75 YEARS AGO - 1945
Nov. 23 - Nov. 29
- Fire Chief E. H. Lynam alerted Sumter residents to the fire dangers brought on by the winter. Turning on the heat at home is one of the biggest causes of fire, explained the chief. The chief started his …
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- Fire Chief E. H. Lynam alerted Sumter residents to the fire dangers brought on by the winter. Turning on the heat at home is one of the biggest causes of fire, explained the chief. The chief started his list of precautions with the roof. "Your house should have a fire-resistant roof to protect it from sparks or neighboring fires. Your chimney should be inspected for cracks and soot. Have it cleaned and repaired if necessary." The chief explained that there were several more concerns citizens should address at the beginning of winter.
- Seven Chinese railway technicians, part of more than 100 now in the United States, are studying methods of construction, maintenance and operation on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for one year, preparing themselves to rebuild the war-torn rail system of China. These seven Chinese gentlemen have come to spend a year here. They are experienced railroad men educated in some of the finest technical colleges and universities in Asia.
- All meat rationing ends tomorrow. At the same time, all food fats become point-free. Secretary of Agriculture Anderson made these announcements to a news conference. The food fats freed from the ration program include butter, margarine, lard and shortening. The meat rationing termination also applies to canned fish. The meats and fats rationing program was started March 29, 1942. The termination was effective at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
- Sumter High's Gamecocks took to the air to win a brilliant 13-7 victory over Florence's Yellow Jackets in the annual Thanksgiving eve battle between the two schools. Some 5,000 fans packed the stadium to watch the contest. Spotting the Florence team, a touchdown and extra point in the first few minutes of the game, the Gamecocks came back to completely outplay their rivals and end the season that saw them go up against a top-notch 11 each weekend. The victory marked the 16th straight time, beginning in 1931, that Sumter has either tied or defeated the Florence Yellow Jackets.
- The November meeting of the Sumter Junior Welfare League was held on the 20th at the Community Center. There was unusually good attendance, and the league was delighted to have Mrs. David Britton, the Sumter County attendance teacher, as guest speaker. Mrs. Britton pointed out that the child of today is the citizen of tomorrow and is in need of all the civic aid it is possible for the community to give.
- Edwin W. (Billy) Rogers, former Sumter boy and grandson of Mrs. C. M. Hurst, was honorably discharged from the United States Navy on Nov. 3 at the Navy separation center in Charleston. Billy served in the Navy for three years and saw action in the Pacific area for 32 months aboard the light cruiser USS Mobil. After participating in many of the Pacific's major engagements, his ship was sent to Nagasaki, Japan, where Billy was transferred back for discharge.
- More than 18,800 American servicemen from various theaters of war are scheduled to arrive at three East Coast ports aboard 18 transports. At four West Coast ports, at least 30 vessels carrying about 18,000 troops are due to dock. Seven vessels with more than 10,100 passengers are due at New York, three with about 2,000 at Boston and eight with more than 6,500 at Newport News, Virginia.
- Several offices in the City National Bank building were entered and rifled Thursday night with about $175 in cash and a war bond taken, The Item learned this morning. Among the offices which were entered were those of the Sumter Merchant's Association, S. A. Sauls, Lawrence Goldsmith and Community Chest Inc. Locks on the doors had been pried open.
- The Third Battalion of the Third Regiment of the State Guard composed of companies from Sumter, Manning, Kingstree and Georgetown will hold maneuvers here tomorrow. Religious services are scheduled for 2:15 at the armory, and at 4 o'clock the battalion will pass in review before distinguished guests at the high school athletic field. Following this, different companies of the battalion will hold a competitive drill for the Thomas Lemmon trophy.
- The Episcopal Churchman's club will present Miss Marie Hodges at its monthly meeting at 7:30 o'clock. Assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Moore, she will render the Lord's Prayer, Shubert's Ave Maria and other songs. A native of Sumter, she graduated in music at St. Mary's college and the University of South Carolina and studied at the Seagle Musical College in the Adirondacks.
