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 7, 1915
The forecast calls for increasing cloudiness with the possibility of showers tonight and tomorrow morning. The high today will reach 78° and the overnight low about 64°.
Attendance at the city’s public bath houses broke all previous records last week. As of Saturday 283,127 visits were recorded. Boys led the list with 186,635 visits and girls visited 27,812 times. Adult men visited 59,325 and adult women 9,351 times. A charter was granted today by the Court of Common Pleas to Misericordia Hospital. The hospital will be located on Cedar Avenue between 53rd & 54th Street and run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy who recently raised over $200,000 for the construction of the facility.
In national news, the man who attempted to kill J.P. Morgan committed suicide in his cell last night. And amazing revelations have come to light about him. First, his name was not Frank Holt. His real name was Erich Muenter (shown below in police custody), a missing professor from Harvard who is accused of murdering his wife Leona in 1906. Muenter disappeared after her murder, took on a few different names and eventually received another teaching position at Cornell. Witnesses from Cambridge, Massachusetts identified his body this morning. Muenter killed himself by plunging 15 feet from the top of his cell and smashing his skull on the cement floor.
In New York at a warehouse on west 38th street, Muenter had set up a makeshift headquarters. When police raided it they found 134 sticks of dynamite and fuses along with other bomb making material. From correspondence found on his person Muenter planned a career of widespread terrorism which included bombing the New York City Library, the capitol buildings in Harrisburg and Albany and various ammunition plants on the East coast. Incredibly while in police custody Muenter confessed to setting the time bomb in the Senate reception room on July 2. Police believe that after that bombing he took a train to New York to attack Mr. Morgan. He said his intention at the Morgan home was to hold Mrs. Morgan and her children hostage until Mr. Morgan cancelled all loans and contracts for weapons to the Allies.
Muenter was born in Germany and supported the German cause. The authorities are of the opinion that Muenter was insane. While on the run he married a woman in Texas using the name Frank Holt. She had no idea of his previous life or his intentions. She has also turned over to authorities a letter she received in which her husband claims to have set a time bomb aboard a ship now sailing in the Atlantic. The Navy Department has sent wireless messages to the steamships that left New York on July 3 to warn them.
GET YOUR COPY OF “PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS” BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW. ALSO AVAILABLE AT BARNES & NOBLE AND OTHER BOOK STORES.