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, DECEMBER 15, 1917
Well, the Weather Bureau has declared it will not snow today. But the cold is still with us. Today’s high will reach only 25° with the low tonight of 15°. Today is also the last day to bring your Christmas gifts to soldiers in training at Camp Meade. All gifts brought by today will be shipped and delivered free of charge. The gifts must be brought to room 202 at City Hall by 5:00pm. Shown below are some of the ladies who dropped off their gifts earlier.
In local news, the Board of Education’s finance committee today voted to give a bonus of $50.00 to each of the school system’s 6000 teachers next year. And the Roxborough, Wissahickon and Manayunk Railway has announced it will increase its fare to six cents in January. This is the first trolley line in the city to raise its fare in a number of years. The line is used by thousands of workers going to and from the Navy Yard, Baldwin Locomotive, Cramps Shipyard and other large businesses. The line also connects Barren Hill with Wissahickon and has a branch extending to Manayunk.
There is grave news from the western front. The cessation of hostilities in the east has allowed the Germans to transfer close to 500,000 men to the west. Field Marshal Hindenburg is beating the British back around Cambrai. The great British offensive appears over and the Germans may be able to break the British lines before the Americans arrive to fight.
Reports from Russia suggest that the counter revolution against the Bolsheviks is collapsing. The Cossack revolt that began last week in the Don River region under Generals Korniloff and Kaledines has been defeated. The Black Sea fleet decided to support the Bolsheviks in a battle at the mouth of the Don and the Cossacks were defeated. Supposedly General Kaledines has been arrested and General Korniloff is in hiding.
Finally, Pope Benedict XV has requested that this Sunday, Catholic Churches around the world celebrate the liberation of Jerusalem from Turkish rule. Also Bishop Philip Rhinelander, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, announced that Episcopal Churches will conduct special services extolling the liberation of the Holy City on Christmas Day.
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