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75 YEARS AGO - 1945
June 8 - June 14
- J. S. Rider, general manager of Consolidated Utilities Corp. (the gas plants of Sumter, Anderson and Florence), has been notified that his company has received the American Gas Association Merit Award for outstanding achievement in safe operations during the period from Jan. 1, 1939, to April 15, 1945. The award is being given for a total of 540,800 consecutive man hours rung up without a disabling injury accident.
- The Sumter Community Cannery has been turning out 500 to 600 cans daily during June so far, J. B. Alexander, supervisor, said. Some 25 to 30 housewives have been canning there on the days the cannery is open. The schedule for this month is Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 until 2 o'clock. Food to be canned must be brought in before 2 o'clock.
- The City Ball Club announced that an important practice will take place on Monday at 6:30 at municipal park and that all boys interested in playing on the team must be present. The ball club began the season by having some 20 boys coming out to practices, but this number has fallen off to a discouraging extent. Unless better attendance is noted, the club will have to fold.
- A citywide wastepaper collection will take place the week of June 15, and all citizens are asked to start now to gather paper and have it ready for the collectors. The Lions Club and the YMCA Clean Life Club boys will conduct the drive with the aid of city trucks. The paper collected will be sold and the proceeds used for the Clean Life Club program. Boys will be sent to summer camp, and educational films will be purchased for the club.
- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower will be the honored guest at a White House dinner June 18 as part of Washington ceremonies celebrating his return to this country. White House Press Secretary Charles G. Ross said the president is planning the dinner for the evening following a joint congressional meeting at which Gen. Eisenhower will be formally received by members of the two houses of congress.
- More than 100 Shaw Field officers got a taste of Southern hospitality and Southern barbeque at a supper given them by 100 of Sumter's leading citizens. The stag affair was held at Edmunds High. F.B. Creech was master of ceremonies, and brief talks were made by Col. D.W. Titus, commanding officer of Shaw Field; Lt. Col. Frank Hill, deputy commander; and Maj. Clarence Nelson, post engineer, who has been at Shaw longer than any other officer present. Mayor Edwin B. Boyle extended the city's welcome and goodwill, and the Rev. R. Bryce Herbert, pastor of Trinity Methodist church, gave a talk.
- Some of the recently graduated seniors and their friends enjoyed a party at Jenkins Center. The hall was decorated in purple and white, school colors, and invitation-souvenirs were in the form of tiny diplomas tied with purple ribbon. Contests were held, and Ethel Morrissey and Bruce Reynolds were awarded prizes for best poems about the seniors. Dance cards in the shape of small history books with famous dates were given guests. Gifts wrapped in school colors were presented to the seniors.
- Camp Bob Cooper will open for 4-H Club boys and girls. The camp will run nine weeks, ending Aug. 10. A weekly average of about 200 boys and girls is expected. Approximately 10 counties in the state will be represented, and specialists from Clemson College will give instructions and training. Many recreation features have been planned by the camp director, Paul Burroughs of Manning. The camp is situated about 16 miles south of Manning. This property was purchased by Clemson College a few years ago when F.M. Rast was county agent. Repair work has been done at the camp recently, and it is in excellent condition.
50 YEARS AGO - 1970
Feb. 8 - 14
- "Hines, have pajamas at the next rehearsal so you can practice putting them on." "What, me? I get enough practice doing that every night," protested Stephen Cheshire in his genuine British accent to Margaret McKeown, director of "THE PAJAMA GAME." Stephen was soon convinced and has been practicing taking off his pants at least twice a night since, in preparation for this hilarious musical by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross to be presented at the Edmunds High auditorium. The musical is a story of Capitol vs. Labor over love and money.
- The Hartsville Red Foxes came to Sumter hoping to ruffle the Gamecocks' feathers, but instead the Foxes were sent scurrying back to Hartsville with a loos after a highly competitive game. The Edmunds Gamecocks played with smooth team precision in capturing the 74-59 win and claiming the No. 1 spot in the state AAAA, Region III basketball standings.
- The chief legal officer for this infantry center testified today that information leading to murder charges against Lt. William L. Calley Jr. came from higher headquarters in Washington. Col. Robert M. Lathrop told a pretrial hearing on defense motions that a sworn statement pertaining to the case was forwarded to him by the Army inspector general's office. Calley, 26, is charged with murdering 102 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai on March 16, 1968.
- A greatly expanded program, to reach both boys and girls between the ages of six and 18, is being offered at the Sumter Family YMCA during the coming months. High school girls will be interested in the "A Lovelier You" personal improvement course, which will feature exercise, swimming and special programs by specialists in makeup, hair styling, good grooming, style and fashions, poise and charm, bridge lessons, how to apply for a position and other things girls need to know. Also offered is a Co-ed Club, Needlecraft for girls 8 to 15, a Junior Counselor's Club and in addition the regular clubs are in progress.
- Quint Baker, boxing out of the Sumter Optimist Club, won by decision over Joseph Ferri of Charleston for the Carolinas Golden Gloves Flyweight Championship in the novice class in the Carolinas tourney finals. Another Sumter Optimist boxer, Mike Watson, also made the finals but lost to Mike Holmes of Kingstree by decision.
- An instructor from a sewing plant in Camden is teaching sewing machine mechanics to personnel employed by non-sewing plants in Bishopville and Bethune, in an unusual educational arrangement developed through the efforts of Sumter Area Technical Education Center. Robert Hancock, who is a journeyman sewing machine mechanic at Skyline Industries in Camden, is instructing a class of 25 persons in the intricacies of maintaining and repairing industrial sewing machines.
- Clarendon County will celebrate South Carolina's Tricentennial on the week of May 3 through May 9. The events planned for the week will be of interest to every citizen in the county, and county-wide participation is urged by the Tricentennial Committee. Programs planned include Religious Emphasis Day and an antique automobile show, industries in the county will have open house, and a tour of a typical county farm and other activities will be open to the public.
- The command of Shaw's 33rd Tactical Reconnaissance Training Squadron changed hands recently as Col. Vernon L. Allgood, a former Navy aviation cadet, turned over the reins to Lt. Col. Charles R. Ritchie, formerly with Ninth Air Force. The change came after Col. Allgood received a promotion to the full colonel rank. Col. Allgood is now working in Ninth Air Force's Directorate of Operations Services Branch.
- District 17's school desegregation plan for 1970-71 has been accepted by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Schools superintendent Dr. L.C. McArthur was informed by letter of HEW's approval. The plan is expected to go into effect when the new school year begins in September. The plan divides District 17 into elementary, junior high and senior high zones. Two schools, Winn and Guignard elementaries, will be closed as regular schools and used for special educational programs.
- A green-ribbed building resembling an oversized tent rests behind the old and dignified headquarters building for Ninth Air Force, the institution which controls many eastern seaboard Air Force bases. Appearing cold in the winter wind, the little structure houses some of Shaw's most important grassroots people in the area of air control and monitoring. The group clustered within the dimly lighted tent are the heart of the Tactical Air Control Center. The team tracks all Ninth-assigned aircraft, and the center's mission requires massive communication links with all bases under its area of responsibility.
- Since its organization in August 1963, the Mental Health Center has become increasingly important as an integral part of the area, with its aid reaching out so far as to require larger quarters. The answer to this need is a house at 25 E. Calhoun St., two houses away from the present location. They are moved in and now have increased interview, office and therapy space. The five men responsible for the growth of the center are Dr. Bill King, Dr. Glenn Ayers, Roger Rutledge, Lloyd Isman and Gene Wood.
25 YEARS AGO - 1994
Nov. 9 - 15
- In a state where Democrats have dominated since Reconstruction, Republicans next year will hold seven of the state's nine constitutional offices, including governor, which Society Hill legislator David Beasley narrowly took with an unofficial 51 percent of the vote, defeating Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore.
- Frances Lockhart has been keeping the money straight at McDuffie Furniture for more than 50 years - and little about her method has changed. Lockhart, 74, sat in front of her accounting ledger, where numbers were neatly penned and adding tape attached for lengthy additions. "People say there's money in sales, but I just keep to these books," she said as she patted the ledger books stacked on her desk. It was Sept. 19, 1942, when Lockhart began working at the furniture store, which was then at 114 S. Main St. "Opposite the Post Office" was the store's slogan, she said. The post office was in the building now known as the federal building.
- The gamble paid off for video poker operators. After paying more than $1 million for an advertising avalanche statewide, voters in all but 11 of the state's 46 counties chose to keep legal the cash payouts for the popular games. Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties answered the question with "yes." Everywhere but in the religiously conservative Upstate, voters let the games remain legal.
- John Blanding shook off pain to lift Sumter High School's football team to a 31-6 victory over Hillcrest. Jerry Raymond put together a strong defensive effort in the fourth quarter and helped Laurence Manning to a 22-10 win over Porter-Gaud in the first round of the SCISAA state playoffs. Blanding, a junior, is signal-caller and responded with a remarkable performance. Blanding completed 11 of 15 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Jerry Raymond, a nose guard, made some key plays in the fourth quarter stopping the inside game.
- Col. David Morrow, vice commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, will be the speaker for the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Sumter County Courthouse. The ceremony is being sponsored by the Sumter County Veterans Association in conjunction with Sumter's two American Legion posts and the Sumter chapters of Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
- Tuesday's Republican victories will give South Carolina dominant positions on defense committees in both houses of Congress, an unusual occurrence that could possibly decrease the chance that Shaw Air Force Base and other military bases in the state will close, observers say. "It can only help," Sumter Mayor Steve Creech, a member of the Sumter Base Defense Committee, said. U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., is expected to take over the chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee from Democrat Sam Nunn of Georgia, who some say used his powerful position to protect Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia, from closing.
- The quality of education in Lee County has gotten so low that the South Carolina Department of Education announced it will step in with the fullest amount of involvement possible by law. State Superintendent Dr. Barbara Nielsen said that the Lee County district, which met only 14 of the state's 27 education achievement standards, is the sole district this year to fall below the state's minimum achievement level. Districts are required to meet at least 18 of the state's standards.
- Sumter County Council named a seven-member commission and charged it with considering where the county should be a decade down the road. "These people will look at where they would like to see Sumter in 10 years and what the community needs to get there," council chairman Joe Davis said. "We're talking about education, economic development, everything."
- Sumter veterans of war stood at attention, saluting their banner under the gray, drizzling sky during a Veterans Day ceremony. The cold rain pelted their weathered faces, but they didn't shiver like some others in the crowd. After all, they'd faced tougher trials. And they were intent on honoring American soldiers who gave their lives in battles fought to protect American freedom.
- Distressed to learn that one out of four World War I draftees was illiterate, three national groups joined forces in 1921 to raise awareness of this serious problem. By creating American Education Week, the U.S. Office of Education, American Legion and National Education Association started a new American tradition. The theme this year is "Building the Future, One Student at a Time."
- The Sumter County Clemson Extension office is making plans to begin its sixth Master Gardener training program. The Master Gardener program was developed by the Cooperative Extension Service to meet an enormous increase in requests from home gardeners for horticultural information. This increase derives primarily from the urban and transient nature of modern American life.
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