The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 14, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, Premier Pierre Mendes-France had this date sent to the other five nations of the proposed European Defense Community, Italy, West Germany and the Benelux countries, a proposed long list of changes which he wanted approved prior to France ratifying the agreement. An August 19 meeting of the six foreign ministers was scheduled to occur in Brussels and the Premier wanted to give them a chance to peruse his proposals prior to that meeting. Three of his Cabinet ministers had resigned the previous night in protest against the decision to bring up the EDC treaty for ratification, with debate in the National Assembly set to begin on August 28. The Social Republican Party, to which the three resigning ministers had belonged, had given its blessing to their action. They were followers of General Charles de Gaulle and believed that the proposed modifications of the Premier failed to go far enough, complaining that the principle of supra-nationality had not been altered and that there had been nothing to remove the old objections against trying to unify Europe with only six nations forming a united army.

At Thurmont, Md., an unnamed Administration official, familiar with the views of the President who was spending the weekend at his lodge in the location, told the press that the President was in complete agreement with Attorney General Herbert Brownell and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover that the unanimously approved Senate measure to outlaw the Communist Party would make "propaganda martyrs" of Communists in the country, and that he would try to persuade the House to kill the measure. The proposed measure would provide maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for persons who willfully joined or continued to be members of the party and committed any act to carry out party purposes. The President was said to believe that such a measure would be ineffective in fighting Communism.

The State Department announced that a meeting would be held on September 4 between Secretary of State Dulles and Philippines officials under the Philippines-U.S. mutual defense agreement, and that a meeting to organize SEATO for Southeast Asian mutual defense would begin on September 6 at Baguio in the Philippines. Establishment of SEATO had been a major aim of Secretary Dulles since early in the year. He had agreed to wait on formation until after the Geneva peace conference, concluding on July 21 with the Indo-China truce agreement.

The U.S. announced this date an agreement with the Netherlands Government to station a U.S. Air Force fighter squadron at the Dutch airbase at Soesterberg, which the State Department characterized as one of utmost importance for the defense of the Netherlands in increasing the individual and joint capacity of the allies to resist armed attack.

The Senate voted the previous night to enlarge Social Security coverage to encompass 6.7 million additional workers and to raise benefits and payroll taxes which paid for the program. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California said that he expected a Senate-House conference committee to reach a compromise quickly on various differences in the two versions of the bill so that it could be sent to the President for signing. The measures agreed in most fundamental respects. Both versions provided that benefits would be increased by an average of six dollars per month for 6 million persons presently under Social Security coverage, and that the annual amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes would be increased from $3,000 to $4,200, taxed at the rate of 2 percent on both employers and employees. Maximum monthly payments for retired individuals would be increased from $35 to $108.50, and for a couple, from $127.50 to $172.75. The two versions differed on restriction of supplemental earnings by retired persons. The Senate version provided for lowering from 75 to 72 the age at which all restrictions were lifted on outside earnings. The President had recommended coverage being extended to ten million persons not among the 62 million presently covered.

Warren Rogers, Jr., reports from Washington that more runaway Russian agents were said to be standing by in guarded American asylum, ready to follow Yuri Rastvorov, 33, in denouncing Soviet Communism for which they had spied. The latter had told his story the previous night to a news conference at the State Department, that after a lifetime under the Soviet system, he had become fed up with it and run away from his job as a Soviet intelligence officer in Japan the previous January 24 because he wanted to live "like a decent human being" and hoped to become an American citizen. His appearance at the press conference was the first U.S. acknowledgment that he was in American hands, and appeared to mark a shift in U.S. cold war policy, in response to the press conference the previous Tuesday in East Berlin at which Dr. Otto John, former West German security chief, had denounced the U.S. and West Germany, explaining his defection to the Communist zone as being based on the threatened rise anew of the Nazi Party in West Germany. Mr. Rastvorov hinted that possible arrests of fifth column agents planted in the Japanese Government in medium positions might be on the horizon soon. At least four other former Russian intelligence agents were reported to be in U.S. hands, although none had attracted publicity. The U.S. policy previously had been to keep the Russians guessing as to what had occurred to the missing agents.

