75 YEARS AGO - 1945
Dec. 21 - Dec. 27
- Gen. George S. Patton Jr., who led the victorious U.S. Third Army from the beaches of Normandy into Czechoslovakia, died today a dozen days after his neck was broken in a traffic accident. The general's …
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- Gen. George S. Patton Jr., who led the victorious U.S. Third Army from the beaches of Normandy into Czechoslovakia, died today a dozen days after his neck was broken in a traffic accident. The general's stout old fighting heart weakened during the day from effects of pulmonary complications which had beset his apparent recovery from the broken neck and partial paralysis. Mrs. Patton was with him.
- First Lt. Buford Mabry, son of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Mabry of Sumter, at home on leave from Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, has some tales to tell of World War II. One is all about how he met Miss Gene Bradford of Columbus, Georgia, who was a Red Cross worker with an evacuation unit in Belgium.
- Lawrence "Larry" Weldon, of Sumter County, will be one of the coaches of the Washington Redskins, the team on which he played in the backfield this past season and which lost by only one point in the pro football World Series. The Cleveland Rams beat the Redskins 15-14. Weldon is a graduate of Hillcrest High School, where he starred in football, baseball and basketball.
- Tire rationing ends Jan. 1 after four long years of thin treads, but it will be months before pent-up demand is met in full. The decision of OPA and Civilian Production Administration to lift controls is based on their "considered option" that there no longer is any danger of a transportation breakdown.
- At the annual dinner of the state and the Board of Trustees of Tuomey Hospital, superintendent John W. Rankin advanced the idea that while Tuomey and other comparable hospitals in this area were not large enough to support a pathological department, it could be instituted by two or three hospitals in close proximity, the pathologist to divide his time between the participating hospitals.
- The Empty Stocking Fund has received a contribution of $25 from the Sumter Lodge of the Elks Club, according to J. Cliff Brown. Mr. Brown expressed appreciation for this gift and said that the sponsors of the fund are glad to receive any donations for the worthy cause of helping the needy children of the city during the Christmas season.
- Employees of the Nu-Idea Furniture Co. enjoyed a delicious barbecue served by D.C. Reardon, manager. Before the barbecue, the president, H.H. Shelor, expressed his gratitude to the workers for their cooperation and efficient work during the past year. Every year recognition is given the older employees of the company by one silver dollar for each year of service after a basic five-year period.
- W.C. Kirven, chief of city police, said this morning that the police here have made several arrests during the past three weeks of persons who have given bad checks. Checks have been taken from mail boxes, and the endorsee's name was forged.
- Lindsay Pierce, Camden high school football coach, today had his second car in five years from local fans appreciative of his direction of Bulldog teams. Pierce received his new automobile at a gridiron feast staged annually by sportsminded Camden citizens. Athletic director at the high school for the past five years, Pierce has led his charges to an all-sports record of 148 victories out of 155 contests.
- Another Christmas. Once again we welcome the Christmas season. This year, however, the occasion takes on added importance because of the trying times each of us has experienced since last Christmastime. Gratefully we acknowledge the courtesies you have extended us these past 12 months, and we know of no better time to express our appreciation than on this, the happiest occasion of them all. May Christmas hold for you and yours all the good things possible. - Perfection Bakery staff
- Theron Cook of Sumter High School, who made first team on the All-State high school football team and played in the All-Star game of the Carolinas in Charlotte, made honorable mention for an end position on the sports writers' All-Southern team.
- To those who have sometimes asked why fireworks should be associated with the birth of Christ, the answer is that this was an imported custom which settlers brought from France to New Orleans. Before it was introduced in this country, the Italians were using colored fire on Dec. 25, and there is abundant evidence that the Spaniards also indulged in early pyrotechnics.
- Sumter High's basketball squad will get down to hard work tomorrow afternoon in preparation for the first cage game of the season here Jan. 4 against Olympia High's Red Devils. Coach Jesse Rushe will be assisted by S.C. Hinson. The practices will be on school days from now on.
