75 YEARS AGO - 1943
Feb. 28 - March 5
Kathleen Ellen Goodman was graduated at the Edmunds High School at the assembly program on Feb. 26. In graduating Miss Goodman, the city schools are continuing their policy of granting diplomas to seniors whenever they meet the requirements for graduating, regardless of the time of year. Since Jan. 22, nine boys have been granted their diplomas in order that they may enter some phase of the service or attend college for at least half a year, or year, before entering the armed service. Miss Goodman is the first girl to graduate in the emergency program. She recently stood the examination given by the FBI and qualified for a position as clerk at a salary of $1,752 per year. She will leave Sumter on Monday morning to report for duty on Monday at the chief clerk's office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C.
• Long-legged Tom Hodge, who recently quit his job with the Sub-Depot Engineering Department at Shaw Field to answer a more urgent call from Uncle Sam, is back at the basic flying school - but not in uniform. The lanky civilian aircraft inspector found he was not wanted. Reporting at the Fort Jackson induction station, Hodge passed the physical exam with a perfect score - except for one thing. He is 6 feet, 8 inches tall, two inches over the maximum acceptable to the Army.
• Seven 4-H club boys and girls of Sumter County won $18 in war stamps in the food-for-victory contest for 1942. The individual state award of $8.46 was won by Mamie Robinson, a 4-H girl of the Rafting Creek Club. The other girl winners of $1.60 each in war stamps were Henrietta LaSane of Goodwill, Bernice McLester of Rafting Creek, and Gladys Cain of St. Matthews. The boy winners of $1.60 in stamps were Louis Roach of Providence and John Evans of Second Mill.
• Pvt. Colin Weathersbee, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Weathersbee, was enrolled as an airplane mechanics student in Keesler Field's big B-24 Liberator Bomber School. Having completed his basic drill and qualified for school, Weathersbee will undergo an intensive 17-week course in B-24 maintenance.
• The city will be host to Red Cross workers at a breakfast Wednesday morning, Mayor F.B. Creech announced today. Wednesday is the day on which the citywide canvass for Red Cross War Fund contributions will begin.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Oct. 29 - Nov. 4
A Wedgefield resident, who earned the Legion of Merit for his World War II service with a Ninth Air Force unit, left Ninth Air Force Headquarters at Shaw AFB with the medal properly pinned to his neat business suit. Robert N. McCombs, director of Manchester State Forest for the past nine years and an employee of the State Commission of Forestry for 15 years, earned the medal while serving as a master sergeant with Ninth Air Force's 515th Bombardment Squadron at Benghazi in North Africa. McCombs, a radio operator-mechanic and communications chief, was cited for outstanding and meritorious service which " contributed to the success of his group's operations against the enemy."
• Col.Victor J. Sampson, Shaw AFB base commander, retired after more than 27 years of service. Col. Sampson came to Shaw in November 1965 from Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. He was cited for developing Shaw into one of the finest in the Air Force. Under his direction significant improvements were accomplished at Shaw in personnel management, administration and recreational activities. Col. Sampson was particularly cited for his leadership in base beautification and community relations.
• Featured drills sponsored by the AFROTC of Edmunds held the attention of Gamecock fans during halftime at one of the home games. Performing the drills were the Rifle Drill Team, Demon Flight and the Jr. Angels. The Rifle Drill Team, commanded by Cadet Capt. Dick Cole, aided by Lt. Stanard of Shaw Air Force Base, gave a good show with a rifle drill combination.
• The annual meeting of the Sumter County Chapter of the American Red Cross was held at the Officers Club at Shaw Air Force Base. The program was in recognition of the chapter's Golden Anniversary. The chapter itself was begun here when the organization charter was issued by President Woodrow Wilson on May 15, 1917. Chapter chairman is Francis Carey.
• School bells are ringing for Ronnie Garrington, whose fight for life through one of the first successful kidney transplant operations in the country touched the soul of Sumter over three years ago. Ronnie's enrollment at Alice Drive Junior High School ended five years of confinement at home and in hospitals. "He feels like a normal boy again," said his mother with the mixed joy and sorrow that pulls at the heart of many a mother, sending her baby off to school for the first time.
• Jim Nesbitt Jr., recording star of "Please Mr. Kennedy" fame, will provide an extra dash of entertainment at the Sumter County Farm Bureau's annual barbecue dinner. Dave Sloan of Marion, president of the South Carolina Farm Bureau, will be special guest of the dinner, to be followed by a brief business meeting and the traditional beauty and talent contests.
• Dr. Thomas J. Sweeney, an associate professor of education and director of the Guidance Center at the University of South Carolina, will be the guest speaker at a special guidance program to be held at Hillcrest High School for the parents of all students who attend Hillcrest.
• Like old man river, the Edmunds High Jayvees keep rolling along. The undefeated Baby Birds encountered surprising resistance from the Columbia High Jayvees but still came out on the long end of a 13-0 score. Penalties and fumbles thwarted several potential scoring drives and nullified a sparkling 37-yard touchdown run by Wayne Johnston in the third quarter. Johnston broke four tackles in his dash, which was called back by a motion penalty.
