MANNERS .& MORALS: Americana, Dec. 20, 1948

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¶ In Binghamton, N.Y., students of St. Patrick's parochial school collected 2,000 objectionable comic books in a house-to-house canvass, burned them in the school yard.

¶ In Macon, Ga., the Ku Klux Klan initiated 300 new members in a public ceremony in the City Auditorium. Among the participants were 150 masked women. One Klansman, apparently believing that the education of prospective members can't be started too early, brought along his young daughter—in full regalia, except for mask.

¶Hamp Kendall, 71, of Caldwell County, N.C., who was mistakenly convicted of murder 42 years ago and served more than nine years before the mistake was discovered, wrote to Governor R. Gregg Cherry to complain of the legend on his "victim's" tombstone, which read: "Lawrence Nelson, robbed and murdered by Hamp Kendall." Said Kendall: "No damned man that is innocent would stand under this slanderous tombstone scandal right where he is trying to make an honest living." The Governor was sympathetic, but said he was powerless to act.

¶ The St. Louis Ministerial Alliance sent St. Louis Symphony Conductor Vladimir Golschmann an indignant letter after discovering that he had posed as a Calvert "man of distinction." Said the Alliance: "We are amazed and deeply disappointed that you have seen fit to sell your reputation for . . . advertisement of a product so destructive to ... the morals of American youth."

¶ Manhattan's cafe society, trying to keep up with Paris and London, threw its first Bal de Tete. Jarmila Novotna, opera singer, won first prize for the "most beautiful" headgear, a concoction of butterflies and twigs. Mrs. Brooks Howe's was "most ingenious"—a stocking cap, complete with leg (see cut).

¶ In San Antonio, Emilio Landeros, 6, riding home from school on a bus, started printing a letter: "Dear Santa, I have been good. I want a ..." But the bus had reached his corner. He scurried off, ran around the front of the bus, was struck down by a truck and killed.

¶ Manhattan's Daily News, which has called a good many people a good many names, joyfully hailed a decision by Maryland's Judge Edward S. Delaplaine that it was not a crime to call a man a screwball. Cried the News: "Hereafter, if a rude neighbor or stranger gives you a dirty look, and declares his belief that you resemble a dope or a dumbski or a quisby or a mullethead, that won't be your cue to poke his snoot or even yell for the cops. Instead . . . you should square off and announce with dignity and eloquence that your antagonist is, forsooth, a beanhead, a booby, a chump, a dingbat, a flumadiddy, a filbert, a peanutbrain, a rednecked slob, a rumdum, a stupe, a tinpot . . ."