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. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back each day for new editions.
To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 1916
There will finally be clear and bright skies over the city today with gentle winds from the northeast bringing with them the feel of spring. The high temperature will reach 60° with the low tonight about 35°. Out in Media, Delaware County, Deputy Sheriff William Mathues is making coon hunters very happy. Today the Deputy, an avid hunter himself, released 50 raccoons he had purchased into the thickly wooded hills for breeding. The Deputy is hoping nature will take its course and the diminishing raccoon population in the area will be increased just in time for hunting season.
Mayor Smith announced today that he is determined to give the people of this city the rapid transit system they want. If the citizens wish the plan proposed by former Transit Director Taylor as opposed to that put forward by present Director Twining, so be it. Former Director Taylor’s plan called for a Broad Street Subway and Market Street Subway hub underneath City Hall. Director Twining’s plan places the hub under Arch and Race Streets and also calls for a higher passenger fare than Mr. Taylor’s which was .05¢ and included free transfer between lines.
In entertainment this weekend around the city there are many ways to spend an enjoyable evening. On stage at the Metropolitan Opera House, 1109 Chestnut Street, the curtain rises on Serge de Diaghileff’s “Ballet Russe” at 8:15pm. At the Globe Theatre, Market & Juniper Streets, former heavyweight boxing champion James J. Corbett tries his hand at vaudeville comedy appearing with “The Fe-Mail Clerks”. In motion pictures at the Overbrook, 63rd & Haverford Avenue Hobart Bosworth stars in the western drama “The Yaqui”. And at the Palace, 1214 Market Street, Tyrone Power (shown below) stars in “John Needham’s Double”.
On the sports scene, the high school baseball season will be opening for 14 schools in the area today and tomorrow. The opening games include Philadelphia Textile vs. Villanova Preparatory, Brown Prep takes on West Chester Normal and South Philadelphia plays Girard at Girard Field. And over in New Jersey, Friends Central faces Haddon Heights, Palmyra High meets Haddonfield High at Haddonfield and Episcopal Academy travels to Bordentown Military Academy.
The German army under the leadership of the Crown Prince has resumed its drive on Verdun. Today the fortified village of Malancourt, 10 miles northeast of Verdun fell to German assault. The town was bombarded before being attacked by three infantry assaults. The French were unable to withstand the charge and withdrew. On the Italian front this morning, 29 Austrian aeroplanes bombed Venice, Verona, Pordenone and other cities in northern Italy. So far 5 people are known dead in Verona. Also, reports from Geneva, Switzerland assert that 22,000 Serbian refugees have died thus far fleeing the Austro-German and Bulgarian armies in their march to safety in Salonica.
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