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 – MONDAY, MARCH 12, 1917
There will be cloudy skies over the city today with warmer temperatures. The high will be near 50° with the low about 36°. Acts of sabotage are occurring here in the Philadelphia area. John Miller, alias Harry Fuchs or Fox, was arrested while on a railroad telegraph pole near Bridesburg station after he cut 4 wires severing communication between Philadelphia and Trenton. Miller is a German citizen who has lived here for 17 years. He is being held on $600.00 bail. Acquaintances of Miller, Gustav Wendt and Anton Zwingler, also Germans were arrested Saturday for cutting telephone lines in Fox Chase.
At the Navy Yard, federal agents will search the interned German ships, Prinz Eitel Friedrich and Kronprinz Wilhelm, for explosives said to have been smuggled in by German residents of this city. The agents are waiting for permission from Washington, D.C. to board the vessels since they are still German property. Other interned ships in the United States have been sabotaged and destroyed by their crews with help from German residents.
In national news, The United States Department of State has advised all merchant ships that will be armed to fire on German submarines on sight. The State Department made the decision because of Germany’s declaration that its vessels will not stop, search or warn neutral ships before attacking. The United States has decided that the German position is a violation of international law and American ships have the right to respond accordingly.
On the sports beat, down in Jacksonville, Florida where the A’s have now assembled Connie Mack had a surprise for the boys. This morning as the team gathered at Rose Field they were greeted by a stern looking United States Army sergeant named W.E. Smart. Sergeant Smart took little time in letting the Mackmen know that he would be putting them threw a daily routine of calisthenics, drill and even rifle practice. It will be different then what the players are used to but the sergeant believes it will get the men in perfect shape for the season.
In the Middle East, after 3 days of fighting British troops have entered Bagdad. General Sir Fredrick Stanley Maude led his troops through the ancient gates and into the city yesterday. The Turkish army defending the city was routed and is in full retreat. The victorious British forces are made up predominantly of the I and III Indian Army Corps.
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