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 31, 1917
The oppressive heat continues today and has now claimed the lives of 4 people. The temperature at noon reached 96° and will rise to at least 101° before sunset. The low overnight will be 80°. The dead are Dr. Jacob Frankel, 46 years old and Samuel Mortimer, 45 years old. Neither man had been ill. Two children also succumbed to the heat. They are Charles Remmenter, 1 year old of 2036 South Colorado Street and Daniel Lipeont, 6 months old of 2202 Bolton Street. Many other adults and children have been taken to hospitals with heat prostration. This is the worst heat wave the city has experienced since July of 1901.
The Mayor of Chester, Wesley McDowell, has blamed the riots of last week squarely on the shoulders of whites who spread lies about police leniency towards negroes. Two false stories in particular were to blame. The first story accused 2 black men of attacking a white girl in Crozer Park. The Mayor explained no attack ever occurred. Two negroes did extort money from the girl and her male friend but never touched her. The thieves were arrested and are now in jail. The other story concerned the stabbing death of William McKinney. The rumor was spread that 3 women involved in the attack were release from jail without bail. This was not true. The women released were witnesses who were not involved in the murder. In the course of the rioting 5 people were killed, 3 whites and 2 negroes, numerous others were injured and over 160 were arrested.
On the western front, the British and French have opened two massive offensives. One is in West Flanders in Belgium while the other is along the Chemin des Dames in France. First reports are that the Anglo-French attacks are meeting with great success. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The allied offensive in Belgium is now known as the “Third Battle of Ypres” or “The Battle of Passchendaele”. It would go on until November and become one of the most horrific and deadly battles of the war. And estimated 275,000 British, Canadian and other Commonwealth troops were killed or wounded. The Germans would lose and estimated 220,000. The actual numbers lost will never be known. When the battle ended the Allies had gained a total of about 5 miles.]
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW