75 YEARS AGO - 1942
Lt. John Wilson, USA, is "somewhere in Alaska." His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Itly Wilson, received a letter written July 4 from his station, which he described as an "uninhabited place." The letter was written by flashlight, as he said electricity was not among the conveniences offered in his "apartment." Lt. Wilson, a graduate of The Citadel, was called to active duty from the Officers' Reserve Corps in January. He was stationed for three months at Fort Monroe, Virginia, then left on May 1 for an unknown destination. His family received a telegram from him from Seattle, Washington. Yesterday's letter was the first communication the Wilsons have received from their son since then.
- It took a war to do it, but the men who have been squawking for years about make-up and loud nail polish may be offered the opportunity of seeing their women-folk without it. The government today sharply curtailed production of lipstick, nail polish, face powder, rouge and a variety of other toiletries and cosmetics. In the war's heaviest blow to the boudoir and bathroom, the war Production Board established manufacturing limits on most types of beauty preparations.
- Nurse Juanita Redmond, recently decorated for her bravery under fire on bloody Bataan peninsula, arrived in Sumter to visit her brother, Robert Redmond, manager of the Edens Super-Market here. Immediately after her arrival she was soon off again - to make a visit to Shaw Field, where she was greeted by post officials. Later in the afternoon she assisted in the sale of war bonds and stamps at the Edens store. Lt. Redmond and her brother are natives of Swansea.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
The question of who murdered eight nurses in a Chicago townhouse apparently was resolved when a jury convicted Richard Speck and recommended that he die in the electric chair. But the questions of why the eight nurses were chosen as the knife-wielding strangler's victims and why eight young women quietly submitted to being tied, robbed, separated and slain may never be answered.
- It was like a miniature "Arnie's Army." Each time No. 11 wheeled out of the last turn and motored by the grandstand, a group of 20 or 25 fans stood and cheered him on. But this "Army" wasn't cheering golf's Arnold Palmer but another Arnie - Arnold Hutto, who drove his 1955 Chevrolet to its third-straight victory in eight days at Sumter Raceway.
- Woolco Department Store and 10 cooperating automobile dealers will sponsor a Sports-A-Rama featuring displays of a wide variety of sporting goods. Announcement of the event, designated "Hi Sport," was made by Woolco general manager W.R. Miller and Advertising Manager R.W. Rossi. On display at the department store will be sports model cars, antique cars, boats, campers and various lines of sporting and camping merchandise.
- The emergency department at Tuomey Hospital, though small, is among its most important departments. It is here that equipment and personnel are constantly available to assist physicians in the immediate treatment of victims of serious accidents and medical emergencies. Last year, 10,000 people were treated in the Tuomey Hospital Emergency Room. All of these people received prompt medical service because the emergency room is equipped and staffed to handle medical problems. The variety of equipment available in this compact treatment area indicates the thorough planning which has gone into the establishment and operation of Tuomey Hospital's Emergency Room.
- With only two days left for the opening of the Edmunds High School Fine Arts Department's production of the Broadway sensation "The Boy Friend," by Sandy Wilson, managing director Ward Yarborough is pulling more and more of his hair, by the roots, from his head in what seems to be a futile attempt to "do it right." After weeks of work, dancing, singing, acting, scenery and props have fallen into place. The production is really beginning to look like the vivacious, sparkling musical comedy that has won the play its Broadway fame.
- Joe Anthony of Radio Station WDXY recently was honored as the Elk of the Year by the Sumter Lodge. He was presented a certificate according him the honor and authorized by Grand Exalted Ruler Raymond C. Dodson. He was selected on the basis of outstanding service to the community and lodge.
- Seniors at Edmunds High School elected the leaders who will run the city on Youth Government Day. Thorny Parker, president of the student body, was chosen as mayor. He was unopposed. Named to the student City Council were: Larry Chewning, Polly Harritt, Angela McIntosh and Paul Bullock Jr. The student City Council chose members of the senior class who will fill the city's administrative positions. Selected were: Wade Kolb Jr., city manager (his father is actually city manager); Jimmy Shaw, city clerk; Mike Hodge, city engineer; Lisa Haile, planning director; Joe Ed Davis, recorder; and Callie Alpert, city attorney. Also Charlie White, superintendent of utility plants; Alan Hovermale, superintendent of public works; Rett Alsbrook, police chief; John Clark, fire chief; and Ron Henderson, defense attorney. Youth Government Day is sponsored by Elks Lodge BPOE 855, the City of Sumter and Edmunds High School to give students an opportunity to learn more about their city government by assuming positions of leadership.
- Race fans and drivers will crowd into Sumter Raceway tonight to see if Arnold Hutto can drive his white '55 Chevy to victory after last week's incident. Hutto, who started off the local race season like a Cape Kennedy rocket by winning three straight races, was protested after his win at Sumter last Saturday. His car was torn down and found illegal, and now fans are waiting to see if he can stay with the rest of the field this week.
