Keep Reading. Subscribe Today.

Stay connected with our community and support nationally-acclaimed local news coverage. Sign up for a subscription today. Cancel anytime.

  • Already a subscriber?

Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Mabry will receive Congressional Medal of Honor; P.A.W.S. helps Sumter pets

Posted 1/26/20

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Aug. 17 - Aug. 23

- Four members of the American squadron which Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle led in the first bombing mission over Tokyo have been released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp at Peiping, the Office of …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Mabry will receive Congressional Medal of Honor; P.A.W.S. helps Sumter pets

Posted

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Aug. 17 - Aug. 23

- Four members of the American squadron which Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle led in the first bombing mission over Tokyo have been released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp at Peiping, the Office of Strategic Services announced. The names of the four, who were rescued by a humanitarian team which parachuted on the Peiping airfield, were withheld pending notification of their families. Months after the historic raid, in April 1942, the Japanese radio, apparently in an attempt to intimidate other American flyers, announced that some of Doolittle's men had been put to death.

- Border belt markets of North Carolina and South Carolina sold 8,576,679 pounds of tobacco at an average price of $44.82 hundred-weight, the Federal-State Corp Reporting Service noted. Yesterday's prices were steady at previous levels with only two grade changes observed. Common orange leaf and fair orange leaf were up $1, and fair lemon and good orange primings were down $1 per hundred.

- The big dance scheduled for Shaw Field was canceled at the last minute, due to the fact that the George Paxton band, which was to play, was weathered in at Greensboro and unable to fly to Shaw. A few dancers turned up anyway and cut a rug to the music of Vince Chewning's orchestra, which is conveniently stationed at Shaw.

- A Boy Scout swimming meet has been scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Burnt Gin, with events open to every Scout. Starting time will be 3:30, and there will be events as follows: distance dive, back stroke, breaststroke, free-for-all race, water game and general swimming. "Bit" Wilder will supervise the meet, which was arranged for at the last Scoutmasters' round table. Scoutmasters are expected to attend.

- The army will bring back from overseas 4,000,000 veterans in 10 1/2 months. By the end of the year, it will be discharging high-point men at a monthly rate of 500,000. Using the Navy's man o' war, Army bombers and virtually everything else that will float or fly, the Army expects to have the flow back of soldiers up to the half-million figure by Jan. 1 and to pass that figure at the peak.

- Lt. Col. George L. Mabry Jr. will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in Washington, the Item learned from a news source and details will be officially announced later. Lt. Col. Mabry, son of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Mabry, were notified their son was nominated for the Medal of Honor for his work in the Hurtgen Forest. Fellow officers said he was advancing with his troops when the lead company walked into a mine field, which practically wiped out the unit. Operating under heavy machine fire, Mabry checked the mine field and found a path through it. He then led a company through the field under heavy fire. Entering an enemy dugout, he killed two Germans with his bayonet, and in a second dugout, he captured five Germans after firing a rifle into the emplacement.

- Some progress was made in the matter of the extension of the city limits at a hearing held this morning at the Chamber of Commerce office, where considerable enthusiasm was expressed in favor of the proposed extension. S. L. Roddey, presiding, heard arguments for and against the extension presented by the 30 interested men and women present. There are approximately 300 property holders in the territory it is proposed to take in, of whom only 30 or 40 have signed the petition that a vote be taken to determine whether the extension will be made, Mr. Roddy reported.

- The Fisk Co. has named the Industrial Equipment Co. of South Carolina as distributor for Fisk Tires, tubes and batteries. Located on East Liberty and Boulevard streets, Sumter, the Industrial Equipment Co. will handle a complete line of passenger car, truck, farm tractor, machinery and road machinery tires, tubes and batteries. The Fisk tire is one of the best known in America, and the Fisk Co. is a division of the United States Rubber Co.

- Dr. W. L. McCutcheon, director of the local United States Employment Service office, said he didn't think the war's end will change the employment situation here very much. There are just a few war plants in this immediate vicinity, and most citizens have the same jobs they had before the outbreak of hostilities. The USES places quite a few veterans in positions, as well as aids civilians to find employment.

- Very little building is going on in Sumter now; indications point to stepped-up construction as soon as the law allows. An official of the Sumter Realtors Association noted that restrictions have been lifted on buildings up to $1,000, so that most of the structures now being raised are small business places on the edge of town. One of the local bottling companies recently moved into a new brick building at the corner of Main and Crescent, and a sign company has moved from East Liberty to a newly constructed site on North Main extension.

50 YEARS AGO - 1970

April 19 - 26

- Cathy Lindsey, 18-year-old daughter of Maj. and Mrs. Marvin N. Lindsey, was chosen Miss Sumter during the 1970-71 pageant. The 5-feet-4-inch brunette, a senior at Edmunds High School, sang "I Enjoy Being A Girl" as her talent presentation. The new Miss Sumter has lived in France and Japan before coming to live in Sumter.

