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December 08, 1946 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1946-12-08

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See Page 4


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Latest Deadline in the State


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Fire Sweeps Aflan a Hotel; ills

Origin of Blaze Unknown,
Scores Trapped in Building
All of City's Fire Fighting Equipment Used;
Flame Out of Control Soon After Discovery

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA, Ga., Dec. 7 - The
most frightful hotel fire in Ameri-
can history roared through the
15-story Winecoff Hotel in down-
town Atlanta early today, killing
120 persons and injuring at least
100 more.
Men, women and children
plunged screaming to their deaths
on pavements below their win-
dows, while scores of others were
trapped and burned or suffocated
in upstairs rooms.
At daylight the sides of the
tall, chimney-like structure were
draped with torn bed-sheets and
blankets, marking in grim si-
* *
tory of Hotel
Disaster Told
By rEewitnss
Associated Press Staff Writer
ATLANTA, Dec. 7-I've covered
train wrecks, coal mine explosions,
an oil-tanker afire at sea and oth-
er life-claiming catastrophies, but
all of them together pale in com-
parison to the Winecoff Hotel fire
here today, in which 120 persons
lost their lives.
Reaching the scene in less
than 45 minutes after the blaze
was discovered, I turned. the
corner to see flames shooting
from the fourth, fifth and sixth
floors. Dozens of guests, mostly
women, lined the ledges above
the flames. Improvised ropes of
sheets and bedclothes danged
from many windows.
Body after body hurtled down
through the chill pre-dawn dark-
ness. Some laded in outstretched
lifenets, some struck the pavement
with sickening thuds. One wom-
an's body struck a wire or rope,
just above the marquee, spun craz-
ily and momentarily the victim
was suspended by the neck, She
thrashed once and fell the remain-
ing few feet.
One body landed squarey on
a fireman slowly. descending a
ladder with a woman victim.
All three fell the several floors
to the marquee. The women
were killed and the fireman,
Jack Burnham, gravely injured.
I made a dash for the hotel en-
trance, barely reaching it as a body
plopped at my feet. Hearing that
many guests were jumping from
windows in the rear -of the hotel,
into an alley, I ran around ; the
corner and started up the alley.
Wy foot caught on something and
I sprawled, sliding through the
Vets Checks at
Post Office

lence where victims tried to es-
cape. Eyewitnesses told how
panic-stricken guests swung
from tenth and twelfth story
windows on flimsy, makeshift
ropes. A few were rescued, but
most fell headlong as flames
burned away their supports, or
they lost their grip.
Others were seen briefly at flam-
ing windows, shrieking and pray-
ing, then disappearing into the
terrible inferno.
At one time, a half-dozen brok-
en bodies lay at the intersection
of Atlanta's famed Peachtree
Street and Carnegie Way, opposite
the theater where the world pre-
mier of "Gone With The Wind"
was staged.
Some who kept their heads
were saved. White-haired Mrs.
Banks Whiteman, manager .of
the :tel cigar counter, pulled
the wife a. 'hildren of her em-
ployer, Arthur t Geele, Jr., from
the 14th floor to the top-floor
apartment of Mrs. Geele, Sr.
There they huddled in a corner
until the fire subsided.,
The origin of the blaze appar-
ently was buried in the charred
wreckage or sealed with the dead.
City Fire Marshal Harry Phillips
could say only that the flames
started in the corridors of the third
or fourth floors.
Phillips accompanied by fire in-
spectors, said in every instance the
flames had burned into the rooms
of the third, fourth and fifth
floors, indicating that the origin
lay somewhere in the carpeted
The fire was out of control
:ithin a few minutes after it was
discovered and before every piece
of fire fighting equipment in At-
lanta could be summoned, Phil-
lips said.
The marshal said a bellhop tes-
tified he had noticed no fumes or
smoke when he delivered some soft
drinks to a room on the fifth
floor. But, when he turned to leave
the room he found he was trapped
by flames in the doorway.
The mystery that surrounds the
origin also gave riseto speculation
as to how the fire could spread so
rapidly through a fire-resistant
The brick, concrete and steel
structure had no outside fire-
escapes, but was classed as "fire-
resistant." Fire Marshal Phillips
said it met all safety codes when it
was built in 1914.
The fire apparently started on
the third or fourth floor, and Moy-
or William B. Hartsfield said its
origin was under investigation.
Would-be rescuers told of see-
ing many forms silhouetted
against boiling flames, praying
vainly for succor that could not
reach them. Thudding bodies
crashed in ghastly procession
into the street and into smoke-
filled alleyways. There were 285
guests registered at the hotel,
which was one of Atlanta's lead-
ing hostelries.
Spreading with disastrous ra-
pidity through the southwest side
of the building, flames raced up
stair-wells and elevator shafts to
trap nearly half the guests. The
death toll eclipsed Chicago's La-
Salle Hotel fire of six months ago,
when 61 died, and more than treb-
led the 34 dead in Atlanta's termi-
nal hotel fire of May 16, 1938.

