75 YEARS AGO -1943
Aug. 14 - Aug. 20
- M. S. Boykin has been appointed chairman of the advance gifts committee of the Community and War Chest campaign of Sumter County, it was announced today by K. E. Ward, chairman of the publicity committee. …
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- M. S. Boykin has been appointed chairman of the advance gifts committee of the Community and War Chest campaign of Sumter County, it was announced today by K. E. Ward, chairman of the publicity committee. The drive will be held during October, and the tentative goal will be about $53,000. This will cover the needs of the Community Chest and War Relief Fund. The drives have been combined so that there will not be two separate demands on the public in one month.
- Col. R. C. W. Blessley, Shaw Field's commanding officer, welcomes Cpl. Dorothy Coffin, the first WAC assigned to this basic flying school. Cpl. Coffin became the first WAAC to drop an "A" and become a regular member of Uncle Sam's forces. Cpl. Coffin was the first member of the WAC detachment at Shaw Field to take the oath of induction Aug. 10. She was sworn in by Capt. Eugene C. Pressler, S-1, in the presence of the colonel who says that she is "a very excellent driver."
- Professor L. W. Ware, head of the horticulture department station at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, demonstrated to food processors, distributors, nutritionists and representatives of the quartermaster general's office 30 developed foods - ranging from candy to breakfast cereals - all of which were prepared from sweet potatoes. One hundred food experts were in the group that visited the school and sampled the cereals, confections, crackers, flour, cookies and numerous other food products prepared from the sweet potato. The experts expressed surprise about the flavor and texture of the food.
- Parents and children, 100 or more, spent one grand evening of fun and laughter at the Savage-Glover playground. Main events were group singing, foot races, peanut scramble, watermelon slice, rope contest and a very enjoyable baseball game. Special guests were Mr. Raffield, city manager, Miss Lois McKnight, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Green and Mr. Mrs. Revin of the Lyric Theatre. Mr. Revin not only financed the picnic, but also gave all the young people free passes to the theater. Maud Pendergrass was director of the playground and was doing a splendid job.
- First Lt. Capers R. Wactor was killed in action in the North African area July 17, his family has been notified by the War Department. Lt. Wactor had been overseas since June. The telegram announcing his death did not state specifically where it occurred, and members of his family thought that the North African area might include the Sicilian front because they had heard that he was there. Lt. Wactor had been a member of the Sumter National Guard for many years before the unit was mobilized in February. He entered the service as a first sergeant but later was appointed to Officers Candidate school, from which he graduated as a second lieutenant in September.
- Men between the ages of 17 and 55 are being urged to join Sumter's Home Defense Unit in a page advertisement appearing in the Sumter Daily Item. The Sumter unit has openings that must be filled at once, an officer of the company stated, and it is vital that all persons who can find to do so join up. A special opportunity will be given those desiring to sign up; they may obtain applications and physical exams at the armory.
- Maj. Charles H. Wilson of Sumter, serving with the American Expeditionary forces in Sicily, has been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action in the Tunisian campaign. The order citing the award reported that "under intense enemy artillery shellfire, Maj. Wilson, with complete disregard for his own safety, organized and personally directed the removal of five government vehicles to a place of safety. Maj. Wilson began active duty with the Army more than two years ago as a captain in the former Sumter National Guard outfit.
- Candidates for Sumter High School's football team will report at the Edmunds High gym at 10 o'clock for physical examinations, Coach Johnnie McMillian announced today. Practice will be started soon, the Gamecock mentor stated, noting he hoped for about 50 candidates this season. Every position is open, for 26 of last year's 36-man squad are not back this year. There are several from last year's B squad coming up, but outside of that the rest of the men will be inexperienced.
- Navy Airman William Lillington Phifer, 20, of Sumter won his Navy "Wings of Gold" and was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve following completion of the prescribed flight training course at the Naval Air Training, Pensacola, Florida, the "Annapolis of the Air." Having been designated a naval aviator, Ensign Phifer will go on active duty at the navy air operational training centers before being assigned to a combat zone.
- Supervisor M. C. Smith said that 17 high schools would participate in the federal-state distributive education program during the 1943-44 school year. The program is designed to train students by theory and practice in retail selling and office work. Smith said these schools would participate in the program: Anderson, Brookland-Cayce, Bennettsville, Columbia, Charleston, Clinton, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Lancaster, Olympia, Spartanburg, Sumter and Walterboro.
- A swimming pool for Sumter, a project which has been under discussion by the city council for some time, will be constructed, Mayor F. B. Creech said today, if a price agreement can be made and if priority for materials can be obtained. The pool will be built in the section where the Municipal Ball Park is located, the mayor said, but no definite decision has been made on that point. If built, the pool will be run on a business basis, Mr. Creech reported in answer to a question as to whether charges would be made for its use. It could be handled only in that way, he said, pointing out that a person will have to be engaged by the city to have charge of swimming and maintenance of the pool. He said that if the project went through, it would not be ready for opening before next summer.
50 YEARS AGO - 1968
April 14 - April 20
- Shaw's 363rd Civil Engineering Squadron was recently selected as the outstanding civil engineering unit in the Tactical Air Command and has been nominated to represent the command in Air Force-wide competition. Selection was based on TAC's evaluation of overall performance by the various elements of the base civil engineering function. The civil engineering staff was praised for its prompt and accurate reaction to requirements from higher headquarters and for its "can-do" attitude.
- Dunndell Gardens, where a million flowers transform a Stateburg valley into technicolor hideaway, will be open to the public at certain times. Dr. J. R. Dunn announced the restricted opening after several years of complete closure. Previously the garden, unparalleled in scope among local gardens, was open on a commercial basis. Twenty acres of wilderness and a broken-down grist mill pond have become a fairyland of flowers spreading over hillsides, along reflecting pools, under trees and near walkways, since Dr. Dunn acquired the land 43 years ago.
- In a gala stage pageant Saturday night, Julie Helen Dean, 17, began her reign as Miss Sumter 1969, following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Miss Sumter 1968, Donna Morgan. A senior at Edmunds High School, she played the piano in the talent competition before a large crowd of appreciative Sumterites in the Jaycee-sponsored pageant.
- A good crowd, an almost non-existent jalopy class, but a good field of limited modified cars opened the racing season in the local area last Friday night at Hartsville. The Hartsville track had been scheduled to open April 5, but a rain washed out the first attempt. The preview Friday night at Hartsville yielded few spectacular accidents but promises to bring to the local area a new class racing with the opening of the Rebel track this Saturday night.
- Brig. Gen. Donavon F. Smith, a World War II fighter ace and recent recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal for service in Vietnam, has been named vice commander of the Ninth Air Force. Gen. Smith, who received the DSM for meritorious service during his 18-month tour as chief adviser to the Vietnamese Air Force, will report for duty early next month. The occasion will mark a reunion between Gen. Smith and Maj. Gen. Gordon M. Graham, Ninth Air Force commander. Gen. Graham, also a World War II ace and holder of the DSM for Vietnam service, worked with Gen. Smith in Saigon last year.
- The Poinsett Garden Club met at the Alice Boyle Garden Center for its annual tea and installation of officers. Hostesses were Mrs. C. E. Hinson, Mrs. M. B. Jackson, Mrs. Homer C. Carlisle, Mrs. Maxey Alpert, Mrs. W. J. Fudger, Mrs. Ladson Cubbage, Mrs. W. E. Brice and Mrs. A. R. Rogers. Punch, assorted sandwiches, cookies and nuts were served from a table holding a tall arrangement of spring flowers and Easter eggs.
- Sumter won a baseball game once again on a fine pitching performance, but this time it wasn't from Billy Ardis. The mound belonged to junior Ronnie Grooms. Monday afternoon at Riley Park, Ronnie hurled a three-hitter for 6 2/3 innings as Sumter edged Hartsville, 2-1, to move the Gamecocks over the .500 mark the first time this spring.
- Sumter County's STAR student and teacher, Martha Graham Stoddard and James Grady Locklear, both of Edmunds High School, receive first runner-up plaques from Congressman Tom Gettys during the recent Fifth Congressional District competition in Rock Hill.
- Construction of city water lines along Boulevard Road and in Pine Acres subdivision have been completed and are ready for customers' hook-ons, according to H. C. Gardener, city superintendent of public works. Residents on Boulevard Road between Lemira School and Mooneyhan Road and in Pine Acres Subdivision should make connection application and pay tap-on fees at City Hall. City officials anticipate that connections can be made within three to four days after applications are made.
- Sumter's girls' tennis team won every set but one, and the Lady Birds went on to crush Rock Hill's team, 9-0, in a match at Memorial Park. The Sumter team ran its record to six wins against three defeats for the season. In the No. 1 singles match, Mary Abbott disposed of Rock Hill's D. Dickson, 6-1, 6-3.
- With the retirement of Mrs. Mary Burgess Warren on April 22 ends an era that spans over half a century of service to others. Born in Stateburg, daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Warren Hamilton Burgess, she moved to Sumter at the age of 12 and has made her home here since. Traveling, though, has always been high on her list of "favorite things," and she hopes that now she will be able to indulge in more of the same.
- Ricker Lane, the Dogpatch of downtown Sumter, is rid, finally, of the dilapidated structures that for years have been a source of shame to proud citizens. Razing of the 11 houses along Ricker Lane is part of a continuing effort to eventually rid the city of all sub-standard dwellings. During the two years since City Council adopted the Minimum Housing Code, 218 buildings have been removed or repaired, with action pending on 278 additional structures.
- Righthander Perry Johnson continued to sparkle on the mound for Lincoln High's high-riding baseball team as he hurled a three-hit shutout to lead the Bulldogs to a 2-0 victory over Dennis High at Sumter on Thursday afternoon. Johnson picked up his fifth win of the season without a loss and fanned 12 Dennis batters in the process. The victory was No. 8 for the Bulldogs, a school that had no baseball team two years ago. The team has lost just once and has a good shot at the conference crown.
25 YEARS AGO - 1993
Jan. 15 - Jan. 21
- Former Sumter Mayor Robert "Beau" Graham was named the Sumter Family YMCA's 1993 Humanitarian of the Year during the organization's annual meeting and banquet. Graham, who has been in the real estate business since 1937 and served three consecutive terms as mayor from 1964-1972, was chosen to receive the award by the last five recipients, according to Rand Bailey, director of the YMCA. Selection was based on service to the YMCA and the city and "contribution to society," Bailey said.
- Hillcrest coach James Smith wanted to try something a little different in Friday night's game against Lancaster. "I wanted to try a little experiment in the first period," Smith said. "We needed to work on our rebounding, and I thought I would change the lineup around." It did not work, but the Wildcats, still unbeaten in Region IV 4A, routed Lancaster 72-54 at the Hillcrest gymnasium.
- Laidlaw and the state health department laid down the ground rules during the third day of hearings over Laidlaw's pending hazardous waste operating permit: It's all or nothing. Laidlaw Environmental Services of South Carolina Inc. has been operating its 279-acre hazardous-waste landfill on the shores of Lake Marion under a temporary permit since 1980. The company was issued a permanent operating permit by the state Department of Health and Environment in 1989, but the permit was appealed by Sumter's Citizens Asking for a Safe Environment and several other environmental groups.
- All is well with Dexter Davis. The former Sumter High and Clemson standout intercepted some passes and even started a few games for the NFL's Phoenix Cardinals this year. The Cardinals finished the season with the same record (4-12 overall, 3-5 in the NFC East) as the year before. There's speculation in the league that head coach Joe Bugel is on his way out. Davis, a second-year cornerback who started in four games this year, said Bugel should get another shot.
- Sumter City Council plans to award a contract to the state for the purchase of eight police cars. It will also receive an audit report for fiscal 1991-92. City Manager Talmadge Tobias noted that the eight 1993 Ford LTD Crown Victoria sedans will be used as marked patrol-pursuit cars and could be on the street within 90 days. The cars cost $12,400 each, and the expenditure is included in this year's city budget. The city, which in recent years has typically replaced eight to 12 police cars a year, is planning to replace 12 this year, according to Tobias. In addition to the eight patrol cars, the city plans to buy four detective and traffic enforcement cars later this year.
- As Sumter celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, black and white community leaders vowed to work together to solve racial problems. About 350 people celebrated the day at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in a service of song and Scripture sponsored by the Sumter Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Community leaders and students spoke about King. All local government offices and public schools were closed in recognition of the day, as were some businesses.
- As expected, Hillcrest's Wildcats took over as the top-ranked 4A boys basketball team in the latest Associated Press high school basketball poll, released today. Hillcrest, 13-2, was second in last week's poll but knocked off then-No. 1 Irmo 53-41. Sumter High, 11-5, retained its No. 8 ranking despite suffering losses to Spring Valley and Lower Richland recently.
- Despite renewed calls by angry parents for the firing of Superintendent John Wall, the Lee County School Board voted 4-1 to extend his contract for another year. The contract would have expired June 30, 1994, but was extended through June 30, 1995. Wall said he was paid $57,000 a year. About 40 parents and residents attended the meeting, but that number had dwindled to about 10 by the time the board emerged from a closed session to renew Wall's contract. It was 11 p. m. when the board voted. The meeting, held at Fleming Middle School, started at 7:30 p.m.
- Two men charged with impersonating police officers in Manning face similar charges in three other South Carolina counties, and may have posed as cops in other states. Lt. Danny Ridgeway of the Manning Police Department said the two men were being held in the Clarendon County jail on bonds of $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, after being charged with impersonating police officers and second-degree burglary. The two have also been charged with impersonating police officers and other crimes in Darlington, Richland and Lexington counties.
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