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 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 1916
This will be the coldest day of the winter thus far. The expected cold wave has settled over the city and region. In the city the high today will only reach 27° with tonight’s low near 9°. In the suburbs the mercury was much lower than in the city this morning. For example in Paoli it was 8°, Merion 10°, Mt. Airy 8° and Rosemont 10°. The skies will be clear and fair today with increasing cloudiness beginning Sunday.
In local news, the price of gasoline will rise from .19¢ per gallon to .21¢. The Atlantic Refining Company explained the increase on a shortage of crude oil. In other news, Police have been ordered by the Director of Public Safety to arrest anyone spitting in public. The order is issued in the hope of stopping the spread of the grip.
In Wilmington this morning 12 prisoners were led into the yard of the New Castle Workhouse and one by one tied to the post to be whipped. A total of 235 lashes were distributed among them. Although stripped to the waist, due to the cold weather, the prisoners were permitted to wear a blanket while they waited for their punishment. Because of the weather only 7 spectators attended.
In sports, Bill Killefer (shown below), the Phillies star catcher, will undergo treatment for his injured arm at the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons in Los Angeles. Killefer hurt his arm late last season which prevented his playing in the World Series. He has tried specialists here and in other cities but without success. The injury appears to be to the nerves running from his right shoulder to his neck and making his throwing arm useless.
In college baseball news, Muhlenberg College has abandoned its program after just 2 seasons. The reason for the decision is lack of undergraduate support and the condition of the field after the installation of new steam piping which runs under the diamond.
There are new developments in the Mexican situation today. In Washington, D.C. members of the Senate took to the floor of that body and demanded that President Wilson change his policy and immediately intervene in Mexico to track down Pancho Villa. Also Venustiano Carranza, the de facto head of Mexico, pledged yesterday that the murderers of the 17 Americans near Chihuahua will be brought to justice. President Carranza sent that message via telegram to his ambassador here and asked that it be relayed to Mr. Wilson and the press in America. Additionally, word has reached El Paso, Texas that Carranza’s forces captured and executed General Rodriguez, who ordered the murder of 9 Americans near Madera on Wednesday.
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