50 YEARS AGO - 1970
Aug. 24 - 30
- U.S. bombers flew to within a mile of the demilitarized zone to strike at new North Vietnamese threats to an allied artillery base that was under siege for 43 days last spring. Twenty of the giant stratofortresses dropped 600 tons of bombs on bunkers, base camps and storage and staging areas six miles west of Fire Base Fuller. The artillery base was manned by Americans and South Vietnamese until last spring when U.S. troops pulled out after the 43-day siege and turned it over to the South Vietnamese at the base.
- The Sumter Area Transportation Study, more than four years in the making, reaches a significant public stage soon. A public presentation of the plan recommended to serve the transportation needs of the Sumter urban area in 1990 and beyond will be given in the Sumter County Courthouse. Representatives of the South Carolina Highway Department, which carried out the study in cooperation with local governmental agencies, will explain the background for the study, the methods used to forecast 1990 traffic volumes and the recommended plan itself.
- The final vestiges of the dual school system in South Carolina began to fade this morning as seven school districts in four counties opened their doors for classes under racially unitary systems. Trying out total desegregation for the first time when the school bell rang this morning were Anderson County Districts 2, 3, 4 and 5; Orangeburg County District 8; York County District 3; and Pickens County District.
- A 15-year veteran who hasn't won a race in three years made his first appearance at Sumter Speedway in five weeks and walked away with top honors in the modified division. Charlton McLeod, NASCAR's "Rookie of the Year" in 1959, and Slick Gibbons waged a fierce battle for the top spot, and the two swapped the lead four times before a ball joint snapped on Gibbons' Falcon, giving the lead to McLeod on the 25th lap, and he coasted home over a half-lap ahead of second-place finisher Mike Altman.
- Money is the main concern facing District 17 schools this fall, a representative group of teachers and principals told the Citizens Advisory Committee. They claim a majority of problems within the school system evolve from this lack of funds. Overcrowded classrooms for the advanced students, inadequate facilities, lack of materials to carry on vocational programs and overspending the budget for absolute necessities are but a few of the complaints these educators think to be the main areas of concern.
- District 17 School Board approved deficit financing in order to retain the accreditation of Alice Drive Junior High School. At a meeting last week, the board urged the administration of District 17 to do anything possible to keep the school from becoming a non-accredited school. Robert O. Purdy III, chairman of the school board, said, "There are two reasons for this. The first is a matter of economics, pure and simple. If the accreditation was allowed to lapse, it would cost an additional $10,000 to reinstate the school. The second reason is to maintain the educational integrity of the school by continuing to attract qualified teachers.
- First-graders, some junior high school students and all senior high students will report to District 17 schools this week for orientation prior to the beginning of regular classes Aug. 31. Orientation and assignment to homerooms will occur at middle schools and the high schools.
- Just 50 short years ago today, women were "granted" the right to vote by the male establishment following a strenuous campaign by the suffragists. On that day, The Sumter Daily Item heralded the historic event with a brief six-inch story.
- One of Sumter's oldest homes, the Dr. John J. Bossard house at 23 S. Harvin St., will be demolished in the latter part of September. Plans for razing the home, which is more than 140 years old, were confirmed by R.H. Dinkins, manager of Black River Electric Cooperative, which has owned the property where the house stands since 1963. The lot will be used for expansion of the cooperative's facilities, parking of trucks, etc. once it is cleared.
25 YEARS AGO - 1995
May 24 - 30
- Sumter School District 17 officials announced who will fill slots being created by two retiring principals and one who is taking a position in another district. Crosswell Drive Elementary School Principal Ramona Lawson and Wilder Elementary School Principal Eddie Myers plan to retire after this school year. And Kingsbury Elementary School Principal Russell Sills has taken the job of principal at Batesburg-Leesville. District 17 trustees voted to make Alice Drive Middle School Assistant James "Jay" Britton the new Wilder principal. They also named Willow Drive Elementary School Assistant Principal Cynthia R. Graham as Crosswell's new principal and Alice Drive Middle School Principal Robert Hutchens as Kingsbury's new principal.
