75 YEARS AGO - 1942-43
Dec. 26 - Jan. 1
Chief Kirven of the city police force took a long puff on a 10-cent cigar and beamed as he indicated a huge box of fruit at his side. A brand-new wallet, several cartons of cigarettes and a shiny knife on his desk. Gilbert and Sullivan, he 'lowed, were all wet when they wrote "A Policeman's Life Is Not a Happy One." Being a policeman in Sumter on Christmas obviously does have its advantages. Merchants, businessmen and other friends alike had heaped gifts on all of the 18 men of the force, sending them home outfitted with enough smokes to last them 'til summer, quantities of fruits, miscellaneous articles and checks - and the presents still were coming in today.
- Hugh T. Stoddard, now serving his sixth year as principal of Edmunds High School, has received a commission as first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and will probably be called for active service within the immediate future. Stoddard, who is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as a football player his senior year, came to Sumter as coach of high school athletics in the fall of 1930. He was named principal of the old boys' high school six years ago. The school was later enlarged and changed to Edmunds High School, and all the high school classes concentrated there.
- Mrs. W.O. Brunson, principal of the Miller School, has been selected to take over the office of Superintendent of School District One and supervisor of the rural elementary schools, succeeding J. Douglas Blanding, who has been granted a leave of absence to join the American armed forces.
- Sumter Rotarians were handed a lesson in geography when 26 of the Royal Air Force pilot officers stationed at Shaw Field took part in an "international service" program at the community room of the Coca-Cola plant. The pilot officers, headed by Senior Pilot Officer Robert Jones, took turns describing agricultural aspects of the country, told of hardships incurred since the start of the war and in general presented a report which would have done justice to a chamber of commerce.
- Nine South Carolina women were inducted into the WAACS today. Among them is Annette E. Mitchell of Sumter.
- The Navy Department announced today that five of its officers have been awarded the Silver Star medal by President Roosevelt for outstanding acts of heroism. They included Lt. John V. Wilson, 24, son of Mrs. Mabel F. Wilson. The citation accompanying Wilson's decoration said that as gunnery officer of a warship during operations of an Allied striking force against Japanese, he remained at his battle station despite being wounded from enemy shell fragments. The citation said that he was treated during a lull between action and then returned to a station to control the gun battery.
- A total of 3,000 books, which include technical, literature and late novels, are now available to the men of Shaw Field at the new library building, it was announced by Mrs. Mary G. Gentry, post librarian. Attractively furnished with desks and comfortable reading chairs, the library offers an ideal place for the enlisted man to spend his leisure time consulting technical aviation books or browsing through the latest magazines and newspapers.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Aug. 28 - Sept. 3
Another successful Sumter County 4-H Horse Show was completed at the fairgrounds with about 40 entries competing in the 18 classes. Entries included 4-H Horse Club members from Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties. They ranged in age from 9 to 18. Judges for the show were Mrs. Susan Skinner and her father, John Murphy, both of Columbia. Ring masters were Ned Rhoad and Buddy Webster, both of Sumter, while associate county agent Dick Tillman and Clarendon County associate agent Robert D. McNair were masters of ceremonies.
- A spectacular mash-up on the 29th lap cut short a scheduled 40-lap late-model main event at Sumter Raceway and gave leader Billy Baker of New Zion another victory at the local track. Coming out of the fourth turn two Sumter drivers, Jimmy Jones and H.C. Pritchard, were battling it out for fourth place. Pritchard was on the inside position when the two vehicles collided. Jones' car bounced off the guard rail, rolled over and over three or four times and landed on its roof. Jones scampered out of the auto uninjured to bring a roar of approval from the fans on hand.
- Sumter Mayor R.E. Graham cut the ribbon officially opening the Project T-Square Center in the old Dixie Life Building on Liberty Street. A number of dignitaries representing Project T-Square and local organizations were on hand for the ceremony. Will Thomas, acting coordinator of the local center, said that classrooms are now completed and ready for use in the Eldridge Building on Liberty Street. General education classes will be held in this building.
- Dr. L.C. McArthur, superintendent of School District No. 17, revealed that first-day enrollment for city schools was 10,733, some 336 students above those registered on the first day of school last year in the district. "This year we will be one of the seven fastest-growing school districts of the 107 school districts in the state, and I expect our enrollment figures for the year to reach about 12,500."