In Raleigh, it was reported that the Institute of Government at Chapel Hill had put forth a proposed course for the state to follow in desegregation of its schools, consistent with the holding of Brown v. Board of Education, decided by the Supreme Court the prior May 17, and set for argument in the coming term of the Court, to start in October, regarding the implementation part of the decision. Copies of the Institute's plan were disseminated to six State officials and two members of the 19-person special advisory committee appointed by Governor William B. Umstead to assist him in making the adjustment. The proposal of the Institute recommended that the state should accept the Court's invitation to participate in the oral arguments on the implementing decision and that in those arguments, should seek to win Court approval of a plan to put desegregation into effect on a gradual basis spread over a number of years. The general aim of the advisory committee, as stated by its chairman and by the Governor, was to preserve the public school system with a plan for implementation which would have the support of the people. The Institute's report appeared to argue against establishment of private schools to circumvent the ruling, effectively abolishing the public school system, per the plan in other Southern states such as Georgia and South Carolina, as it was doubtful the Supreme Court would approve of the legality of such a plan.

In Boston, the FBI this date, after recapturing five escaped convicts the previous night 21 hours after they had taken a guard as hostage and managed to escape the Norfolk Prison Colony, reported that the men were being charged with kidnapping, punishable by life imprisonment. The guard had been released unharmed. The escapees had been facing state sentences ranging between six and 17 years. They had been caught in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

In Sylvia, Kans., a man noticed that his farm pump was not working correctly, that the motor, located ten feet below the well platform, was smoking and no water was flowing into the stock tank, whereupon he removed the cover from the pump to find a fully grown skunk had gotten its tail entangled in the pump, burning out the motor. The man rushed to his house to obtain his shotgun, then fired at the skunk, hitting it, but only after the skunk had released its scent.

In Akron, O., Sonny Bankhead, the winner of Charlotte's Soap Box Derby, was set to compete in the national Derby the following afternoon. Bulova wristwatches were awarded to all of the competing local champions this date. Mr. Bankhead, 15, had to watch his weight, as he and his racer had been six pounds overweight at the official weigh-in the previous day, with Derby officials saying that the problem would be solved by race day. We are glad to see that his racer now only bears indication of sponsorship by The News, having eliminated, apparently, Buttercup Ice Cream Co., also eliminating in the process any embarrassing poses before the racer, with natural crops apt to make photographs become the butt of jokes by the public, if so bent of mind.

For those who have not yet learned to read, there is a picture of two older people on the front page sampling the Buttercup confections.

On the editorial page, "The Wrong Way To Fight Communism" indicates that the central purpose of laws regarding Communism ought be to decrease the threat of espionage and subversion and that the purpose could not be served by outlawing the Communist Party, as the Senate had unanimously voted to do on Thursday, by a bill sponsored by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. Outlawing the party had been opposed by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Herbert Brownell as only driving the party deeper underground, making the job of the FBI more difficult to ferret them out, and negating several years of work done by the Subversive Activities Control Board under the law requiring that foreign agents register, with criminal penalties for failure to do so.

It also points out that if the party were outlawed, then it could morph into something else, with another name. It suggests that it was not the party as such, but rather the espionage and subversion which its members could undertake that was dangerous, and that the espionage laws and the Smith Act provided adequate legal machinery for thwarting those undertakings, making it a crime to conspire to teach or advocate the overthrow of the Government by force or to be a member of an organization which did so. At least 72 Communist leaders had been convicted pursuant to the Smith Act.

But the 83rd Congress appeared bent on establishing a record which politicians could hail as anti-Communist, while actually making the job of combating Communism more difficult and, in the process, endangering basic freedoms. It equates registration of printing presses as being as incompatible with democratic government as outlawing a particular party.

It suggests that Americans had been dangerously confused on the true nature of the Communist menace, being led to believe that the present danger of internal subversion was great and that the measures for combating it were inadequate, while ignoring the real danger as it presented itself abroad, that Communists were able to institute themselves in various countries while Americans rehashed a past era when Communism had been a greater menace in the U.S. It does not think much of those delving into that past and suggests that those who wanted to vote for appropriations for programs to combat the actual external menace were those deserving approval as effective anti-Communists.

