After the war, he was the only brigadier general to keep his temporary wartime rank, prompting Congress to pass a law providing that future brigadier generals had to be promoted only from the rank of colonel, not from major, as had been General MacArthur, to avoid in the future such wire-pulling.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the Administration was formulating a plan to guarantee Thailand against Communist aggression, along with Laos and Cambodia, two of the three French Union Associated States, along with Viet Nam, the latter not part of the planned guarantee. The guarantee for Thailand would be part of the discussion in the upcoming conference between the President and Prime Minister Churchill, to begin at the end of the week. Whether or not the French would be asked to join in the policy would depend on the new Premier, Pierre Mendes-France, and his policies, plus developments in the war in Indo-China. The French attitude would determine whether Laos and Cambodia would be included in the Anglo-American military guarantee.

Laos was a hilly kingdom populated by people of Thai blood, and Cambodia, to the south, while not having a predominantly Thai population, had close links to Thailand, as Cambodia's border provinces once had formed a part of Thailand. In both states, at present, only a small contingent of Communist forces were operating. Cambodia and Laos would form a valuable buffer zone between Thailand and Viet Nam, where the bulk of the Communist advance had taken place. The plan was to have Laos and Cambodia with Thailand in a federation, which would collectively undertake the common defense against Communist attack or infiltration. The U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, General William Donovan, had recently visited Washington to press the idea of such a federation.

The problem remained, however, in convincing the French to go along with the idea insofar as Laos and Cambodia, and it was questionable how the French Government would react to formation of a federation involving two of the French Union Associated States in combination with Thailand, which had no connection with the Union, and then giving that federation an Anglo-American military guarantee. Some years earlier, French authorities had been enraged by the appearance of British agents in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, and in the capital of Laos, Luang Prabang, in an effort to form a resistance line along the Laotian-Cambodian border as a possible bulwark against Communist aggression. As a result of that earlier resistance, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was persisting in excluding Cambodia and Laos from the discussions of an Indochinese settlement at Geneva. The Communist efforts to infiltrate Laos and Cambodia had been increased in recent months, but had met with no great success thus far. On that basis, Mr. Eden had insisted that Cambodia and Laos were in a different category from Viet Nam.

The Communist delegations of Russia, Communist China and the Vietminh had vehemently resisted placing Laos and Cambodia in a special category at Geneva, insisting that they be included in any general settlement of the Indo-China war, indicative of the Communist desire to obtain control of Cambodia and Laos, along with Viet Nam. Thus questions arose as to how hard the Communists were willing to fight to obtain what they wanted, how hard Britain and the U.S. were willing to fight to prevent it, and what the new French Government would do in the situation. The Alsops posit that there were no certain answers to those questions and thus it was not clear that the tripartite federation would come to be.

They indicate that the new trend of the policy was encouraging, in the sense of the need to draw some kind of line in Southeast Asia, but was also depressing because it implied passive acceptance of Munich-type appeasement in the region after such a line might be drawn. The result would be that Viet Nam would be abandoned, as had been Czechoslovakia at the time of Munich, with the French forces, ten divisions strong, withdrawn and the U.S.-supplied armed force of more than 200,000 Vietnamese lost. After such an appalling defeat for the West, Thailand, in the nature of Poland in 1939, would be guaranteed, to prevent a further chain reaction.

John S. Knight, publisher of the Detroit Free Press, indicates that several weeks earlier, the Scripps-Howard newspapers had given the President some good advice, that the Republican Party was drifting without direction and that the President needed to provide the missing leadership.

The President had avoided engaging in personalities, having criticized the techniques of Senator McCarthy without directly referring to him. Admirable as that approach might seem, he suggests, it explained why the President was not a greater force with members of his own party in Congress. The President viewed his job as that of a chief administrator, but, as the Scripps-Howard editorial had pointed out, he appeared to have forgotten that he was also the chief political leader of the nation and his party. In such a world as now existed, a President had to lead, a concept well understood by Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. Mr. Knight says that he did not particularly like the leadership of the latter two Administrations, but that no one could ever charge them with letting the Presidency go by default.

There had been no real leadership in the Senate since the death of Senator Robert Taft the previous July, and important committees of the House were dominated by aging Republicans having little sympathy for the President's program, with the result having been compromise and delay in the legislative process. While the President's recent speech might speed Congressional action on his domestic program, the foreign policy of the Administration was less sharply defined, as no one really knew where the U.S. stood on Indo-China. Adding together statements by the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary of State, the military and assorted Republican leaders, the total appeared as "bluff, bluster, back-down and baloney."

He concludes that the President had fully demonstrated his ability to lead during World War II, and leadership demanded more than merely taking the measure of Senator McCarthy. People expected the President to be a good administrator concerned with the general welfare of the people, and also a person of deep perception and resolute action, willing to fight for his convictions, a type of leadership, Mr. Knight urges, which was presently needed.

A letter writer from Davidson indicates that one previous letter writer, opposing the Brown v. Board of Education decision, holding that continued segregation of public schools was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause, had cited Booker T. Washington as being in support of segregation, quoting a statement to that effect from a speech he delivered at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. This writer indicates that the statement, saying that in matters "purely social", the races could be "as separate as the fingers", was qualified in such a way that it did not amount to an endorsement of segregation, that it had been made early in Mr. Washington's public career, before segregation practices had been codified by most Southern states (and eight months before Plessy v. Ferguson's enunciation of the separate-but-equal doctrine as passing muster under the 14th Amendment). He points out that in years shortly before his death, Mr. Washington had, in 1914, made a much stronger and more positive statement, saying, "Segregation is not only unnecessary, but in most cases it is unjust." He said that black people understood that segregation meant "an unfair deal" and that no color line should be drawn regarding opportunity to obtain an education in the public schools. The letter writer points out that Mr. Washington's approach had been one of conciliation rather than confrontation and he had worked within the framework of existing conditions to gain the maximum advantages and opportunity for blacks, that at no time, insofar as the letter writer could find, had he endorsed enforced segregation.

A letter writer from Lenoir finds that the Brown decision threatened Southerners' personal liberty, the social institutions and the way of life which Southerners had known since the Founding. He finds that editorials written in North Carolina newspapers appeared to be more interested in preserving a calm attitude in the interest of racial harmony than in preserving segregation. He wonders whether the rough balance of letters in the column for and against segregation accurately represented how people felt. He quotes Senator James Eastland of Mississippi as saying that all Southerners needed to do to ensure continuation of segregated public schools was to present a united front, that the issue was whether whites and blacks would retain their racial identities. This writer wants Southerners to fight to preserve segregation.

You're an idiot, still fighting the Civil War, from within the safety and security of the movie theaters.

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