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 – WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1915
The heat continues under clear and bright skies. Today’s high reached 90° by 2:00pm with the humidity at 93%. The low tonight will be about 73°. This is now the 10th day of this heat wave and so far 5 deaths are directly linked to its effects. Public School officials are considering dismissing classes at noon tomorrow and for the duration of the heat wave. When it comes to finding ways to keep cool the little ones are resourceful. Shown below is a group of youngsters cooling off in a water trough and also two boys guard a block of ice while keeping their feet chilled.
It is an honored custom in this city that September 15th begins open season on straw hats. Today is the day the derbies, soft hats and even wooly ones are brought out. Usually men caught wearing a straw topper will have it taken, broken and smashed. It has long been done in good old fashion man to man fun. At the Philadelphia Stock Exchange the tradition has long been observed and visitors come to watch the smashing of the hats at the opening of the day. But today few hats were broken either at the exchange or on the streets. It seems the hot weather gave the wearers a reprieve, at least for a time.
To those that remember him fondly there is good news that the former head waiter of the Rittenhouse Hotel and later the St. James, Harry Escallette, has been heard from and he is alive. Mr. Escallette left this city last year to fight for his home country, France. It is learned he was captured at the battle of the Marne where almost his entire regiment was killed or captured.
In Haiti American marines have taken control of two additional ports, Jacmel and Lecayes. This makes 9 ports Americans are now controlling.
In baseball the Phillies lost a tough game today to the Pirates out in Pittsburgh. In the 8th, Gavvy Cravath’s 12th error of the season allowed the Pirates to score their only run. But that was enough. Eskine Mayer pitched a fine game allowing only 4 hits but the Phillies just couldn’t score on Pirates twirler Erv Kantlehener.
In the Aegean, the British and French are landing large numbers of reinforcements on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The landings were preceded by a heavy bombardment from Allied ships on Turkish batteries. Also from the Turkish front, reports have been smuggled out of Constantinople claiming that between 300,000 and 700,000 Armenians have been killed by the Turks. The deaths are the result of massacre, starvation and disease. The destruction of the Armenians is being encouraged by pamphlets inciting holy war against Christians.
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