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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – MONDAY, APRIL 16, 1917
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and Circus arrived in this city today with a grand parade on Broad Street. The spectacle included cowboys and Indians on horseback, clowns, acrobats, long horn cattle, bears, and even an elephant. This year’s show also features Heavyweight Champion of the World, Jess Willard.
A full band with a calliope in a luxuriously decorated red wagon accompanied the performers. The music of the band echoed off the stone canyon leading to City Hall. And everyone carried American flags to show their patriotism. Although Colonel Cody passed away on January 10th, it was his wish that the show go on in his name. Surely he is looking down on his exposition with pride. There will be performances twice a day all week at 19th & Hunting Park Avenue.
On the sports beat, in baseball Philadelphia’s teams met Boston’s clubs today and came away with losses. The Phillies were up north to meet the Braves with Grover Alexander on the mound. But “Old Pete” was bested by Boston’s bats giving up 3 runs on 7 hits while the Phillies could only manage 1 run on 4 hits. At Shibe Park the Red Sox are visiting. Socks Seibold started for Mr. Mack but only lasted 3 innings. Babe Ruth pitched for Boston and held the A’s to 1 run as Boston won 6 to 1. In boxing tonight at the Olympia A.A., Broad & Bainbridge, 5 fights are on the card with Johnny Mealey meeting Johnny Dundee in the main event. Tickets start at 25¢.
Austria Hungry has approached Russia with a peace proposal. The plan does not include Germany and as a result the Reichstag has been summoned to a special session. However, the Germans are not inactive in this area. There are rumors that German socialists have been directed by the Kaiser’s government to arrange peace talks with their Russian counterparts. Also from Germany comes reports of riots and strikes in Berlin due to severe food shortages.
On the western front, British forces have fought to the outskirts of St. Quentin, France and Lens, Belgium today. In Lens the Germans are putting up a fierce resistance while also attempting to remove heavy guns and supplies from the town. In St. Quentin the British are trying to widen a 5 mile front into the Hindenburg line between that city and Cambrai.
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW.