75 YEARS AGO - 1943
Diane Lawson, first-grade pupil, was the high collector of tin cans the past week. She brought 1,198 of the vital containers to school to top the rest of the field by a wide margin. Alvenia Winegard, second grader, was second with 723 cans.
• Bestowing an honor well deserved, the University of South Carolina will confer an honorary "doctor of law" degree upon General Emile P. Moses, native of Sumter, in his youth a student of the university. His father, the late Altamont Moses, of Sumter, was a long useful and able member of the South Carolina general assembly, serving as chairman of the house committee on ways-and-means.
• A pair of tonsils, or rather the absence of same, have made a lightweight champion out of Bob Montgomery, and now that he's traded in those throat troubles for the title, he's figuring on showing who is the boss of the 135-pounder from coast to coast. Having won the New York and New Jersey titles by bouncing Beau Jack all over the premises for the better part of 15 rounds in Madison Square Garden and being virtually assured of Pennsylvania's "blessing" Bobcat Bob is thinking of taking his crown for a quick swing around the circuit from Washington to Portland, Oregon.
• Staff Sgt. Craft McCormic, son of Mr. and Mrs. L.F. McCormic of Sumter, has been awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action in the Pacific, according to an Associated Press Dispatch from Australia. Announcement of the award came only a little more than a month after it was made that he had won the Soldier's Medal for bravery. That decoration was accorded him in April, and the report of it came through on April 18. The Silver Star was given to members of the crew of a Flying Fortress, which put a Japanese seaplane tender out of action in New Britain's Rabaul harbor Feb. 25 and young McCormic was an aerial engineer on the airship.
• Three officers and six enlisted men who served with a Marine Corps parachute battalion during the initial assaults in the Solomon Islands on Aug. 7 have received letters of commendation, Marine Corp headquarters announced. One of them, Marine Gunner Marion R. Lenoir, 37, of Sumter, rescued a companion from a sector under heavy enemy fire. His parents live in Sumter. His citation read: Marine Gunner Marion R. Lenoir: "For meritorious conduct in action against the enemy while serving with a Marine parachute battalion during the attack on Gavutu Harbor, Solomon Islands, August 7th, 1942. During the attack Lenoir and a comrade showed courageous initiative and complete disregard for their own safety in facing strong enemy strong enemy fire by volunteering to rescue their platoon sergeant who was critically wounded. Upon finding him dead, Lenoir continued to advance in the face of enemy fire and saved another wounded Marine desperately in need of first aid. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval service."
• Sumter will undergo its first countywide blackout from 9:25 until 10 p.m., the seventh to be conducted in the city. The blackout will be part of the Florence district test. The blue signal, warning lights off, will be sounded at 9:25 and ten minutes later the red signal will be blown. At 9:50 the blue signal will be repeated and at 10 p.m. the all-clear will be issued by radio announcement and the blowing of the Williams Furniture Co. whistle. Civilian defense workers will be warned at 9:15 p.m. by the yellow (telephone) signal that a raid may be in the offing.
• Vacations are fine, but there will be no extra gasoline for vacation travel for South Carolinians this year, say State OPA officials. Both rubber and gasoline supplies are too critical to allow motorists and "luxury" gasoline rations.
• Lois Ann Dollard, who comes naturally by her newspaper abilities, has been named editor-in-chief of Sumter High News for the coming year. Lois Ann is the daughter of R. Mood Dollard, for several years circulation manager of the Sumter Daily Item. A faculty committee selected her to succeed Mary Alice Pritchard, who will graduate. Judith Ann Sargent was chosen managing editor for the 1943-44 term.
• Scriven Brunson, student body president, was awarded the Riley medal for service at the annual class day exercises at Edmunds High School. The medal is given each year to the student, who, in the judgment of his teachers, possesses the outstanding qualities of scholarship, leadership, service and sportsmanship.
50 YEARS AGO - 1968
Emergency foods and other supplies were received at the Sumter County courthouse to stock the public fallout shelter there. Sumter Civil Defense Director Ashby W. Bradford revealed that among supplies received were six cartons of carbohydrate supplement candy, 24 cartons of bisquit crackers, five sanitation kits and four medical kits, as well as a radiological monitoring kit.
• Flashing an aggressive defense, Hillcrest's surging Wildcats grabbed an early lead and never lost it as they stunned Southside's rugged Falcons, 68-63, in a conference 6-A contest here. Joe Burch, in his best effort of the season, sparked the Hillcrest cause with 19 points followed by Roger Smith and Carl Sprouse who had 16 and 14 points respectively.
• Carol Catoe scored 20 points and Sumter's girls won their fourth game of the year against two defeats by defeating Lancaster, 37-27 at the Edmunds gym. The Lady Birds fell behind, 7-3, after the first period but came back to nab a 16-10 half-time advantage.
• Voter registrations continue to lag in Sumter County, where only 8,364 persons had signed up out of an estimated possible total of 25,000. Harold Chandler Jr., chairman of the Sumter County Registration Board, emphasizes that potential voters would be wise to sign up now before the last-minute rush begins. To be eligible to vote in the June primary election, Sumterites must be registered by the end of April.
