75 YEARS AGO - 1942
Feb. 20 - 26
Sumter High's basketball team displayed the best teamwork of the season to turn back the 456th Squadron five 32 to 15 in the first game of a doubleheader at the high school gym. In the final contest Shaw Field's five was grounded by an undefeated Coast Guard team from Charleston, 22-38. The entire Sumter team of Hughes, Gibson, Moore, Mooneyhan and Roddy, with subs Bynum, Hodge, Moise and Warren doing good relief work, presented the best passing attack of the year.
• Three young men from Sumter have reported to the Army Air Forces pre-flight school located at Maxwell Field in Alabama from the Nashville Army Air Center to begin the second phase of their training. These cadets are receiving nine weeks of intensive physical, military and academic instruction at Maxwell Field, preparatory to beginning their actual flight training at one of the many primary flying schools located in the Army Air Forces Southeast Training Center. These men are; Cadet Harold Chandler, Jr., Cadet William Edward Owens and Cadet William Marion Wilson.
• Ensign Thomas Lemmon, U.S. Naval Reserve, 30-year-old former legislator and member of the Sumter County Bar Association, was reported missing in action in a message received from the Navy Department by his mother, Mrs. A.G. Lemmon. Ensign Lemmon had returned to active duty only three weeks after a short visit at home. At that time, he was back from a convoy trip to North Africa, having commanded a squad of Navy gunners abroad a cargo vessel.
• J.E. MacDougall, manager of the district WPB office at Charlotte, said today three South Carolina plants had been awarded war contracts totaling more than $192,000 during the past 10 days. Among the awards was Williams Furniture Co., Sumter, $28,580.
• A $14,300 project to finance the maintenance and operation of recreational facilities for military personnel at Sumter for the period from Feb. 1 to June 30 has been approved by the Federal Works Agency, according to information telegraphed to Mayor F.B. Creech of Sumter by Congressman H.P. Fulmer and Senator Burnet R. Maybank. The money will be used to finance some recreational projects which have been carried on heretofore by the W.P.A. and the city.
• The theatres of Sumter added $250.67 to the national March of Dimes during the week-long collection made here, Kermit Ward, manager announced today. Containers for dimes were placed in the lobbies of all the local theaters and no other solicitation was made of the patrons.
50 YEARS AGO - 1967
Oct. 22 - 28
"Father of the Fair" - If that title is ever bestowed upon any Sumterite, it would surely go to J. Cliff Brown Sr. Brown is the man who revived the Sumter County Fair from a defunct has-been into the worthwhile, entertaining event it is today. It all started when the native of Marion came here shortly after World War II to engage in the insurance business. The present fair manager had never participated in any fair, had visited relatively few such events and had no agricultural background. But that didn't stop him.
• The "Miss Buddy Poppy" beauty pageant is under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. Billy M. Harris. He is president of the National Association of Accredited Talent and Beauty Pageant judges. Harris and his wife have judged numerous "Buddy Poppy" pageants around the state. Fifteen girls will compete for the title "Miss Buddy Poppy 1967" in the VFW sponsored event.
• S.L. Roddey Jr., vice president of Riley and Company, was elected president of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce this morning at a meeting of the 1967 and 1968 board of directors. Roddey succeeds Henry G. Martin Jr., the 1967 president. Roddey brings to this important community position the backing and experience of many years of public service.
• Six grand championships and numerous lesser trophies and ribbons were awarded in open class swine competition at the Sumter County Fair. Jimmy Davis, with his boars, and John A. Watt, with his gilts, won grand and reserve championships in the Poland China division; Four Oaks Farm, boar and gilt, Berkshires; and Fox Tindal, boar, and Joe M. Rast, gilt, Duroc.
• A delegation of North Main Street merchants was present at the City Council meeting to present their grievances against current parking meter rates on Main Street. Speaking first was Robert C. Whittle, who attributed a loss of approximately 7 percent of his monthly profits to the Main Street parking meters, which require 10 cents for one hour of parking time. Whittle displayed several photographs taken Monday afternoon at 2:30 on Main Street which showed a large number of empty parking spaces during what Whittle termed "a normally heavy period of business on Main Street."
• Maud Harris, whose products placed first in classifications ranging from peanuts to pepper plants, walked away with the most blue ribbons in judging at the Sumter County Fair Agricultural Department. Following closely behind were M.G. McDowell with seven blue ribbons; Ed McDowell and Troy Johnson, each six.
