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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1918
Today’s weather forecast calls for increasing cloudiness this afternoon with the possibility of rain this evening and into tomorrow. Today’s high will be 49° and the low will reach 34°.
The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia, Edmond Francis Prendergast, died last night at 10:00pm in the archiepiscopal residence at 1725 Race Street. Archbishop Prendergast was 74 years old and had been in poor health for some time. He was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary in 1843 and came to the United States in 1859, enrolling in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1865 and rose to the position of Auxillary Bishop in 1895. Upon the death of Archbishop Patrick Wood, Bishop Prendergast was named the third Archbishop of Philadelphia by Pope Pius X on May 11, 1911.
Once the news of the Archbishop’s death was released the bells of every Catholic Church in the city tolled 75 times. Once for each year he lived. The funeral for the Archbishop will take place next Tuesday at 10:00am. The Archbishop’s body will be moved to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Monday where the faithful will be permitted to view him and attend services. At 7:00pm that evening the Office of the Dead will be sung and recited by a choir of priests. On Tuesday morning at 10:00am a Pontifical High Mass of Requiem will be celebrated by Bishop James J. McCort. The Archbishop will be buried in a crypt beneath the altar of the Cathedral. Bishop McCort will act as temporary administrator of the archdiocese until a new Archbishop is appointed.
In other news Joseph Feigherty, 14 years old, was shot by a Pennsylvania Railroad detective at the freight yard on the west bank of the Schuylkill River near the Spring Garden Street bridge. Police were called to arrest the boy for trespassing but he ran away. He was later found at Garretson Hospital, 1810 Spring Garden Street and arrested. The boy told the police he was in the yard to pick up coal nuggets when he was shot in the right arm. He said his family badly needs coal to heat their home and cook. Upon hearing the story the police released the boy.
On the western front, Americans suffered their first German gas attack near Toul which is the sector occupied by our men. A total of 75 shells were fired into the American lines starting at 1:30am this morning. The shells contained phosgene and chlorine gas. Five Americans are known killed from the attack and sixty–one others are in hospitals suffering from the effects of the gas. Also German infantry attacks at Vermelles, St. Quentin and Bullecourt on British positions were all repulsed.
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