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 27, 1917
There will be cloudy and overcast skies over the city today with the possibility of light showers. The temperature will be slightly cooler than yesterday with the high about 58° and the low near 40°. The City of Philadelphia has extended an invitation to President Wilson to address the planned rally at Independence Hall next Saturday. The rally will be for citizens to pledge their patriotism and loyalty to the nation in this time of crisis. Businesses are being encouraged to close so their employees can attend. It is believed at least 100,000 people will be on the square.
In Harrisburg today the Pennsylvania Senate voted 32 to 12 to abolish capital punishment. The measure now will go to the House for debate. And in Washington, D.C. the War Department announced that it had no plans to intern German nationals living in the United States as resident aliens. The Secretary of War, Newton Baker, stated that everyone who behaves in an obedient manner to the laws of this country will have nothing to fear. Mr. Baker said “The hospitality of our country extends to all aliens who behave.”
Also in Washington today the President by Executive Order authorized increasing the strength of the Marine Corps from 14,000 to 17,400. And over in Camden the Victor Talking Machine Company will organize its own machine-gun company from its employees for service in New Jersey’s National Guard.
On the sports beat, in boxing at the Olympia A.A., Broad & Bainbridge, last night Johnny Dundee of New York and “Lefty” Lew Tendler of this city fought an exciting 6 round match. Tendler’s unusual style caused the veteran Dundee problems throughout the fight. But Dundee was able to do enough to win in a close decision. In baseball down in St. Petersburg, Milt Stock the Phillies 3rd baseman has finally come to camp and signed a contract. But George “Possum” Whitted is still not here. The outfielder is reportedly holding out for a salary of $5,500.00 this season which is $1,500.00 more than he earned last year.
In entertainment news, The Philadelphia Orchestra on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week will be performing the St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Orchestra has requested that in accordance with the sacred and solemn nature of the work that the audience refrain from applause during the performance.
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