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 – MONDAY JULY 16, 1917
The weather bureau is calling for fair skies today with warm temperatures. The high will reach 87° with the low tonight 71°. Twenty five young men were arrested over the weekend for “mashing” in Fairmount and Hunting Parks. The men were arrested by a special plain clothes squad sent to get the “mashers”. The police heard the men bothering women with remarks about their looks and engaging in airy persiflage. Sergeant Rodgers of the Park Guard described the men as the type belonging to the “worm species of humanity”. Fifteen of the men paid a fine of $7.50 and were released. Ten others, who couldn’t pay the fine, will spend 5 days in Moyamensing prison or “Moko” as it’s affectionately known by the inmates, reflecting upon their actions.
It was announced today that an enormous shipyard is to be built on Hog Island in the Delaware River just south of Fort Mifflin. When completed the yard will be the most modern and largest in the world. It will employ at least 15,000 skilled men working day and night on 50 shipways. The yard will be owned by the United States government through the Emergency Fleet Corporation.
With this shipyard the Delaware River can truly be called the “Clyde of America”. Never before has it even been considered to build a shipyard that could produce 50 ships at once. Nor has any other nation ever dreamed that it could build such a yard in 5 months time. Construction is to start in 2 weeks and is scheduled to be finished by December 1. General George Washington Goethals, president of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, has overall command of the project. General Goethals is a graduate of West Point and was the Chief Engineer on the construction of the Panama Canal.
Arrangements have been made with the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railway for construction of lines into the yard. The location, though outside of Philadelphia proper, will be but a 5¢ trolley ride from the city. And being so close to South Philadelphia will provide vast numbers of laborers. A second new shipyard is planned for a spot above Bristol and a third near Newark which will specialize in submarine construction.
In international news, in an expression of friendship, during the parade in Paris marking Bastille Day on Saturday nearly every Frenchman and Frenchwoman wore a small American flag pin on their clothing and most of the French soldiers marching in the parade carried a small American flag in the barrel of their rifles.
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