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 often for new updates.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 1915
There will be cloudy, overcast skies over the city today with probable showers this afternoon and evening. The high temperature today will reach 84° and the low will be 72°.
The effect of the war on immigration to this city and the country in general has been substantial. Commissioner of Immigration for the Philadelphia area, Elmer Greenawalt’s, recent report shows that for the year 1914 to June 1915 only 8,320 immigrants arrived in Philadelphia. This is in contrast to the year 1913-1914 when almost 75,000 immigrants arrived. This decrease has led to the imposing of mandatory vacations without pay for immigration officers and the almost complete abandonment of the detention center in Gloucester, N.J.
Philadelphia’s Coroner, William Knight, Jr., released his office’s annual report today. Among other things the report showed that 108 unidentified bodies had been recovered from the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers from 1914 to June 1915. Also 270 persons committed suicide including 190 men and 80 women. Accidents last year resulted in 865 deaths, including 57 from being hit by a trolley, 70 from railroad accidents and 57 from automobiles.
In national news, under rainy skies today the city of Chicago buried many of the victims of the “Eastland” disaster. Almost 600 funerals were held, some in groups, because there were not enough pastors, ministers and priests to perform individual services. Also coal, ice, delivery wagons and motor trucks had to be used to transport bodies to the cemeteries because there were not enough hearses to accommodate the numbers.
In news from Haiti, President Guillaume Sam (shown below) was murdered today. The President had gone to the French Embassy in Port-au-Prince and sought refuge. But rebel troops broke into the building, took him outside and executed him. The mob then hacked his body to pieces and paraded the parts through the city’s streets. It is virtually certain that American Marines will be landed on the Island to protect American civilians and interests. The cruiser “Washington” is presently docked at Port-au-Prince.
In the western theatre, reports are that the Austrians are preparing to evacuate the city of Gorizia due to the enormous losses they have suffered in the Isonzo River battles. In France, in the Arras region north of Souchez, German attacks have been repulsed. In the Vosges Mountains, the French have taken the hills overlooking the valley of the Fecht which leads to Kolmar. On the eastern front, despite Russian resistance the Germans have continued their move on Warsaw. Today 2/3 of the Polish capital is surrounded by the German army. The Germans have also reached the River Bug which is only 20 miles north of Warsaw. And in the Baltic Province of Latvia, the Germans are moving 6 infantry and 4 cavalry corps on Riga.
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