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, FEBRUARY 12, 1917
Although the skies are clear and bright there is no relief from the cold. Today’s high will only reach 18° while the low this evening will be 11°. The sugar strike continues and now three of the larger refineries have closed.
Philadelphia welcomed home her boys in the way it does best, with a parade. The Second Field Artillery Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard has returned from duty on the border and the city showed her pride. The Regiment formed at Broad and Callowhill this morning. They were accompanied on the march by an honor guard made up of the members of the First Infantry, the Third Infantry, the State Fencibles, veterans of the Spanish-American War and finally veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Throngs of well-wishers, family and friends of the men crowded Broad Street. The over 1000 members of the Regiment stood straight and sturdy, bronzed from the long days under the Texas sun. These are fine young men, clean cut and brawny. Philadelphia could not ask for better representatives of its manhood. At 2:00pm the parade moved down Broad Street from Callowhill. Row after row of cannon pulled by horses and mules were interspaced with the soldiers. At Fitzwater Street they turned and countermarched back to Broad and Huntingdon Street. After the parade a banquet was given for the Regiment at the Armory at Broad & Susquehanna Avenue.
Celebrations also took place across the city in remembrance of the birthday of President Lincoln. Every school held observances where students, teachers and special visitors spoke on the virtues and qualities of the great man. The “Gettysburg Address” was recited in every assembly. All the buildings in the downtown business district are decorated with red, white and blue bunting and flags. Even the interned German Ships at the Navy Yard flew the American flag in tribute to Lincoln’s memory.
This evening every social, fraternal, political club and organization in this city will hold a dinner and entertainment. Most notably the Union League will commence its exercises at 8:30pm. Among the honored guests and speakers will be Mr. S. Emlen Meigs, 89 years old of 1715 Locust Street. Mr. Meigs is a Civil War veteran who served as a captain in the Union army. He is also one of the few surviving Philadelphians who knew the President as a friend.
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