J-Hop Plans
Approved by
Annual Affair To Be
Held February 7, 8
Plans for a two-night J-Hop, to
be held from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and
8, in the Intramural Building,
have been approved by the Stu-
dent Legislature and the Commit-
tee on Student Affairs.
The dances for both nights will
be identical, and 1,500 tickets will
be sold for each night. In order
to accommodate the increased en-
rollment, men students will be eli-
gible to buy tickets for either the
Friday or Saturday night dance,'
but not for both nights. The ticket
price will be $5 plus $1 tax.
Women students have been
granted late permission until 4
a.m. for this year's J-Hop. The
beginning of the dances, has
been set at 10 p.m. to allow time
for banquets or fraternity par-
ties which usually precede the
Reviving a pre-war J-Hop tra-
dition, guests of men students
may live in the fraternity houses
for the weekend. Under this plan,
Text of J-HOP plans will be
found on page 2.
the men in one fraternity will
move into another fraternity
house for the weekend, leaving
their house vacant for chaperones
and the guests of both fraterni-
ties. Independent students will
have a similar plan.
The pre-war custom of having
J-Hop breakfasts will also be
brought back this year. Ar-
rangements have been made to
serve breakfasts to J-Hoppers at
the Union and possibly the
League immediately after the
dances until 3:30 a.m.
Since men students may buy
tickets for only one night of the
J-Hop, the Union and League
have agreed to hold informal
dances both nights. These will
provide entertainment for those
not attending the J-Hop on a par-
ticular night.
As in pre-war years, booths at
the J-Hop will be sold to frater-
nities and other groups. These
booths may be decorated and used
by the members to sit out dances.
See J-HOP, page 9
Galden's Drive
Exceeds Quota
Members of Galen's Honorary
Medical Society scored complete
success in their drive to fill idle
hours for and give'a merry Christ-
mas to youngsters at University
Hospital as final returns on their
1946 drive, with a goal of $3,000,
totaled $5,355.14.
"To each contributor belongs a
share in the happiness of the
children at this Christmas time
and all through the coming year,"
Donald W. Bowne, chairman of
the drive, said. "Your warm heart-
ed response to this year's Christ-
mas drive has facilitated the con-
tinuance of our program and
made possible the expansion of
that program."

120 In ures 100
Restrictions Off
As Walkout Ends
Move Cancels Trunan Broadcast;
Workers Cooperating wth Order
By the Associated Press
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - John L. Lewis gave in to the
Government today and ended the soft coal strike.
With it, like the finish of a nightmare, went virtually all the
restrictions it had brought and the economic peril it had poised
over this and other counries.
President Truman cancelled the broadcast he had planned for
tomorrow night, closed his desk and went to an art show, smiling
but silent on the outcome.
Lewis ordered the 400,000 miners to end the 17-day walkout and
go back to work immediately. Reports from the mine fields indicated
ready compliance. Some maintenance crews headed for the pits
tonight, and full-scale resumption of mining Monday morning ap-
peared certain.
At the same time Lewis announced his readiness to negotiate with
the private mine owners for new wage and other demands, a step
which could clear the way for the Government to get out of the
coal business.

BACK TO WORK-With John L. Lewis' order to the miners to return to the mines, the go-ahead
signal was given to labor throughout the nation. Within hours after the Lewis announcement, skele-
ton crews were returning to the mines to prepare t he way for the Monday influx.
* * * * * *

UN To Decide
on Arms Slash
Russians' Proposals
On A-Bomb Studied
(M)-The United Nations, hearing
agreement on an arms slashing
program designed eventually to
abolish war forever, today moved
into the final phase covering the
all-important aspects of inspec-
tions and control.
The last stumbling block was a
Soviet proposal for setting up sep-
arate commissions for control of
arms reduction and the atomic
bomb within the framework of
the security council.
Russian willingness to keep any
checkup machinery outside the
range of the controversial veto
partly cleared the way for agree-
ment, but it appeared that there
might be difficulties over the spe-
cific Russian proposals for two
separate control commissions-
one for atomic and one for other
The United States was said to
feel that such a provision might
tie the hands of the council and
conflict with the U.S. atomic con-
trol plan which would place in-

End of Coal Strihe Brins More
Packages, Heat, Goods, Checks

ODT Lifts Passenger
Service Restrictions
The sudden end of the coal strike
sotnded a signal for a Christmas
season of lights and travel, more
goods in the stores, heat in public
places such as theatres and night
clubs, big packages by mail-and
more pay, checks.
All these had been gone or
threatened as the mine stoppage
forced on the nation measures
more stringent than those of war-
time for conservation of fuel and
the electric power that comes from
John L. Lewis announced the
end of the stoppage at 2 p.m.
(EST) and within an hour and 20
minutes these restriction had been
By the Office of Defense Trans-
1. A general freight embargo,
in effect since Friday, forbidding
rail shipment of anything except
prime necessities such as food,
medicines and fuel (with excep-
tions for oil and hydro-electric
powered lines). That puts new
goods in the stores for Christmas.
2. Passenger service restrictions

