75 YEARS AGO - 1942
Dec. 19 - 25
Pvt. James P. Yates, who enlisted at Shaw Field the latter part of September in the aircraft mechanical drive, is now at Keesler Field, Mississippi. After taking training and tests at Shaw he was sent to the Air Corps Technical school at Keesler. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R.P. Yates of North Main Extension.
• Seven schools placed players on the 10th annual all-South Carolina high school football team selected by sportswriters and coaches for The Greenville High School News. Greenville High, Anderson and Parker of Greenville each placed two players on the first team, which also included boys from Sumter, Florence, Columbia and Charleston. Ed Dew, Sumter High's outstanding guard and co-captain on the 1942 Gamecock 11, was the only local player to be placed on the all-state high school team.
• Considering the abnormal times and the fact there are two army stations near here, Sumter is one of the cleanest towns in the country, an Army Intelligence officer told Chief Kirven of the city police force. The officer, who has been here for some time, praised highly the cooperation given to the field by local law enforcement officers and the effective work of the city and county police departments in keeping the city and its environs normally in order.
• James D. Blanding has received a commission as first lieutenant in the Army and will report for active duty at Camp Stewart. Blanding will go to Fort Eustiss, Virginia. He is in the anti-aircraft artillery, CA branch. Blanding has been superintendent of School District One and supervisor of rural elementary schools for the past 12 years.
• Sumter County and its towns will receive $3,484.51 from the tax on beer for the July-September quarter, state tax commission records showed for the first time. If payments to the county for the other three quarters of the fiscal year continue at the same level, an increase of about $3,000 in revenue over 1941-42 will be shown. Warrants are being prepared and will be distributed by the tax commission as soon after the holidays as possible.
• The Avi-aides of Sumter combined entertainment for the cadets of Shaw Field with a generous donation to charity last week. At their Christmas party, held at the Cadet Club for Shaw Field's Class of 43-B, 300 juvenile gifts were exchanged and later turned over to a charitable organization for distribution to poor children. The party has been termed one of the largest and most elaborate activities of the year.
• E.C. Stroman, secretary and treasurer of Belk-Stroman Co., was elected president of the Sumter Merchants Association at a called meeting of the board of directors. G.B. Moseley, retiring president, was automatically named vice president. J.D. Dinkins was elected treasurer, and Mrs. H.D. Harby was reelected secretary-manager.
• One section of the YWCA Caf , located in the building that formerly housed Julian's, is open for light lunches and is expected to be opened to the public in about two weeks, according to an employee. The building's interior is being painted and entirely renovated, and partitions have been placed between the dining room and the section used as a bus station. The lunch counter where light meals have been served is partitioned off from the dining room. The caf will be operated on the first floor of the YWCA and the upstairs space will be used for meetings and other YW activities.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Aug. 21 - 27
School doors will soon be opening again in Sumter County and with them, 31 school cafeterias will resume their task of trying to please thousands of children with appetites as varied as the law will allow. It is the job of Mrs. Louise F. Player, county school lunch supervisor, to oversee the operation of the lunchrooms of Sumter County's schools and to see that all meals served meet certain qualifications. It is no small task to meet the ever-changing demands of children whose tastes are never the same from one day to the next.
• City council had before it at its meeting today a recommendation from the City Planning Commission that it drop a project of long standing on which considerable effort already has been spent: the widening of Sumter Street to four lanes. Specifically, the planners recommended that Sumter Street "be improved but not widened ."
• Classes got underway at Clemson University at Sumter with an opening convocation at which Clemson President Dr. Robert C. Edwards spoke to the students. Final preparations were still going on as second-year students registered for classes. Dr. Sam Willis, director of Clemson University at Sumter, expected first- and second-year students to total about 175. About 100 students had registered when Clemson opened its doors last year. Accompanying Dr. Edwards to the convocation will be Dr. Victor Hurst, dean of the university and vice president for academic affairs at Clemson University.
• The Sumter Parks and Recreation Department closed its summer playground activities with the Annual Trolley Parade at Memorial Park and Birnie Center. Trolleys were extremely colorful and were lighted with candles or flashlights. Those entered from Memorial Park followed a television program theme with trolleys depicting popular children's show characters. Lemira and Alice Drive Centers chose nursery rhymes as their theme, and the circus was the theme of Jenkins Center. Some 75 trolleys were entered in the parades held at Birnie Center and Memorial Park.
• Approval for the purchase of about 20,000 books for the library of Clemson University at Sumter was announced by Clemson University president Robert C. Edwards as he spoke to the opening convocation at the local campus. "We got the green light at about 11:05 a.m., and we were ordering the books before noon," Edwards told the faculty and students at the 8:30 a.m. convocation, held before classes got underway at 9. The books, he said, will enable Clemson University at Sumter to meet accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
• The Sumter Printing Co. Inc. will have a remodeling opening, Aug. 24 and 25. This company was formed in 1918 and has long been one of the leading printing companies in this area. In 1963, a corporation was formed, and Robert K. Galloway has been the manager since that time and now is the president of the corporation.
