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 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1915
There will continue to be clear and fair skies over the city. Today’s high will reach about 73° with a low tonight around 49°. In keeping with the season lamps on automobiles and other vehicles must be lit starting at 6:00pm.
Hahnemann Medical College will formally open its 68th annual session tonight with exercises in the auditorium at Broad Street above Vine Street. This year the school welcomed 50 matriculating freshman making this the largest class in the school’s history. And Mr. Jacob Lit of Lit Brothers Department Store donated the decorations and refreshments for a benefit ball for the Mt. Sinai Hospital at Royal Hall, 7th & Morris Street. More than 900 persons attended and over $300.00 was raised.
More than 1000 Negroes attended a meeting last night at the Olympia Theatre, Broad & Bainbridge Streets, to develop a legal strategy and raise funds to fight the photoplay “The Birth of a Nation”. In the past few weeks 2 large protests were held outside the Forrest Theatre where the film is showing. The meeting was attended by several Negro ministers and $500.00 was raised for the effort.
The Navy Department announced today that 20 American marines have been wounded and one killed in a 2 day running battle in Haiti. Reportedly 50 Haitians have been killed. The battles have taken place at Haut du Cap and Cape Haitien.
On the sports beat, the Phillies were idle but not pitcher Stan Baumgartner (shown below). Stan announced today that he has taken a bride. The announcement took his teammates by surprise. Mr. Baumgartner, 21 years old, secretly married Miss Bernice Blackman, 18 years old, of this city last week. In other news the A’s played the Chicago White Sox for the last time this season and despite a 3 run rally in the bottom of the 9th, lost 6 to 5 at Shibe Park.
A story has reached us from the western front about an act of almost unrivalled bravery on Saturday, September 25th. Near Loos in Northern France it is said that members of the London Irish Rifles had devised a plan to dribble 6 footballs toward the German trenches and “score a goal” in a show of defiance and courage. Their commanding officer heard of the plan and personally shot 5 of the balls rendering them useless.
But a 6th ball was smuggled out by Frank Edwards and under heavy fire he and his fellow soldiers dribbled the ball toward the German lines shouting “Play up London Irish, come on boys”. Many were killed and dozens more injured including Edwards, until the ball came to a stop on barbed wire in front of the German lines. [Editor’s Note: The Battle of Loos would go on for a month and 21,000 British soldiers would lose their lives there. The actual ball was recovered and is today kept on display at the London Irish Rifles’ Museum (shown below). Frank Edwards survived the war and died in 1964.]
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY JUST CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW OR STOP IN AT YOUR NEAREST BARNES & NOBLE OR OTHER BOOK STORES.