Santa Clara, California
Time, 2 February 1951
Eugene Bauer of Seattle thinks that "war war is better than jaw jaw." Robert Lee Boyd points out that being Man of the Year can be a bit ephemeral, as he can't remember 1928 (Walter Chrysler), 1929 (Owen Young), 1931 (Pierre Laval), or 1938 (Hitler). The editor adds that other readers were stumped by 1933 (Hugh Johnson), 1935 (Haile Selassie), and 1936 (Wallis Simpson.) So, two things: First, that picture of Hitler was very misleading. I didn't recognise him, either. Second, I do not want to hear jokes about Wallis Simpson being "Man of the Year." I've heard them and I don't think they're very polite. I know, I know. Ronnie being against snide comments about another woman's looks? I'M TRYING TO DO BETTER!!!!!
"Destiny Comes on Wednesday"
Big news! The President is going to hold a National Security Council meeting on Wednesday. I don't get it? So the story allows Time to remind us that the NSC exists, and name members old and new, because the last group are Truman cronies, so there's that. Time points out that the NSC will talk about Korea, which, I mean, come on, and also about the wage and price freeze, which doesn't seem like it would be the NSC's business, except that controls only make sense in a "policy of all-out mobilisation for all-out struggle," so maybe the NSC could decide whether we're going to do that and buy lots of bombers and fighters and radar stations crammed full of electronics. Also in boxes Time covers a statement from General MacArthur (his pants are cold and wet and he can't remember where he left his car keys), and General Ridgeway ("We're going to kill Commies!") No, actually, he said that "It is not a question of this or that Korean town . . . the real issues are whether the power of Western civilisation as God has permitted it to flower in our own beloved lands shall defy and defeat Communism. . ." Actually, maybe my summary was right! I hope you now have more faith in my summary of Mr. Bauer's letter, too! After telling us that he is fighting for Western Civililsation by trying to stop the Marxists from taking over the Buddha-blessed Land of Morning Calm, Ridgeway goes on to point out that the UN is fighting to prevent "men who shoot their prisoners" from ruling Korea. Maybe it's a question of how many prisoners they shoot? Because I sure hope he's not saying that only American prisoners count! Also, the President had a news conference, and appointed a Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights to look into subversion under Admiral Nimitz. Senator Vandenberg is back in Washington. In breaking news, Robert Taft is running for President. Senator McCarthy doesn't like Margaret Chase Smith, and now that he has the GOP Congressional delegation wrapped around his finger, he has ousted her from the Senate investigating subcommittee that was doing useful and 100% liberal work by investigating five percenters and State Department homosexuals. Senator Richard Nixon gets the seat, instead.
"Finding Fighters" The current state of play is that General Marshall is pushing a bill reducing the draft age for the draft down to 18 and take up pretty much everybody. This has provoked two lines of criticism. One is from Senators who were reluctantly on board with universal military training and now see it as a straw horse for universal service, especially considering that Marshal is talking about paying them $30/month; and from assorted people who think that 4Fs are getting too good a deal. Anna Rosenberg was left to defend the categorisation of 700,000 4Fs, pointing out that the criteria have already been tightened up since WWII, which is not good enough for some, who think that mentally disturbed morons with flat feet are probably still some use to the Army. The Marines are also going to be expanded, to 4 divisions and four air wings, with the commandant being made a full-fledged member of the Joint Chiefs. Then there's a long story about wage and price stabilisation, effective as from 15 January. Time says the freeze won't actually stop inflation, because they don't address the root cause of too much spending, but they're better than nothing until a full system of controls are brought in, which can bring inflation under control by directing spending where it is needed. The upcoming coal contract will be the first test of "controls" versus "freeze," but it is not much of a test, since the Wage Stabilisation Board is not going to roll back the 20 cents an hour raise already negotiated. Other unions that feel the need for catch-up raises are also complaining to the WSB. Price ceilings, as a first step to price controls, will follow soon.
At the Pentagon, employment is at 28,750, compared with a WWII peak of 27,000. In Colorado, some people say the new Governor looks stupid.
"A Kinda Flash" So Robert Roy Orr of Pioche, a "dusty minning town snuggled in the Nevada hills" describes the bright light, followed by the bang that was heard at breakfast time at Pioche one day last week. On Friday, the AEC came out and admitted that it had carried out an atomic explosion on the new testing range, after warning of a dry run earlier in the week. There will be other explosions in the coming weeks, as the AEC is testing new weapons, in the form of "baby atom bombs to be used by bombers smaller than the B-29s," missile warheads, and even atomic artillery shells. You may remember that we've been sort of down this road before when the Navy was looking for an A-bomb that could be dropped by the P2V and landed on the "gun-type" uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima, but these ones will be plutonium bombs, which means that they have to be "fat." So this will be some progress in the field of Armageddon studies. Although some nervous Nevada housewives wonder if they're going to end up "clicking like Geiger counters."
"Wonderful to Play In" Time checks in with the craze for atomic bomb shelters in Los Angeles. Why, Ruth Colhoun is getting one (it will be a great place for the kids to play in, if nothing else), and many others besides. The city is looking into three underground bombproof garages in the downtown that might shelter 90,000 from attack, and a smaller shelter for its records, all microfilmed. Also in news of the last days, William Remington's perjury trial continues, while Alger Hiss is appealing his conviction again.
"Smoke and Mire" The New York Fire Department has broken out in scandal, as it turns out that its "Major Disaster Squad" was actually just in charge of pushing tickets for the Fireman's Ball, which is a bit questionable even before it turned out that the chief of the squad (and financial secretary of the union) had misplaced $138,000 in ticket money --that's some Ball! Also in New York scandals, a gambler was convicted of being a very bad person this week.
The Treasury banned Russian crabmeat because it was produced by "forced, convict and indentured labour" this week, the first Russian product barred from the United States since FDR recognised the Soviet government.
Speaking of stories I can skip, US Ambassador to the UN Warren Austin is this week's cover story, as Time devotes a long story to an audience of one: Don't give up on Formosa, Ambassador Austin! Or else! Ike, meanwhile, is still touring Europe looking for the first green shoots of the United States of Europe.
War in Asia
"Limited Objective" Ridgeway's first offensive in Korea is a "limited objective attack" towards Seoul with the intention of feeling out Chinese capabilities and intentions. An armoured column faced Chinese battalion-strength counterattacks south of Seoul, but all eyes were on the Turkish brigade, because Turks are romantic, and the US Army now knows how to bake Turkish bread.
"Brawl in the Alley" This week saw the first clashes between MiG-15s and F-84 Thunderjets as the US planes hit a "bridge halfway between Sinuiju and Sinanju," and then, later in the week, fought running battles with more MiGs on their way back to the bridges. Currently US claims stand at 20 MiGs, admitted losses at 5, but even the pilots think that the MiG-15 is better than the F-84.
Whatever you think of the article, there's enough beautiful pictures to make a whole National Geographic. You should really pick up a copy, because I am not cutting out all the pictures and shipping them across the ocean for you!
Aviation Week, 12 February 1951