We have to conclude, incidentally, that the reason for Senator Humphrey's seemingly anomalous sponsorship of the bill was a maneuver to lure Senator John Butler to incorporate his labor restrictive bill, favored by the Administration, into the Humphrey bill, causing labor unions determined by the Subversive Activities Control Board to be dominated by Communists to lose collective bargaining rights under the auspices of the NLRB. In that manner, the Democrats could assure sinking the whole bill by either defeat or inaction in the House or, if passed, veto by the President, while taking away the issue from the Republicans in the midterm elections that the Democrats had been and would be soft on Communism, that which Attorney General Brownell had sought to promote the previous fall with his resurrection of the August, 1948 case of the late Harry Dexter White, laying his alleged Communist spying while in the Treasury Department to laxness of the Truman Administration. Such a position by Senator Humphrey renders the sponsorship of the bill consistent with his pro-labor stances and eliminates the incongruence between the ostensible desire to make the Communist Party illegal and his general stands in support of civil liberties and equal rights for all citizens—having, as Mayor of Minneapolis running for the Senate, endorsed by actor Ronald Reagan, sponsored the liberal civil rights plank at the 1948 Democratic convention which prompted the walkout of the Dixiecrats led by then-Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina—, never actually intending for the outlawing bill to become law. If the maneuver might be seen then as manipulative politics in an election year, it was only an attempt to fight fire with fire.

"Again, Eyes Turn to North Carolina" indicates that a century earlier, the nation had looked to North Carolina as the nation's leading producer of gold, and now, following the 1849 gold rush to California, the country was again looking at the North Carolina hills for a new type of gold, spodumene, from which was derived lithium ore, used in the production of the hydrogen bomb. At least three firms planned to establish multimillion dollar processing plants in the Kings Mountain-Bessemer City area in the vicinity of Charlotte.

Lithium had first attracted widespread attention the previous year when it was learned that it was a key element in the hydrogen bomb, but had been used previously in the manufacture of products ranging from cold pills to lubricants. The two articles presented in the newspaper by staff writer Julian Scheer during the week on the subject had pointed out that defense work would be but a small part of the operation in the local area and that many other products would result from the process. Lithium metals, lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium bromides and chlorides were other fields to be developed more fully, and presently one firm was producing 25 different products from lithium.

It indicates that not only was the state likely to become the world's leading producer of lithium, but the development of its other uses would also be centered in the state and, consequently, other industries would move southward close to the source of the lithium.

Better be very careful of that for which you wish, however, as such an industry places the state in a dependent position on continuation of the Cold War and the need for mutually assured total destruction by dint of the hydrogen bomb.

"Time Is Ripe for Heliport Planning" indicates that experts had said that within three years, commercial versions of large multi-engined military helicopters would be available for a national network of helicopter civil air transportation, perhaps ushering in a new era in American short-distance transport. One airline was already operating a helicopter in experimental operations around one of the major terminal areas and a local service carrier had started helicopter operations on some of its regular routes, with three helicopter transport services operating in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

It indicates that heliports would be small and simple but that zoning requirements, building regulations and other local laws had to be taken into account and resolved, and that centrally located downtown sites would be needed, requiring planning. It suggests that the time was the present for such planning for future heliport locations.

"Free Lawyer" comments on the agreement by Senate leaders and the six-Senator special committee examining the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy that the committee would pay for Senator McCarthy's legal counsel in defending against the charges, and wonders what would happen to the many people against whom Senator McCarthy had made serious charges and incurred, in the process, large attorney fees, or had not fought the charges because they could not afford an attorney, suggesting that Senator McCarthy was being coddled.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Type in a Cotton Field", tells of printers producing an unusual newspaper in Gordon County, a newspaper which was 120 years old, using type excavated from a nearby cotton field, producing the Cherokee Phœnix, the national newspaper of the Cherokee Indians. The type had been found at the ancient Cherokee capital of New Echota, approximately four miles from Calhoun, and the Georgia Historical Commission was presently unearthing the buried site and re-creating it as it had existed in the 1830's.

The Cherokee Phœnix had been a remarkable newspaper, a product of Indian civilization at its peak, and the scientists working at the site had assembled an exemplar exactly as it was and put the edition on display at the New Echota museum in Calhoun. The Indians had employed an alphabet of 86 characters, invented in the 1820's by a half-breed name Sequoyah, and within three years, more than half of the Cherokees had acquired a working knowledge of the language. In 1827, metal type, bearing those symbols, had been cast and the newspaper was born, with columns comprised much as a modern newspaper and circulated weekly throughout the Cherokee Nation by means of the mails.

