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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Detainees freed from jail on Christmas; Unity Festival planned in South Sumter

Posted 6/1/19

75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Dec. 23 - Dec. 29

- The several persons in the city jail on charges of disorderly conduct were released and wished "Merry Christmas," it was learned today. Following an annual custom, persons in jail on Christmas morning on …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Detainees freed from jail on Christmas; Unity Festival planned in South Sumter


75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Dec. 23 - Dec. 29

- The several persons in the city jail on charges of disorderly conduct were released and wished "Merry Christmas," it was learned today. Following an annual custom, persons in jail on Christmas morning on minor charges are set free, if possible. Arrests during the holiday period were comparatively few, numbering 10 for disorderly conduct, one for no registration card, one for no driver's license, one for no state license, one for driving drunk and one for petit larceny.

- From the air and sea, American bombs and shells crashed Sunday (Japanese time) into Iwo Jima as Superfortresses, Liberators and warships combined in an assault on the Nipponese island base only 750 miles south of Tokyo. Tokyo radio reported three B-29s dumped incendiary bombs on Tokyo itself and on Yokohama and Shizuoka prefecture southwest of the Imperial capital. There was no allied confirmation.

- Shortages of two important war metals, copper and lead, threatened today to cause further civilian belt-tightening in 1945. Because of the sharply rising Army demands for bullets and artillery shells, the office of civilian requirements may be called upon to give back half the tonnage of copper brass mill products allotted to it for the manufacture of civilian goods next quarter, WFB officials revealed.

- The cleverly decorated VFW Hall was the scene of the graduation dance of Aviation Cadet Class 45-A. Hundreds of graduates and their guests enjoyed the affair. Upon entering the ballroom, guests saw a huge "plane," which covered one end of the floor. In the door of the improvised plane, the dance band of Marino played. One wing of the giant aircraft extended out over the dance floor, and guests danced under its shadow. Other unusual decorations were the deep blue curtains at the windows with the air corps insignia, the small tables arranged in cabaret style and other attractive arrangements.

- Larry Weldon, Sumter native and one-time coach and co-owner of the Portsmouth Cubs, saw action with the Washington Redskins against the New York Giants in the two clubs' recent battle. Weldon, who played quarter and tailback for the Cubs, is in his first season with the Redskins. He attended Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Virginia, after the disbanding of the Dixie Pro League and coached basketball, football and baseball at Chatham in 1942 and 1943. During the 1943 baseball season, he joined the Lynchburg team in the Piedmont League as a hurler, playing until early June when he was sent to Rochester.

- Some 4-F professional athletes may be inducted when called for re-examination by their draft boards. It is possible, selective service says, that the physical condition of a number of borderline 4-F's among the athletes has changed since their last examination, making them acceptable for military service. War Mobilizer James F. Byrnes has directed selective service to review the draft status of professional athletes.

- Locals note that The Citadel has turned 102 years old, its establishment as an educational institution having been affected by an act of the General Assembly of South Carolina passed Dec. 20, 1942, and signed the same day by Gov. James H. Hammond, grandfather of the man of the same name who is president of the Association of Citadel Men today. Established originally as a state arsenal and guardhouse for the municipal guard, on the site of the old Tobacco Inspection between King and Meeting Streets as west and east boundaries and Tobacco and Hutson Streets as south and north boundaries, the massive two-story quadrangular structure (now the lower two floors of the center building of the Old Citadel on Marion Square) was first occupied Jan. 8, 1830, by the United States troops from Fort Moultrie at the joint request of the state and city authorities. These troops remained as the garrison until Dec. 24, 1832, when at the request of the governor of South Carolina, made upon resolution of the General Assembly, the federal troops were withdrawn.

- Pvt. George S. Windham, 30, has been killed in action in France, according to a war department message to his sister at 5 Myrtle St., Sumter. He had previously been listed as missing. Pvt. Windham entered the service in February 1944, taking training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and going overseas in August. Survivors besides his sister Miss Carrie Windham are his mother, Mrs. Ida Windham, Lynchburg; two children; five brothers and two additional sisters.

- Pvt. Warren D. Morris has been missing in action in France since Dec. 4, his father, J. W. Morris of New Zion, has been notified. He has been in the service since Jan. 9, 1944, and overseas since October of this year. In the United States, he trained at Camp Blanding, Florida; Fort Meade, Maryland; and Camp Howze, Texas. Pvt. Morris has a sister in service, Pfc. Marie M. Watson, at Chanute Field, Illinois.

