• U.S.

People, Apr. 11, 1955

5 minute read

Names make news. Last week these names made this news:

Although he customarily wins friends and influences people wherever he preaches salvation, Evangelist Billy Graham (TIME, Oct. 25) unwittingly made some British enemies. Up to his nonclerical collar in a “Tell Scotland” crusade, Graham found himself in the rough, both on a Scottish golf course and in the minds of England’s organized animal lovers. The ruckus began when he started a BBC broadcast with a bland enough statement: “Fishes belong to the sea, animals belong to the jungle, human beings belong to God.” But to Britain’s buffalo-chip-on-shoulder League Against Cruel Sports, these were fighting words. More fuel was poured into the fire when an L.A.C.S. member reported that at one of Graham’s Glasgow meetings, a lad had said to Evangelist Graham: “Excuse me, sir—my father loves animals, and I hope you will pray for them in your service.” Billy’s reported reply: “Now you trot home and tell your daddy that my job is saving human souls. I have no time for animals.”* This secondhand duologue was greeted at the league’s annual meeting in London with teeth-gnashing and wails of “shame!” One incensed lady shouted: “Billy Graham belongs to the jungle.” Said League Secretary J. C. Sharp: “Animals are God’s creatures, too. They are cruelly ill-treated by people who claim to be religious.” In Glasgow, abandoning his usual eloquence, Evangelist Graham, coming down with a severe throat infection, husked: “No comment.”

Moscow announced that a street on a new state farm somewhere out on the Soviet steppes has been named after one of the U.S.S.R.’s best U.S. friends, party-lining Baritone Paul Robeson, who has long cherished an illusion that U.S. Negroes are still slaves but that Soviet slave laborers are free.

In Singapore, famed Author-Philosopher Lin (The Importance of Living) Yutang resigned his post as chancellor of newborn Nanyang University (TIME, Aug. 16). Ostensibly, the row was over the school’s first budget and operating policies. But behind the scenes, Nanyang, set up primarily to win Oriental minds for the West, was an ideological morass, a battleground where the Communists had already opened a rabbit-punch struggle to capture minds for their own cause. In despair and frustration. Dr. Lin, more a scholar than a dynamic educator, capitulated.

On the eve of his 55th birthday in London, Britain’s Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, an air chief marshal of the R.A.F., an honorary captain in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, but more recognizable as the Duke of Gloucester, hied himself to Buckingham Palace to pick up a present from a favorite niece Queen Elizabeth II. The gift: the rank and baton of a British Army field marshal.

The only two U.S. playboys whose follies still seem like madcap hangovers from the Roaring Twenties are aging Asbestoscion Tommy Manville, due to turn 61 this week, and the heir apparent to the jester’s cap, bibulous Sugar Daddy Adolph B. (Honey Dew) Spreckels II, 43. Last week both Manville and Spreckels, the veterans of a total of 15 marriages, 13 divorces, two separations, were entangled with the law and women as usual. In Manhattan, Playboy Manville, haled into court by wife No. 9, Anita Roddy-Eden Manville, and asked to prove that he is not worth at least $10 million, seemed on the verge of mouthing a pauper’s oath. The exact figure before he had lunch during the court’s noon recess, insisted Tommy, is a modest $2,054,922.23. To show the straits he is in, Manville lugged in a suitcase full of his canceled checks (item: $2,400 for a year’s window cleaning at his Westchester County mansion). Asked about a string of checks he wrote to buy arch supports, Manville, ever the butt of his own gags, explained: “I got fallen arches carrying my first bride over the thresh-old.” Meanwhile, Playboy Spreckels and San Francisco’s Polyclinic Hospital were sued for $60,000 by an ex-Hollywood dancer named Georgia Asper. Her charge against Spreckels (who did 25 days of jail time last November for clouting his fifth wife, sometime Actress Kay Williams, with her jeweled slipper): “Indecent assault and battery” while he and Georgia were fellow hospital patients, with a connecting bathroom, last December. After bursting into her room in a smock so scanty that “he was exposed in both directions,” testified Georgia, Sugar Daddy Spreckels wrestled with her lustily and then, outnumbered by three nurses, leaped atop an unoccupied bed and bellowed defiantly: “I’m going to stay in the room with the blonde!” The nurses gently carried him away.

At a reception for Mamie Eisenhower in Washington’s Mayflower Hotel, a friend of Mamie’s sister, Frances (“Mike”) Moore, Mrs. Durries Crane, onetime ballerina with Chicago’s Civic Opera, suddenly became aware of a horrifying coincidence: the First Lady wore a blue-and-green-print taffeta dress almost exactly like her own. In the reception line Mrs. Crane tried to conceal her own outfit with her mink cape, but Mamie spied the maneuver, gaily cried: “Don’t hide it. I think it’s pretty.” Muttered blushing Ledova Crane: “It’s not really the same.” “Oh, yes it is,” bubbled Mamie as she opened Mrs. Crane’s frantically clutched cape. “You just took off the bow. What a good idea!” Later, Ledova Crane confided to newsmen at tea: “I was so embarrassed I could die.” Even more embarrassed was Manhattan Designer Mollie Parnis, who confessed that there are 89 more frocks just like Ledova’s in circulation. Moaned Mollie: “I’m ready to crawl under a rock, or leave the country or something.” But Mollie soon saw a silver lining. Brightening, she said: “I do not sell directly to any wearer. Nor do I usually make one of a kind; that is what makes this country a great democracy.”

*Back home in North Carolina, Pet-Lover Graham keeps a horse, a cat, a canary, a parakeet, a Great Pyrenees dog named Belle Shazzar.

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