- Sumter High was edged in the last event, the mile relay, for fourth place in the Lower State Open Track Meet held at the Bates Junior High field. Only the first four teams are eligible to compete in the state meet scheduled for May 2 at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. Burke High of Charleston won with 35 points while Wilkerson of Orangeburg was second with 25 points and Wilson of Florence finished third with 15 points. Bonds-Wilson of Charleston nipped Sumter High for the fourth spot, 14-13.

- Everything is on "charge" for the Sumter Indians. Spring training is over, they've had two workouts at Riley Park, and the starting nine has been named for the opener in Greenwood. Field Manager Len Johnston put his Indians through their first workout at Riley Park, and the club practiced again Sunday before an open house crowd of about 350 persons.

- Slick Gibbons had to cash in on another driver's bad luck to win the modified main event at Sumter Speedway, while fellow Clarendon County driver Larry Hill led every lap he ran in picking up his first win ever at the local track. Gibbons, in picking up his second straight victory, had to chase Chevy II driver J. B. Hall in the second heat race and followed the technical sergeant from Shaw Air Force Base for the first eight laps of the main event before taking the lead for good.

- Edmunds and Sumter high schools and Clemson University at Sumter will combine their efforts in observance of Earth Day with programs on pollution, to which the public is invited. During the program, a movie produced by Sumter High students will be shown depicting water and air pollution throughout Sumter; Lee Knight, a Sumter High faculty member, will sing several songs protesting pollution; and exhibits will show in graphs and dramatic displays the effects of pollution and overpopulation.

- Plans for the Festival of Music and Drama, to be held at Memorial Stadium in celebration of the Tri-centennial by District 2 and 17 school children and the Ninth Air Force Band, are nearing completion. The program, highlighting South Carolina history with music and tableaux, will be in culmination of National Music Week. It was originally planned by the Sumter Woman's Afternoon Music Club and is being presented in coordination with a chorus of 1,650 students from each of the District 2 and 17 schools and a 95-piece Sumter Tri-centennial Celebration Honors Band. The band is composed of a representative group from each junior and senior high school band in the two districts.

- The face of farming is changing across Lee County. Row-cropping, the old standby of cotton, corn and soybeans, still dominates the agriculture and economy, but diversification and specialization are creeping over the land. Poultry, particularly broiler production, is having an impact. So is swine production. It's not only expanding, but the profile is also changing.

- The Azalea Garden Club and American Iris Society will co-sponsor the S.C. Iris Society annual show at Alice Boyle Garden Center. Any iris grower may enter blooms, if they are correctly named, in the horticulture division.

- Sumter's new entry into the Western Carolinas Baseball League put on a display of power-plus as the Indians lashed the Greenwood Braves, 10-4, in the opener for both clubs. Nelson Peguero, a Dominican who speaks little English, had a perfect five for five night at the plate while Kevin Casey, a third-year veteran, smashed two homers.

- Sumter's Wilson Hall Academy blanked Catawba Academy of Rock Hill, 18-0, at the Sunset Country Club for its sixth victory without a defeat. Pal Boozer led Wilson Hall with a three over par 73 while Tim Sampson shot a 74. Tommy Bultman came in with 83, and John Riley had an 87. John McLeod shot 88, and Stan Baker fired a 91.

- A rather large bang and rapidly falling oxygen pressure and electrical power told the Apollo 13 astronauts they were in serious trouble 202,000 miles from home, the spacemen say. "My concern was increasing all the time," commander James A. Lovell Jr. said. "It went from 'I wonder what this is going to do to the moon land' to 'I wonder if we can get back home again."'

- Carnival! The word that strikes excitement into the hearts of children young and old and gives colorful images to minds with vivid imaginations will be a part of the Shaw vocabulary May 4-10. The carnival is coming! The Deggeller Amusement Company will set up camp here after entertaining nearby Fort Jackson the week before and will bring with them more than 15 different rides, not to mention the many midway games and carnival treats.

25 YEARS AGO - 1995

Jan. 19-25

- The City/County Planning Commission voted unanimously to sell a 3.48-acre tract of city property to Wateree Community Actions Inc. for construction of a child day-care center. WCAI plans to construct a 14,000-square-foot building to accommodate 200 children on the corner of South Main Street and Perkins Avenue. The center will offer Head Start programs to low-income families free of charge.

- Some think whoever has the gold makes the rules. The less cynical among us follow the biblical precept to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. JC Penney and the United Way's Volunteer Center of Sumter, Clarendon and Lee Counties will honor some of these people with their second-annual Golden Rule Award Program. The program recognizes and rewards outstanding volunteers and not-for-profit service organizations in the three-county area.

