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 – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1915
It is Christmas Eve and Philadelphians are preparing for nightfall when twinkling lights on houses and buildings will be used as a beacon for Santa Claus. Tell the kiddies that wireless reports will be coming into the city from operators along the east coast to let us know of the progress of the jolly elf and his flying reindeer.
Last minute shoppers are crowding center city, delivery wagons and trucks are speeding through the streets loaded with their precious parcels. Every building is gaily decorated. Even the gray walls of City Hall are flanked with red and green holly wreaths and Christmas trees. The railway stations are humming with activity as travelers are going and coming home. The city is alive with joy and anticipation. As for the weather the forecast calls for gray, cloudy skies and possibly rain or even snow this evening. The high will reach 45° with the low near 32°.
Many workers in the businesses of our city received Christmas gifts from their employers today. None were more generous than those given by the John B. Stetson Company which not only celebrates Christmas but is also observing its 50th anniversary. The gifts included 3,074 turkeys (shown below), 4500 anniversary bronze medals, a pound of candy and pair of gloves for each of the 1100 women employees, 48 watches, 50 chains, 70 hats and monetary bonuses for each employee.
And the poor among us are not forgotten. Numerous charitable organizations and churches are providing food, coal and toys to poor families. Those with the means are donating their time, money and food to bring joy to those with less. For example, Mrs. E.T. Stotesbury gave a party for 1800 poor children at Starr Gardens, 7th & Lombard, last evening. Each child received a gift box containing toys and candy and cake and ice cream was served. Protestant and Catholic churches will begin their celebrations of the birth of the Lord before dawn tomorrow. Bells in churches will begin ringing at 5:00am and from then until midnight not an hour will go by when there is not a service or musical program in progress.
On the sports scene, Christmas day will bring full boxing cards at 5 of the city’s clubs. The National A.C. 11th & Catherine Streets, the Olympia A.A. at Broad & Bainbridge, the Quaker City A.A., 26th & Dauphin Street, the Nonpareil A.C., Kensington & Ontario Streets and the Douglas A.C., 11th & Spring Garden, will all stage matinees featuring some the city’s finest fighters going against both national and international contenders. Also scheduled are over 20 soccer games from 5 of the city’s leagues. In basketball, the Eastern League schedule has Camden at Reading and a doubleheader between Greystock and DeNeri. Finally, shooting is on the agenda for 10 of the local clubs. The events will include both target and bird shooting competitions.
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