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, MAY 17, 1917
Today will bring more clear and bright skies over the city. The high will reach 63° with the low about 46°. The spirit of patriotism is everywhere, even at Eastern State Penitentiary. In an effort to do his part, Convict B-7542, who also happens to be secretary of the Honor and Friendship Club, began a collection to benefit the War Work Council of the Y.M.C.A. In just one day the inmates have donated their pennies, nickels and dimes in the amount of $75.00.
One National Guard officer is dead and 13 other soldiers are hospitalized at Port Perry near Pittsburgh. The men are all from Company C, 3rd Regiment of N.G.P. The incident is believed to be the result of poisoning which occurred at a Noon meal yesterday. The meal was served at a restaurant owned by Carl Miller who is believed to be a German sympathizer. After eating the men returned to camp and became sick. Doctors rushed from Pittsburgh to treat the men and had them transferred to an area hospital.
The dead officer is Lieutenant William Corcoran of 5533 Vine Street of this city (shown below). The Lieutenant lived with his mother who has not yet been officially informed of her son’s death. After an autopsy of Lt. Corcoran, poisoning was determined to be the cause of death. Eight of the thirteen sick soldiers are also from Philadelphia. They are: Harry Walwarth, 1222 Cadwaller St.; Edward Boyle, 1914 North Croskey St.; John Kidson, 4th & Snyder, John Brentinger, 27th & Tasker St.; Benjamin Knight, 424 S. Carlisle St.; Arthur McCormick, 1222 S. 12th St.; George McCutcher, 327 S. Bambrey St. and M. Gratz. The restaurant owner, Miller, has been placed under military guard while regimental officers investigate the matter.
In International news, socialists in Russia have forced the resignation of Foreign Minister Milliukoff and War Minister Gutchkoff. The socialist Minister of Justice, A.F. Kerensky has been appointed War Minister. The socialists are organized under the Council of Workmen’s and Soldiers Deputies.
On the western front and enormous battle is being waged between Lens and the Argonne forest. In the south the Italians are driving against the Austrians along the Isonzo River front. And in Macedonia the French have opened a new offensive against a combined German-Bulgarian Army at Monastir. In Mesopotamia a stalemate has developed between British and Turkish troops. There have been few major encounters since May 1st.
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