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 21, 1917
The city will have another day of fair skies and warm temperatures. Today’s high will be 85° and the low tonight near 71°. At 9:00am this morning 2000 sailors and marines were picked up in 200 special cars and autotrucks at the Navy Yard and taken to Valley Forge for a day of entertainment, food and refreshments. The day was organized by the Women Suffrage parties of Chester, Montgomery and Delaware Counties. Upon arrival the jackies and marines attended a service at the Washington Memorial Chapel. Then it was off to a hearty sit-down lunch. After which the ladies gave the men a tour of the historic sites of Valley Forge.
And there is more naval news from down in Cape May, New Jersey. That town is usually thought of as a lovely get away for city dwellers in the summer offering picturest views of the ocean and pleasant breezes. But due to its location it is also an excellent place for a naval base. And that is why the Naval Coast Defense Reserve is encamping there. Until proper barracks are built the men, most of whom are from Philadelphia, are bunking on the amusement pavilion overlooking the ocean at the far end of town (shown below).
On movie screens around the city this weekend, at the Bluebird, Broad & Susquehanna Avenue, Olga Petrova stars in The Undying Flame a story set in Egypt where the passion and perfume of the East meets the romance and bravery of the West. At the Princess, 1018 Market, William Desmond stars in The Paws of the Bear a tale of modern day espionage. And at the Coliseum, 60th & Market, Montagu Love stars in The Brand of Satan, the story of a respected lawyer with two personalities, one good and one murderous.
On the western front, yesterday the Germans hurled masses of men time after time in fruitless attacks against French positions on the Chemin-des-Dames. In Russia, Minister of War Kerensky has temporarily been named Premier of Russia. Prince Lvoff, who had held that office has resigned due to the recent armed rebellion and rioting, which went on for 5 days. One factor in the ending of the unrest was the exposure of the socialist agitator Nicholai Lenine as a German agent. Lenine had falsely portrayed himself as a patriot and had developed a large following.
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