- A new Esso service station will be erected at the northeast corner of Main and Calhoun Streets, where site clearing and wrecking operations already are underway. Bill Cockerill, owner of the station, said it is estimated that Humble Oil Co. will invest more than $100,000 in a new building and equipment.
- An increase of interest in the Diversified Occupations program at Lincoln High School has been demonstrated through the jump in enrollment in the course this year, according to E.C. Moore, program coordinator. Student applications this fall have increased more than 200 percent over last year. Diversified Occupations is a part-time cooperative trade program designed for 11th- and 12th-grade students. It provides for their spending a part of the day in school with the remaining hours spent in a local shop or business, learning the skills of a particular trade or occupation.
- Alvis J. Bynum, assistant cashier with the National Bank of South Carolina in Sumter, has been named president of the American Institute of Banking's Pee Dee Chapter for the fiscal year 1967-68. Bynum, who holds the pre-standard and standard certificates from the American Institute of Banking, the educational arm of the American Bankers Association, has served as vice president, secretary and treasurer of the Pee Dee Chapter since he became associated with NBSC.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
May 29 - June 4
The following students, sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15, have been chosen as delegates to attend the 46th Palmetto Girls State, which will be held at the University of South Carolina: Kendra Norley of Sumter High; Laurie Noonan of Sumter High; Tasha Matthews of Sumter High; Kipper Edens of Thomas Sumter Academy; Renee Watts of Thomas Sumter Academy; Molly B. Simpson of Wilson Hall; Heather Eldridge of Wilson Hall; Kelly Anderson of Wilson Hall; Meredith Nock of Wilson Hall; and LuWinn Jones of Laurence Manning Academy.
- Robert Moses was recently named Rotarian of the Year by Sumter Rotary Club. Moses, 71, is a native of Sumter and has been a member of Rotary Club for 45 years. He is a past president of the club. A graduate of The Citadel, Moses has worked in real estate for the past 45 years. He works at his family's firm, Henry P. Moses Co. Moses is also a real estate professor at University of South Carolina Sumter and Sumter Area Technical College.
- Lettie M. Logan, who just received her associate degree (with honors) from USC Sumter, has dreamed of being a nurse since childhood, and she's determined to make that dream come true. "I've been interested in science and medicine as far back as I can remember," Logan admitted. Thanks to a two-year tuition scholarship awarded by USC Sumter and the funds she received under Tuomey Regional Medical Center's Health Loan Program, she was able to make her dream come true.
- The men and women of Shaw Air Force Base celebrated the beginning of a new era with the deactivation of the Tactical Air Command. TAC, which has played a key role for nearly five decades in primarily providing deterrence against the possibility of nuclear war, was replaced by the Air Combat Command. With the end of TAC, Air Force nuclear weapons come under the control of ACC, a move initiated by the easing nuclear threat and leaner military budgets.
- Sumter County Councilman Rudy Singleton will challenge 11-year Senate veteran Phil Leventis for his seat in the Statehouse. Singleton, in the second year of his four-year term on county council, filed to run for nomination to the District 35 Senate seat in the Aug. 25 Republican primary. Leventis has filed to run in the Democratic primary.
- A textile company whose plans to buy land in the South Guignard Drive area drew protests from local residents earlier this year may finally be on its way to locating in Sumter. Sumter City Council gave initial approval to selling 15 acres at Old Pocalla Road and South Guignard Drive to Peace Textile America Inc., a South Korean textile firm.
- Two Sumter natives are among 14 people to be inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame. State Supreme Court Associate Justice Ernest A. Finney Jr. and former state Department of Social Services Commissioner James L. Solomon Jr. will be inducted into the hall during a ceremony at Township Auditorium in Columbia.
- A Lee County citizens group plans to appeal a state health department decision allowing a privately owned solid-waste landfill to be built just outside of Bishopville, an attorney for the group said. An operating permit was issued to Mid-American Waste Systems Inc. of Ohio for construction of a 200-acre, solid-waste landfill on a 1,000-acre tract at U.S. 15 and Interstate 20. Construction will start within a week to 10 days, landfill officials said.
Reach Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.