A The Daily Tar Heel ' Monday, Decembi t 5 1977
Sen. McNeill Smith wants to remain Sen. Smith -but change address
I he town of Rowland in Robeson County is not
unlike the hundreds of other small towns in North
Carolina. Located in the south-central part of the state
near the South Carolina border, the town's population
is close-knit. God-fearing and largely conservative.
One of the most respected natives is state Sen.
McNeill Smith of Greensboro. Democratic candidate
for the U .S. Senate. He was at U NC last week to speak
before the UNC Young Democrats. After four terms
in the state senate. Smith has joined a host of other
Democrats in a battle for the right to face incumbent
Republican U.S. Senator ' Jesse Helms next
Smith warmed up his audience with recollections of
his childhood years in Row land before concentrating
on why he feels he should be in the Senate instead of
By MARK AS DREWS
"Every house had a legend and a story," Smith said
of his home town. "I knew everybody in Rowland."
During his youth, Smith worked tobacco and
cotton crops and used to be a salesman in a store in
town. He recalls the time when a poor man came into
the store to buy shoes for his children. The only way he
had been able to tell what sire to buy was to measure
his kids' feet, and he brought twigs in to show Smith
how long each of their feet were. He has never
forgotten the poverty he saw when he was young.
Rowland used to boast that it was "the town of
1,000 friends," Smith recalls. But a closer look at the
population figures revealed that at the time the town
had only 915 people. Since the residents strongly
adhered to the Christian principle of truthfulness, they
decided that the sign would have to be changed. They
added a line at the bottom of the sign.
"Some of them are dogs," the sign confessed.
Like so many other towns and cities in the South
during the 1960s, Rowland experienced some division
and controversy over racial issues. A Baptist minister
there, who had helped establish a Head Start program
for pre-school children, was asked to leave the church
by his congregation.
The congregation was upset because the church's
program was integrated. A major controversy in the
church ensued, and the church was split.
Someone was particularly disgusted with the
turmoil over the integrated school and put a sign upon
the church which caused such a disturbance when it
was found that the authorities were brought in to find
who the culprit was.
"Church for sale - congregation gone to hell," it
The incident drew national attention and was even
reported by Time magazine.
Smith arrived in Chapel Hill at age 16 to attend
UNC. He recalls that first day at UNC - he wasaway
from home and like most freshmen, very homesick. He
remembers having his first college meal at Swain Hall,
and eating fried okra which he had always hated.
Despite the initial anxiety, however, the Robeson
County collegian recovered nicely and became, in
time, a Daily Tar Heel editor, a member of several
campus organizations and a Phi Beta Kappa initiate.
Frank Porter Graham, a nationally-recognized
educator in his day and perhaps the most famous and
best loved man in U NC's long history, was president of
the University when Smith was in college. On Sunday
evenings, Smith and many other students would walk
over to Graham's lawn at the president's mansion to
visit with him.
Even today Smith vividly remembers his contacts
with Graham, which continued long after Smith left
UNC. He held Graham in very high esteem and still
retains a hint of bitterness for the way he saysGraham
was treated in his bid to retain his seat in the U.S.
Senate (to which he had been appointed in 1949 when
the incumbent died).
The campaign was a particularly heated one, and
McNeill Smith and others have accused Graham's
opponent. Willis Smith, of dirty campaign tactics.
Smith says that he has never seen his wife cry except
after that bitter Senate race which ended in Graham's
defeat. He wants to "avenge and revenge" that defeat.
One of the managers of the Willis Smith campaign
was a young man named Jesse Helms, and Smith
wants to avenge Graham's defeat.
In an effort to control the growing amount of
protest that was taking place at UNC and other
campuses during the 1960s, the North Carolina
General Assembly in 1963 passed the Speaker Ban
Law which allowed the state to prevent certain
speakers it considered dangerous from appearing on
campus. A group of concerned students at UNC were
determined togetthe law changed and sought a lawyer
who would help them fight it in the courts.
They had trouble finding someone to help them in a
battle which was bound to arouse the wrath of so
.nany people in the state who felt angry and threatened
by events taking place on some college campuses.
McNeill Smith agreed to represent the group, and they
filed suit against the speaker ban.
Some people complained that Smith and the
students were trying to destroy the University by
fighting the ban. "No we're not." Smith insisted,
"we're going to rescue the University."
