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, MAY 18, 1917
There will be partly cloudy skies over the region today but rain is not expected. The high will be about 79° with the low overnight near 53°. The Society of Friends’ concluded their yearly meeting today at 15th & Race Streets with a statement declaring total opposition to all wars. The statement read in part that the Friends are “… uncompromisingly opposed to all wars, believing them to be an inefficient method of advancing human interests.”
There are more developments in the poisoning of the National Guardsmen at Port Perry, Pennsylvania. It was originally believed only 14 soldiers were affected but that number was raised to 41 last night. Today it was learned that the restaurant’s cook, Mrs. Helen Shipley, has also been poisoned. She is expected to recover. It has also been learned that the poison was fed to the soldiers in rice pudding. The restaurant’s owner, Carl Miller, is still under military guard. The body of Lt. William Corcoran, the only soldier killed as a result of the poison, is being returned to Philadelphia today.
In entertainment this weekend a number of new photoplays will be showing. On screen at the Forrest, Broad & Locust, the spectacular film adaptation of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” staring Allen Holubar, Matt Moore and Jane Gail.
At the Stanley, 16th & Market, “The Primrose Ring” opens staring Mae Murray and Tom Moore in a story of love between a cripple girl and her surgeon. At the 56th Street Theatre, 56th & Spruce, Fannie Ward stars in the marital comedy “The School for Husbands”. On the stage at B.F. Keith’s, 12th & Chestnut, Julia Arthur stars as the Goddess of Liberty in “Liberty Aflame” proclaiming a patriotic message for all true Americans. And at the Broadway, Broad & Snyder, James Carson headlines in the musical comedy “Models Abroad”.
On the western front, the Germans are burning the city of Lens. Even though it has rained for two days the fires could be seen leaping into the sky all night from the British lines. It is unknown if the burning is part of a German withdrawal as has been done in other cities they have evacuated. In the Alpine sector the Italians continue their drive toward Trieste. General Cadorna’s army is now reportedly only 12 miles from the city. And at Marseilles, Japanese troops landed today to fight alongside a contingent of Russians on the western front.
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