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 – FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 1918
There will be clear and fair skies over the city today with the high reaching 52° and the low about 35°. Tomorrow begins the Third Liberty Loan Drive and this city is promising a spectacular start to the campaign. At Noon the Boy Scouts will begin distributing 100,000 copies of the Liberty Loan song along Broad Street. Then a grand parade will begin at Broad & Jackson Streets where 1500 girls from South Philadelphia High School dressed as Goddesses of Liberty will lead the march. The young ladies will be followed by bands from the Navy Yard and other organizations as well as fraternal groups, aid societies and the Girl Scouts. All the marchers will proceed to South Penn Square at City Hall where the replica of the statue of Liberty will be unveiled by Treasury Secretary William McAdoo.
The largest canon ever built is being constructed just a few miles from this city, somewhere in Delaware County. Mr. Samuel Vauclain, vice-president of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, admitted today that the company was making this “super-cannon” and will soon be producing it in numbers enough to solve the Allies’ artillery problems on the western front. The exact details of the gun cannot be disclosed nor can the location of its assembly. What can be told is that the gun is so large it will need to be mounted on a railroad carriage for ease of movement. Work on the guns is being done in shifts, non-stop 24 hours each day.
The Indians have invaded Camp Crane in Allentown, Pennsylvania. But these Red Men have come to do their part for “Old Glory”. Four hundred full blooded and halfbreed Indians along with a contingent of Mexicans arrived here to train in the army ambulance and medical corps a few days ago. The men are from Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico and Arizona. Few if any can speak English, most have lived on the plains and all were dressed like cowboys from a Wild West show when they arrived. The men are now receiving training in the removal of wounded men from the battlefield and transport to a hospital. There will also be many hours indoors doing classroom study in English and first-aid.
On the western front, in this the 16th day of the German offensive in Picardy, the British and French were forced back from their positions around Amiens about 8 miles to Villers-Bretoneux. The fighting raged all through the night and continues today. American troops are now holding a sector on the right bank of the Meuse River not far from Verdun. So far our boys have traded artillery fire with the Huns. The trenches the men are in were formerly home to the French. They were well maintained and the dugouts are lighted with electricity.
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