• The Sumter Street widening project is expected to come up for reconsideration again when Sumter City Council meets. Wade Kolb, city manager, said the project would be re-evaluated in light of recent opposition expressed by the Downtown Sumter Improvement Association and the Tuomey Hospital board of directors. No recommendation has been received by council from the city planning commission.
• Rep. James Cuttino Jr. of Sumter, who has been a long-time advocate of a four-lane expressway (Highway 378) from Columbia to Myrtle Beach via Sumter, Turbeville, Lake City and Conway, said the proposed project faces serious problems. "If we don't get something done very soon, Sumter stands to lose its east-west and vice-versa traffic, and that would mean a loss of a daily annual average of 3,719 vehicles."
• Mayor Robert E. Graham, past president of the first Sumter Jaycees Chapter from 1941 to 1942, has proclaimed Jan. 21-17 as Jaycee Week in Sumter and asked local organizations to cooperate in the observance. He said the purpose of the week is to focus attention on young men and the work they are doing, and emphasized that the Sumter Jaycees have done an outstanding job in the field of community service.
• Two impressive victories by Sumter boxer Alva Locklair may bring the young fighter an invitation to the Golden Gloves tournament in Charlotte. "There's been nothing official yet," says Burke Watson, coach of the local Optimist-sponsored boxing club, "but they were interested in Alva after his showing there last week."
• Army Chief Warrant Officer Donald E. Graham, son of Mrs. John Gibson, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism in Vietnam. The citation reads: "For heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty: Chief Warrant Officer Graham distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as aircraft commander on a CH-47A helicopter at Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam.
• Woodrow M. Nesbitt, 24, of Sumter, received the silver wings of an Army aviator and was appointed a warrant officer recently upon graduation from the Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. During the 16-week course, he was taught various fire techniques and tactical maneuvers for helicopters supporting ground troops in combat. He also received instruction in helicopter maintenance and survival techniques.
• Johnny Parker, an accountant for the Peoples National Gas Co., was named recipient of the 1967 Distinguished Service Award at the Jaycees annual Bosses Night held at the American Legion Home. The award, first started in Sumter in 1949, is presented by the Jaycees to the young man who has best demonstrated outstanding and unselfish service to the Sumter community during the past year.
• Tuomey Hospital Administrator Ralph M. Abercrombie Jr. was named president-elect of the S.C. Hospital Association at the 47th annual meeting of the organization. A native of Charlotte, Abercrombie and his family reside in Sumter where he is active in hospital affairs and community affairs.
• Mrs. Myrtis Logan of Sumter was elected secretary of the South Carolina School Boards Association at the organization's annual meeting recently. The longtime resident of Sumter ascends to the position with extensive experience in community affairs, especially those related to schools and children. Since 1958 she has served on the School District No. 17 board of trustees and thereby, the state association.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
Sumter County residents caught boozing it up on public property may now face additional fines and jail time. Sumter County Council gave unanimous final approval to prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages on publicly owned land - streets, sidewalks and public parks. The law is designed to reinforce existing laws like open container and public drunkenness, county attorney Henry Richardson said.
• It's homecoming week at Sumter High and while the rest of the student body are celebrating, Sumter head football coach Tom Lewis is trying to figure out a way to keep his Gamecocks from being stung. The Gamecocks have got to have the worst luck of any Region IV-4A team this season. Instead of the usual weak homecoming opponent Sumter will be entertaining Irmo - ranked third in this week's state football poll.
• Black and white Sumter School District 17 trustees say they supported efforts to attract more white students to Wilder Elementary School, although the plan produced some classes of all-black students. District 17 Superintendent Dr. Andrena Ray announced the 3-year-old practice of grouping the school's white students in the same classes will stop.
• Sumter County Master-in-Equity William Reynolds said he will decide before the end of the month if the Sumter City-County Planning Department must process promoter Bobby Sisson's building permit application for a new race track. Sisson wants to build the track on U.S. 76/378, but Sumter County's zoning law, which was passed in December 1991, prevents the track from being built without special permission from Sumter County Council. Sisson maintains that he applied for the permit before the zoning law went into effect, so his application should be processed.
• In 1874 William and Mary Rogers donated a tract of land on which the Paxville Methodist Church now stands. The church was completed and chartered in 1892. To celebrate the first hundred years, a homecoming will be held Sunday. The first homecoming was held in April of 1844 with 209 people registering. Various articles commemorating this event, along with the deed and grant, will be on display.
• Gov. Carroll Campbell wants YOU to elect Rudy Singleton to the state Senate. In a letter addressed "Dear Friend," Campbell sings the praises of Singleton, a Sumter County councilman who is seeking the state Senate District 35 seat currently held by Phil Leventis, D- Sumter. Singleton said he was surprised when he received the letter. Singleton wrote Campbell in August requesting a letter of recommendation.
• Students in Dr. Susan Hendley's "Dynamics of American Public Education" class at USC Sumter are exploring cooperative learning techniques they may use once they become teachers. A teaching concept that is gaining widespread acceptance at all educational levels throughout the country, cooperative learning involves the students in the teaching process rather than relying solely on an instructor who presents the material in a lecture format, according to Hendley, assistant professor of education at USC Sumter.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.