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 7, 1917
The Weather Bureau failed to predict the intensity of the storm that struck Philadelphia last night. The heavy rains began just before midnight and grew in violence as the hours passed. Sheets of rain and crashes of thunder washed over the area causing a great deal of damage. Lightning strikes cause at least four buildings to catch fire. Trees and telegraph wires were also blown down. In the counties south and west of the city the storm caused major damage to crops in the field. The rain is expected to continue today and this evening. The high temperature will reach 73° with the low tonight of 63°.
More graduations took place today. The largest graduating class of the day was at Bryn Mawr College which conferred degrees on 87 young women. This was also the day that Miss Helen Taft, daughter of former President Howard Taft and present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was formally introduced as the school’s new dean. In South Philadelphia the Methodist Episcopal Hospital Training School at Broad & Wolf presented nursing degrees to 15 young ladies. And just four blocks north on Broad Street at St. Agnes Hospital, 14 nurses received their degrees.
The American merchant steamship that sunk the German submarine which we reported on yesterday has been identified as the Silver Shell built in Wilmington, Delaware. It was also revealed that the battle actually occurred in the Mediterranean Sea on May 30. That information was kept secret for security reasons.
From Washington, D.C. today the government announced that it will intern enemy aliens residing in this country. Officials are looking for appropriate locations to build internment camps. It is believed at least one camp will be built in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey.
In sports, both the Phillies game against the Cubs in Chicago and the Athletics game here against the St. Louis Browns today have been cancelled due to rain. In other baseball news, Honus Wagner has returned to the Pittsburg Pirates after a brief flirtation with retirement. It seems “Old Hans” isn’t finished playing the game just yet.
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