The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on August 6, 1954 · Page 8
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 8

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Friday, August 6, 1954
Page 8
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PAGE EIGHT BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COUUfBit JfEWI FRIDAY, AUGUST «, 1954 HOW DO DEFINE "DECENCY rr • II Frantic Francis At the beginning of this campaign for governor a whispering campaign got under way intended to impugn the patriotism of Orval Faubus. The source of that campaign became evident last Saturday when Cherry headquarters began distributing in wholesale quantities copies of a Little Rock political newspaper which asked the question: "Is Orval Faubus a former student of Commonwealth College? 77 On Satuday Francis Cherry denied that he or his supporters had anything to do with spreading this smear - denied it even though at that very moment state employes were handing out copies of the newspaper containing the allegation at Faubus rallies. At that point Orval Faubus took cognizance of the smear campaign for the first time. He said flatly that he had never been a student at Commonwealth College. And he told this simple and straightforward story - which has been known to the people of his own area for many years: FACTS FRANCIS- In 1935, Orval Faubus —who had been teaching in the grade schools of Madison County for some six years—managed to complete his high school training at Huntsville. He was looking for an opportunity to continue his education when he heard of a general offer of working scholarships at Commonwealth College near Mena. Faubus hitchhiked to Mena to investigate/ was welcomed to the campus at Common- weatlh, and stayed there for something less than two weeks. During that period he heard disturbing rumors about the college from the townspeople of Mena, saw some things he could not understand and did not like, and found that the college was not even accredited. So Orval Faubus packed up and went back home to Madison County. That was the beginning — and the end — of his association with, and knowledge of, the affairs of Commonwealth College. When Orval Faubus told this story, Francis Cherry was squarely on the spot. He was guilty of attacking the loyalty of a man who had proved his pafroitism on the field of battle — and he was guilty of doing it on the basis of a highly distorted version of events that took place 20 years before. Frantic Francis had to put up or shut up — so, on Mondav ni^ht, Francis tried to put MO, but THE TRUTH IS THAT, WHEN YOU STRIP AWAY THE DELIBERATE DISTORTIONS, ALL FRANCIS SUCCEEDED IN DOING WAS DOCUMENTING ORVAL FAUBUS' OWN STORY FACT FICTION-'—Frantic Francis said Orval Faubus denied ever having been at Commonwealth College. Orvol Faubus denied — and still denies — that he ever enrolled at Commonwealth College/ paid any tuition, or attended any clatset there. He does not/ and never hat, denied that he spent a few days on the campus before he found out the score and went back to Madison County. FICTION: — Frantic Francis said he had proved that Orval Faubus was at Commonwealth College in February, 1935. FRANTIC FRANCIS KNEW IT WASN'T TRUE WHEN HE SAID IT. Frantic Francis quoted liberally from the official record of Hit Arkansas Legislature's investigation of Commonwealth College, undertaken in February, 1935. He had read that record and he knew that it contained something very important that he didn't quote — sworn testimony that Orval Faubus was not a student at Commonwealth College. Moreover/ he knew that the record, — which listed all the students of the college — contained no mention of Orval Faubus anywhere in it. FICTION:—Frantic Francis said he proved, by quoting- from the student publication at Commonwealth College that Orval Faubus was elected president of the student body, delivered the May Day address, and attended a conference at Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a representative of the college. FACT: First of all, take a look at the dates of the publications Frantic Francis quoted. The first was published May 1. It said Orval Faubus was elected president of the student body. Orval Faubus has never denied this. But what Frantic Francis did not tell you was that the student body then consisted of ONLY 23 STUDENTS, THAT ORVAL FAUBUS WAS ONE OF THREE MEN ON THE CAMPUS FROM ARKANSAS, AND THAT THE COLLEGE WAS DESPERATELY TRYING TO PUT UP AN ARKANSAS FRONT BECAUSE IT WAS UNDER IN- VESTIGATION BY THE ARKANSAS LEGISLATURE. That's why Orval Faubus, who had been there only a, few days and wasn't even enrolled as a student, was named president — that's why he was selected as a delegate to the Chattanooga conference — and that's why he was listed as a May Day speaker. IT'S AN OLD COMMUNIST TRICK AND ORVAL FAUBUS WAS ITS INNOCENT VICTIM. Now. about that Chattanooga trip. Frantic Francis says that the college paper listed Orval Faubus as * delegate. It did — but Orval Faubus never went to Chattanooga, because by May 26 he had left Commonwealth forever and was back home in Madison County. Frantic Francis Jcnew that, too — but he quoted the next issue of the college paper, which contained a full account of the Chattanooga meeting. HE VERY CAREFULLY DID NOT TELL YOU THAT THERE WAS NO MENTION OF ORVAL FAUBUS. Now. let's look at that May Day speech. Frantic Francis quoted an announcement that Orval Faubus would deliver the speech. But Orral Faubus did not make any such speech. Frantic Francis has the records. Re knows that if Orval Faubus was a May Day speaker at Commonwealth that fact would have been repotted in the next issue of the paper But Frantic- Francis did not quote anything about May Day from the next issue — BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SUCH STORY IN IT, AND FRANTIC FRANCIS KNEW IT WHEN HE WENT ON THE AIR WITH HIS SMEAR. Frantic Francis also quoted from a Chattanooga newspaper, but here again he couldn't show you all of it - BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT ORVAL FAUBUS WAS NOT MENTIONED IN ANY ACCOUNT OF THE MEETING IN CHATTANOOGA - AND COULDN'T. HAVE BEEN MENTIONED BECAUSE HE WASNT THERE. The fact is that Francis Cherry's "documentation" establishes that Orval Faubus was on the Commonwealth College campus for only a brief period during March or April, 1935 —exactly when Orval Faubus said he was there —at a time when the college was reorganizing for the summer term. The fact is that Frantic Francis, who says he has the complete file of every issue published by the college paper, could not find any mention of Orval Faubus before May 1,1953, or after June 1,1953. And the fact is that Frantic Francis knew all of this when he stooped to deliberate distortion of these facts in an effort to smear Orval Faubus as "subversive." HOW DO YOU DEFINE "DECENCY," FRANTIC FRANCIS? - F«Utk*l f*f *y nm BUni,

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