- Carolina Golden Products will spend $6 million to expand and renovate its Sumter plant, creating more than 200 new jobs over the next six months. Carolina Golden President/Division Manager Don Mabe announced the plans. A subsidiary of Gold Kist Inc., the nation's second-largest poultry producer, Carolina Golden employs 1,600 people in hatchery, feed mill, poultry processing and distribution operations in Sumter. The expansion will double the company's capacity to produce boneless poultry products by adding a spiral freezer unit and advanced packaging equipment.

- Sumter High School's girls remained undefeated, but the victory didn't come easily. The Lady Gamecocks, 16-0 overall and 4-0 in Region IV-4A, were forced into overtime before claiming a 56-61 win over Spring Valley. "Spring Valley is just a real good team," said Sumter coach Rhett Harris. "They were as tough as we knew they would be."

- Sumter High School coach Byron Kinney didn't wait to begin worrying about a Spring Valley basketball team his 15-1 Gamecocks figured to beat easily. "We were concerned about them coming over on the bus," Kinney said after the Gamecocks' 65-50 win. "We knew that they are better than their record, and we knew that they'd be ready to play." It's a good thing Kinney and his team didn't take the Vikings lightly. Spring Valley, 5-9 overall and 0-3 in region play, was as close as two points to an upset with only 4:21 left to play.

- Lynches River Council Inc. has been named winner of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation's Outdoor Ethic Award. The Lynches River Council includes approximately 30 riparian landowners along the Lynches River from Florence, Lee and Sumter counties as well as other interested members of the community. The council was formed in response to concerns over the possible sighting of wastewater treatment plant discharge in Lynches River. One of the group's primary accomplishments is obtaining scenic river status for Lynches River from U.S. 15 in Lee County to the eastern boundary of Lynches River State Park in Florence County.

- Every year about 1,000 stray animals are destroyed in Sumter County. That's a number to give any animal lover pause. It gave one the inspiration to form a group called P.A.W.S. - Provide Animals With Shelter. Dawn Vititoe, a 26-year-old business major at the University of South Carolina at Sumter, started P.A.W.S. last fall. Vititoe and the five other students in the group try to find homes for animals brought to the Sumter County Animal Shelter. They also visit local nursing homes with their animal entourage, giving residents a dose of furry companionship.

- For city residents who think street lights would help make their neighborhood more secure, all they may have to do is ask. "We will be more than happy to look at the request of any individual," Sumter City Manager Talmadge Tobias said. Tobias said the city has street lights primarily at street intersections. "We are mostly concerned with vehicle and pedestrian safety," Tobias said. "We don't have street lights every two to three houses, and we couldn't." Any request for a street light by a resident is forwarded to city police who evaluate the area at night, assessing the overall area for adequate lighting. "It's a given that the criminal element is much more active in the dark," stated Maj. Patty Patterson.

- In an effort to attract new businesses to the area, a $1.3 million, 100,000-square-foot "spec" building may soon be built in Sumter's Black River Industrial Park with city, county and private funds. A "spec" - short for speculative - building is a shell facility, built without wiring, plumbing, equipment or a floor. The idea is to give a business moving to the area the advantage of having something substantive to build upon. In a joint effort, Black River Electric Cooperative, Farmer's Telephone Cooperative, the city of Sumter and Sumter County have each agreed to fund one-fourth of the project's $1.3 million cost.

- The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce's annual retreat, held this past weekend in Savannah, Ga., provided a forum for nearly 400 members of the community to voice their opinions on issues that impact Sumter's economy and quality of life. Chamber members include local business people, politicians and educators who openly discussed community issues and established a 1995 program of work for both the chamber and community.

- Surplus government equipment from Shaw Air Force Base and Fort Jackson will be auctioned off. The auction will feature 214 items, including office furniture, medical and restaurant equipment, military clothing, equipment and vehicles from the two military bases, according to a military announcement.

- Hubert D. Osteen Jr., editor and publisher of The Item, and W. W. "Billy" Goodson, vice president of marketing of Carolina Furniture Works Inc., were named the winners and recognized for their business acumen. The Item, which is published daily by Osteen Publishing Co., celebrated its 100th anniversary last October. It's Sumter's oldest business and one of the nation's few remaining family owned daily newspapers that have been continually operated. Goodson was recognized for his work on various community committees and boards and for his commitment to Carolina Furniture Works. Goodson traveled across the country last year, leading the fight to keep Shaw open.

- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, whose life spanned more than a century of American politics and tragedies, died surrounded by the clan she led. In her 104 years, Mrs. Kennedy saw her family rise to the pinnacle of political power, a position that sometimes cost the family dearly. She buried two sons felled by assassins' bullets.