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. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back each day for new editions.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1915
There will be fair clear skies over the city today but with considerably colder temperatures. The high will only reach about 35° with the low tonight near 28°. Those needing a Christmas tree can find one at City Hall Plaza (shown below). Vendors set up shop there today and will be open till Christmas Day. Hundreds of trees are available and include fir, cypress, spruce and holly. The holiday greenery can be had for as low as .50¢ and as high as $5.00. If you can’t find one to your liking there other vendors are setting up forests outside the Reading Terminal and the Market Street ferry houses.
The preparations for the Mummers Parade are in full swing, especially in South Philadelphia. Shown below is Mrs. E.E. Murphy of East Passyunk Avenue putting the finishing touches on a costume of silk, satin, gilt and tinsel. The official route of the parade will be from Broad & Porter Streets to Broad & Girard Avenue, with the judging of the groups at City Hall. But the Mummers intend to march in many sections of the city. The East Girard Avenue Businessmen’s Association is offering $800.00 in prizes to groups that parade on East Girard Avenue. The Columbia Avenue Businessmen’s Association is putting up $500.00 for the best clubs parading between Broad & 18th on Columbia Avenue. In South Philadelphia the residents of Wolf Street and the South 19th Street Businessmen Associations are also offering prize money to groups that perform on those streets.
Across the river in Camden the Board of Health has issued a decree banning kissing. The ban has been put into effect to stop the spread of “the grip”. The disease, which is a form of influenza, has spread quickly in Camden and city officials are doing all they can to slow or halt its spread. The decree stated in part “Don’t even kiss your wife. Put the duty or pleasure off for a time till the epidemic has passed.”
In entertainment, the Philadelphia Orchestra inaugurated its free Sunday concert series yesterday at the Metropolitan Opera House, 11th & Chestnut Streets, before an audience of 4000. Leopold Stokowski led the orchestra in a program of selections of Richard Wagner. With the conclusion of each number the crowd leapt to its feet and applauded. The next free concert is scheduled for January 23.
In sports, Haverford College is the Intercollegiate Soccer League Champion of 1915. The scarlet and black gained the crown by holding the red and blue of the University of Pennsylvania to a 1 all draw. Although both teams finished the season with 4 wins, Haverford went undefeated whereas Penn had one loss, giving Haverford 1st place on points. In the Catholic Youth Ministry Athletic Union indoor games last evening, St. Ann’s scored a clean sweep by defeating Holy Name parish in pinochle, checkers and pool.
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