The Charlotte News

Monday, April 28, 1941


Site Ed. Note: All of the pieces of this day's page were uploaded in 1998.

Going back for a moment to Saturday's brief letter to the editor in praise of the News reaching the 50,000 circulation mark, you will note that the author, Mr. Dixon, is the same gentleman who wrote a letter published April 7 in defense of the letter written by Mrs. Mullins on April 3, the same who had written in again about the same topic, open Sundays, on April 25. On that earlier occasion, Mr. Dixon chastised the editors for their brief reply to Mrs. Mullins and believed they ought apologize. Well, you can't please all the people all the time, but as evidence that apparently you can please most of the people some of the time, Mr. Dixon seemed to have gotten over his agitation and was apparently satisfied with the editorial reply--or maybe he just liked orchids, or things purple anyway.

It seems the editorial stand of the paper on Blue Laws and Robert Rice Reynolds's unfitness for chairman of the Military Affairs Committee became as much or more controversial topics than just about any raised during Cash's tenure as associate editor. One thus supposes that to the sensitive there are two things held sacrosanct above all else: Sundays and Senators.

Parenthetically, Mr. Dixon should not be confused with Ms. Nell Dixson Russell whose letter appears today, of which "They Cheered" makes note, and who, you will observe for future reference, appears again on May 31, as she then proclaimed the Klan to be after her, probably for criticizing the News, a Klan favorite, for manipulatively propagating fictions against the peacemakers, as she corrected the misimpression given by the headline on the reaction to Lindbergh, that they cheered and didn't riot, when he said, to a ten-minute ovation, that the British couldn't win the war. Also distinguish her from Mrs. J. Walter Russell of May 27, living a couple of doors away from Ms. Nell Dixson Russell, who wrote regarding God's dismay over the greed of capitalism opposing for gold the "barter system" of Hitler.

With these varied opinions in play across the land, is it any wonder, as pointed out in "Oil for Foe", that the country was supplying the equivalent of some 16 to 22 million barrels of oil per year from the California oilfields during the period 1940-41 to "drive Japanese battleships if we have to fight in the Pacific, which seems increasingly probable"?

Fortunately for us, the Nazis, Fascists and Japanese warlords were of stranger and more self-defeating turns than some of our own. For soon would come the perplexing but fateful move by the bartering Hitler away from the bombing of Britain and into Russia, presumably because he believed, perhaps putting too much stock in his own propaganda and that of the likes of Colonel Lindbergh, that the British were adequately in check, indeed were essentially licked, that the greater effort must therefore be exerted toward obtaining oil with which to continue fighting--through invading Russia, winning the continued alliance with Japan, Russia being Japan's most feared competitor for China, concomitantly to eliminate the prospect of support for Turkey as threatened by Stalin should Hitler invade it on his way to the oilfields of Iran and Mesopotamia, and not merely incidentally to obtain the oil reserves of the Ukraine; all the while in the bargain, with Japan's recent mutual neutrality pact with Russia in play, and presumably Russia's hands then full thwarting the Nazi, leaving Japan free of Russian threat to play now the compleat angler in the Pacific, crippling in the process and thereafter preoccupying the United States Navy, the more freeing Hitler in his efforts against Russia to liberate his army's and navy's thrust into the Middle East, as the Japanese committed their drive south into the Dutch East Indies and Malaysia for their rubber, tin, and oil to continue to drive and sustain the war machines of the Axis, finally leaving the besieged Great Britain all alone against Germania to surrender and accept peace terms dictated by Hitler, all with the imprimatur of a divided and quivering United States, punch drunk after Pearl. --That appears to have been the grand scheme anyway for 1941.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the treaty table. It snowed early in Russia, the Panzer division treads stuck in the mud, the stalwart citizens of Stalingrad dug in with their shoulder rifles for the long winter siege in defense of their homes, and the previous division of American opinion largely abated, after the desperate and finally futile attack of December 7.

Thereafter, with the war seemingly won for the Axis, with ground hastily gained in the South Pacific in early 1942 by Japan, the rest of the war would nevertheless become a slow death struggle to regain grudgingly the areas stolen and inveigled away by both the Nazi and the Japanese warlords.

And, we are happy to report that the page today carries the response to the April 17 request of the young Annie Lee Gurley for the lyrics to that song about the sailor and his lady love who followed him to sea dressed as a sailor. With somewhat different lyrics, incidentally, appearing under the title "Jackaroe", it was recorded in concert in 1962 by Joan Baez.

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