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 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1915
There will be partly cloudy skies over the city today and this evening with the possibility of showers tonight. The high will reach 82° with the low tonight about 58°.
A group of Negros of this city had petitioned the Director of the Department of Public Safety, George Porter, to stop the showing of the motion picture The Birth of a Nation tonight at the Forrest Theatre, Broad & Sansom Streets. However, today in Common Pleas Court Judge Ferguson issued an injunction prohibiting Director Porter from taking any action to stop the showing. The injunction was requested by the management of the Forrest Theatre.
Director Porter said he felt compelled to stop the showing because he had information that a large number of colored persons had purchased tickets and intended to rise from their seats in protest. Porter said he believed this could lead to disturbances and fights inside the Theatre. In court City Solicitor Lowengrund pointed out to the judge that just 8 years ago a fellow judge prohibited the appearance of the play “The Clansman” upon which the film is based because the play’s author specifically wrote it to arouse race hatred. The film has been banned in other cities due to Negro protests. But Judge Ferguson was not convinced that the film’s exhibition should be halted. He said the film had been passed by the censors of the Commonwealth and that in his opinion the colored people of this city would not do anything unlawful or breach the peace over the showing of the film.
The 88th year of public education in Philadelphia begins next Wednesday at 9:00AM. Eight hundred and thirty five buildings are being made ready, manned by 5000 teachers. Public education in this city costs the taxpayers $52.00 per student per year. The deadline for registering new students in next Tuesday. Children must be at least 6 years old and have proof of vaccination or be prepared to be vaccinated immediately.
On the southern border reports from Texas are that the situation is rapidly changing from cross border raids by Mexican bandits to actual engagements between uniformed Mexican soldiers and U.S. troops. Today two pitched battles occurred along the Rio Grande. One took place near Madera in Hidalgo County and the other was near Cavazos crossing. Seven Mexicans, all wearing the uniform of the Carranza forces, are known killed. No American casualties were reported.
Finally, tonight is your last chance to hear The Philadelphia Band this year. The Band will close its season tonight at City Hall Plaza. The ensemble will open the program at 8:00pm with the “William Tell” Overture by Rossini and close with “Auld Lang Syne”.
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