The students and Smith faced a panel of three
federal court judges when they presented their case in
1968. All three had a reputation for being hardnosed
judges. Frank Graham called Smith twice from New
York to inquire about the suit's progress. Many people
became discouraged and pessimistic when they found
out who the judges were, but Smith and the students
bringing suit continued to fight the court battle. They
actually succeeded in winning the case, and finally the
Speaker Ban Law was struck down.
"It was the students of North Carolina who brought
this lawsuit," Smith told the UNC studentsand others
last week. "I was very proud to represent these
students because they believe in the Constitution."
Jesse Helms had been a supporter of the speaker
ban, Smith reminded the audience, and he continued
to support it even after its repeal. Helms called the
students "asinine and stupid." Smith maintained.
"He (Helms) was on the side of the censor," Smith
insisted. "I was on the other side."
As far as North Carolina politics are concerned,
McNeill Smith is somewhat of an unconventional
politician. He is considered by watchers of the state
legislature to be one of its most progressive and active
members. He is also considered liberal in comparison
to most of the state's other politicians, especially in
contrast to the man he'd like to face in the Senate race
next year, incumbent Republican Helms. Yet, Smith
doesn't really like labels.
Smith's voting record in the state senate shows that
while he has a record of supporting "progressive"
legislation, he does not respond to legislation in
unswerving knee-jerk fashion. He has gone against
many other senators of the progressive bent and voted
against almost all bills for liquor by the drink in the
state although he did support one which would
have allowed local option.
"I had a feeling that this proposal (liquor by the
I f , i
Sen. McNeill Smith
drink) would have increased consumption," ( he
Smith is an avid bicycle-rider and likes to travel by
bike instead of by car when possible. He says he feels'
he's traveled the equivalent of a couple of times
around the world by bicycle during his life. He'd never
had an accident until a week ago Sunday when a
person in a person opened his door as Smith passed.
Smith wasn't injured, though.
Smith wants to replace the negativism he feels
Helms has exhibited in the U.S. Senate with an
optimistic, forward-looking approach to the problems
facing the country. He wants to take greater advantage
of what he feels is the tremendous prospect of solar
energy; he wants the federal government to provide
jobs to the unemployed when the private sector can't
hire them, and he favors ratification of the Panama
Canal treaty as long as clarifications about our rights
after we withdraw are outlined.
i Smith enjoys discussing the issues and remained
with a handful of students long after his speech to
consider some of the issues coming up in the
Smith takes great pride in noting that when other
people gave up fighting for their side in some
controversial issue and said it couldn't be done, he
kept at it and proved them wrong. He wants to face
Jesse Helms in the general election next year, but he
faces an uphill battle trying to get the Democratic
nomination and is still considered an underdog in the
Sen. McNeill Smith wants to remain Sen. Smith for
at least another half dozen years. Of course, he'd like
to move his office from Raleigh to Washington.
Mark Andrews, a senior journalism major from
Burlington, N.C., is a staff writer for the Daily Tar
Bf-s Cohskiii's, Muiniinv Editor
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Cm C k Al MOV Sltiie and atioiial Editor
SR Bl l I KD, Features Editor
I MY Enssi in. Arts Editor
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85th year of editorial freedom
Plaintiffs miss point
Carrboro apartment dwellers have been facing a parking crunch for
several years, and they have been getting no relief from their managers.
Limitations of space were increased in the fall of 1974 when the town board
authorized the Carrboro fire chief to designate fire lanes in private parking
lots. Towing was authorized as a means of punishing motorists who ignored
the fire lane designations.
The constitutionality of the ordinance concerning the fire lane
designations has been challenged in a class action suit. The plaintiffs, who
include three UNC students, claim the town does not have the constitutional
right to tow cars from private property. Orange District Court Judge
Stanley Peele issued a temporary restraining order last w eek prohibiting the
town from enforcing the questioned ordinance until the case is heard.
Mayor-elect Bob Drakeford agreed w ith the judge's action: "The people
living there the students are the ones being penalized."
Drakeford and the plaintiffs seem to be missing the point. The restraining
order prohibits the tow n from providing a fundamental town service to its
citizenry proper fire protection. The bickerings of a few students have
out-shouted the masses who value their furniture, lives and clothing all of
which could go up in smoke.
Watching your roommate struggle to free himself of burning embers
while firemen negotiate around a parked car would not be a pretty sight.
Admittedly, this scenario is a bit extreme, but the death of one person under
such cirumstances is excessive.
