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 8, 1916
Today’s forecast calls for cloudy, overcast skies with moderate winds from the south. The temperatures will be very cold with the high reaching only near 28° and tonight’s low around 9°.
The 125th graduating class of Boys’ Central High School (shown below) held their class day exercises this afternoon at the Forrest Theatre. The festivities included speeches, the performance of funny stunts including pie eating, singing humorous songs and dressing in women’s apparel. Tonight a farewell dinner will be held at the Rittenhouse Hotel for the 116 members of the class.
Bad roads are the primary reason rural women go insane. Such was the pronouncement at the Four-State Country Life Conference held at the Widener Building, 1339 Chestnut Street, today. Several hundred representatives from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey were in attendance to discuss this and many other issues effecting rural life. Attendees were told that the lack of good roads leads to a life of isolation for farmers’ wives and daughters. That isolation then leads to emotional and mental problems. Therefore steps must be taken to build more and better roads connecting homes, schools, churches, markets and towns. To facilitate this instruction should be given in rural schools teaching construction and engineering. This instruction should also be directed toward girls since poor roads affect their sex the most. Also, boys over 13 years old should be put to work on building roads as part of their practical education.
Judge Thompson of the United States District Court here today dismissed the naturalization papers of 139 foreigners. The judge did this as a lesson to aliens who repeatedly fail to appear for their final citizenship test. Some of the applications dismissed today had been on the docket for 10 years and many notices to appear had been sent to these aliens and ignored. Fifty one aliens did respond today and passed their tests.
On the western front there is brutal fighting along trenches south of the Somme River. Reportedly the Germans overnight lost a section of their trenches to French assaults. In Africa, the Germans have lost their colony in the Kameruns to the Allies. Reports are that 15,000 German troops crossed the border into Spanish Guinea leaving the territory in Allied hands. The only remaining African German colony is German East Africa on the coast facing the Indian Ocean and surrounded by the Belgian Congo, the Union of South Africa, Mozambique and British East Africa.
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