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 23, 1917
Rain is in store for the city today coupled with warmer temperatures. The good news is the rain will be gone by tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 55° with the low about 37°. Mayor Smith’s son Davis, a student at Penn Charter School, has enlisted in the Naval Coast Defense League. Young Mr. Smith joined the League at its recruiting center at City Hall.
The Philadelphia School of Aviation at Essington has turned over to the government 5 of its hydroaeroplanes to be used for aerial surveillance and coastal defense. In Naval news, Secretary of the Navy Daniels stated he would immediately open bidding for the building of 15 destroyers. Submarines and submarine chasers will also begin being built in the nation’s shipyards.
From Wilmington, Delaware comes the news of a new group being organized that it is hoped will expand nationwide. The organization is called the “Little Fellows Patriotic League”. The League is for men who do not reach the standard height prescribed by Army and Navy regulations for enlistment. But even though the stature of these men is undersized their patriotism is towering. The members will offer their services to the military and civic organizations to perform any tasks needed on the home front which will free up the taller men for the fighting.
In sports, in the championship series of Eastern League Basketball played last night at the Camden Armory the Jasper Jewels of Kensington took game one from Greystock 30 to 26. Harry Hough led the Jewels in scoring with 24 points. In the ladies game the Central Y.W.C.A basketball team (shown below) has repeated as champions of the Girls’ Interchurch Association. The victors are (standing left to right) Olga Palau, Marie Alger and Marian Kratz, (seated left to right) Ethel Gardner, Mary Buhler and Margaret Van Voorhees.
On the high seas, Germany continues in its outrageous submarine attacks. Word has been received here that the American tanker “Healdton” has been sunk with the loss of 21 American lives. The ship was owned by Standard Oil and was torpedoed just off the coast of Holland. On land, an enormous battle is raging today on the western front. The battle is being fought along an 85 mile front from the Aisne River to the northern end of the Somme line. The heaviest fighting is taking place around St. Quentin just north of Laon.
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