Notes on the Week in Texas \(This week the Observer starts a new weekly feature: the essence of general news on * OSan Antonio Gambler Red Berry paid a $500 fine, assented to the destruction of $15,000 worth of his gambling equipment, and announced \(before setting out to see some harness races in New bling place into “a fishing and swimming club,” maybe with “a little bridge.” OA Bexar County grand jury is investigating c h a r g e s that Commissioner A. J. Ploch used county workers and materials to build a private cabin, and that San Antonio prostitutes have been paying off through vice squad officers. Sheriff Owen Kilday shot and killed a Latin-American prisoner during the second riot in the Bexar County jail in a week. Two other Latin-Americans were injured. Kilday said the dead prisoner who had been jailed 90 days for theft brandished a large tray and refused to put it down when Kilday told him to. After the riot, Kilday said, some prisoners were slugged by officers as they filed out of the cell block; he said he stopped that. OIn Lampasas, a prisoner who was charged with passing hot checks devised a new way to escape jail. He simply broke through the rotted wood ceiling of his cell with his hands. ODemocratic Majority Leader John McCormick charged on the floor of the House that Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby’s resignation as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare was partly due to “the most unfortunate way” the Salk Polio vaccine problem was handled. OA “Davy Crockett Fiesta” runs Aug. 17-23 in San Antonio celebrating Davy’s Aug. 17 birthday. A parade, a frontier street breakfast, a “War grinnin’ contest,” the firing of ancient guns … OAlcoa says it will build a $35 million aluminum plant on the Coast, at Point Comfort if the U.S. Government, through the Corps of Engineers, will dig a 30-foot navigation channel to Matagorda Bay. Indications are the Government will. Reynolds Metals Company announced $6 million expansion of its Corpus Christi plant. Gulf Oil has started operating its 29,000-barrelper-day catalytic reformer at its refinery in Port Arthur. OCorpus Christi will be paid $2 million for Mathis Dam by the Lower Nueces Water Supply District. The dam will be inundated by a bigger dam’s backup. OA wry twist: the American Civil Liberties Union in New York holds that there is some basis for complaints from Facts Forum that the “National Issues Committee” tried to intimidate the Mutual network for carrying Forum programs by threatening to seek an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission. OBorder patrolmen in the Valley are using twelve dogs to apprehend wetbacks trying to sneak across the river. The dogs are not trained to attack. They growl low and point at the incoming wetbacks and track them down as they run through thickets. Of the dogs a patrolman said: “They enjoy their work.” OA Congressman Rep. Robert Mollohan, Democrat of West Virginiacharged the Immigration Service with planning an 8,000-man rifle-and-bayonet emergency . bor der guard that would also use machine guns and bridge demolition squads. The Service refused to cornment on grounds that national security is involved. Three Texas border Congressmen Rutherford, Fisher, and Kilgore said they doubted the story but would disapprove of such a plan. OTexan Robert B. Anderson of Vernon got a medal of freedom from President Eisenhower as he left his Deputy Secretary of Defense post. “Exceptionally meritorious service,” Eisenhower said. 0 Claimants against the Govern ment as result of a 1947 Texas City disaster are limited to $25,000 damages under a compromise relief bill passed by Congress. This means the big insurance companies won’t be authorized to collect against the Government in the bill. OGovernor Allan Shivers is attending the national governors’ conference in Chicago Aug. 9-12. Houston’s City Council again voted to suspend Mayor Roy Hofheinz pending an impeachment hearing this week. Hofheinz said they didn’t have the power to do it Symptomatic of the confusion: Hofheinz ordered all city employees to obey his orders, not those of the Council’s temporary mayor; a councilman said, “If our action wasn’t a legal one then it couldn’t possibly be done.” OAt least 20,000, and possibly 29, 000 Houston children have not taken advantage of free poliomyelitis vaccinations. OFifty miles to the south, prosti tutes began operating from trailers and tourist courts on the Galveston County mainland, and county officials promised to investigate. Page 4 TO BUTLER August 10, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER Citizens Council Formed at Gilmer WASHINGTON Three Texas emissaries of