Aiken Standard welcomes guests, celebrates 155th anniversary

2022-06-25 07:59:25 By : Mr. David chen

Jun. 24—Dozens of members and boosters of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce had the Aiken Standard's office on their agendas Thursday afternoon, as the daily newspaper serving Aiken County celebrated its 155th anniversary by playing host to a Business After Hours gathering.

The event, with an open-house atmosphere, included the opportunity for visitors to meet newspaper employees and get a look at some of the Rutland Drive facilities involved in the ongoing process of documenting the achievements, opinions and day-to-day activities of people who live or work in and around Aiken, North Augusta, Graniteville, Wagener, Jackson and nearby territory. Conversations are occasionally peppered with the Savannah River Site, the Nike Peach Jam, Pacers, War Eagles, Mustangs, the Blessing of the Hounds and the Chitlin' Strut.

The newspaper's base of operations included some new sights for several of the visitors, including Julie Steen, owner of Town Creek Boutique, a business now in its seventh month of operations.

"I'm familiar with the newspaper, but yeah, it was neat. I've never made it past the plexiglass," she said, with a laugh, acknowledging some of the safety equipment in place in the front office.

"It was nice to see the inner workings of the Aiken Standard," she added. "I have been a member of the chamber for about a year, so I really enjoy these after-hours events."

Among high-profile visitors was Pierre Manigault, chairman of the board of Evening Post Publishing, the newspaper's parent company, which bought the Aiken newspaper in 1968.

"Aiken is special to us," he said, addressing the assembly and acknowledging that his company now owns and operates two daily newspapers: The Post and Courier, based in Charleston, and the Aiken Standard.

"Aiken is special to me, in particular, just because I ... go back a long time with my family," he said. "My grandmother was born here, in 1902, and I came here a lot with my father, as a child, and now I've got children. I'm here with my daughter all the time, for rides and horse shows, and ... this really feels like my second home. I love Aiken."

Also on hand was P.J. Browning, president of Evening Post's newspaper division. She described the Aiken Standard as "a newspaper deeply tied to the community it serves" and clearly having "weathered a lot of storms and unquestionably stood the test of time."

She shared a few memorable headlines from the course of several generations, beginning with one from 1941: "Aiken to have new training track for horses."

A monumental announcement, she added, came Nov. 29, 1950: "Atomic Energy Commission to Construct Huge Plant Near Aiken — 250,000 Acres Selected for Location." The same day's other headlines touched on news with less national impact, including, "Aiken Man Found Frozen to Death," "Store at Salley looted of $700" and "St. Nick Arrives to open Christmas Season in Aiken."

Browning also noted that horse heritage arose again on June 9, 2013. A headline proclaimed, "Palace Malice Wins — Aiken horse places first in Belmont." The subhead read, "They're dancing in the streets of Aiken."

"We hope today June 23, 2022 will give us a chance to dance in the streets again," Browning concluded.

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