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 – THURSDAY JUNE 28, 1917
The skies over the city will be partly cloudy today. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms overnight and tomorrow. The high today will reach 83° with the low about 71°. The fine weather had many Philadelphians out to enjoy the fresh air. That included Mr. Isaac Clothier, one of the founders of the department store Strawbridge & Clothier. Mr. Clothier, who is still hale and hearty in his 80s, is shown below with his grandsons, Isaac Clothier 3d and George Clothier, outside of his home, Ballytore, at Wynnewood Road & Lancaster Avenue.
A surprise raid occurred this morning in South Philadelphia on 4 large piggeries located west of Broad Street along Stonehouse Lane below Point Breeze Park. The raids were led by Chief James McCrudden of the Bureau of Health. He was accompanied by a group of laborers, a squad of policemen and firemen from a nearby station. The sties housed hundreds of pigs. Once the hogs were removed the laborers demolished the sties. Then the firemen set the remains of the structures on fire. The authority for the raid comes from an old law allowing the city to condemn unsanitary piggeries and confiscate the animals. The city decided not to take the pigs but allowed the owners to remove them into Delaware County.
Major General John Pershing arrived in an unnamed French port today to review the first contingent of the American army to arrive in Europe. The name of the port is being kept secret for security reasons. Virtually the entire population of the city turned out to greet the Americans. As our soldiers marched from the ships the local children followed them waving flags. The adults stood cheering our boys’ arrival and some of them wept with joy.
On the western front, the British are advancing into the city of Lens in northern France. The Germans are now fighting within the city’s ruins as all their defensive positions outside the town have been taken. Canadian troops have taken the village of Eleu-dit-Leauvette, ½ mile from Lens. Prussian troops who tried to hold their trenches outside the city were annihilated by British artillery. In the south on the Alpine front, almost all of the gains made by the Italian army in their recent offensive have been lost. After fierce fighting earlier this week the Austrians have retaken Monte Ortigara on the Asaigo plateau.
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