- Festival organizers have planned new events that promise to become long-standing traditions. Thunder at Sumter's Gamecock Speedway will give racing fans a chance to watch their favorite drivers whip around the circular track. ONE19, a New York band, will add some zipness to the festival when its members perform in Nettles Auditorium at the University of South Carolina at Sumter. The Iris Festival Golf Tournament at Crystal Lakes Golf Course will be enjoyed by sports fans, and the Tour of Homes is a shoo-in as a new favorite.
- Don McCabe is resurrecting the art of plaster molding with a modern twist: Instead of relegating the fancy accents to the ceiling, he has brought them down the wall to border level. Whether the wallpaper border skims the top of the wall or sits at chair-rail level, plaster figurines that match the paper's pattern are noticeable with scarcely a second glance. The Manning plasterer and dry-waller has been designing 3-D wall art for his home for 25 years and has recently decided to take it public.
- Attendance was higher than it has been in several years during the first two days of the 55th-annual Iris Festival, and organizers expect to entertain even more garden-goers during the rest of the weekend. Garden Director Mark Towery said organizers decided to plan more activities for the north side this year to highlight the new bridge over Liberty Street that joins the two sides of the park.
- The City of Sumter Police Department was inspected under a magnifying glass this week by a national law enforcement accreditation team. Representatives from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies visited Sumter as the police department completed its six-year-long program to comply with CALEA standards.
- Bobby Richardson was a 19-year-old minor league baseball player in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1955 when he first heard of a Christian organization just getting its start. Upon hearing about it, Richardson decided to visit its office in Kansas City to check the organization out even further. When he arrived, a film was being made called "Play Ball!" featuring Christian major leaguers Alvin Dark and Del Crandall to help spread the message of the new organization. After learning more about the organization, Richardson has been a supporter. The organization is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
- Chaplain Max Jones is ministering twice a week to the inmates at the Sumter County Correctional Center, continuing the Genesis II program made successful by Chaplain Jack Jones, who died two years ago. Genesis II is a voluntary drug and alcohol rehabilitation program begun in Sumter 11 years ago for inmates who haven't yet been to trial. Jack Jones, who isn't related to Max Jones, founded the program, which combines drug rehabilitation with domestic and lifestyle training in a six-week-long course that serves 20 people at a time.
- Sumter's Tuomey Regional Medical Center found out recently that a national hospital accreditation team rated its staff and services among the top 4 percent of about 80 percent of the nation's hospitals. And like a kid who managed to ace his final exams, Tuomey is being showered with accolades by all of its peers. "Other hospitals are calling and asking for our help," said Jay Cox, Tuomey's president and CEO. "We've gotten calls from hospitals all over the state asking us how we were able to do so well."
- The Sumter County branch of the NAACP honored more than 300 young Sumter scholars during a ceremony at the Opera House. The sixth-annual National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Education Awards Program recognized black students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and academic capabilities. Students from 21 area public and private schools received certificates for achievement in heritage, scholarship, leadership, citizenship, performing or visual arts and perfect attendance.
- What do Phil Gramm, Gennifer Flowers, Casper Weinberger, "Bubba" McElveen and state Rep. Jeff Young have in common? They've all been on the Blanquita Cullum Radio Talk Show. Conservative talk show host Blanquita "BQ" Cullum is best known for being a White House liaison for former President George Bush, but she has also produced, written and hosted radio shows in San Antonio and now a syndicated one broadcast from Washington, D.C.
- Bagpipes player Kirk McLeod led Confederate Army re-enactors during the dedication of a monument honoring the Confederacy's Lt. William Alexander McQueen. McQueen, who fought with an artillery unit from the Sumter area, lost his life on April 8, 1865, during the Battle of Dingle's Mill south of Sumter.
- Elizabeth Baptist Church turned 100 years old this year, and church members are celebrating its birthday during services this weekend. The church was started on Sallie Boykin's nearby land in 1895. Boykin's land was in the Ionia section of Lee County, about five miles from the church's present location about 10 miles west of Bishopville on Camden Highway (S.C. 34). She noticed a group of her workers worshiping on her land in a bush harbor and so gave them some land to worship on, according to the church's history.
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