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. Check back each day for new editions.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, 1915
There will be overcast, cloudy skies today with rain probable this afternoon. The high will only reach 76° with the low around 62°. The milder temperatures made for a pleasant day outdoors and children throughout the city took full advantage. Below are shown girls dancing at Happy Hollow playground, Wayne Avenue & Logan Street in Germantown and also boys and girls enjoying a Merry-Go-Round in Kingsessing Park.
Unfortunately not all stories are about happy, carefree children. Such is the case of “Mary the Dog”. No one knows who gave her that name but she has been called it for a long time. Her real name is Mary Kershaw. She is 65 years old and for at least 50 years she has lived in what is called “Hell’s Half Acre” in North Philadelphia. Mary’s story is one of abject poverty. She has never had any visible means of subsistence. Sometimes she gets scraps of food from neighbors other times she eats what she can find on the street or in garbage cans, hence the nickname. Neighbors hadn’t seen her for a few days. They became worried and called the police.
Mary was found in a vacant house at 2511 North Waterloo Street. Her bed was the hard floor and her pillow a pile of old newspapers. There was no water in the house and Mary was so weak from hunger she could not stand. She was just skin and bones and filthy dirty with hair tangled and crusted. When she was finally able to speak to the police she said she was fine, just a bit hungry. She was taken to Philadelphia Hospital.
On the sports scene, in baseball out in Pittsburgh at Forbes Field the Phillies beat the Pirates 5 to 4. The A’s-Tigers game here at Shibe Park is postponed due to rain. Open air boxing is planned tonight at the Allegheny A.C., B Street & Allegheny Avenue and the Ludlow A.C., 59th & Market Streets, weather permitting. Five bouts are on the cards at each arena.
On the western front, the army of the German Crown Prince has launched a massive attack on the French works at Verdun. Also, in the Argonne over the last 2 days the Germans have been conducting a continuous artillery assault. Experts are unsure whether this is the opening of a general German offensive. In the east, the Russian retreat in Poland continues. German troops are assaulting Novo Georgievsk the last remaining fortress on the lower Narew River. And Ivangorod, the Russian fortress on the lower Vistula River has been taken by an Austro-German army.
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