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 each day for new editions.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 1915
The forecast for today calls for cloudy overcast skies with probable showers this evening and tomorrow. Today’s high will be 81° and the low tonight about 67°. The Italian Consulate here announced today that it had run out of funds to pay for reservists to return to Italy for induction into the army. Not all the young Italian men of this city are unhappy with this news.
Mr. Harry Konollman owns the 3 story house at 1631 North Street near 16th & Fairmount Avenue. By occupation he is a truckman and garageman. But he is proud to also be known as a chicken farmer. And his “farm” occupies the 3rd floor and roof of his house. On the 1st floor is his automobile repair shop. Konollman’s family lives comfortably on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor has been turned into a large chicken coop housing 400 white Leghorn chickens. Konollman takes pride in the cleanliness of the hennery. Since he hates waste he decided to turn the roof into a vegetable farm covering it with good sod (shown below). There he grows a variety of crops. He also lets the chickens up there for some fresh air and to have some time running free.
At Hunting Park 50,000 children and adults are expected for the 7th annual Central Germantown Avenue Business Men’s Association outing. The festivities will include games, a band concert and enough ice cream to satisfy everyone. This evening open air motion pictures will be shown. Over in Pitman, New Jersey more than 30,000 farmers are expected for the Grangers’ Picnic at Alcyon Park. Traffic congestion from the hundreds of automobiles, trucks and tractors may cause some problems for the locals but no one seems to really mind. The day will include open air vaudeville shows, motorcycle racing, baseball games and boating on the lake.
The Austro-German armies continue their sweep in the east as the Russians retreat. Today the Germans occupied the important railroad junction of Lukow, 60 miles east of Warsaw. On the Baltic coast the Germans fleet has taken the city of Libau in Latvia. The situation is so dire that Russian troops are now constructing defensive barriers to protect Petrograd from attack.
In the west, 3 great Italian volcanoes have erupted almost at the same time. Lava is flowing down the slopes of Mount Etna threating the surrounding Sicilian towns and villages. In Messina the people are asking for the traditional procession of the Madonna della Lettera, which has saved the city from Etna’s wrath in the past. The 2nd volcano is Stromboli which rises 3000 feet above the sea on the Lipari Islands. Here also lava is streaming down its sides. Finally, mighty Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples is expelling heavy vapor causing residents at its base to flee to Naples with whatever they can carry.
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