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 23, 1917
Philadelphia’s Weather Bureau is predicting cloudy skies with continued warm temperatures over the city today. The high temperature will reach 88° with a low tonight of 72°. The city’s bathhouses and swimming pools had a large jump in attendance last week. A total of 282,459 men, women and children visited the facilities, which is almost 100,000 more than the previous week.
The army barracks in City Hall now has a full service bakery (shown below). The bakery is located on the square and is being used not just for daily feeding of the troops but also to train young army bakers in the science of feeding fighting men.
And Secretary of the Navy Daniels is considering instituting a “Purity Zone” around Navy Yard at League Island. Washington officials believe that many “immoral resorts” are protected by politicians and some police and therefore nothing is being done to close these establishments down. A Federal Grand Jury has been empaneled to investigate any connections between police, politicians and the owners of those establishments. If a Purity Zone is ordered it will permit the government to prohibit saloons or disreputable houses within 5 miles of the Navy Yard.
In sports, the Athletics have returned home from their western trip but are idle until Wednesday. And two members of the team had their numbers drawn in the draft. They are 3rd baseman Roy Bates and outfielder Charles “Chuck” Jamieson. At National League Park the Phillies dropped another game to the Cardinals. Pat Moran’s boys had the lead going into the 8th. Erskine Mayer pitched a strong 7 innings but weakened in the 8th giving up 4 runs as the Cardinals won 5 to 3. In other sports news, Yale, Harvard and Princeton have cancelled their football games for the fall due to the war.
Russia appears to be in disarray. The army on the southwestern front has suffered mutinies and thousands of troops are deserting. Lines of soldiers, some stretching for miles, can be seen marching away from their positions. Premier Kerensky has been informed of the situation by telegram which advised that the army’s fighting spirit has disappeared and is completely disorganized. All the gains made in the recent offensive in Galicia are now threatened as the Germans take advantage of the situation. The government has banned the distribution of all newspapers showing any support for the agitators Lenine and Trotsky to the army.
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