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, AUGUST 16, 1917
There will be fair skies today with light winds from the southwest. There is the possibility of rain tonight. The high will reach 85° with the low near 66°. The beautiful Colonnade Hotel at 15th & Chestnut Streets has been sold to Bonwit, Teller & Co. Bonwit Teller plans to demolish the structure and erect a department store at the location. The Hotel was built by famed architect John Crump in 1868 and opened in 1870. It stands seven stories high and can accommodate 400 guests.
A number of theatres and movie houses are offering free entertainment to our fighting men. Tonight the Nixon Theatre, 42nd & Market Streets, and B.F. Keith’s Theatre, 12th & Chestnut, are admitting soldiers, sailors and marines for a night of vaudeville. Also tonight the Central Y.M.C.A. will have a band concert and movie starting at 7:30pm. And at the Navy Yard there will be an outdoor smoker with music and singing starting at 7:00pm.
In baseball today at National League Park the Phillies took a doubleheader from the Pirates. Pat Moran’s boys took the first game 5 to 3, mostly on a 3 run home run by shortstop Dave Bancroft into the center field bleachers in the 3rd inning. The ball took three big hops on the hard field before bouncing into the stands. In the second game Dode Paskert stole home in the 1st and Milt Stock and Possum Whitted singled home 2 more runs to give the home town boys the 3 to 0 win. The A’s are off today.
Pope Benedict has sent a proposal to all the waring nations outlining a plan for peace. The plan proposes universal disarmament and the submission of disputes to an international court of arbitration, the restoration of Belgium independence, the return of all territories captured to their pre-war owners, complete freedom of the seas and no indemnities or reparations. In his letter the Pope accused the nations of Europe of being stricken with a suicidal madness and asked if they intend to turn this beautiful world, created by God, into a field of death. The Holy Father beseeched the leaders of the world to hear his prayer and in the name of the Prince of Peace accept his invitation to meet and work to seek a final and lasting peace.
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