• Furman's Indians exploded with a mighty offensive show and routed Hemingway, 41-14, to end the season with a 5-5 record at the Indians' home field. It was Furman's best won-lost mark since 1964. The victory made it a happy homecoming for Coach Simon Lewis and his gutty little band of Warriors. At halftime Miss Louise McLeod was crowned homecoming queen.
• Geddings Appliance Service is getting a new $12,500 home at the intersection of Manning Road and U.S. 15. Grady and Belton Geddings plan to move from their present quarters on Boulevard Road.
• Who would have ever thought that Sumter would win a football game by a successful extra point attempt? Well, that's exactly what the Gamecocks did when Dwayne Windham climaxed a 74-yard march with a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Jimmy Trembley was perfect on the conversion kick to give Sumter a hard-earned 7-6 victory over surprisingly tough Brookland-Cayce.
• "According to reports made at the fourth Sumter County United Fund progress report meeting, the 1968 drive has attained 93 percent of its $180,000 goal. Baxter Kelly, the 1968 campaign chairman, said he is confident the remaining 17 percent of the goal will be reached during the coming week to add to this week's total of $149,000.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
July 31 - Aug. 6
Jeff Cantarutti and four of his friends traveled 3,578 miles from northern California to South Carolina to visit his grandparents, Paul and Mildred DuCom. The group - Cantarutti, Ken Husband, Dario Fredrick, Gary Thompson and Mike Foley - left Chico, California, on June 1. Fifty-five days later the young men - ages 21 to 23 - arrived in Santee at the DuCom's lake house. The men are all amateur racers, so they felt sure that they would be able to pull off the trip.
• New parking lots are appearing across Sumter Area Technical College to serve the growing number of students. Growth means change at the school, and change means that Sumter Tech's name will change to Central Carolina Technical College. "We scrambled for several years to come up with a name that would better reflect our surrounding communities," Cody Palmer said. Palmer, chairman of Tech's Board of Trustees, said the name change better describes the school's service area of Sumter, Clarendon, Kershaw and Lee counties.
• Kim Neal and Williba Brogdon wanted something to do this summer. Neal, a sprinter on the Bates Middle School track team, had an unbeaten season last spring. Brogdon was a member of the R.E. Davis Middle School girls track team. At the beginning of summer vacation, the two girls wanted to find a summer track program that they could join. They joined the Classic Track Club of Columbia (Sumter does not have a running club) and for two months they traveled to Columbia three times a week to train. Neal qualified for the Junior Olympics held in Minnesota. Brogdon, a newcomer to the sport, made improvements in her events.
• The Sumter bus station has had many homes. Some of them were: the old Claremont Hotel, Julian's Coffee Shop on Main Street, the Hughes Furniture building on Main, an old Pure Oil service station on Main, a building on Manning Avenue at Harvin Street, then in 1966 a new building was built, and the station was moved to 230 E. Hampton Ave. After Hugo destroyed this building it moved to 863 E. Liberty St.
• Members of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, under the leadership of Dr. Ed F. Johnson, have once again united for a common cause, to raise funds for the O.R. Reuben Church and School of Religion Facility at Morris College. Baptists from across the state held a fundraising campaign that brought nearly $50,000 in donations.
• Ray Cagle Jr. of Hopkins was the winner of the Late Model main event in racing action sponsored by Shoney's at Sumter Rebel Speedway. Joey Griffin finished second in the Late Model race. Bob Sharp took third, Danny Johnson fourth and Larry Powell fifth. Arthur Winn captured the checkered flag in the Super Stock division. Winn and Ronnie Anderson began the race on the front row. Billy Coursey finished second followed by Anderson and James Hunter.
• Sumter officials have begun to tackle the city's red water problem, but the solution won't come cheaply. The price tag is estimated to be $1.5 million. Sumter City Council gave city manager Talmadge Tobias the go-ahead at a Tuesday council meeting to seek bids and engineering firms to install new water filters at three of the city's five oldest water plants. The renovation is expected to rid the city of its red water occurrences, most frequently in the summer when water usage is high, Tobias said.
• The Sumter County legislative delegation delivered Gov. Carroll Campbell an ultimatum: work for the closure of a hazardous-waste landfill in Sumter County or be perceived as siding with out-of-state waste management interests. The delegation wrote Campbell a letter asking him to support the state Department of Health and Environmental Control in its efforts to close the 270-acre hazardous waste landfill operated by GSX Services of South Carolina Inc.
• Shaw Air Force Base is expected to win approval for $2.7 million in construction projects next year. A total of $42.9 million in facilities will be built at South Carolina military bases if the projects are approved as part of the Military Construction Appropriations Bill. Thurmond, the senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Senate passed the $8.9 billion bill, and it now goes before the Senate-House Conference Committee for approval.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.