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 – TUESDAY JULY 24, 1917
There will be sunny skies over the city with hot and humid temperatures. Today’s high will reach 89° with the low tonight only 71°. Two hundred musicians throughout the Philadelphia area have gone on strike. This includes musicians in orchestras, theatres and motion-picture houses. The musicians are members of Local Union 77 of the American Federation of Labor. The strikers are demanding an increasing in wages of $3.00 per week. Presently the average wage for most theatre and orchestra musicians is $24.00 week. B.F. Keith’s, 12th & Chestnut, has begun using non-union musicians.
Philadelphia Transit Director Twining has announced that 6 contracts totaling $15,000,000.00 will be awarded for the continued construction of the rapid transit system. The construction contracts included the Broad Street Subway, the Chestnut Street Subway, the Subway delivery loop, the north 29th Street Parkway line, the Darby elevated and continuation of the Frankford elevated. Companies awarded the contracts include those owned by State Senator James McNichol and State Senator Edwin Vare.
In news concerning the shipyard building project in Philadelphia and around the nation, both General Goethals, who was charged with building the shipyard at Hog Island, and Chairman Denman of the United States Shipping Board have tendered their resignations to President Wilson. The President has accepted both resignations as well as a few others. The President believed a “house cleaning” was necessary due to disagreements between General Goethals and Chairman Denman on the best manner of proceeding. These disagreements were delaying the start of construction of three shipyards around the country including Hog Island. President Wilson said today that a fresh start would begin with the appointment of new people to take up the work.
The Kingdom of Siam has declared war on the Central Powers. King Vajiravudh Rama VI (shown below) stated in his declaration that Germany and Austria had broken international law and shattered world peace. Therefore in the name of justice, Siam had no choice but to go to war. Siam is in Southeast Asia and has a peacetime army of about 12,000 men. The King was educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford in Great Britain. Siam now joins America, Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Serbia, Japan, Romania, Montenegro, Greece, Portugal, Bolivia, Cuba, Panama and San Marino in the fight against despotism.
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