Before the Cherokee had been forced from Georgia in 1838, they had left a surprising record of progress, with their capital city having a Congress and Supreme Court, attesting to a high political organization, and the newspaper attesting to their learning.

It concludes that Georgians were only beginning to unearth the real story of the Cherokee, one which was amazing and tragic, and as one turned the pages of the newspaper, one wondered what the Indians might have accomplished if left unmolested, as well as what fascinating new things would be discovered concerning the early inhabitants of Georgia.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada had been hectoring the Senate and the Defense Department to obtain contracts for a German combine, which, in turn, had promised to purchase its heavy equipment from one of his friends back home in Nevada. Mr. Pearson provides a report on what had occurred at the last such meeting, at which Senator McCarran had charged that though Spain did not object to German contractors, the U.S. was excluding them, accused U.S. officials of favoring American firms over his German friends for the subcontracting work, though later the Senator had denied that point. He had exploded at Undersecretary of the Air Force James Douglas, charging him with inconsistency, denying that he was objecting to the possibility of American firms being associated with the contracts. The Senator had cut off Mr. Douglas each time he sought to answer a series of questions put to him by the Senator, accusing Mr. Douglas of double-talk.

Finally, the Senator stated that he would oppose any appropriation for the work until the matter had been explained to the committee what was being done and who was doing it. Mr. Pearson indicates that the actual fact was that he had already been provided answers to all of his questions, though not the answers he had always wanted, with his statement being designed as a threat to block money for the Spanish airbases until his German friends were allowed to participate in the subcontracts.

Dr. Mario G. Salvadori, writing in Harper's, tells of having hated mathematics in his childhood, until taking his Ph.D. in it and finally overcoming his fear and resentment of it. He relates of having lived for several years in Spain as a boy and being taught at home by his parents, with his mother providing most of the instruction, except for mathematics, on which his father instructed him, as his father had fun while he suffered, an experience which he now realized most young people had when trying to study mathematics.

But mathematics was the common language and common tool of all science, upon which the world was increasingly coming to rely. Although it required the exercise of imagination, it was usually taught as if mathematical theories were based on absolute fact, as with no other subject taught in the schools. He had found that in 14 years of teaching engineering students, about 90 percent were pitifully unprepared and had to be taught all over again from an entirely new point of view, though accomplished in mathematics, but being the equivalent of deaf children who had been taught to play the piano and then arrived at a conservatory of music. He had sought to remove the authoritarian aspect of mathematics from his teaching method, so that it could be viewed as a game for which man made the rules, as could the students.

He tells of his own child, at age 3, having invented his own numerical system which skipped the number five, something he regarded as not being wrong, provided the game was played his child's way and not by the conventional method.

One of the banes to students studying college mathematics was "inverse trigonometric functions", which students expected to memorize well enough to pass an exam without actually understanding the concept. When he reached that point in his courses, he would tell his students that he supposed they would rather be going to the movies than sitting in the classroom and so had them imagine that they were doing just that and that they had a choice of sitting anywhere in the theater, needed to determine which seat would provide the best view of the screen. When they had gone through that brief analysis, they had grasped the meaning of inverse trigonometric functions. It was how mathematics had come into being, with problems being set forth imaginatively and solved, as the great mathematicians were more akin to poets than to pedants. But most of the papers published by leading authorities in the field contained some mistakes in mathematics, and mistakes were not fatal.

He recounts that a student in the third grade had recently asked her teacher why she could not divide by zero, a good point, but a question which would be eliminated by the time the child reached age 15. The teacher did not know the answer and did not wish to provide the usual one, that she simply could not do so because that was what the book said. The teacher felt guilty and ashamed, then asked Dr. Salvadori for the answer. He responded with a question as to how much was 100 divided by 50, to which she had properly responded two. He then persisted, asking her to divide 100 by one, then by 20, by one-half, by 200, by one-tenth, by 1,000 and by one-hundredth, until she declared that she understood that the smaller the divisor, the larger would be the result, and so that when one divided by 0, one obtained infinity. She had reached the answer by herself and in so doing had discovered an application of the idea of limit, reaching also a better concept of infinity, all in the space of two minutes.

