POW letters limited to 25 words; Shaw Field band performs

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 4/8/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Oct. 31 - Nov. 6

- All enlisted men were to be admitted free of charge to the Sumter County Fairgrounds as long as the gates are open. Secretary J. Cliff Brown of the Fair Association announced today. The exposition is …

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POW letters limited to 25 words; Shaw Field band performs

Posted

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Oct. 31 - Nov. 6

- All enlisted men were to be admitted free of charge to the Sumter County Fairgrounds as long as the gates are open. Secretary J. Cliff Brown of the Fair Association announced today. The exposition is scheduled to open next week. Soldiers will be welcomed at any time, according to Mr. Brown, and an invitation is extended particularly to the men of Shaw Field and to local men in the service at home on leave. Although entrance will be gratis, it was suggested that the soldiers will save their money for spending in the fair's amusement area and at sale booths.

- An increase from three to four cents in charges on out-of-town letters was voted in today by the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. The revenue group previously had raised the local letter rate from two to three cents. The committee decided to cut back the air mail rate from a tentatively approved 10 cents to 8 cents. The present rate is 6 cents.

- Beginning Friday of this week the Sumter Theater will celebrate its seventh anniversary. Kermit Ward, manager, stated that September was really the theater's anniversary but that everyone at the theater was so busy selling War Bonds that it was decided to postpone the celebration.

- The second qualifying test for the Army Specialized Training program and the Navy college program, V-12, will be conducted at Edmunds High School from 9 until 12 o'clock Nov. 9, according to William Henry Shaw, superintendent of the city schools. These training programs present an opportunity to persons to secure at government expense and education approximately equivalent to that secured in a college course of equal length, according to Mr. Shaw.

- Letters to prisoners of war and civilian internees held by the Japanese must be limited to 25 words, the Red Cross office has been notified by national headquarters. The previous ruling was 25 words or less, but the present order means that not more than 24 words may be used. Red Cross officials warned Sumter people who may write to Japanese-held friends or relatives that unless they comply strictly with the regulation, the prisoners of war and internees may not receive their letters.

- Ed and Ted, the Silar twins from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, are identical in only one respect-their enthusiasm for the Air Corps. On that subject they think as a single entity. On practically everything else, they differ as widely as any two brothers could. It even goes as far as Ed's left-handedness versus his twin's traditional right-handedness. Ted is slightly the taller of the two, but as to which is the older, that's a well-kept family secret. Knowing her sons exceptionally well, Mrs. Silar was always afraid the truth might bring on a feud.

- The Social Security Act has been in operation eight years, and it has been paying off since Jan. 1, 1940. Yet an astonishing proportion of Americans still think of it only as a system that brightens the lives of people who retire from work after they are 65. There is a good deal more than that to Social Security. For example, to many widows with young children, the survivors insurance payments provided to families of deceased workers have proven an unexpected and heartening windfall.

- Another class of aerial triggermen to guard Army Air Forces' bombers graduated from Harlingen aerial gunnery school, and among the qualified "sharpshooters of the sky" was Cpl. Robert G. Boney. Along with his diploma, he received a pair of aerial gunner's wings at brief graduation exercises held here. After a delay en route to visit relatives, he will join an aerial combat team, unless he is retained at Harlingen Army Air Field to serve as an instructor.

- The untimely passing of Mr. J. J. Britton, besides leaving this board and the entire community shocked and saddened, leaves a vacancy in his community and in the ranks of the officials of the County of Sumter which will be hard to fill. The board has lost a friend and a co-worker whose long years of service speak for the high esteem in which he was held by all, and we, the County Board of Commissioners, feel that it is fitting that we seek to honor his memory.

- This Friday the teenage youth of Sumter will congregate on the third floor of the YWCA for an afternoon of informal recreation. The hall is equipped with a juke box and a piano, ping pong, darts, magazines and table games-and enough floor space to accommodate a large crowd of boys and girls. There will be several adult hostesses on hand to see that everybody is having a good time.

- Funeral service for Sgt. Robeson Sherred, who was killed in the crash of a light bomber near Thomas, Oklahoma, was held at Grace Baptist Church of Sumter. Sgt. Sherred's widow was the former Miss Jean Sweatte of Sumter. He was stationed at Shaw Field for a period of time. The plane was based at Woodward Army Air Base in Oklahoma.