The concern of students over the parking situation at the apartments is
well-founded. But we should take our case to the apartment managers
not the courts. It is their responsibility to provide adequate parking, not the
town's. The cost might be great but certainly not greater than the price of a
Concerts won't get better
The Carolina Union Board of Directors' rejection of a proposal to
establish a major attractions board is another sign that UNC's dismal record
of attracting top-notch entertainment is in no danger of improving.
There's no doubt that the proposal to establish a board separate from the
Activities Board solely to bring major concerts and the like to UNC was free
of flaws. But questioning, as members of the board did, whether students
would be w illing to pay more money to see big-name entertainment is rather
ludicrous. It's obvious from the throngs of UNCstudentswho takein major
attractions at places like Duke and Greensboro that concert-starved
students here are willing to travel to see the entertainment this school will
not bring them.
The last major rock-and-roll concerts here were two years ago when
Fleetwood Mac and Stephen Stills played within a month of each other.
Last year, J udy Collins and J immy Buffett were the biggest names to make it
to Carmichael. In the last month alone, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Rod
Stewart and Jethro Tull have appeared in Greensboro. Last year Duke
students were treated to the Grateful Dead and George Benson, while two
years ago Bruce Springsteen. Frank Zappa and Joni Mitchell played on the
Duke campus. Duke has a major attractions committee under a separate
budget from their activities board.
If the Board of Directors doesn't feel a major attractions committee is
possible, it should come up with a better idea. Perhaps the proposal was not
the best solution, but something must be done to boost the sparse concert
The ill-fated proposal for a major attractions board served a vital purpose
if it simply reminded the Union Board of Directors that, when it comes to
concerts. UNC students would rather not be in Chapel Mill.
GTKWN TO.' WANT ID 100K LIKE W VHN "TMH ARRIVE?"
letters to the editor
Nuclear energy questioned
To the editor:
In regard to Julian Grajewski's contribution concerning
nuclear technology ("Nuclear technology the 'leading edge'
for social and economic progress." Nov. 28), I'd like to ask
him where he got his information concerning fission, breeder
and fusion research. It is not true that fusion power will be
ready by the 1990s. The Russian "Tokamak" reactor has
been able to achieve a sustained fusion reaction for only a
fraction of a second. The fusion program will not be able to
put a fusion reactor on the line by the year 2000. The first
generator of laboratory experimentation has not given way
to any government projects for integration into America's
Breeder technology does not totally prevent radioactive
waste. There are some radioactive wastes produced from the
breeder process that must be stored.
The Brown's Ferry incident proved conclusively that, with
any luck at all (bad). 10.000 people could have died. In
France, a terrorist was able to get through the security to the
control room of a fission reactor before he was stopped. A
terrorist trained in nuclear physics could very easily
construct a bomb from plutonium waste materials or from
the fuel that has supposedly been lost by the United States
As for recycling fuel. President Carter vetoed a recycling
plant in South Carolina as too costly.
The nuclear research program at the present only offers a
short-run solution to the world's energy needs. It is not clear,
and the factor of human error makes the risks high. Mr.
Grajewski offers an idealistic look at nuclear energy. Maybe
some of these "bandied" phrases concerning American
lifestyles are correct.
1310 Granville W est
To the editor:
In response to Julian Grajewski's irresponsible piece of
journalism on the threat of solar energy to economic and
1) His alleged facts of the matter were, at best, out in left
field. His estimate for energy generated per unit area of a
nuclear generator was off by a factor of a million.
2) He failed to explain the relationships between energy
generated per unit area and safety, economics and morality.
3) His total reliance on governmental and (nuclear)
industry "factoids" is absurd.
Your government w ants you to be aw are of the dangers of
smoking. So it requires that a warning come with the
product. Your govci nment does not w ant you to be aware of
the dangers of nuclcarenergy. It's the government's product.
Patrick .1. Raffem
School of Public Health
Free play isn't free
To the editor:
Every occasion 1 have had to be first on a court in Woollen,
be it a Sunday afternoon or weekday after classes, I have had
to deal with groups of men beginning basketball games or
shooting baskets as if no one else was on the court. Being
there for volleyball scrimmages, 1 will admit that, yes, if a net
w as up, 1 and my teammates would be using both sides of the
court. It is impossible to play half-court volleyball. I have
met with varying degrees of success (even on courts reserved
for women) in asking the men to leave.
