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, FEBRUARY 13, 1917
The weather forecast is for more cold. The skies will again be fair and clear but the high in the city will only reach 20° while the low tonight will fall below 0°. The continued brutally cold weather is affecting every area of life in the city. Shipping is at a standstill as both the Schuykill and the Delaware Rivers are ice bound. The worst perhaps is firefighting. Twenty-two fires have been reported throughout the city in the last 24 hours. Not only are the brave men who face these infernos having to deal with the cold and wind but also with frozen fireplugs, hoses that freeze and snap when in use, ice covered streets and pavements and the water turning to ice as it splashes them in the face and on their hands. And yet they fight on. The bravery, stamina and determination of these men is awe inspiring.
The Commissioner of the Boy Scouts in Philadelphia said today that in the event of war or other national emergency 4500 boys can be mobilized and report to Independence Square within 4 hours. The boys would not be gathered to bear arms but to relieve the men who are called to fight. On the social scene, a dinner dance will be held tonight at the Bellevue-Stratford in the Rose Garden ballroom to raise funds for a home for friendless and homeless women and girls. The event is organized by the Alliance of Catholic Women.
On the sports beat in high school basketball today Frankford High takes on Philadelphia Trade School at 44th & Westminster Avenue, Northeast High visits South Philadelphia High, Catholic High travels to Germantown High and Lansdown High is at Swarthmore High.
The two Teutonic Emperors met today in Vienna (shown below). The subject of the meeting was not disclosed but some believe it concerned America’s severing of diplomatic relations with Germany. Since the United States has not taken a similar action against the Austro-Hungarian Empire it is thought that Emperor Wilhelm and Emperor Karl met to devise a way for Austria to effect a reconciliation with the United States. Today Germany also ordered that Americans must vacate the German controlled areas of Belgium and northern France. On the western front the British continue their assaults north of Ancre in the Somme. On the eastern front the Russians claim to have repulsed German attacks north of Kiselin in Volhynia.
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