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 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 1917
There will be overcast skies today with the possibility of rain tonight. Today’s high will be 53° with the overnight low around 36°.
America may be on the verge of war. Today President Wilson issued a proclamation calling on Congress to convene at 12 o’clock noon on April 2nd to consider “grave matters of national policy which should be taken immediately under consideration”. It is believed by many in Washington that Mr. Wilson intends to ask for a declaration of war. Some even suggest that if the President does not ask for such a declaration, Congress may demand it.
Most members of Congress believe the only way to redress the German outrages of unrestricted submarine warfare is to meet that aggression with force. A great public outcry against Germany has built since the release of the Zimmermann telegram and the brutal, cowardly sinking of American ships without warning by German submarines and the loss of American life. Thousands of letters and telegrams have reached the Congress and the President from patriotic Americans asking for American might to be brought to the issue. Americans do not call for revenge but for justice.
In local news, the interned German sailors at League Island were supposed to be transferred today to Georgia but that move has been delayed. The reason is that the 17th Infantry which will be guarding the men has not yet arrived in Georgia from its former post on the Mexican border. Two of the sailors that participated in the escape on Monday night are still at large. Police, Marines and federal agents continue to search in the marshlands around the Island.
It was announced today that military training will be provided to all graduates of Philadelphia’s medical schools this spring. The training will be under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Page, U.S.A. The interns in the areas hospitals will be organized for army service by Dr. Ross Patterson, dean of Jefferson Medical College.
In sports, the series to determine the championship of the Eastern Basketball League begins tonight at the Armory in Camden. The Greystock Greys of Grays Ferry meet the Jasper Jewels of Kensington. The Armory was chosen because it was a neutral arena and can seat 4000. The game will begin at 9:00pm.
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