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, MARCH 15, 1917
The city will see clear and fair skies today with the high about 42° and the low overnight near 32°. The University of Pennsylvania announced today that it was placing its chemical laboratories at the disposal of the United States government. The facilities can be used to experiment on gunpowder and for other scientific endeavors.
Four of the new navy warships are to be built in this area. Secretary of the Navy Daniels announced today that William Cramp Ship and Engine Building Company will build two scout cruisers while New York Shipbuilding in Camden and the Navy Yard will each build one battle cruiser. The costs of these ships is estimated at $75,000,000.00
In sports, the boys of LaSalle have taken the Catholic High School basketball title by beating St. Joseph’s last night 22 to 17. The game was played before a sellout crowd at Musical Fund Hall. It was a nip and tuck contest but LaSalle’s Tim Donovan’s shooting made the difference. Donovan put on a masterful performance scoring all of LaSalle’s points. He put in 14 from the foul line and added 4 field goals. On the other hand St. Joe’s boys just didn’t seem to be up to par. They only scored 9 points out of 29 attempts at the foul line which proved to be their downfall.
In international news, the 300 year Romanov Dynasty has come to an end as revolution has engulfed Russia. Today Czar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russians has abdicated the throne. The Duma or Parliament has declared it is now the authorized government of the country. Large portions of the army are supporting the Duma. This action has followed weeks of demonstrations in Petrograd, Moscow and other Russian cites protesting food shortages, the losses suffered in the war and demanding changes in the political situation of the nation.
In response to these demonstrations on March 11th the Czar ordered troops to quell the marches. The majority of the soldiers refused to attack because the marchers were mostly women. But still over 200 protesters were shot and killed. On March 12th four regiments, including the Preobrazhensky Imperial Guard founded by Peter the Great, mutinied. In the capitol order broke down completely and the Duma demanded the Czar’s abdication. Today he did so.
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