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 23, 1917
The will be rain throughout the day with grey cloudy skies. The high will only reach 77° with the low tonight about 69°. The rain is expected to continue into tomorrow.
Word has reached this city that a Philadelphian has been killed in France fighting the Germans. He is Lieutenant Julian Biddle of 1821 DeLancey Street, an aviator with the Lafayette Escadrille. Mr. Biddle received his aviation training at the Philadelphia School of Aviation in Essington and left for France 6 months ago with his cousin, Charles Biddle of Andalusia, Pa. It was Charles Biddle who informed the family of his cousin’s death. Julian Biddle was the son of Arthur Biddle, a prominent attorney of this city now deceased and Mrs. Julia Biddle. He was a 1912 graduate of Yale and well known in the social circles of this city.
The United States Attorney’s office stated today that there are as many as 1500 draft slackers in this city. T. Henry Walnut, an assistant attorney in the office, said that although it is a difficult job these men will be found and dealt with. In other draft related news, the status of exemptions for married men is still causing confusion for the local draft boards. A directive from the War Department that married men will not be exempt if their wives can support themselves due to wealth or employment is causing delay because of the time necessary to investigate the claims.
In baseball today rain forced the calling of the Phillies game against the Reds at National League Park. With the Phillies leading 7 to 2 in the 4th the skies opened and the rain fell. After an hour delay in hopes of the rain passing the umpires finally gave up and called the game. It will be made up with a doubleheader tomorrow. The Athletics are out in Detroit where they lost the first game of the series 7 to 3.
On the western front, German aeroplanes intentionally bombed and machine-gunned a French hospital near Verdun. The aviators flew low over the buildings making it impossible to mistake them for a military camp. In less than ½ an hour 21 were dead and 49 wounded in the assault. The dead include a number of nurses, some of whom were caught outside tending to wounded German soldiers brought there for treatment.
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