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 – TUESDAY, MAY 29, 1917
There will be partly sunny skies over the city today with slightly warmer temperatures. The high will reach 62° with the low about 52°. Schools throughout the city held assemblies today in commemoration of Memorial Day. Children preformed pageants reenacting great moments in American history and heard speeches from veterans explaining the meaning of the day and why it is also called Decoration Day. Many of the veterans served during the Civil War and they encouraged the boys to prepare to “do their bit” in this conflict when their time came. The formal celebration of Memorial Day/Decoration Day will occur tomorrow.
A mass meeting is planned tonight for Philadelphia’s Italian citizens at Beneficenze Hall, 920 S. 8th Street. The meeting is to prepare for the visit of the Italian War Commission on June 16. The over 150,000 Italians of this city plan on an extravagant welcome for their former countrymen.
In national news, there has been terrible rioting in East St. Louis, Illinois overnight. This morning 5 companies of infantry from the National Guard arrived to stop the violence. It is reported that over 3000 white men rioted beating and shooting negroes and wrecking homes and businesses belonging to blacks. Six colored men have been killed. The anger stems from the city’s importation of over 8000 negroes since January, some of whom took the jobs of striking white employees. But the spark for the riot occurred yesterday when 2 white men were robbed at gunpoint by negroes. In response, crowds of whites swept through the city’s streets. The police were outnumbered and overwhelmed and eventually gave up trying to control the crowds. The National Guard could not be called out until today because they had been federalized and were no longer under the Governor’s direct command.
In sports, there are a number of baseball games scheduled for today and tomorrow. In the high school games today, Philadelphia Trades School visits South Philadelphia and West Philadelphia goes to Frankford High. In the Professional game, The Athletics took 2 from the Yankees at Shibe Park. In the first game Bullet Joe Bush pitched a shutout getting his 4th win of the season as the Mackmen won 4 to 0. The second contest was a bit tighter with the A’s winning 4 to 3. Win Noyes got his 3rd win of the season. The Phillies doubleheader against the Giants in New York was called off due to the poor condition of the field.
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