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 –WEDNESDAY JUNE 27, 1917
The forecast for today calls for clear, bright and sunny skies. The temperature will be on the warm side with the high reaching 90° and the low tonight about 71°.South Philadelphia High School has decided to forego commencement exercises this year because the war has depleted the number of graduates available to attend. Of the 107 young men scheduled to graduate only 13 were able to attend the ceremonies. Seventeen have joined the colors, 23 have gone to work on area farms and 54 have taken jobs in industry to free up older men for military service.
Women are becoming more visible in jobs formerly held by men. The Pennsylvania Railroad has begun hiring women as telephone operators on switchboards. So far 6 girls have been hired but that number will probably increase. And women are also being employed as elevator operators like Miss Caroline McGee who has begun work at the Witherspoon Building, 13th & Walnut Street.
In national news, the War Department issued the grounds for exemptions from selective service today. They include physical incapacity due to heart disease, flat feet, eye disease which cannot be cured by wearing glasses, tuberculosis, cancer, kidney or liver disease, varicose veins, infectious blood disease, mental derangement and being crippled. Other exemption include employment in a vital war industry in a job that cannot be done by a woman, religious opposition to war and men who are the sole support for their families.
In International news, word has been received that martial law was declared in Spain on Sunday. Reports have been received that there is rioting in the streets of major cities. Most of the violence has come from those supporting the creation of a republic. Although King Alfonso is personally respected by the people, there is great discontent with the German dominated court functionaries and the influence Germans have on ministers of the government. For many years Germany has poured money and propaganda into Spain. This has resulted in distrust of Germany by many in the military and among industrial workers. Members of these groups have now banded together to propose an end to the monarchy.
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