- The Shaw Field post band, under the direction of Warrant Officer Robert Simpson, will furnish the music for the ceremonies in which Sonoco Co. of Hartsville, manufacturers of paper products, will receive the Army-Navy E. award. The awards are made to factories which produce with excellence materials for one or more of the branches of the service. The people of Sumter have a particular interest in the Hartsville plant because the paper collected in a recent drive by schoolchildren, and that gathered by the Children's Home has been sold to that factory.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

June 30 - July 6

- A stone-laying ceremony signaled virtual completion of the 60-unit Mt. Pisgah Apartments on College Street off Lafayette Boulevard. Painting of the apartments is now in progress, and paving of parking areas still must be done. But otherwise the housing project is practically complete. The $620,000 project, first of its kind in South Carolina, was built under a program to allow private enterprise in the form of nonprofit corporations to provide housing for low-income families and individuals. Sponsor for the local project is Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church.

- To race fans who were on hand at Sumter Speedway, Barnum and Bailey should never have called their circus "The Greatest Show on Earth," because never in the history of the track has there been so much going on all night. From the warm-ups in the afternoon until the final lap later in the night, fans were treated with pile-ups, wrecks and spins every minute in every division, with the largest field of cars in many years assembling for the action.

- Sumter's bats, quiet all season, came to life for a while pushing across six runs in the very first inning, and the league-leading P-15's went on to rip Manning 10-2 for their 10th victory of the campaign. Coach Bernie Jones' club collected 12 hits, 11 of them singles, for their highest number of safeties in one game this year. Big men for the P-15's attack were Donnie Branham, who had three hits in four at bats, and Mike Newman, who had two hits, one a booming triple, to deep leftfield. Al Harris, who managed to survive danger for seven innings, was credited with the triumph, his first of 1968.

- The Wesmark Plaza Merchants Association will sponsor a gala 4th of July celebration, starting at noon, featuring free pony rides, refreshments and entertainment for all. A free pony-drawn cart ride for children will be held from 2 until 6 p.m., and free slices of watermelon and soft drinks will be served. Picnic tables will be available to encourage families to bring a picnic lunch. The Sumter Jaycees will promote a car wrecking "happening" at the Wesmark Plaza parking lot, and anyone wishing to take a sledge hammer to the car may do so for 25 cents a blow.

- "Sumter really kicked it around out there, didn't they," said Camden Coach Arthur Robinson after his team had walked over Sumter, 12-3, to throw the League III race into a first-place deadlock between the two squads. Robinson was referring to the fact that the P-15's had committed eight errors in aiding the Camden cause.

- Camp Mac Boykin, the Sumter YMCA's day camp, opened June 10 for the summer season with more than 70 boys and girls attending the first session. The camp is directed by Bob Partin, "Y" youth director. This is Partin's sixth year on the camp staff since he was a counselor before serving as director for the past three years. Camp Mac Boykin is 22 miles from Sumter in Manchester State Forest and consists of a 35-acre plot with a five-acre lake used for swimming, boating, canoeing and fishing.

- An automatic hydraulic-lift elevator is being built into the Manning Post office, a two-story contemporary brick building constructed in 1958 as a post office and federal office building. A total of $41,000 has been provided for addition of a small lobby to the left of the present entrance, installation of the elevator for the convenience of persons using the upstairs offices, installation of 22,000 square feet of acoustical tile in the various offices and a complete repair and paint job inside.

- Sumter city Police Chief L. W. Griffin announced that beginning Friday, July 5, two-hour parking will be enforced at the parking lot at the corner of Sumter and Liberty streets where the old Sumter YMCA was located. Chief Griffin stated that two-hour parking has been in effect for some time at the parking lot but up until now has not been enforced. The two-hour limit will be observed as of Friday when tagging of cars in violation of the time limit will begin.

- Some $38,000 in federal funds are being made available to Sumter County Economic Opportunity Corp. for establishment of a comprehensive job placement, recreation and cultural program for young people. Approval of the program, designed primarily to assist senior high school and college students during vacation periods, was coupled with approval of $20,000 in supplemental funds for the existing day care program. The additional day care funds will restore the four centers to the level of service they were able to provide prior to a 20 percent cut in appropriations.

- The American Forces Network observed its silver anniversary July 4. Only a few thousand Americans in Britain heard the first broadcast in 1943, which was aired in London over five 50-watt transmitters fed by telephone lines. It is doubtful if any of the listeners imagined that the embryonic network would one day grow to span a continent with powerful 150,000-watt transmitters and an estimated peak audience of 25 million.

- Anthony Kennedy Dawson of Sumter will be a library intern during the summer at Sumter County Library. Under the joint sponsorship of the South Carolina State Library Board and local libraries, the library intern project provides a work-training program for college undergraduates who are interested in the fast-growing field of librarianship. Dawson, the son of John H. Dawson, will work on a paid basis for three months. He will be given an opportunity to become acquainted with the various duties and responsibilities of a professional librarian.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

April 2 - April 8

- Clarendon School District 1 trustees have called a public hearing to help name the district's soon-to-be-constructed high school. The hearing will be held in the Scott's Branch High School cafeteria, according to Clarendon 1 Superintendent Dr. Milt Marley. Marley said the district is inviting the public as well as members of Summerton Town Council, Clarendon County Council, local ministers, Summerton's Mayor Charles Ridgeway and the Clarendon County legislative delegation for their input.

- The Sumter High School boys' tennis program didn't have one of the better days in its history. The Gamecocks dropped a 6-0 decision to Region IV-4A owner Richland Northeast at the SHS tennis courts. Head coach Tony Shorter was not down on his team for its performance, not even close. He realizes what he has, and that is a young team that is still maturing. "Playing these (kind of teams and matches), it's a learning experience," said Shorter, whose Gamecocks dropped to 4-4 with the loss.

- Sumter County officials are close to hiring a director for a South Sumter resource center, and city officials hope to negotiate buying a building for it soon. City officials plan to purchase the old Manning Avenue Piggly Wiggly grocery store and turn it into a satellite operation for local and state government agencies, as well as private volunteer organizations. Schools and state agencies will be asked to provide programs on child care, pregnancy, literacy and drug abuse.

- Sumter County Council will ask sponsors of a retirement center seeking approval for $9 million in tax-free loans to get the approval from the governor's office instead of the county. Sponsors of Covenant Place, a nonprofit corporation that plans to build a retirement center at the intersection of Carter and Terry roads, asked council last month to authorize a $9 million low-interest, tax-free loan to build the center. The loan would come from banks in the form of a bond issue, and the county would have no fiscal responsibility for repaying the loans.

- Mayewood High School's softball team took advantage of C.E. Murray's 17 errors and defeated the Eagles 20-4 in five innings. Mayewood improved its Region VII-1A record to 3-0. C.E. Murray scored two runs on four hits in the first inning but then hit a dry spell.

- Charging fees to use the county's landfills and public roads could help balance next year's budget without raising property taxes, Sumter County councilmen said. Council began considering ways to squeeze $21 million in requests into an $18 million budget during a work session. Because revenues from tipping fees at the Sumter County Landfill won't quite produce the $1.1 million county officials had hoped for this year, councilmen are wondering how to pay for the public works department's $1.2 million budget next fiscal year. Equally challenging is generating the money needed to maintain Sumter County's roads. Although no decisions were made Friday, councilmen did agree to consider charging a flat fee to trucks that cross the landfill's scales (trucks now go across freely), and instead of taxing all residents for trash service, council discussed charging each user a flat fee, too.

- Ring up the main Sumter office of the Sumer-chartered NBSC, and you may get a free long-distance call to Columbia. If you ask for someone who happens to be at the bank's corporate headquarters in Columbia that day, your call will be transferred, in seconds, to the capital city. But you would not know that your call had even left the family building opened in 1957 on Sumter's North Main Street unless someone at the bank told you.

- The Sumter High School Choir is scheduled to arrive in Mexico City for an elite concert tour of Mexico City and Acapulco as part of a music education exchange program. The tour will take place all week and is being arranged through First American Music Encounters. An invitation was extended to Sumter High School, a community choir and one college choir to participate in the program. In addition to performances in Mexico City, the Sumter High choir has been asked to participate in a round table discussion with music educators from Mexican high schools concerning public school music education programs.

- Sumter High School junior Beth McCoy was crowned Miss Sumter High School 1993 at the annual beauty pageant at Patriot Hall. Miss Sumter High School 1992 D'Rita Parrilla passed on the crown to McCoy who competed with seven other junior class contestants for the Miss Sumter High title in front of a packed crowed. McCoy was also awarded the pageant's Evening Gown Award.

- Jim Mayes got out of farming in the late 1980s, saying after half a century in the business that he was retiring. But his farm didn't stay in his family. He sold his huge lot of farming equipment at auction and then bit by bit negotiated the sale of thousands of acres of his land. On Saturday, his brother, W.R. "Bill" Mayes, and his son Bill Jr. also got out, putting up for public bid in Mayesville an endless number of tractors, cotton pickers, combines and trucks.