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, FEBRUARY 16, 1917
The weather bureau says that today the city will have partly cloudy skies with temperatures gradually getting warmer. Today’s high will reach 32° with the low overnight about 28°.
In local news, the Y.M.C.A. is putting up a vigorous fight against the transferring of 2 liquor licenses to 15th & Arch Streets. The Y.M.C.A. is fighting the move because they do not want to see the new Parkway become a “booze boulevard”. They believe that if these two saloons are allowed to open there will be no stopping others. In other news, the Transit Department announced today that construction on the Broad Street subway is progressing so well that bids will soon be asked for work to be done on the section from City Hall to Girard Avenue.
On the Southern border in New Mexico, ranchers are calling for cowboys to join their own men in defending their property from Mexican bandits. The Mexicans are camped just across the border and are led by one of Pancho Villa’s Generals, Jose Salazar. Salazar has threatened to raid an American town and kill everyone in it. His men have already captured and executed 3 cowboys in Hachita County. Americans here are outraged by these murders. Fifty heavily armed American cowboys have already headed south with the intent of crossing the border and hunting the Mexicans down.
In international events, the war clouds may have dissipated a bit. Today Germany took the unexpected step of releasing 72 American merchant sailors who had been taken when the British ship they were serving on was captured. Germany has also revoked its order of last week expelling American aid workers from occupied areas of Belgium and Northern France. These moves have somewhat lessened the tensions between America and the German Empire.
In entertainment around the city at B.F. Keith’s, 12th & Chestnut, this weekend there’s a big vaudeville show, Elsa Ryan & Co. tops the bill. Also appearing is Blossom Seeley and her troop. Finally, the comedy act the Four Marx Brothers (shown below) round out the show. On the motion picture screens around the city, at the Arcadia, 16th & Chestnut, William S. Hart stars in “The Gunfighter”. At the Imperial, 60th & Walnut, Mary Pickford stars in “The Pride of the Clan” and at the Leader, 41st & Lancaster Avenue, Charlie Chaplin can be seen in “East Street”.
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