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USO club celebrates Christmas; Solomon makes 4 touchdowns

By SAMMY WAY Sumter Item archivist and historian
Posted 6/7/20

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Dec. 28 - Jan. 3

- If history does a reasonable job of repeating itself, it will be Wake Forest's powerful running game against South Carolina's brilliant passing when the Gamecocks and Demon Deacons square off against each …

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USO club celebrates Christmas; Solomon makes 4 touchdowns


75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Dec. 28 - Jan. 3

- If history does a reasonable job of repeating itself, it will be Wake Forest's powerful running game against South Carolina's brilliant passing when the Gamecocks and Demon Deacons square off against each other here Jan. 1. They battled to a tie when they met during the regular 1945 season.

- In and Around The Town: Rev. E. P. Bell, Methodist minister formerly of Pinewood, but now of Jefferson, S.C., was a visitor in the city today. Football fans in this area will have a chance to see a grid game New Year's Day in Florence when high school all-stars from the Pee Dee meet Florence High School in what is termed a "tobacco bowl" game. Carl Link, executive secretary of the Sumter Y, and A. B. Neiman know each other real well. Mr. Link was Mr. Neiman's physical education teacher when the latter was a kid attending gym classes at the Charlotte Y.

- A 29-cents-a-dozen base support price for eggs during the flush production season next spring was announced by Secretary of Agriculture Anderson. Producers will be assured of a U.S. average farm price of 29 cents a dozen. In the Midwest, where prices historically average lower than on either the west or east coast, the support levels will average 27 cents a dozen.

- The Columbia-Sumter Citadel Club is entertaining at a formal New Year's dance Tuesday evening, Jan. 1, at the Hotel Columbia. Music will be furnished by Frank Bolick and his orchestra.

- The lack of snow did not deter the USO club from launching a true old-fashioned Christmas celebration for the men at Shaw Field. Many servicemen, although not receiving beribboned packages from their families on this occasion, enjoyed the genuine hospitality offered by the residents of the city who acted as hosts and hostesses, and the USO staff.

- The unstinting acclaim of his fellow townspeople was Felix Anthony (Doc) Blanchard's today. The big boy who made good on the gridiron by being twice All-American Fullback on the Army's two-year undefeated team was described at a banquet here last night as "the hero and idol" of the nation's youth.

- The request of South Carolina public school teachers for educational system changes - including a provision for an appointed rather than an elected state superintendent of education - will be prominent among problems before the 1946 legislative session that will open in Columbia Jan. 8.

- Total crop production in South Carolina during 1945 was one percent greater than in 1944. but the value of all crops produced was 4.5 percent less, due principally to a 22 percent smaller cotton crop. Aggregate volume, however, was nearly 12 percent above the average for the 1934-43 decade, and value of production was the third highest on record.

- These were the newest signs of the times in the changeover of Japan. Women, for centuries in the background, came out today with a political party of their own. The government completed the draft of a measure aimed at lifting one hundred billion yen (more than $6,500,000,000) from those who profited by the war.

- George E. Shirley recently returned to the States after 24 months in the Pacific theater. He and his wife, the former Miss Virginia Brunk of Sumter, plan to make their home here where Capt. Shirley will be connected with the Imperial Lumber Co.

- Confronted with the worst housing shortage in history, the nation was unable to do very much about it until the final quarter of 1945, and then home building was only on a shoestring basis.

- There were 772 cases handled by the county police with bonds and forfeitures amounting to $17,254 during 1945, according to a yearly report of the rural police by W. J. Seale, sheriff.

- The Sumter High School Gamecock team opens the season with a contest with Olympia High School here Friday night, Coach Jesse Rushe said. The Gamecocks have been going through regular practice sessions in preparation for the tilt with the strong Olympia team. Coach Rushe said that he expected a 16-game schedule for this team this year.

- The Seaboard Air Line railway's crack New York-Florida streamliner, Silver Meteor, was derailed four miles north of Sumter, killing two and injuring at least 25 other persons. Six other cars, including sleepers of the train, the south-bound East Coast Meteor, went off the track and down a high, steep embankment.

50 YEARS AGO - 1970

Aug. 31 - Sept. 6

- A 12-minute North Vietnamese film purporting to show U.S. prisoners of war celebrating Christmas was received with mixed reaction by families at home. Some shouted recognition; some were skeptical. The film was aired nationally Monday night after the Pentagon had sent telegrams to families of missing soldiers asking them to view it. Most of the men who appeared weren't on the official prisoner list.

