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 – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1915
There will be overcast, cloudy skies over the city today with slightly warmer temperatures and the possibility of rain. Today’s high will reach 49° with the low tonight near 23°. Hunting Park Lake, Concourse Lake and Chamounix Lake in Fairmount Park are all now open for skating and will remain open throughout the Christmas season. And all Philadelphia sports fans send their hearty best wishes to Connie Mack on this his 53rd Birthday.
Tragedy has struck in this most joyous of seasons. Little John Tobin, 18 months old of 530 South 2nd Street has died from injuries he sustained when he fell against a hot stove. The child was burned too badly for physicians at Pennsylvania Hospital to save him. The accident occurred while the boy’s mother was away from home buying him toys for Christmas.
Miss Sara Longshore (shown below), 1623 Walnut Street, has a fondness for having her photograph taken. And some of those photographs are of her posing in an alluring manner. Unfortunately Miss Longshore lost an envelope containing 14 such pictures while shopping on Tuesday. The photographs were of Miss Longshore in a bathing suit taken in Atlantic City. She explains that she is a modest young girl and is quite distraught with the thought that they may fall into the hands of some unscrupulous man and be passed around. She is offering a generous reward for the return of the pictures.
The most enormous artillery duel of the war is taking place in western Flanders. From the North Sea to Armentieres the ground literally shakes from the explosions and sound of the guns. German guns began the bombardment but British, French and Belgian cannon are answering in response. Supposedly the German bombardment was begun as a prelude to an infantry offensive ordered by the Kaiser for a drive on Calais. Over 1000 big guns are now exchanging fire. The town of Poperinghe, which was where British positions were located, has been wiped off the face of the earth.
From Germany comes the news that Kaiser Wilhelm has forbidden any Christmas celebration by the court. The decree shall continue in effect until peace is restored. Wilhelm has also barred Happy New Year’s wishes. Additionally the royal Princes will not be permitted to return home to spend Christmas with their families. The Kaiser and Kaiserin will spend Christmas at army headquarters in France.
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