- Deputies captured what Sheriff I. Byrd Parnell declares "is the smallest liquor still I've ever seen," and he's seen plenty. The cooker of the still is a five-gallon stainless steel milk can. Small though it is, it apparently can produce. At least deputies confiscated two-and-a-half gallons of moonshine whiskey along with it. The still was located in the Britton section of Sumter County.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
With temperatures expected to drop into the teens tonight, local residents need to take special precautions as they bed down. "We are encouraging people to use common sense and be aware that the weather is going to be colder than normal," Sumter County Civil Defense Director Vic Jones said. Jones said residents need to be careful not to overexert themselves if they are involved in an outside activity. Electa Riggs, a spokeswoman for Tuomey Regional Medical Center, said residents should stay indoors if possible and dress in layers of clothing and a hat if going outside is necessary.
- When Lt. Col. Chip Utterback saw three of his commanding officers walking toward him with solemn looks on their faces, he looked at his watch. It was 2:16 p.m. - Baghdad time - and he knew all hell was about to break loose. Col. Ray Huot, commander of Shaw Air Force Base's 363rd Fighter Wing, and his colleagues were coming to tell Utterback, commander of Shaw's 17th Fighter Squadron, and his fighter pilots to gear up for the action they had spent years training for - war.
- Embattled Commissioner of Social Services James Solomon has announced he will retire June 30, capping months of bitter infighting among board members about his performance. "The board did not force me out. It was a decision I made on my own," said Solomon, 61, who headed the state Department of Social Services since 1983. "I did feel that I should be able to leave with dignity, and I think I am."
- When Sumter's Wilma Morel heard that her son, Bob, had saved the life of a Charlotte police officer during a shootout between the officer and an armed burglary suspect, she wasn't surprised. When her son received the Carnegie Medal for Heroism last month, she was proud. "He's not one for all of this," Mrs. Morel said, gesturing at a scrapbook filled with clippings about her son's achievement. "But I am." Bob Morel, 42, was honored for saving the life of Officer Larry Wilson On Oct. 209, 1990, by positioning his car between the wounded officer and the burglary suspect, who was armed with a .44-caliber Magnum handgun.
- Chris Mitchum scored 23 points to lead Sumter High School's girls to a 43-38 basketball win over Spring Valley at Sumter High. The Lady Gamecocks, 10-3 overall and 4-0 in Region IV-4A play, took a 12-10 lead after one quarter and led 18-17 at the half before jumping out to a 33-21 lead after three quarters. "We played a real good third quarter," said Sumter coach Rhett Harris. "We protected the ball and got some good shots. We got the big lead and were able to hold on."
- When Keith Lonan lofted a three-point attempt with four seconds on the clock, Sumter High School head coach Byron Kinney was already satisfied. The fact that it fell, giving the Gamecocks a 60-57 basketball win over Spring Valley at the Sumter High School gym, was just the icing on the cake. "I think it was a well-played game by both teams," Kinney said, "not a lot of turnovers. We executed at the end of the game, and Keith took a good shot."
- The Furman Choir and the Hillcrest High School Band have been invited to perform this summer at the first Moscow Music Festival. The festival is designed to encourage musical education programs in Russia, to facilitate the interaction of youth through music and to symbolize the renewed friendship and increased cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. Workshops, student performances and concerts in historic music halls where maestros such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich performed are among the activities scheduled for the seven-day festival.
- When Bobby Sisson took over promotion of Sumter Speedway during the 1985 racing season, he did so simply to keep his Saturday night hangout in operation. In the ensuing 6 years, what began as a part-time hobby has developed into a major business investment. Sisson's plans to build a new half-million dollar racing facility a few miles to the west of Shaw Air Force Base have drawn considerable attention throughout the county. A host of promoters have attempted to turn a profit at the speedway in the approximate 35 years that it has existed, but none have been as successful as Sisson.
- South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner James Clyburn said he will soon step down from the position he has held for more than 17 years. Clyburn, a Sumter native, told members of Sumter Rotary Club that he has notified board members of the S.C. Commission on Human Affairs of his plans to quit "in a few months." The state agency serves as a clearinghouse for discrimination complaints by employees statewide. He later said in an interview that he believes he has accomplished his goals as human affairs commissioner.
- The salaries of school superintendents in Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties are comparable to others across the state, according to figures released by the state Department of Education. In the 91 school districts in South Carolina, superintendents are paid according to their experience and the size of the district they oversee, Department of Education officials said. The board of trustees for each district decides the salary of the district's superintendent.
- A citizens group opposed to city involvement in a county landfill project has just enough signatures on a petition to possibly halt the venture. City council validated a petition sponsored by the Citizens for Lee County that could force a referendum on an ordinance that would stop the city from dealing with the firm hoping to build the landfill. The petition calls for creation of an ordinance prohibiting the city from accepting wastewater, or leachate, from the proposed solid waste landfill.
- Bob Galiano will be sworn in as Sumter's newest city councilman. Galiano, who will become the only Republican on council, won the right to represent Ward 5 by beating Democrat Jack Howle in a special election. A ceremony is scheduled to take place before a regular council meeting. Galiano will begin work as a councilman immediately after the ceremony. He will complete the term of former Councilman Carroll Pitts, which runs through 1994.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 774-1294.