- The Citizens Advisory Committee of School District 17 has sent letters to all parents in the district urging support of public education as complete integration of the schools went into effect yesterday. The letter calls attention to three "rumor lines" set up to keep the public informed on school problems.

- Season tickets for home games of the Sumter High Gamecocks may still be purchased. Reserve seats are $8 while regular adult season tickets are $6. High school students pay $2, and the price for elementary students is $1. Sumter High opens its 1970 campaign at Memorial Stadium with the Manning Monarchs in a non-conference clash.

- Registration is now in progress for the Sumter Area Technical Education Center's Extension School. "The extension school offers courses for persons employed or otherwise prevented from attending school full time but wanting training to gain a new skill or improve an old one," says Lake E. Terrell Jr., TEC's dean of extension services.

- Sumter High Head Coach Steve Satterfield announced this morning that Chip Masincupp and C. A. Wilson have been elected co-captains for Friday night's football opener at Memorial Stadium with the Manning Monarchs.

- Members of the four-county area involved in the 1971 White House Conference on Aging met to discuss plans for the regional meeting in September. Attending the meeting were members representing Sumter, Camden, Manning, Sardinia, Bishopville and Columbia. The problems and needs that come out of the regional meeting will be taken to the state meeting in May. The purpose of these meetings is to help the federal government work jointly with the states and citizens to develop recommendations and plans for action to solve problems and needs.

- The entrance to Manning from the north on U.S. Highway 301 is undergoing a considerable change both in appearance and general environment, due to logging operations being undertaken by the Georgia-Pacific Corp. This .8-mile section of Pocotaligo Swamp has always provided a beautiful, lush, green entranceway to the town with its tall moss-hung trees. Interested and concerned citizens of Manning are now asking, will the attractive approach to Manning be permanently ruined by the logging operations?

- Elders William L. Griffin and C. Thomas Ross have returned home after spending two years as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both were serving in the United States but on different sides of the continent. Elder Griffin served in the California South Mission. Elder Ross served in the New England Mission, which covers the New England states and the maritime providences of Canada.

- Three Manning youths and one from Sardinia will be among the cadets at The Citadel training cadre. They are William Cain Mills, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Mills; Charles Wayne Odom, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Odom; William Franklin Rawlinson Jr., son of Mrs. W. R. Rawlinson, all of Manning; and Michael Ronald Rose, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Rose of Sardinia.

- Sumter School District 17 has received its grant under the federal government's $75 million emergency desegregation fund program. Dr. L. C. McArthur, superintendent of District 17, is not entirely satisfied with the $116,243 that has been authorized. McArthur said he had been previously assured of receiving approximately $150,000. The program would have provided additional teacher aides, intensified student counseling and guidance, set up advisory committees, funded information programs and helped staff libraries with additional librarians and student tutors.

- The pads will pop tonight as the doors open on the 1970 prep football season. Four area games are on tap with Sumter High hosting Manning, Hillcrest playing at Furman, Bishopville hosting Lamar and East Clarendon hosting Hanna-Pamplico.

- What started out as a complete annihilation in Sumter's Memorial Stadium last night turned out to be only a mild trampling as the Sumter High Gamecocks won, 46-20, over Manning in the non-conference opener for both teams.

- Freddie Solomon, the starter for Sumter (Lincoln) last year, turned in a dazzling performance as field general with four touchdowns including one 90-yard romp. Solomon rushed for 180 yards, 43 more than the entire Manning team could rack up.

25 YEARS AGO - 1995

May 31 - June 6

- Clarendon County court was in session Tuesday, but there were no plaintiffs or defendants. There were plenty of judges, though. Nearly 250 people, including state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ernest Finney Jr. and U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, gathered in the Clarendon County Courtroom to wish Probate Judge Julien Weinberg well as he retires from the post after 10 years. Weinberg worked his last day Tuesday in the courthouse, where he had practiced law for 28 years before being elected probate judge.

- F.E. DuBose Vocational Center's board met to discuss where it will get the money needed to run the school during the upcoming year. After receiving a critical review from state education officials and receiving less money last year than they expected from Clarendon County Council, center Director Dan Fry said he's worried this year that council will decide to cut the center's funding all together. Other funding sources are not firm either.

- The United Way of Sumter, Clarendon and Lee Counties Community Resources Committee has announced a project to link health and human service agencies' product needs with "gifts-in-kind" from the local community. In an effort to meet the growing non-financial needs of our area's agencies, the United Way Community Resources Committee has surveyed and identified many urgent needs. Committee Chair Gary Croskey, vice president and general manager of EMS-American Grilon, said, "It has become evident that Untied Way will never be able to provide enough money to meet our communities' needs, but we believe many of these needs, both for products and services, can be supplied by gifts and volunteers."

- The Sumter County Museum will host a special program in conjunction with the exhibit "Keeper of the Gate: Designs in Wrought Iron by Philip Simmons." Developed by the Philip Simmons Foundation with funding from a number of organizations, this exhibit features photographs illustrating a selection of works in wrought iron produced by Simmons, the noted blacksmith/folk artist.

- Some Sumter County Council members have mixed feelings about a Statehouse proposal that would allow them to lift one of South Carolina's "blue laws." The bill would let county councils vote to allow stores to open before 1:30 p.m. on Sundays. If a county council refused, voters would decide the question in the November 1996 election.

- Joe Barwick, flag chairman of the Sumter Veterans Association, and group members marked more than 2,500 graves for Memorial Day. On Monday, Sumter's Gamecock Chapter 5 and Unit 5 of the Disabled American Veterans held a Memorial Ceremony at Hillside Memorial Park.

- Eddie Neufville has signed a national letter of intent to run track for the University of North Carolina. Neufville, a senior hurdler at Sumter High School, is a two-time state champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and won the 300m intermediates in 1994 and the 400m intermediates this season.

- Three Sumter residents were recently elected 1995-96 state officers for the South Carolina chapter of the Disabled American Veterans. Hugh A. Mathis was elected state legislative chairman; Louis P. Bogdan, state VAVS/HSC chairman; and Gladys A. Gilmore, District 6 commander.

- Robert L. Tisdale and James M. Brown of Sumter participated in the fifth-annual SCDOT District One Backhoe Rodeo at the Richland County Maintenance Complex in Columbia. The rodeo gives maintenance employees an opportunity to hone and demonstrate their skills in the operation of backhoes. The rodeo also challenges the backhoe operators with friendly competition from other maintenance employees from nearby counties.

- Despite an early exit from the NCAA Mideast Regional, The Citadel's Bo Betchman sees improvement in the Bulldogs' baseball program. "We started off a little slow, but we played a tough schedule," said the sophomore third baseman. "I don't think we mind losing a game in February if it will help us win a game in April or May." But none of those early losses during an 8-9 start helped the Southern Conference Champions during the Mideast Regional.

- Sumter School District 17's Toy Lending and Parent Support Center, which has just finished its first year of operation, helps prepare new parents for the changes that occur when a new baby arrives. Expectant mothers participate in the center's teen parent group program, which provides the expectant mothers with a trip to Tuomey Regional Medical Center's birthing rooms to ease fears about having a baby. Sumter 17's center provides a multitude of other services, too.

- Retired Col. Charles W. "Tony" Myers was recently elected to serve as District 11 Commander of the American Legion for the next two years. The district consists of 11 posts in Sumter, Clarendon, Lee and Kershaw counties. Myers is a past post commander of Sumter Post 15.

- A fifth-straight American Legion baseball state championship? Sumter P-15's coach Wallie Jones has his doubts, and with good reason. Jones need only scan the list of players who won't be on the field when the P-15's travel to Columbia Northeast to start their season to realize that matching last year's 34-5 record will be difficult, if not impossible.

- Leading people who are accustomed to being the leaders is a daunting challenge that school principals take on every day. Balancing the needs of teachers with the needs of the children they were hired to teach sometimes translates into stress that rivals that of a waitress and an air traffic controller combined. Wilder Elementary School Principal Eddie Myers and Crosswell Drive Elementary School Principal Ramona Lawson will retire from that stress this summer, but both lifelong area residents have mixed feelings about the change.

- Pocalla Springs Primary School teacher Rose Pack had plenty to share with her pre-kindergarten students and fellow teachers after a recent trip to China. Pack, 55, spent two weeks in China in April with other American teachers participating in the Citizen Ambassador Program which was created to foster international awareness.