the Democratic Advisory Council returned to Texas late last week well satisfied that they had helped improve the council’s relations with the Democratic National Committee. They presented Butler with a check for $30,000 raised in Texas-70 percent of it, presumably, to be returned to the DAC for the 1956 campaigns in accordance with a previous understanding. Texas Demos Turn in Cash DAC Chairman Jim Sewell of Corsicana said that the national leaders have no intention of doing away with DAC. He said that Butler said he “was tickled to death” with the council’s accomplishments. It was organized after the regular party organization bolted for Eisenhower under Governor Shivers’s leadership. Accompanying Sewell were Mrs. Kathleen Voigt, executive secretary of the Council, and Bob Sawtelle, statewide organization director for the loyalists. Both are from San Antonio. Butler said he was “immeasurably.pleased” about the $30,000 and thinks Texas in “good shape.” Most of the money was raised at the Butler dinners in Texas in June, but some was also raised at the Kefauver dinners. Sewell avoided answering a question whether the loyalists will wage a precinct-by-precinct fight for control of the state Democratic organization from Governor Allan Shivers. Cheavens Wonders AP writer Dave Cheavens asked: “Did the liberals also get some orders from Butler to kick in the cash, soft-pedal the tough talk, and Quietly line up their delegates in as great strength as possible? It could be. It could be there are some top bracket agreements on both sides that neither wants to admit.” Sewell said the members of the loyalist Democratic Advisory Council are “just Democrats” and rejected for himself the term “loyalist.” He said the DAC is not fighting Democrats but will go after the Republicans. “We think that now the climate in Texas is favorable to the Democratic Party,” he said. He added that he thinks the split between Shivers and Wright Morrow, whom Shivers had removed as the state-recognized national committeeman, will divide conservative Democrats who supported Eisenhower in 1952. He mentioned some names he has read in the papers as possible successors to Morrow \(who must be approved by Speaker Rayburn and Senator Lyndon Johnson under the terms of Shivers’s recent agreement Wheat, Woodville; Rep. J. 0. Gillham, Brownfield; former Congressman Lloyd Bentsen, McAllen; Congressman Joe Kilgore, McAllen; and Wright Matthews, Dallas. Marlin Sandlin and J. R. Parten of Houston have also been mentioned. Sandlin was in Washington last week, too, and suggested Matthews as committeeman to Butler. Unity Urged Rayburn would not comment on whom he might favor for committeeman. He would say only that the Texans reported to him on their Butler meeting and told him of efforts to strengthen the Democratic Party in Texas. He said that they had been working for unity in the party. Mrs. Voigt had commented that Butler “has to have unity in the party.” Butler said it is important for the party in Texas to work as a unit so that it will cast its electoral votes for the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 1956. He said a Democrat cannot win without the Texas vote. Sewell hinted at the talk about Rayburn for President when he responded to a reporters’ question with the comment that Rayburn “would be a good man in any position.” . GALVESTON Life Magazine Publisher Andrew Heiskell called it “outrageous,” and said he was going to complain to Governor Allan Shivers. Galveston Mayor George Roy Clough called it “hoodlumism,” then changed his mind and said it was all an exaggeration. Life Reporter Hank Suydam, a bruise on his right cheekbone,’ threatened to file charges, and Maceo Syndicate Boss Anthony Fertitta said it was all a case of “mistakable identity.” Thus did a reporter-photographer team for Life wind up a two-week spin in the sin pits of the isle city. They took hundreds of pictures with concealed cameras of Galveston’s gambling hells and bawdy houses. Their report on the seamier side of Galveston will come in a story called “Last Surviving Sin City.” Reporter Suydam and Photographer Joe Scherschel wound up their field study with a flourish. On the last evening of their investigation, they claimed they were followed by three sinister looking fellows, cornered and warned. -Scherschel fled up a flight of stairs “five at a time”while Suydam remained to face Fertitta. Fertitta said he “barely tapped” Suydam because he looked suspicious and his answers to questions weren’t “sensible.” Suydam said Fertitta knocked him down when he learned who he was and what he was doing. Suydam said he wasn’t hurt by the blowthat his doctor said he looked more “dissipated than injured.” The scuffle came at 3 a.m. last Friday in the lobby of the Galvez Hotel, just after Suydam and Scherschel had taken pictures of the Turf Athletic Club. `Yeah, I’m Tony’ Suydam said he and Scherschel jumped into their car and fled to their hotel, but the three men beat them there and were waiting for them in the lobby. “We split up inside,” said Scherschel. “Hank angled toward the desk, and I went up the stairs five at a time to hide my Leica and film in our room.” Suydam said Fertitta cornered him in the lobby and demanded their films, saying he had been told they planned to write a story and run pictures denouncing Galveston vice. Suydam said he refused. “Completely by surprise, Fertitta swung at me,” he said. “It stunned me, and I fell to the left on one hand and knee.” He said he then noticed a handkerchief with a monogrammed “F” sticking from’ Fertitta’s suit. “You must be one of the Fertitta’s,” Suydam said. “Yeah, I’m Tony,” Suydam quoted Fertitta as saying. “Then he stuck out his hand and we shook hands,” the Life reporter continued. He said Fertitta apologized and peeled off two $20 bills for the night clerk and bellboy, who had witnessed the scuffle. “Then he stuck one in my shirt pocket, but I refused to take it,” said Suydam. AUSTIN Gilmer, in Upshur County, has become the third East Texas town to form a Citizens’ Council for the preservation of segregation. The council originated in Mississippi to use economic boycotts against Negroes as a means of preventing enforcement of the Supreme Court ruling against integration. The Gilmer council claims membership applications of 2,846. Dr. B. E. Masters, temporary chairman and now a director of the Kilgore council, was the guest speaker at an organization meeting in the Upshur County district courtroom. It was estimated 525 people were in the courtroom and another 800 outside. Fertitta denied this and said it all started when he was drinking parking attendant came in and told him two suspicious men were hanging around outside. He said he went out and the two men ran down an alley. He said he and an employee followed them to the hotel. “They looked like a couple bums,” said Fertitta. “I did not know but that they might have been thieves, trying to break into my place.” `Barely Tapped’? He said he “barely tapped” Suydam when he couldn’t get any sensible answer as to who he was. After he hit him, Fertitta said Suydam identified himself as a Life reporter. “Why in the hell didn’t you tell me that in the first place?” Fertitta said he asked. He added that he apologized to Suydam and offered him $20, which he said he accepted. Galveston Mayor Clough, when he first heard of the incident, snapped: “They’ve gone too far. It sounds like hoodlumism to me. It sounds like Chicago under the reign of Al Capone.” Masters said it would be a 20year fight. “This is a fight we almost started too late,” he said. “This is a battle to get that infamous decree annulled.” The local chapter of the NAACP presented a petition in Gilmer asking for desegregation recently. The school board took it under consideration. Kilgore’s council had 1,660 members at report. A visitor to the Kilgore meeting from Marshall said 227 had signed up there the first two days. Meanwhile, in Marshall, t h e school board decided on segregated schools this fall. After a group of seven Negroes offered their services to the board in working out in After a three-hour conversation with Fertitta, hotel officials, county officials, and the Maceo Syndicate public relations man, Clough said: “I think it was greatly exaggerman.” Life Publisher Heiskell, however, described the incident as an !”atrocious assault” in a telegram to Clough. He demanded immediate prosecution of the guilty parties and steps to prevent the recurrence of such “outrageous acts.” Later, Heiskell notified Governor Shivers of the incident because Shivers was “acquainted with the administration of Galveston.” Suydam said he planned to file charges. Asked why he didn’t hit back, he said: “When I saw those sinister looking guys nearby with their hands in their pockets, I thought better of it.” Suydam said he and his partner had been “in and out of every joint Fertitta owns” during the past two weeks. Suydam later conferred with Hugh Patterson of Baker, Botts, Andrews and Shepperd, attorneys for Life in Houston. Fertitta’s attorney is E. H. Thornton, Jr. tegration problems, H. V. Grimes, Jr., board president, read a prepared statement that they would follow the suggestion of Gov. Allan Shivers and the State Education Commission to go slow. In Central Texas, Austin decided
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