Our History, Our Future, Our Spartanburg
The Spartanburg Jaycees are a vital part of the Spartanburg Community. Annually we are involved in many activities. We participate in the City of Spartanburg’s Music on Main and Spring Fling, sponsor a Christmas Shopping Spree for local underprivledged children, participate in the McCarthy Teszler School’s annual Christmas Party and raise money for Jaycee Camp Hope, a camp located on the shores of Lake Hartwell for mentally challenged individuals of all ages.
The Spartanburg Jaycees were Chartered in 1936. The chapter had a brief period of inactivity in the early 1940’s due to World War II. The oldest document we have is our Charter Night program from 1945, when the chapter was reformed.
In the mid-fifties, Spartanburg began outgrowing its library again, and the Jaycees began a concentrated drive to convince residents to support construction of a larger, more modern building. Our successful efforts led to the selling of Bonds and construction of the new library on South Pine Street in 1960. When the building opened on May 15, 1961, Spartanburg again had one of the best and most modern libraries in the South. In 1959, E. Lewis Miller, former Spartanburg Mayor and founder of Southeastern Paper Group was elected Spartanburg Jaycees president.
In the 1960’s the Spartanburg Jaycees sponsored an Appreciation Day For Forces in Viet Nam which included a display of American flags throughout Spartanburg’s business district, Operation Appreciation for American Fighting Men in Viet Nam was observed Tuesday, December 7, 1965. From this event, the “Sea of Flags” was established. The Flags flew on national holidays. Eventually, the Sea of Flags was moved from the business district to Pine Street between Isom and Garner Roads. The “Sea of Flags” last flew on September 11, 2001.
The Jaycees experienced a major change in 1984 as the US Supreme Court ruled that the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) had to admit women into its ranks.
In the 1990’s the Jaycees added two major projects into our portfolio of annual events, Fireworks Sales and our Children’s Shopping Spree for Underprivileged Children. Both projects bring out the philanthropic spirit of the Spartanburg Jaycees. Whether it is the heartwarming feeling of bringing Christmas joy to children who would not otherwise experience the holiday the way most of us have been fortunate enough to experience or hanging out with your Jaycee friends selling fireworks and raising money for the organization, both events bring out the fellowship and qualities the Jaycees embody.
The 2001 PanAmerican Games for the Blind were held at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind in Spartanburg and the Spartanburg Jaycees were right there to support the effort. A donation of $10,000 was made by the Jaycees to the school to update the track for this historic event.
As the second decade of the 21st Century begins, the Spartanburg Jaycees are looking for its next generation of leaders to make its mark on the community we work and play in and that we call home.
That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the BEST WORK OF LIFE!