He concludes that the right approach to mathematics was to unbridle the imagination, but that it could only be done after mistaken ideas and feelings about it had been eliminated.

The Saturday Evening Post, in an editorial, discusses the remarkable success in Britain of evangelist Billy Graham's crusade recently, lasting 12 weeks in a stadium which held 12,000 people, and the only night there were empty seats was one on which there had been a snowstorm, even then leaving only 150 vacant seats.

As he initially arrived, there was a great deal of skepticism that he would just be another Billy Sunday "hot gospeler" who would have little impact on the conservative British temperament. But by the end of the crusade, he was invited by the London Sunday Times to write an article on the spiritual needs of the time, and the Archbishop of Canterbury had said that his mission had brought new strength and hope in Christ to multitudes and had provided an impetus to evangelism for which all churches could be thankful to God. The English weekly, Time and Tide, which earlier could take or leave the Rev. Graham, said that whereas Aneurin Bevan or even Prime Minister Churchill could hardly fill Harringay Stadium for more than a night or two, the evangelist was able to draw crowds every night for three months. It explained the phenomenon by there being among all of the classes in Britain "a deep unsatisfied hunger, a deep malaise". It concluded that Mr. Graham had found a way of bringing God to man in a manner better adapted to the minds of men of the present time than the conventional methods of the churches.

The piece suggests that the meetings were not the only evidence of the possibility that politicians who catered exclusively to the material demands of the people were overlooking something. The Protestant and Orthodox Christians who had recently gathered at the convocation of the World Council of Churches at Evanston, Ill., represented millions of people who understood that man did not live by bread alone and that without dependence on a Supreme Being, the prospects for humanity in the type of world at present were dismal. Even the delegates from the Soviet satellite countries were compelled to speak in those terms, regardless of their relations with the materialists who ruled them at home.

A letter writer from Albemarle regards the death from an epileptic seizure a week earlier of Emilie Dionne, one of the famous Canadian quintuplets, says she began to wonder about herself, suffering from epilepsy, and wanted to share her own experience with epileptic attacks. She indicates that many years earlier, she could work at a public job, that her attacks had begun when she was 18, at the time working in a cotton-mill in North Carolina, had gone to work one night in September, 1946, not knowing that she would thereafter be unable to work in a public job, as she began experiencing light fainting spells without prior warning, and could not remember much after each attack, as well as making her very weak, causing her to sleep an inordinate amount, in one instance after an attack in 1946, having gone to sleep and awakened three days later to find herself in a hospital. She indicates that she was now under the care of an Albemarle doctor and appeared to be responding to medicine which prevented the worst of the attacks. She says that she gave her thanks to God and to the prayers of people who had helped her to maintain her faith and trust in God.

A letter writer from Camden, S.C., writes about the integration of schools, saying that blacks did not have dark skin because they wanted it or asked for it and neither were white people white because they had sought it, that it was God's will, that the Bible taught that God was not the author of confusion and that the ways of a child were foolish. She concludes that "to mix colored and white children in schools will cause confusion and in their foolish ways they will do things that cannot be undone." She does not blame blacks for wanting better schools and believes they should have them, but that God was no respecter of persons, that he wanted people to be one body in Christ, "not one body in mixed schools where there will be confusion, fighting and intermarriage."

Again, while, obviously, in your day of the one-room schoolhouses, where everybody eventually had sex with one another, that is no longer the way of it in the modern schools, and so your ultimate worries that a "mongrel race" will result from integration of the schools, need not bother your head any further. And, you appear to be saying that while God wanted people to be one body in Christ, that, presumably being only by representational means through the munching of the bread or crackers, it did not in any way apply to everyday living or society's basic institutions, only to the grape juice, fermented or not. Or, what the hell is it you're actually trying to say to justify your obvious race bias? apparently the result of limited experience growing up in a small town and knowing of no other way than subjugation of those who were different from thou, then needing a way to rationalize somehow, in terms of your religion, that obvious prejudice and justify the practice, manifestly inconsonant with the teachings of Christianity.

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