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 – TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 1917
There are clear skies over the city today with the high reaching 67° and the low about 40°.
The factory of Edward G. Budd Company at 25th & Hunting Park Avenue closed this afternoon so that 3000 employees could march to a rally in a show of patriotism. The parade started at the factory at 4:00pm and proceeded to the athletic field at Wissahickon & Hunting Park Avenues. Once all were assembled the Star Spangled Banner was sung as a 12 by 20 foot flag was raised on a new flagpole which reached 100 feet into the sky. After the flag raising the 2nd Pennsylvania Artillery fired a salute. The event continued with speeches and the singing by the crowd of “America” and other patriotic songs. Edward G. Budd himself helped organize the event.
A group of 4 pacifist organization have been told they must leave their offices in the Witherspoon Building, 130 South Juniper Street, because they have become a disruption. The leaders of the group defiantly say they will continue to speak against the war and compulsory military service in particular. Mrs. George Spencer Morris, speaking for the organizations, declared that their members will not serve if conscripted even upon threat of imprisonment or death by firing squad. And she stated they will continue to conduct pacifist classes in room 329 of the building. However, she also wished to make clear that all the members were patriotic, loyal citizens. The owner of the building, the Presbyterian Board of Publication, has served notice to the tenants that their presence is no longer desired.
In sports, The Athletics lost to the Red Sox 3 to1 at Shibe Park today. “Bullet” Joe Bush took the loss for the Mackmen, which is a pity because the reason for the loss was 3 errors by the A’s infielders and not Bush’s pitching. And the United States Naval Academy has cancelled all spring athletics so that the midshipmen can concentrate on war duties.
The first shots fired between the American and German Navies occurred today off the coast of New York. At 3:30 this morning a lookout on the U.S.S. Smith, a torpedoboat destroyer, saw a submarine and sounded the alarm. Shortly after that a torpedo crossed the Smith’s bow. The Smith steamed to where the submarine was sighted but it was gone. The Smith, which was built in 1910 at Cramps Shipyard, did not suffer any damage.
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