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 4, 1917
There will be rain throughout the afternoon and evening with a high of 46° and the low near 41°. Base Hospital No. 10, organized by the Pennsylvania Hospital announced today that it has completed its enrollment of enlisted personal and is ready to proceed to France. The hospital will be headed by Dr. Richard Harte and will have 25 doctors, 50 nurses and a corps of attendants. The hospital personnel are not permitted to disclose the date of their departure.
The Mayor was presented today with a report detailing that in the 2nd Police district comprising the 3rd & 4th Wards there are 150 speakeasies and 75 “disorderly houses”. The report was part of an appeal to the Mayor that he order those Wards cleaned up. It was learned by the investigators that not only do policemen frequent the gambling houses but many are on friendly terms with the crooks, pickpockets, gunmen and proprietors of the disorderly houses. This friendship gives these criminals a sense of protection. Magistrate Imber, who hears the cases of this district, was also mentioned as being friendly and lenient on certain defendants brought before him.
In Chester County, a Coroner’s Jury has failed to find any evidence of a plot in the explosion at the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation’s plant. However, Coroner Drewes has stated that although he was satisfied with the verdict he believes that much of the evidence was indefinite and should be investigated further.
In sports, both the Athletics game here against the Yankees and the Phillies in New York against the Giants are postponed due to rain. At the Cambria A.C., Kensington & Somerset, tonight a welterweight championship bout for the 145lbs class will have Tommy Coleman meet Milburn Saylor. Three other bouts are also on the card.
On the western front intense fighting is once again underway on the Arras front. The British have taken Fresnoy but at great cost. The British have about 320,000 men attacking on an 18 mile front. At some areas along the battle line there is hand-to-hand fighting. The Germans have thrown enormous numbers of reserves into the fight. On the eastern front there is a virtual armistice. No fighting has taken place between Russian and Austrian troops in a month. In some areas there are reports of German and Russian troops fraternizing.
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