• Joseph E. Davis was elected president of the Sumter Merchants Association, with James White chosen to fill his position as vice president, when the board of directors met at the Downtowner Motor Inn. The board also took up a request from officials of American Legion Post 15 asking that opinions of Sumter merchants be polled regarding fair prizes sponsored by the businessmen.
• The Manning Monarchs, making a strong offensive come-back topped visiting Hannah-Pamplico 33-7 with almost no trouble at all. Rushing every play, the powerful Manning backs chalked up a total of 447 yards on the ground and pushed over five big touchdowns, all coming on long runs. Led by spirited quarterback Jerry Coker, who racked up 191 of the Monarchs' 447 yards and also three touchdowns, and G.G. Cutter, who carried for 151 Yards and two touchdowns, Turpin's boys looked good in the triumph.
• Sumter's Dwayne Windham and Lancaster's Lyn Rushing put on a dazzling offensive display but Windham's teammates had the most breaks and the Gamecocks turned back the Blue Hurricane in a 26-21 thrill show at Memorial Stadium.
25 YEARS AGO - 1992
July 24 - 30
The Clarendon School District 2 Board of Trustees took care of board business, electing officers for the 1992-93 school year and swearing in two new board members. Dr. Edward Keith was unanimously elected vice chairman of the board, and the Rev. Mark Evans was elected secretary, also unanimously. Jesse Thompson, vice chairman for the previous year, automatically becomes chairman for the 1992-93 under the board's rules.
• William Spann wants to elevate his reading and math scores. This summer he and his scores are both going up. Spann, 18, and some 60 other Sumter area youth are spending the summer sharpening their math and reading skills while learning to fly. Spann says the experience has been fun, but at times nerve-racking. He had never been behind the controls of a plane before, nor had he been on a single-engine plane.
• Sumter's defense helped it take a 2-1 lead over Conway in the second round of the American Legion baseball playoffs. Lee Hatfield, 15, pitched nine solid innings, giving up just five hits and a run to toss the P-15's to a 6-1 victory over Conway at Coastal Carolina's baseball field. The P-15's also claimed a 7-5 win over Conway at Riley Park making them the winner of the second-round, best-of-five series 3-1.
• Officials from both Sumter school districts met with law enforcement officials, community leaders and social services experts to shore up support for the districts' joint alternative school. The school, which will serve 64 students from Sumter School Districts 2 and 17 who are at risk of dropping out, will be started in September. "The key is a team approach," District 2 Superintendent Dr. Frank Baker said.
• Sumter's two public school superintendents say it's too early to tell how a projected shortfall in the state budget will affect local education funding. But they're bracing for cuts they hope won't be made in state funding. Gov. Carroll Campbell said he may call a special session of the Legislature if a revenue shortfall from the fiscal year that ended June 30 gets much larger than $50 million. Some officials have predicted a shortfall of $65 million, and they say the deficit could grow to three times that if changes aren't made in the state's $3.7 billion budget for this fiscal year.
• This fall, USC Sumter students will see an increase in tuition for the first time in several years, but they shouldn't be surprised if the "new" fees have a familiar ring to them. "This is, in a sense, not a tuition increase at all but a return to the tuition that our students were paying in 1989," according to Dr. Tom Lisk, associate dean for academic affairs. "We were able to lower the tuition around that time because the South Carolina General Assembly, under a special agreement, funded the difference," Lisk explained. "But, this is the second year that we have not received the 'difference' in state funding, and although we were able to maintain the lower tuition last year out of our own operating budget, increased overhead costs have simply made it necessary for us to return to that older fee structure."
• The Santee Cooper board of directors voted to support the state health department in requiring a Sumter County landfill to set up a $132 million environmental trust fund. DHEC ordered the trust fund be set up to protect taxpayers from paying to clean up an accident at the Laidlaw Environmental Services hazardous waste landfill near Pinewood.
• Within four minutes of a fire alarm, Sumter County Volunteer firefighters can have their trucks revved and be on their way to the blaze. Their equipment is tested regularly. Their stations are located within five miles of every home in the county. And the volunteers get about 240 hours of training each year. Those are just some of the measures county firefighters are taking to improve their firefighting capabilities; measures that Sumter County Fire Chief Doug Mathis says are protecting the entire county.
Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at email@example.com or (803) 774-1294.