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 – SATURDAY JULY 14, 1917
The rain held off long enough for Philadelphia to celebrate Bastille Day. The festivities included a parade, music, songs and dancing. The parade began at Broad & Pine and traveled to Market Street. Thousands lined the streets waiving the French tricolor and American flags. At Market Street the marchers proceeded down to Independence Hall where a huge crowd was waiting and cheering. The marchers included mounted police, units of the Pennsylvania National Guard (shown below), sailors and marines from the Navy Yard, boy scouts, girl scouts, the Mayor and members of city councils. Every French society in the area was represented in the line of march. There were also floats depicting Joan of Arc and Lady Liberty answering France’s call for help. And also joining the march and showing their colors was a detachment of British soldiers who are visiting the city. After a speech by Mayor Smith the band began playing the “Marseillaise” at which point the entire crowd joined in singing. The celebration continues tonight at Point Breeze Park.
The John B. Stetson Company is treating its 3000 employees to a day in Atlantic City today. The trains for the seashore left Camden at 7:30 this morning. The center of the day’s fun and events will be Steeplechase Pier. Along with the surf, sun, ice cream and other treats to be enjoyed, the Stetson baseball team will be playing the Bacharach Giants, South Jersey’s best negro team, at 3:00pm.
In musical entertainment this weekend the Imperial Band under the direction of Giuseppe Rodia will be performing at Woodside Park. The Municipal Band will be at 52nd & Brown Streets tonight while the Fairmount Park Band will be performing at Belmont Mansion. The Philadelphia Band will be at City Hall Plaza. All performances are free and begin at 8:00pm.
In sports, tonight at the Point Breeze Park Motordrome a 50 mile bicycle race is scheduled, weather permitting. The racers include Vincent Madonna of Italy, Percy Lawrence of Britain, Gerard DeBates of Belgium and Clarence Carman of America. The race starts at 8:30pm. In baseball, the A’s game in St. Louis against the Browns was called on account of rain. Here at National League Park the Phillies and the Cubs played a doubleheader. The Cubs took the first game 3 to 2. The second game was tied in the 9th at 3 but had to be called due to darkness.
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