- Sen. Wm. P. Baskin Jr. has informed the Messenger that the time has expired for the A. C. L. Railroad Co. to appeal from the decision of Division 4 of the Interstate Commerce Commission denying the right to abandon the line of railroad from Sumter to Bishopville to Darlington by way of Elliott and that under the Order of the Interstate Commerce Commission the railroad may renew its application to abandon the line at any time after Sept. 4, 1946, and therefore, if the people of Lee County wish to retain the railroad, it is very important to see the railroad facilities as much as possible this winter and next year, for if the railroad does not have sufficient shipping, he is afraid that the company will make another application in the fall of 1946 to abandon the line.
50 YEARS AGO - 1970
July 27 - Aug 2
- Mike Steen pitched probably his best game of the American Legion season as he struck out 16 opposing batters to lift the P-15's over Mullins on Friday night and gain a berth for Sumter in the state quarterfinals against Orangeburg. They will have the home field advantage and must hit to beat the Orangeburg team.
- A number of Sumter's streets resembled rivers after a cloudburst dumped 2.03 inches of rain on the city in a brief period. The rain, accompanied by lightning, began shortly after 3 p.m. Most of the rain fell in a little less than an hour, and the heavy downpour exceeded the drainage capabilities of a good many of the city's streets, resulting in flooding.
- An afternoon storm wasn't enough to halt the action at Sumter Speedway and neither did a continuous drizzle that started before the claim feature began. After almost three hours of slipping, sliding and banging, Rat Morris was declared the winner in the claim race, and "Little Harry" Pritchard was the first to cross the finish line in the modified event.
- Agricultural Mechanization Technology, a two-year technological version of the four-year agricultural engineering curriculum offered in colleges, will be among the new courses at the Sumter Area Technical Education Center this September. The new program, the only one of its type to be offered in South Carolina's TEC system, is described by local TEC officials as "an exciting innovation in agricultural education."
- A clutch final strikeout in the ninth inning by Ricky Barkley saved the Sumter P-15's victory by the narrow score 5-4 and left the bases loaded for Orangeburg in the opening game of the best-of-five State American Legion quarterfinals. Sumter, now one game ahead in the series, will travel to Orangeburg tonight for the second game.
- The largest professionally sanctioned archery tournament ever held in the Southeast will begin Sept. 11 in Sumter at Riley Park. The first Santee-Cooper Archery Tournament and Bowhunt, sanctioned by the Professional Archers Association, will carry a purse of over $5,000 in cash and awards. The tournament is expected to attract more than 300 professional and amateur archers from all over the nation.
- Mrs. A. L. (Colleen) Yates is running for City Council, and she is running hard. The first woman candidate for public office in Sumter since the early '50s, Mrs. Yates is interested in government. She thinks all women should become aware of what's happening. And she wants to become involved.
- Amid a flurry of folk dancing, swimming and boating, arts and crafts and nature, more than 100 girls and boys attended the first Shaw Girl Scout Day Camp. The eight-day camp was staffed by 26 volunteers and guided by Mrs. Richard Smith, the camp director.
- "My father's been in command of the 29th squadron for about a year, and they haven't had a flag - they needed one. He drew up the design and asked me if I would make it, so I agreed." So said Judy Alexander after she presented the 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron with its first official flag.
- The Shaw Stage Company is scheduling productions for August but needs more help now to get ready. "You Know I Can't Hear You When The Water's Running" is in the works and supposed to come out for the public Aug. 16-18.
- The National Bank of South Carolina opened two new branches in the Columbia area July 1. This provides a total of three offices in the Palmetto State's capital. Officially marking the opening 30 minutes apart, at each new office was NBSC's traditional gold lock and key ceremony. The custom-made gold lock, which is 32 inches high and 24 inches wide, and the gold key, which is 34 inches long, have been termed an interesting departure from usual bank openings.
- U.S. and South Vietnamese forces swooped down on North Vietnamese troops gathering in the central highlands and killed 56 in the heaviest fighting in the region in a month, military spokesmen announced. Field reports said two U.S. helicopters were shot down in the two clashes and three crewmen were wounded. No American ground casualties were reported, but two South Vietnamese were killed and two wounded.
