On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back often for new updates.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – FRIDAY, JULY 16, 1915
The heat wave continues today and combined with the excessive humidity has resulted in numerous reports of people collapsing in the streets. At 8:00am the temperature was 74° but the humidity was measured at 90°. Today’s high will reach 88° and the low tonight about 72°. There is a probability of thunder showers throughout the day and this evening.
More than 4000 children were transported by ferry to Soupy Island for a day away for the hot, muggy city streets to the cooler environs of that playground on the New Jersey side of the Delaware. The trip was arranged by the Sanitarium Association. Soupy Island was founded in 1877 by amusement park owner John F. Smith and a group of doctors to treat children with tuberculosis. Poor children are always welcome to enjoy the swings, sliding board and swimming pool. And every little visitor always receives free soup and milk. The children boarded the Association’s ferry boat “Elizabeth Monroe Smith” at the Catharine Street dock (shown below) for the hour long trip.
A photoplay is being filmed in Germantown. Finally, a motion picture company realized that the beautiful, quaint, colonial houses of that area would make a perfect setting for a film set in the Revolutionary War period. The movie is being produced by the Continental Photoplay Company and is entitled “A Continental Girl”. Most of the scenes are being filmed at an old mansion at 9100 Germantown Avenue and in the surrounding areas.
On the sports beat, the Phillies game here was called due to rain. Out in Chicago 28,000 turned out at Comiskey Park to see the White Sox beat the A’s 6 to 2. In boxing tonight at the Ludlow A. C., 59th & Chestnut Streets, the fights will be under the stars in the open air. The wind-up will feature welterweights Joe Heffernan of West Philadelphia vs. Joe Phelan of North Penn. Four other bouts are on the card.
On the western front in the Argonne, after 3 days of brutal fighting, some of it hand to hand, Hill No. 285 has been retaken by the French. General Joffre personally ordered his troops to take the hill “At any cost”. The importance of the hill is its defensive significance and location to the west of Verdun. In the Vosges Mountains, the French report the repulse of German attacks near Leintrey.
In the east, the German army under Field Marshal von Hindenburg has renewed its attack on Warsaw. The army is driving against the city from the north. In the Dardanelles at Gallipoli, the British have landed reinforcements on the northern shores. The fighting over the last week has been described as of unparalleled ferocity. It is estimated the Turks have lost 25,000 men in just the last few days.
GET YOUR COPY OF “PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS” AT AMAZON.COM, BARNES & NOBLE AND OTHER BOOK STORES THROUGHOUT THE AREA.