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 – FRIDAY JULY 20, 1917
There will be fair skies and gentle breezes over the city today. The high will reach 84° with the low tonight about 71°.
Today in room 226 of the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. at precisely 9:20am the first number of America’s draft was drawn. When the drawing ends late tonight 10,500 numbers will have been picked. Secretary of War Newton Baker, who was blindfolded, drew the first number. After Secretary Baker’s draw other blindfolded men continued with the process. The scene was recorded by motion picture cameras and newspaper men. General Enoch Crowder, who is in charge of the draft, enforced strict silence so that every number pulled could be announced and recorded without interruption or mistake. The official announcement of each number was done by Dr. William McClellan, dean of the Wharton School of Finance. It is expected that 27, 466 Philadelphia men will be called in this draft but only about half that number will be taken into service.
Down in Wilmington, Delaware the police have ordered a tribe of about 100 Gypsies to leave the city by Noon today. The action was taken after residents made numerous complaints against the group. In musical entertainment around this city tonight, the Municipal Band will be performing at Aramingo Square, Aramingo & Huntingdon Streets. The Fairmount Park Band will be at Strawberry Mansion and the Philadelphia Band will be at City Hall Plaza. All concerts are free and begin at 8:00pm.
In sports, the Phillies are hosting the Cardinals at National League Park. This afternoon the home town team held on for a close win, 4 to 3. Grover Alexander gave up 11 hits but got the win behind solid hitting. Gavvy Cravath smacked out 2 doubles and Milt Stock and Bill Killefer each added another to put the Phillies on top. The Athletics won the opening game in their series with the Indians out in Cleveland. Elmer Myers not only got the win but he helped his own cause with the bat by knocking out 2 doubles. The final score was A’s 6, Indians 2.
There will be boxing under the stars tonight at the Cambria A.C., Frankford Avenue and Cambria Street. Five bouts are on the card including Joe Borrell against Henry Hauber. Tickets start at 25¢. And the annual Cricket series between New York and Philadelphia begins today at the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford.
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