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 – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 1915
In the early morning hours before dawn the worst storm of the summer swept through the city. The damage to homes, buildings and property will take days to calculate. The Delaware and Schuylkill rivers and their tributary streams are higher than they have been in years. Trains and trolley lines are delayed due to downed power lines and washed out roads. Delaware Avenue at Market and Chestnut Streets is covered in 1 foot of water. Streets have caved in, trees have been uprooted and sewer lines have broken. The famous Rittenhouse Square Owl is missing. It is thought he may have been blown away when his favorite tree was ripped up and tossed across the park.
Homes have been evacuated in Manayunk along the Schuykill River. Mills and factories in that area have been closed due to flooding. River Road is cover with 4 feet of water and 10 feet of water was measured flowing over Flat Rock Dam. The storm arrived here from off the South Carolina coast. It swept through eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware with a fury. It was at its worse around 4:00am when rain came down in sheets driven by 40mph gale force winds. The remainder of today will see moderately cloudy skies. The high will reach 84° and the low tonight 64°.
Neither last night’s violent storm nor today’s overcast skies could keep the families of the Passyunk Avenue section of South Philadelphia from their 2nd annual festival at Point Breeze Park today. The day was full of fun and amusements including a girls swimming race, baseball games, peanut scrambles, handicap races, a “Charlie Chaplin” look alike contest for adults and children and a baby parade featuring some of the adorable little ones shown below. The day began with the Passyunk Avenue Businessmen’s Association parade starting at Morris Street & Passyunk Avenue and proceeding up to the Park and will conclude tonight ending with a huge fireworks display.
In baseball the Phillies were rained out for the 2nd day in a row in Chicago. They now head to Pittsburgh for the start of a 4 game series. The A’s did get their game in against Detroit today at Shibe Park. Unfortunately they lost 1 to 0.
In the eastern theatre, the Teuton drive on Warsaw and its surrounding defensive forts is being met with stiff resistance. The remaining Russian forces are standing their ground to allow the bulk of the Russian army to escape to new defensive positions. Petrograd admits to suffering enormous losses but asserts the Germans and Austrians are likewise suffering. Further north there are reports that the Russians have abandoned Riga on the Baltic Sea.
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