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 – SATURDAY AUGUST 4, 1917
The heat wave seems to have abated. Today’s high will only reach 80° with the low tonight 66°. Regardless of the cool temperatures 3 more deaths today have been blamed on the heat bringing the total number of dead to 177.
Today Kensington paid tribute to one of its own, Charles Allen Smith, the 20 year old sailor who gave his life for the flag in the battle of Vera Cruz in 1914. A statue of Smith was unveiled today in McPherson Square, Kensington and Indiana Avenues. The day started with a gathering of 50 social, political and military organizations at Kensington and Lehigh Avenue. The group then paraded through the Kensington’s streets where thousands of neighbors followed behind the marchers to the Square where speeches were offered extolling Smith’s bravery and sacrifice. The statue, which was paid for by donations of the people of Kensington, was unveiled by 6 little girls who live close to Smith’s home.
At midnight tonight the National Guard of Pennsylvania and of all other states formerly become merged with the United States Army. The action was ordered as part of President Wilson’s draft proclamation. The United States Shipping Board has announced it will take over all shipbuilding occurring in the country. Presently there are 2 million tons now in construction.
In baseball today Philadelphia’s teams lost to Chicago’s representatives. The Phillies dropped their match with Chicago 5 to 1 at Weeghman Park. Eppa Rixey went 5 innings and contributed a double with his bat but still took the lost. Here at Shibe Park 12,000 fans were sorely disappointed when the A’s dropped both ends of a doubleheader. Eddie Cicotte got the win in the first game for the White Sox but their hero was Shoeless Joe Jackson who went 3 for 5 with a single, a double and a triple. The final score was 7 to 3. The second game was tied at 1 until the 8th when Chicago’s Chick Gandil tripled in 3 runs. The A’s fought back but could only bring 2 across the plate giving the Sox the 4 to 3 win.
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