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 – THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1917
There will be generally cloudy skies over the city today. The high will reach an unseasonably 48° with the low about 35°. Some of the city’s most prominent Jews will gather tonight at Mercantile Hall, Broad & Master Streets, for the 20th annual Purim Ball. The event is given under the auspices of the Congregation Beth Israel. And the Jewish women of this city are also holding a 2 day “self-sacrifice” campaign to raise funds for medical relief for the people of Palestine. Collection sites have been set up at 821 Chestnut Street and the Jewish synagogues at Broad & York, Broad & Diamond, Broad & Columbia and 31st & Diamond.
The ladies of Swarthmore College have joined the preparedness movement. Over 150 girls have enrolled in classes to prepare themselves for service in the event of war. The courses will be given over 12 weeks and teach the young ladies how to use bandages, set bones, care for cuts and burns and treat gunshot wounds.
In national news, the Bell Telephone Company has organized 40,000 of its employees to serve as a military signal corps in the event of war. Every man is an expert in telephone work and is ready for immediate duty if called to the colors. In Washington, D.C., President Wilson intends to give the order to Secretary of the Navy Daniels to begin arming American merchant vessels. Once the order is received the Philadelphia Navy Yard will being outfitting the ships in this port. In other news, administration officials have said that Austria’s response yesterday that its submarines will not fire on neutral merchant ships without warning has averted the severing of relations by the United States.
British cavalry detachments have attacked the Turks 27 miles from the gates of Bagdad. The British believe they will take Bagdad soon. On the western front an enormous aerial raid has taken place by British flyers on retreating German troops on the Somme and Ancre fronts. The raid occurred earlier this week after clouds and heavy fog which covered the area the past 2 weeks finally lifted. In the Mediterranean Sea, the Germans claim that in the last week their submarines have sent 15 merchant ships to the bottom. Most of the ships were British.
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW.