Cedric Belfrage, Fever Chart, 1952

from: The American Inquisition

by Cedric Belfrage

(pp. 171-173)


Seoul: AP correspondent reports.

"When the 32nd Infantry Regiment adopted the skull and crossbones as its emblem, its chaplain was in a quandary. He didn't think the insignia seemed appropriate for a chaplain. His jeep now carries the emblem, with one variation, A halo is over the skull."

Toronto: Globe & Mail summarizes 'Yesterday at the UN."

"LEGAL COMMITTEE: continued debate on definition of aggression, with statement by US that a definition of aggression was not in interests of peace but in interests of aggression."

London: New York Herald Tribune correspondent reports on new Moscow proposals for a German settlement.

"A settlement with Russia would upset the entire West defense program, especially NATO, and Western minds, after so many years of cold war, are hardly prepared for the idea of a settlement and all that would follow from it."

Washington: President's Commission on Nation's Health Needs reports. "Americans last year spent on medical research about 3/1O of 1% of the defense budget and less than the amount spent on monuments and tombstones."

Abilene, Texas, and Washington, D.C.: Presidential aspirant Eisenhower tells press his position on critical issues.

On Korea: "I am not familiar."

On China: 'I do not know."

On Negroes in his cabinet: " I don't know."

On China again: "Now I don't know."

On health insurance: "I'm not going to answer too specifically."

On reciprocal trade: "I must confess I am not in a position to answer."

On states' rights: "The whole thing has become so vast and complex that it would be idle to try to talk . . . I really have no information on the steel situation, on anything."

Los Angeles: Item in Examiner

"HINT RED LINK IN NEW BIBLE--Amid claims that some of the translators have Communistic backgrounds, 700 Pentecostal representatives here yesterday voted to withhold endorsement of the new Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Instead, they voted to set up a committee to investigate translators' backgrounds."

Indianapolis: A Tokyo correspondent reports to the Star.

"It is reliably reported here that thousands of Chinese women are committing suicide because under the Communist regime they choose their own husbands instead of being forced to marry the husbands their parents select for them."

Memphis: Commercial Appeal reader writes about August drought.

"The real reason is the Reds in Russian planes have long nets stretched between the planes and turn back the clouds, and they also carry windblowers on each plane and blow the clouds over Russia where they have plenty of rain. This keeps the air over the US clear so we have drought to burn up our crops."

New York: Item in Mirror.

"When a passerby saw two men waving red flags yesterday from a rowboat in the East River, he called police. Four radio cars and a police launch responded. The men were Consolidated Edison workers signaling to surveyors on shore, preparatory to the laying of a cable."

New York: Cosmetic-counter item gets new box top.

Face Powder
"Dark Dark"
(formerly "Russian Sable")

Washington: Dispatch to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"People are noting the initials 'JRS' on the Benjamin Franklin half- dollars, and they call the Treasury to see whether the letters stand for 'Joseph R. Stalin." The initials are those of John R. Sinnock, nationally famous sculptor. On the Roosevelt dime he used the initials 'JS' and that caused a real flurry. On the Franklin half-dollar he included his middle initial thinking that would solve things."

Wheeling, West Virginia: City manager Plummer comments on the discovery that 50 chewing-gum vending machines emit pasteboard trinkets representing countries of the world, one of them inscribed with a hammer and sickle emblem and the words: "USSR, popn. 211,000,000, Capital Moscow":

'That's a terrible thing to expose the children of this city to. I have demanded a complete investigation. Names of store owners to whom the machines were licensed have been turned over to the FBI."

Buffalo, New York: Item in Evening News.

"Don't be surprised if on September 27 -- the day of Buffalo's mock atomic raid -- you see hundreds of children munching on lollipops while the warning signal is on. Members of the Optimist Club, which has designated that day 'Sucker Day; will give the confections to the children. The purpose, explained president Flicker, is to dispel jitters the youngsters may have and to make them feel secure in the belief that the adults of Buffalo know what they are doing."

New Haven, Connecticut: Cott Bottling Co. re-labels its bottled pop.

"Contains scientifically treated carbonated water . . . and US-certified color added. After an atomic blast, contents of this bottle may be used safely if bottle is thoroughly washed before removing crown. It's Cott to be Good!"

Washington: Civil Defense Administration studies atomic corpse-disposal problem. "We will ask Congress for $2,100,000 to stockpile a million drab-plastic shrouds. Embalming would be entirely unfeasible. To permit relatives and friends to file past . . . in hope of spotting their missing loved ones would be impractical. If 40,000 bodies were laid out in two rows, the aisle between them would be 20 miles long."

Dearborn, Michigan: UP reports.

"Mayor Hubbard today mapped plans for a 'Dearborn loyalty day' on May 12, complete with mass loyalty-oath ceremonies, the crowning of a 'Miss Loyalty' and a street dance called the 'Loyalry Drag.'"

A Christmas selection (AP, UP, Boston Traveler items in December):

"Sen. Wiley said today that Iron Curtain countries in one of their 'most diabolic conspiracies' are flooding the US with Christmas-tree ornaments."

"John B. Keenan, director of Public Safety in Newark, New Jersey, suggested to House investigators today that Communists may be responsible for the 'filth' flooding the country in the form of obscene books, pictures and magazines."

"Russian antiques were barred today from the big Boston Antique Exposition . . . The director of the show said of the Reds: 'It is not beyond the realm of possibility that these vicious leaders would flood the antique market with stolen art relics . . . to kill American soldiers in Korea.'"


Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/fever-chart-1952.html
Last modified: Thursday, 31-May-2007 09:42:31 EDT