Yesterday, as I and my teammates were on a court
warming up for an intramural game, we were again
interrupted by a basketball group whose spokesman
smirkingly volunteered that "this is a free-play court and we
have it until 4:45." After getting the security guard to
investigate, we indeed found out that we could be bumped
from the court, for free play does not mean free play; it means
pick-up basketball. And since we were playing volleyball on a
court with a net up (and. 1 infer, since we were women) we
had to give up the space.
1 have had t he "free play" policy explained to me and I find
it discriminatory in many ways: First and foremost, as
mentioned above, free play does not mean what it says it
means pick-up basketball. Why is it that almost all the. courts
in Woollen are given over to that one sport? The women's
volleyball team is going to the nationals too!
Secondly, it is pure and simple rudeness to move in on a
court already occupied. It is inconceivable to me that anyone
other than a University or intramural team can bump anyone
from a court who was there first. When there is a net up and
volleyball is going on. then it is absurd to have to relinquish
the court with the net to basketballers.
And last. I have never been bumped from a court by a
group of w omen only men who refused to move no matter
what. At that point, it always becomes a game of who can
endure the longest playing v-ball and b-ball under less than
normal conditions on one court.
I suppose it is because whoever is in charge of the gym
space assumes that everyone plays basketball that the "free
play" rule is like it is. Needless to say, v-ball is building a
substantial follow ing, and it would seem only fair that at least
one court in the gym could be reserved for volleyball. But
even more basically, it would seem that some people, by this
time, would have learned a little courtesy and would remain
off the courts that are already taken.
Dee Dee Small ,
the Daily Tar Heel welcomes contributions and letters
to the editor. Letters must be signed, typed on a 60-space
line, double-spaced and must be accompanied by a return
address. Letters chosen for publication are subject to
should learn more
By MARY ANNE RHYNE
Every 40 minutes someone in the United States is
murdered with a gun. Someone else is robbed at
gunpoint every two-and-a-half minutes.
Where do the guns to commit these crimes come
No one, not even the government, knows the answer
to that question. The government doesn't know what
kind of guns are made, how many are made, how many
are stolen, how they are shipped or who makes the
profit from their sale.
In the people's interest, the government should learn
Statistics now show that police pick up one handgun
every two minutes while gun manufacturers put
together four replacements in the same time. But these
are just estimates. The gun makers have refused to tell
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the
agency charged with monitoring firearms production,
just what they are doing. The House Judiciary
Committee Subcommittee on Crime could only get12
of 32 manufacturers even to answer a questionnaire.
Such flagrant lack of cooperation with the government
should disturb Americans.
With such unguarded production of weapons, how
can the consumer be sure of what he is buying? He can't
be. A Police Foundation study shows that some
makers import low-grade metal parts for the guns. A
federal law in 1968 was supposed to prevent the sale of
such cheap handguns.
The government should learn more.
If materials used in the guns are cheap, are
Americans paying a fair price for handguns? Again the
Police Foundation reports that if the list price of a gun
is $ 1 75, it probably cost its maker $ 1 00 to produce. The
profit is spread along to middlemen. With estimated
profits of $ 1 00 million, there is plenty of money for gun
manufacturers to spread around.
The names of arms manufacturers read like a "most
popular list" of conglomerates. The list includes
DuPont (Remington Arms), Olin (Winchester) and
Colt Industries (Colt Firearms). Many manufacturers
are expanding arms production to include Mace, tear
gas, holsters, ammunition and blood-alcohol
analyzers. These are not signs of a floundering
The government should learn more.
Another disturbing fact about the gun market is the
success of the black market. Stolen guns account for 20
to 30 percent of the guns used in crime. How do these
weapons get in the hands of criminals? RG Industries,
the nation's leading maker of Saturday-night specials,
says it ships arms by the United Parcel Service. The
company simply used to mail guns. The theft problem
is large but the profits are high. Smith and Wesson,
another highly successful gun manufacturer, uses
metal detectors to check employees, and fences and
floodlights to spot thieves. Somewhere there are
security leaks because thousands of guns are stolen.
The government should learn more.
If a gun is stolen, it can hardly be tracked down. The
Police Foundation reports that many manufacturers
have duplicate serial numbers on their products. None
has a standard system of numbering.
The wide discrepancies and huge gaps in the
provision of information to the public from gun
manufacturers is inexcusable. As of now the question
is not gun control. The demand is for information.
K nowledge that could shed light on gun control issues.
Knowledge that could lower the murder rate in the
United States. Knowledge that the American people
deserve to have.
Mary Anne Rhyne, a junior, is a French and
journalism major from Hickory, N.C.