- A project which was initiated originally as part of the county's observance of the tri-centennial has surpassed everyone's expectations. The project, the mini-parks, now number 31 in all. Hopefully, part or all of these will be maintained on a permanent basis.
25 YEARS AGO - 1995
April 26 - May 2
- Lee Garner, an assistant football coach at Bishopville High School for the last three years, has been chosen as its new head coach. The 25-year-old Garner was recommended to and approved by the Lee County School Board at its meeting. Garner replaces Karl Burns, who resigned in November after six years at the school. He had a 23-40 record and took the Dragons to the state playoffs one time.
- Sumter County Council said there'll be no county tax increase next year to cover regular county expenditures. But council has yet to discuss money for area public schools. The budget does, however, include an increase in county business license fees, video poker machine fees, commercial landfilling fees and county magistrates' fines.
- Ferrell, Sinclair and McCullough have something in common - they are all winners of the Golden Rule Award, which recognizes volunteers for exceptional community service. The Golden Rule Awards, which are sponsored by JC Penney and United Way of Sumter, Clarendon and Lee Counties, demonstrate the company's belief in the value of volunteer efforts for the social well-being in the tri-county areas, said Carroll L. Roberts, manager of JC Penney store at Jessamine Mall.
- Sumter County Council delayed voting on the location of two recycling and garbage disposal centers to avoid the perception that council didn't want to vote in front of angry residents. Councilman the Rev. Otis Scott asked for the delay because residents who packed county council chambers to speak against the county-operated "convenience centers" on Stamey Livestock Road and on U.S. 521 North didn't wait until the end of the meeting to see how council would vote.
- An architect drawing plans for the renovations of two Clarendon School District 1 schools told trustees that he estimates the project will cost $3.36 million. But Dennis Ward said the estimates are likely higher than what the work will actually cost. "I have put fat in the numbers," Ward said. "I would rather come back and say the bids are lower than we anticipated than come back and say the bids are higher than we anticipated."
- The Thomas Sumter Generals are a young baseball team, putting only one senior on the field against archrival Wilson Hall. The Barons know about being young, having gone through a rebuilding process the last few years. Wilson Hall, however, isn't young any more. The Barons have shown marked improvement this season, almost tripling their wins from last year. Actually the score is misleading. The Barons, who improved to 14-6 on the season, only led 11-8 entering the seventh inning.
- A plan to use money from a reopened nuclear waste dump to send students with at least a B average or more than 900 on a college entrance exam to a state university is being questioned by at least one lawmaker. The $4.1 billion plan was put on the table by Gov. David Beasley, who said the Barnwell low-level radioactive waste landfill should be reopened to the nation. That would bring in an estimated $140 million a year, with 30 percent going toward college scholarships and 70 percent to pay for building new public schools.
- The Sumter High Gamecocks were in desperate need of pitching help if they hoped to remain in the hunt for a berth in the 4A state playoffs. They found it in freshman Brian Tucker. The right-hander tossed a four-hitter in going the distance his first time on the mound this season in an 11-1, six-inning victory over Hillcrest at the Wildcats' field.
- Clarendon County is gearing up for the final weekend of its annual Striped Bass Festival, with most of the events scheduled for Saturday. Chamber of Commerce President Don Ellis said as many as 20,000 people are expected to attend at least a part of the three-week, weekends-only festival, which began April 8.
- Sumter Mayor Steve Creech and the county's volunteer community honored "Mr. Music," Pat Veltre, for his many musical contributions to Sumter's cultural scene. "We have many of the fine cultural programs in this community because of this man," said Creech as he presented the Mayor's Award for community service to Veltre. "He has raised the musical consciousness of Sumter for 25 years.
- Art Baker has been honored in just about every fashion possible. Baker, a Sumter native, was inducted into the Sumter Sports Hall of Fame last year and is a member of the South Carolina Fellowship for Christian Athletes Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
- America's musical heritage will come alive when the five-member acoustic band "Publick House" performs at the Sumter County Museum. The band is performing in the drawing room of the Williams-Brice House in conjunction with the exhibit "A changing Melody: Music as Home Entertainment," 1890-1940.
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