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 – THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 1917
A gray, dreary sky hangs over the city today accompanied by a steady rain. The high will only be 51° with the low about 43°. Three scientific faculties of Temple University, medical, dental and pharmaceutical have combined to form the Temple Medical Corps. The Corps will be composed of 520 undergraduates who will be prepared for admission to the Medical Reserve Corps of the military. An Army doctor is presently teaching at the school to familiarize students with certain aspects of military filed medicine.
Yesterday the first American shots were fired against a German submarine and the shells hit their mark. The steamship S.S. Mongolia, which was built at New York Shipbuilding in Camden, is the vessel that gained that honor. The ship is owned by the Atlantic Transport Company and had been fitted out for defense as part of the armed neutrality program. Its guns were manned by naval personnel. The ship was carrying war supplies for the Allies to a British port when a U-boat was sighted about 1000 yards away. Captain Rice, master of the ship, felt the submarine was preparing to attack due to the maneuvers it was making and gave the order to fire. The shot struck the area near the periscope and the submarine went under the water. The resulting oil slick leads Captain Rice to believe the submarine was sunk.
In Washington D.C., members of the French Military Commission were welcomed today at the White House by President Wilson. The French are led by ex-Premier Viviani and Field Marshal Joffre and are here to coordinate military strategy. After Meeting with the President the Commission visited the War Department and the State Department for more talks. Everywhere the Commission members went they were met by enthusiastic crowds greeting them with cheers and applause.
In sports, both the Phillies and Athletics have been rained out today. A number of amateur baseball leagues will be opening their seasons this Saturday. The leagues include Delaware County, The Delaware River Manufactures, the Philadelphia Suburban and the Philadelphia Shoe Manufactures. In boxing tonight at the Broadway, A.C., 15th & Washington Avenue, “Knockout” Al Wagner meets Joe Augatis in the windup. In the other matches Bobby McCann takes on Harry Leonard, Muckel Riley fights Joe Dorsey, Young Lawrence goes against Bob Beebe and Packey McBride faces Young Patrone.
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