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 22, 1915
There will be fair skies over the city today and the cool temperatures will continue for some time. Today’s high will only reach 66° with the overnight low 47°.
Yesterday’s primary election resulted in the nomination for mayor of Thomas B. Smith, the “harmony” candidate, for the Republican Party and George Porter, Director of the Bureau of Public Safety, for the Washington Party. Also B. Gordon Bromley received the nomination of the Democratic Party and James E. Gorman the nomination of the Keystone Party. Upon confirming the news of his victory Director Porter immediately tendered his resignation to the Mayor.
The Catholic Home for Destitute Children, 29th & Allegheny Avenue, is celebrating its golden anniversary this week. Yesterday a Solemn Pontifical Mass was held at the home and presided over by Archbishop Prendergast. The festivities will continue all week and include an operetta performed by the home’s children for benefactors and staff.
In national news, a horrible scene is still unfolding in New York City today. Early this morning a cave in of a block and a half occurred as a trolley car filled with people travelled over the street (shown below). The disaster happened on 7th Avenue between 24th & 25th Streets. So far 7 are known dead and over 50 injured. The street car fell 50 feet into the whole and debris from the sides fell in upon it crushing many. Police, firemen and physicians from nearby hospitals rushed to the scene to attempt to rescue those trapped. Catholic priests for two nearby churches administered last rights to those believed to be dying.
Every building along the west side of 7th avenue in that block was evacuated for fear the structures would fall into the huge cavern. The situation was made more terrifying when both a gas main and a water main broke. Water from the ruptured main poured into the pit hindering rescue efforts. The cause of the tragedy seems to have been the dynamiting under the street for the excavation of a new subway line. The dynamiting caused the temporary wood planking and bracing underground to give way. By 10:15am a crowd estimated at 10,000 had gathered around the site hindering rescue efforts. At one point police had to beat the crowd back with their clubs to assure the safety of the rescuers and the injured.
In sports, at Shibe Park the A’s had an 8 to 3 lead over the Tigers today going into the 7th inning but then the flood gates opened. The boys from Detroit crushed the ball and scored 10 runs winning the game 13 to 9 and staying in contention for the American League pennant. The Phillies are idle today.
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