• Johnnie L. Washington Scoutmaster of Troop 238 of St. Luke AME Church in Sumter has returned from participating in a Farm-City Conference at Philmont Scout Training Center, Cimarron, New Mexico, for which he received a scholarship from the National Council, Boy Scouts of America. The scholarship for himself and Mrs. Washington was awarded on a basis of outstanding leadership in Scouting, church, civic, and other community organizations.
• The Gates Tire Center held its grand opening this morning with Mayor Robert E. Graham cutting the ribbon. Also in attendance for the ceremony was Mrs. W.A. Smith, wife of the general sales manager; sales manager Earl McCoy; B.C. Emerson, sales manager Gates Rubber Co., Denver Colo.; general manager W.A. Smith; and Mrs. Becky Ross of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce. The store was first established at its present location in 1951 and was known as "Harvey and Earl," selling tires supplied by the Gates Rubber Co. Its name was changed to Gates Tire Center in January of 1965.
• The Sumter Booster Club, under the direction of new chairman Sonny Creech, kicked off its 1967-68 season and set its members' goal at 750. In a meeting of the 30-member Steering Committee, plans and projects were outlined for the coming season. The Booster Club, which is an organization that supports all athletic teams at Sumter's Edmunds High, is expecting a banner year according to Creech because of the enthusiasm that has been shown.
• Hamilton Carr Bland, 86, whose love of beauty led to the development of Swan Lake Gardens, died in a Summerville hospital after a lengthy illness. Funeral services were to be held at the Sumter Cemetery. Development of Swan Lake began in 1927 when Bland purchased a small pond on the northern side of Liberty Street in the western section of Sumter.
• With a squad lighter and less experienced than those in the past, Lincoln High's Bulldogs open their 1967 football campaign when they journey to Columbia for a date with always-tough C.A. Johnson. Lincoln, which finished the season with a 5-3-2 record last year, battled Johnson to a 0-0 deadlock in 1966. Coach Robert A. Jenkins, beginning his 16th year as head man of the Bulldogs, has been stressing defense in pre-season drills in hopes of getting his young squad in shape.
• The rain -plagued American Legion Region 3 baseball tournament continued after Timmonsville rode the strong pitching of Mike Young to a 1-0 victory over Miami.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
May 22 - 28
Tommy Biershenk fired an even-par 72 to capture medalist honors in the 4A state high school golf tournament while Spartanburg took home the team title.
• Thirty-one runs, 33 hits and 13 errors. It was apparent early that whichever team won the lower state championship baseball game would not ride into the state finals on the strength of pitching and defense. That team will be Lancaster, a 19-12 winner over Sumter High.
• When A.D. "Buster" Plowden Jr. purchased the Lakewood Links golf course in June of 1991, his intention was to upgrade the facility into the finest golf course in the area. Eleven months later Plowden and Lakewood pro Don Burchett feel they are well on their way toward fulfilling that goal. The T.C. Jordan Professional Golf Tour will make its second annual stop at Lakewood, and Lakewood officials expect the touring pros to be pleased with the improvements.
• In a sense, Abraham Lincoln inaugurated Memorial Day back in 1963 when he gave a brief, powerful and timeless speech now known as The Gettysburg Address. On that November day the president who preserved the union was at the site of where a terrible battle had taken place in which thousands of Union and Confederate troops died. Trying to choose the right words to consecrate the battlefield, which had been designated a national cemetery, Lincoln was brief and to the point. "The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract . It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." Those words more eloquently sum up what Memorial Day is all about than all the purple prose by every editorial writer who ever lived.
• If the axiom, "Every dog has his day," holds true, it stands to reason everyone who is dogged also has his. Such a person is Phil Ballinger, who this week had just that - Phil Ballinger Day. In his time at the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce, Ballinger has assisted in the creation of more than 7,000 jobs. His recruiting skills are responsible for bringing more than 40 industries to the Sumter area. Ballinger, president and chief executive office for the chamber, is dogged, even tenacious about his responsibilities as Sumter County's chief industrial recruiter.
• The term "to move lock, stock and barrel" has new meaning for USC Sumter librarian Jane Ferguson, who has in three short weeks overseen the campus library's move to temporary quarters. "We've all but finished the last little bit of tidying up, and we'll be ready to open for business in the Student Union Building," Ferguson said. The library will be housed here during the projected two-year construction of the new facility.
• The war starts today. The message sits boldly on the desk of Brig. Gen. John B. "Skip" Hall Jr., Shaw Air Force Base's new installation commander. For him, the wooden sign is a daily reminder of his mission as leader of the 363rd Fighter Wing. "I have a mission, and that is to make sure the 363rd is ready to go to war," he said. "If some of the pockets aren't ready to go to war today, we have work to do." An Air Force officer of more than 25 years, Hall is the first general to command Shaw.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 774-1294.