- Familiar to many and ever attractive is the Bethlehem scene in the Sanctuary of St. Anne's Church. The Christ child is seen in the manger of the stable, and the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph are shown as adoring while the animals carry out the motif on the straw-covered floor. Worthy of a visit and view are the gorgeous cut poinsettias in huge profusion on the altar of St. Anne's Church.

- Sgt. P. G. Reynolds Jr., 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. P. G. Reynolds, of Dingle Street, Sumter, has been awarded the Air Medal "for meritorious achievement in aerial flight during sustained operational activity against the enemy," according to an announcement from 15th AAF headquarters. Sgt. Reynolds, an engineer-gunner aboard one of the heavy bombers, has participated in numerous bombings of German-held targets in Europe with his Liberator bomber group. He has been serving with the Air Corps since 1943. Prior to entering the service, he was employed by the Air Service Command at Sumter.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Aug. 24 - 30

- "I am sorry, sir, but my men refuse to go - we cannot move out," Lt. Eugene Shurtz Jr. reported to his battalion commander over a crackling field telephone. "A" Company of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade's battle-weary 3rd Battalion had been ordered to move once more down the jungled, rocky slope of Nui Lon Mountain into a deadly labyrinth of North Vietnamese bunkers and trench line. The men received a pep talk from Sgt. Blakenship and reluctantly moved out as ordered.

- Jerry Dickerson, Bob Wilson and Arnold Hutto braved a madhouse of wrecks and spins to come out on top in the action at Sumter Speedway as the three main events were stopped 16 times for the track to be cleared of wrecked cars. A total of 59 cars were on hand at the start of the action, but it seemed that one or two fell out on each lap with more than half of them in the pits at the finish. Dickerson, a Shaw Air Force Base driver, won the 10-lap claim event for the first time this season.

- Three Citadel cadets from Sumter were awarded their diplomas at the conclusion of The Citadel summer sessions. Dr. John A. Hamrick, president of the Baptist College at Charleston, spoke to the graduating class, and Col. J.M.J. Holliday, chairman, Citadel Board of Visitors, conferred the degrees. Cadet Ross Scott McKenzie Jr., Cadet Francis Marion Moise III and Cadet Livingston received degrees.

- A longtime friend of the Shaw-Sumter community will leave Shaw Air Force Base for a new assignment in October. Lt. Col. Robert W. Davis Sr. will be going to the 834th Air Division, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he will assume his new duties as operations staff officer.

- Sports fans interested in Edmunds High School football fortunes for 1969 can get a sneak preview of the Gamecocks in a practice game at the stadium. The Gamecocks will host Eau Claire. Steve Satterfield's Birds will be facing the team coached by his brother, Jimmy Satterfield. Edmunds has only one returning backfield man, Bo Boyle, but a group of promising jayvee graduates and a group of sophomores make the future bright.

- Sumter's Golden Age Club is now open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, club president Mrs. R. D. Graham reminds local senior citizens. The club, located at 436 W. Hampton Ave., has a thrift shop featuring a varied selection of items whose sale provides funds for the self-supporting club's treasury. Although membership in the independent club is by invitation only, older persons visiting in Sumter are invited to visit the club to take part in its activities and get acquainted with Sumter's senior citizens.

- The Sumter Red Cross received $380 from local residents and businesses to be used in the special disaster appeal for the victims of Hurricane Camille, announced C.F. McLaughlin, chapter chairman. This amount brings the total to $908. Because of mounting disaster conditions in Virginia and along the Gulf, the chapter's quota has been raised to $3,409.

- The U.S. Command disclosed that a Marine F-4 Phantom fighter bomber was lost over North Vietnam while escorting a reconnaissance plane. The two crewmen are missing. It was the first American plane reported lost over North Vietnam since June 5 and sixth since U.S. bombing of North Vietnam halted last November.

- Herbert Altamont Moses, one of Sumter's outstanding senior citizens, died at his South Washington Street home after a brief illness. He was 93. Mr. Moses was president of Henry P. Moses Co. and active in the business until his death. A veteran of the Spanish-American War, he was the last surviving member of the Class of 1896 at the University of South Carolina. He was also a long-time associate of Gov. Richard I. Manning and served as his secretary for several years.

