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 – FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 1917
There will be grey, cloudy skies over the city today with the chance of rain overnight and tomorrow. The high will reach 48° with the low near 35°. Mayor Smith announced today that a recruiting station will be opened in City Hall for the enlistment of men into the Federal Coast Defense Reserve. This program was proposed earlier this week by Captain Russell, Commandant of the Navy Yard. It is hoped that 6000 men will join. On a separate matter the Mayor stated that he will support the building of a convention hall to meet the requirements of the business community of the city. The proposed structure to be built on the new Parkway was rejected by business leaders because it would have only had seating capacity for 6000.
The two interned German ships at the Navy Yard, the Prinz Eitel Friedrich and the Kronprinz Wilhelm and their crews have been moved to an isolated part of the facility west of the Broad Street entrance. The dock and land area there is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. This removes the ships from close proximity to American warships. The 750 crewmen of the two ships assisted with the move but were closely watched by U.S. marines.
In national news, the Post Office Department along with the Department of Justice has compiled a list of 50,000 disloyal citizens and resident aliens. The list is composed of those persons who within the last two years have been suspected of acts against the neutrality of the United States, writing threatening letters to the President, other government officials or to heads of munitions plants and persons with pro-Entente sympathies. It is widely believed that in the event of war these individuals will be subject to internment.
In news from Russia, a train carrying former Czar Nicholas and his son left Petrograd today for Pskoff. And a provisional government has been formed under Prince Georgy Lvoff as Prime Minister. Grand Duke Michael, the former Czar’s brother has been offered the Regency. The new Minister of Justice Kerensky, has declared amnesty for all political prisoners. The Executive Committee of the Duma has stated that a general election is to be called as soon as possible to allow Russians to vote on the type and form of government they want. All involved intend for Russia to become a full democracy which includes the proclamation of universal suffrage.
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