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 24, 1917
Today’s weather calls for cloudy skies with occasional rain and cooler temperatures. The high will be around 59° with the low tonight near 48°. Mr. Henry H. Houston of Chestnut Hill has been awarded the French Cross of Merit for bravery in recognition of his work in the American Ambulance Service. Mr. Houston left for France on January 6. He is a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School.
The city is finalizing its plans to organize college and high school students as agricultural workers for war gardens. The School Mobilization Committee will coordinate the effort. War gardens will be planted on all available, vacant land in the city. Also in local news $3,000,000.00 has been approved for upgrading and building construction at Byberry Farm. Currently planned is the building of 4 dormitories to house 712 insane men and 5 dormitories for tubercular patients. Another 2 buildings are planned to house the feeble minded.
In national news, in Washington D.C. both houses of Congress are engaged in debate over the question of selective conscription. One amendment offered in the Senate was a measure allowing former President Roosevelt to raise a volunteer force to go to Europe at once. Present Wilson is said to be opposed to this endeavor. Additionally both houses passed a $7 Billion Dollar war credit bill which now goes to the President for his signature.
In entertainment, the Strawbridge & Clothier Chorus will give a performance tomorrow evening of the cantata “The Golden Legend” by Arthur Sullivan which is based on the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The concert will be performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, 1109 Chestnut Street, and half the proceeds will be donated to the Belgian Children’s Relief Fund.
In sports, The United States Military Academy at West Point has cancelled its sports programs for the duration of the war. In baseball, the Phillies are home but the game was postponed due to rain. The Athletics finished their series in Washington, D.C. against the Senators this afternoon before an anemic crowd of 700. Connie Mack sent Elmer Myers to the mound but he only lasted 2 innings and gave up 7 runs. The A’s tried to make a game of it scoring 3 in the 8th but fell to the Senators 8 to 5.
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