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 JULY 11, 1917
The rain continues to fall on the city. It has now rained for 44 hours and is expected to continue into tomorrow. At least 31/2 inches have now fallen and some areas have measured more. The rain has also brought cooler temperatures with yesterday being the coolest July day on record. Flooding is reported in many areas of the city especially near the rivers and streams. Although no serious injuries have been reported due to the rain, many businesses have reported serious damage. Today’s high will only reach 65° with tonight’s low near 60°.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Philadelphia has now reached 2,060,021. That is 500,000 more residents than was counted in the 1910 census. And today all Philadelphians send their heartiest best wishes to Mr. John Wanamaker on this his 79th birthday. Mr. Wanamaker is spending today like all other days, at his office, where upon arriving this morning he found his desk covered with flowers, telegrams and letters of congratulations.
In sports, the Phillies game against the Cubs at National League Park is postponed because of the rain. The game will be made up tomorrow. The open air boxing matches planned tonight at Shibe Park have also been postponed. Out in St. Louis the Athletics’ bats came alive. The Mackmen slapped 15 hits including 4 doubles to beat the Browns 13 to 5.
On the eastern front the Russians have taken the city of Halicz. The two prongs of the Russian army are now moving closer to Lemberg the capital city of Galicia. The southern prong is 60 miles from the city while the eastern group is 40 miles away. On the western front the Germans mounted a major assault to break the British lines around Nieuport, Belgium. The initial attacks met with success but eventually the British stopped the advance and are now driving the Germans back.
Further south on the Chemin-des-Dames front, the Germans has unveiled a new fighting group, the “Stosstruppen” which means “Storm Troopers”. These soldiers are specially picked for their ferocity. They attack without artillery preparation and therefore have the element of surprise. They often attack wearing just shirtsleeves and charge the French trenches principally using hand grenades as their only weapon.
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