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 9, 1917
There will be partly cloudy skies over the city today. The high may reach 40° with the low tonight about 24°. The labor strike which has closed all the city’s sugar refineries received support from over 1000 longshoremen today when they walked off the job in a sympathy strike. The dock workers refused to unload ships carrying raw sugar. At least 6 ships carrying sugar are presently docked and awaiting unloading. The strike is being organized by the Industrial Workers of the World.
Mr. Herbert Hoover (shown below), Chairman of the Committee for the Relief of Belgium, is in this city to speak at the Bellevue-Stratford on the situation in that country. Mr. Hoover is heralded as a hero of the starving people of Belgium and northern France.
Untold thousands are alive today due to his efforts. Over $150,000,000.00 has been raised by his Committee for food and medicine since 1914. Mr. Hoover believes that $6,000,000.00 per month is necessary to stave off the starvation of the people in the occupied and war torn regions of Belgium and France. Mr. Hoover stated that regardless of the submarine blockade he will be returning to Europe shortly.
News from Germany is that Ambassador Gerard, his staff, American Red Cross personnel and all other American citizens are now free to leave the country at any time. A special train has been placed at the Ambassador’s disposal to take him from Berlin to Bern, Switzerland tomorrow.
On the sports beat, a three way tie for 1st place in the Eastern League of Basketball is in the offing if Camden can beat the Greystock Greys tonight at Cooper Battalion Hall, 23rd & Christian Streets. If Camden is victorious it will share the top spot with the Jasper Jewels of Kensington and South Philly’s Greystock. In boxing tonight at the Nonpareil A.C., Charlie Thomas meets Joe Welsh in the featured match. Four other fights are on the card. At the Cambria Athletic Club, Kensington Avenue & Somerset Street, Johnny Nelson takes on Terry McGovern in the wind-up with four other preliminary bouts.
At the motion picture theatres around the city this week, at the Fairmount, 26th & Girard, Ethel Barrymore stars in “The White Raven”. At the Victoria, 9th & Market, Charlie Chaplin stars in “Easy Street” and at the Alhambra, 12th &Morris, Pauline Frederick stars in “The Slave Market”.
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