that already had cut mileage of
coal-powered trains 25 per cent
and would have slashed the serv-
ice to half the pre-strike level at
midnight Sunday. That lets fam-
ilies -travel to thier traditional
Yuletide gatherings.
2. An export freight embargo
that had halted shipment of any-
thing except food and fuel to
ports. That brings a degree of
Christmas cheer abroad.
By the Post Office Depart-
The rules, effective since Friday,
that had limited parcel post pack-
ages to five pounds in weight and
to a length of 18 inches and a
combined length and girth of 60
inches, and had cut off overseas
parcel post entirely except for the
members of the armed forces.
That provides for the big bundles
that go so well under the tree on
Christmas morning.
Boston Orch.
To Play Here
Arrive Tomorrow;
Burgin May Conduct
Because of difficulties resulting
from the curtailment of railroad
service, Richard Burgin, asso-
ciate conductor, may direct the
Boston SymphonyOrchestra in
the Choral Union Concert tomor-

* * *
Lewis Text--
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7-(i)-
To all members and all local
unions in the bituminous districts
of The United States, United Mine
Workers of America:
The Administration "yellow-,
dog" injunction has reached the
Supreme Court. The Supreme
Court of the United States is a
Constitutional court. Its powers
are derived from the Federal
Constitution. The Supreme Court
is, and we believe will ever be, the
protector of American liberties
and the rightful privileges, of in-
dividual citizens. The issues be-
fore the Court are fateful for our
It may be. presumed that the
verdict of the Court, when ren-
dered, will affect the life of
every citizen. These weighty
considerations and the fitting
respect due the dignity of this
high tribunal imperatively re-
quire that, during its period of
deliberating, the Court be free
from public pressure superin-
duced by the hysteria and fren-
zy of an economic crisis. In ad-
dition, public necessity re-
quires the quantitative produc-
tion of coal during such period.
Each member is therefore ad-
vised as follows:
All mines in all districts will re-*
sume production of coal immedi-
ately within 12:00 o'clock mid-
night, March 31, 1947. Each mem-
ber is directed'to return to work
immediately to hisrusual employ-
ment, under the wages, working
hours and conditions of employ-
ment in existence on and before
November 20, 1946. Each mine
committee, in cooperation with the
officers of each bituminous dis-
trict, will enforce these employ-
ment conditions at each mine.
Further advice and instructions
will be sent from time to time as
authorized by the national policy
committee or the responsible and
authoritative officers of your or-
During the working period
thus defined, the negotiating
committee of the United Mine
Workers of America will be will-
ing to negotiate a new wage
agreement for the bituminous
industry with such parties as
may demonstrate their authori-
ty so to do, whether it be an
alphabetical agency of the
United States government or
the Associated coal operators.
If, as and when such negotia-
tions ensue, your representatives
will act in full protection of
your interests, within the limita-"
tinns of the fidin nf the5n:u-

v For his startling step Lewis gave
two reasons - that the Supreme
Court in considering the c se
might be "free from public pres-
sure superinduced by the hysteria
and frenzy of an economic crisis,"
and that "public necessity requires
the quantitative production of
coal during such period."
Lewis' retreat came abruptly be-
tween two conferences with Chief
Justice Vinson by attorneys for
the Union and the Justice De-
partment. One conference was
held in the forenoon, before Lewis
acted; another was held in the
late afternoon. The Court sent
word that no announcement
would be made today, and the
lawyers all were tight-mouthed.
The nine justices at tlheir
regular Saturday noon confer-
ence had an opportunity to de-
cide whether they will hear
Lewis' appeal, at the govern-
ment's request, a n d Lewis
seemed sure that they would.
He said that his future nego-
tiations will be "within the lim-
itations of the findings of the
Supreme Court," and made
other references' to an expected
The sudden end of the strike
brought swift action by officials
junking the coal conservation
measures which had shackled in-
dustry and darkened the Christ-
mas outlook. The freight and ex-
press embargoes were lifted, the
ban on passenger travel revoked,
and the 21-state dimout cancelled
in time for Saturday night shop-
ping throngs except in a few
places where the utilities are
nearly out of fuel. A partial re-
moval of the freeze on coal stocks
was being prepared and probably
will be issued tomorrow.
"We want to remove the con-
trols as quickly as possible so the
coal freeze on deliveries and on
distribution may return to nor-
mal," said a spokesman for the
Coal Mines Association. "How-
ever, we want to make sure that
consumers in the critical cate-
gories get sufficient supplies un-
til coal stocks are replenished."
Local Resume
n Coal Peace
The New York Central ticket
office in Detroit announced last
night that passenger travel restric-
tions might still go into effect
Sunday -as planned unless other
orders are received from the New
York office before the Sunday
J. F. Dyer, local passenger agent,
restated his nlea tn the students:

'Daily' Prints
From Bureau


Starting today, the names of
veterans whose checks are being
sent/to the wrong Ann Arbor ad-
dress will be published daily
through the cooperation of the
Veterans Service Bureau.
Arrangements have been made!
by the Veterans Service Bureauj
for checks with wrong addresses
to be held an extra ten days by!
the Ann Arbor main Post Office,
Robert S. Waldrop, director of
the VSB, announced yesterday,
The list of names which will
appear in The Daily each day

Teacher Shortage May Last for Two Years



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