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 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 1916
There will be clear and fair skies over the city today with slightly warmer temperatures. The high will reach 65° with the low tonight about 55°. A battle will be fought at Belmont Plateau on June 3rd and all Philadelphians are invited to watch. The mock engagement will be fought by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments of the National Guard of Pennsylvania. The battle will include artillery and cavalry units as well as infantry.
Martin Cowdery has died and the blue bloods and epicureans of this city are in mourning. For three generations Mr. Cowdery has been the chef who society turned to when hors d’oeuvres, dinners and delectable desserts were needed for their weddings, dinner parties, balls and dansants. His most famous dish was “Terrapin a la Cowdery” and no midwinter affair was acceptable without its appearance. Mr. Cowdery, a Negro, died at his home at 1720 DeLancey Street where he had lived for 45 years. He was born in Virginia 78 years ago. His father had been in the service of President Martin Van Buren, after whom he was named. After the Civil War Mr. Cowdery came to Philadelphia and opened a catering business. It was not long before his fame spread and he became the culinary king of the city. He is survived by 4 sons. His funeral will be Friday at the Cherry Memorial Baptist Church, 16th & Christian Streets. Many prominent Philadelphians are expected to attend.
The 4 battalions formed from American recruits that enlisted in Canada will be permitted to have the words “American Legion” on the unit badges they will be wearing ( shown below). The United States government entered a formal protest with the British asking that the designation not be permitted. London forwarded the protest onto the Canadians who have decided to disregard it.
In baseball news, the A’s were rained out here yesterday. Or at least Connie Mack and Lee Fohl, manager of the Indians, thought it was too wet. A passing heavy rain did fall on the city yesterday afternoon but it cleared out fairly quickly and most fans thought it not enough to call a game. The A’s will finish up their series with Cleveland this afternoon at Shibe Park at 3:30pm. The Phillies took a beating at the hands of the Cubs yesterday 8 to 3. Erskine Mayer took the loss even though he only went 3 innings. Hippo Vaughn got the win for Chicago. The Phillies finish their western trip this afternoon with the Cubs then return home to meet Brooklyn on Friday.
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