- Federal Judge Donald S. Russell issued an order in Spartanburg to the Lee County Board of Education ordering implementation of an integration plan for the 1969-70 school year. The order requires all black students who previously attended Ebenezer School and who will be in the ninth, 10th and 11th grades this year to be enrolled at Bishopville High School. Judge Russell's order further stated that all black students who previously attended West Lee School and still reside in that section to be enrolled at Ashwood-Central School.

25 YEARS AGO - 1994

May 26 - June 1

- The handiwork of H.C. Bland is once again - for the 54th year - the focus of this year's Iris Festival. This event, the oldest festival in continuous operation in South Carolina, will revolve around Swam Lake-Iris Gardens, testimonials to one man's vision of beauty and another's civic generosity. Hamilton Carr Bland was an amateur gardener and successful auto dealer who put together the beginnings of what first became Swan Lake, then evolved into the hyphenated nature preserve known as Swan Lake-Iris Gardens when local businessman A.T. Heath donated 100 acres on the south side of Liberty Street to the city, thus complementing Bland's original 50 acres.

- Every year, all the children in Mrs. White's second-grade class move on and up. All but Ladson Chandler. "Mr. Ladd," as he's known to two generations of Sumter schoolchildren, has returned for seven years to Brenda White's colorful classroom in Willow Drive Elementary School. He's a little old for second grade - 66 - but no one seems to mind. That's because Mr. Ladd is so entertaining. He brings books, tapes, puzzles, puppet-making materials and visitors from Puppetland.

- Applause was in order for PAL Academy's end-of-the-year program. A crowd of about 150 supporters attended a ceremony at Patriot Hall to offer congratulations to the students and faculty. The school, which just ended its second year, serves as an alternative middle school for Sumter School Districts 2 and 17. PAL provides smaller classrooms and more hands-on work for about 62 students in danger of dropping out of school.

- State Rep. Joe McElveen had a break-even Wednesday. The full Senate approved his tech prep initiative, while a Senate committee deadlocked on his welfare reform bill, causing it to die a slow death after a rapid march through the House of Representatives. Plans for welfare reform suffered their fatal blow in the Senate General Committee.

- All the Clarendon County Council members think they've found the right man for the county administrator's job. Not everyone, however, agrees on his salary. Robert "Bobby" Boland, 43, began work Monday as the county's new administrator. Boland was working as Barnwell County's administrator until he took the job in Clarendon County, where he will replace Ray Brown, who retired last December.

- Representatives of a regional housing group will be going door to door in an area of South Sumter next week, taking applications from low-income residents for home-repair grant money. An estimated 14 to 16 homeowners could receive grants of up to $15,000 each to rehabilitate their homes from the Santee-Lynches HOME Program Consortium. The consortium distributes federal housing money in Sumter, Clarendon, Lee and Kershaw counties.

- Every Christmas morning for 32 years, Jack Jones left his family and went to the Sumter County jail to minister to those who couldn't be with their families. Mr. Jones was a dedicated man and a spiritual mentor to everyone who knew him, say his friends and associates. John R. "Jack" Jones Jr., who served as chaplain at the Sumter County Correctional Center for 32 years, died May 25, 1994, at the age of 64.

- "Togetherness" is one of the goals Norman China, Rep. Ralph Canty and other community members have for Sumter during the '94 Unity Festival. The festival runs June 16-19 at South Sumter Park on Atlantic Avenue. It kicks off with A Taste of Unity. During this event, 50 men will prepare a variety of food at the park; $5 will give participants a chance to sample food from any of the booths. Organizers said they added the "Taste" because they like to try something different every year to appeal to different people.

- The long list of honors awarded to veteran Sumter field trialer Ernest J. Newman has grown a little longer. Recently, at the Region 3 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship near Beaufort, Newman was presented with a Life Patron Membership at the National Bird Dog Museum. The plaque was presented in the presence of a large group of friends and fellow field trialers in celebration of Newman's long and distinguished career in field trials.

- As most high school students anxiously await the end of the 1993-94 school year, Nicole Gamble is hard at work. Gamble, a long and triple jumper at Sumter High, will have little time to enjoy her three months of summer vacation. Instead, the junior will be hitting the road on an arduous track schedule. "It's a lot of work. I've been practicing anywhere from three to four days a week," Gamble said. Gamble, along with Sumter teammate Kim Neal, will be competing in the AAU Junior Olympics in Charlotte.