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 – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1915
There will be another day with fair, clear skies over the city. The temperature will remain cold with the high reaching only 36° and the low tonight near 25°. Winter begins at 4:45pm this afternoon making today the shortest day of the year. Mayor Blankenburg, who is entering his last 2 weeks in office, is suffering from the grip. The Mayor has been confined to his home on West Logan Square for the last several days and has had to cancel his official engagements. Mrs. Blankenburg has just recently recovered from the illness herself.
Prosperity is in evidence this Christmas season as Philadelphians have spent lavishly on gifts for family and friends. Estimates are $34,000,000.00 has been spent which is $10,000,000.00 more than last year. Over 18 million dollars has been spent in department stores. Almost 2.1 million has been spent on jewelry; 1.4 million on cigars and liquor and 1.1 million on candy.
Residents in the neighborhood of 36th & Baring Streets are adamantly opposed to the relocation there of a home for fallen women. The home is to be located at 3611 Baring Street (shown below). The home, called “The Door of Blessing” is presently located at 33rd & Wallace Streets. The committee that operates the home believes a larger house is needed to accommodate the women. The Baring Street residents note that not one member of the home’s committee, who are all of the wealthy society set, lives anywhere near Baring Street. The residents are in sympathy with the purpose of the home to help fallen women but do not believe their neighborhood is the proper place for it.
A petition objecting to the home has been sent to Mrs. William Bullitt who leads the committee for the home and is a proponent of the location. Mrs. Bullitt believes the objections “ridiculous.” She said the women will not be congregating on the porch or walking in the streets at night. She also dismissed concerns that the home would lower property values in the neighborhood. She said property values there could not depreciate any more than they already have. She asserted the neighborhood was ruined years ago by the Pennsylvania Railroad facility’s noise and smoke. She noted that all the decent people have already moved away so the properties today are not really worth anything anymore. The residents have formed their own committee to meet with Mrs. Bullitt’s group in the hopes of resolving the matter.
In Christmas entertainment last evening the Strawbridge & Clothier Chorus performed at the Academy of Music. The free concert was attended by many social organizations including the Business Women’s Christian League. The chorus performed many traditional Christmas numbers including the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.”
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY JUST CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW.