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 – TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1916
The city will finally have clear and fair skies today. The temperature will be slightly cooler with the high reaching 80° and the low tonight about 55°. The firemen of Engine Company 55 are doing their part to beautify the city. The men have cleared a patch of fallow land at 6th & Erie Avenue and planted a flower garden which they now tend with loving care (shown below). The men are hoping other fire companies’ around the city will do the same and help transform some of the city’s dingier streets.
Mayor Smith today warned voters that there was a plot afoot to defeat the transit loan measure by the forces of Senator Penrose and his ally state senator James McNichol. The plan is for the Penrose-McNichol election officers to keep from the voters next week the two separate ballots upon which votes for the measure must be cast. Supposedly these election officers have been instructed to not give a voter these ballots unless they are specifically asked for. Most voters would not think of having to ask for such ballots and therefore the Penrose-McNichol faction believes the majority of the votes cast will be by their supporters who will cast “no” votes on the measure thereby defeating the loans.
The situation in Mexico has become grave according to General Funston. He has reported to Washington today that Mexican General Obregon has now refused to sign the protocol agreed to last week during their meeting. Also, in response to the raid on Big Bend, Texas Friday night by bandits pledged to Pancho Villa, President Wilson has called out the National Guard of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and ordered four additional infantry units of the army to the border. Secretary of War Baker stated today that the National Guard and regular army troops will be used to defend our border and our people from Mexican attack. However, he also stated that if necessary they could be sent into Mexico. Presently there are 18,000 American troops in Mexico under General Pershing.
On the sports beat, the Phillies were off today and will open a 3 game series in St. Louis tomorrow. Here at Shibe Park the Athletics were pummeled by the Detroit Tigers 16 to 2 in the first game of a 4 game series. Ty Cobb led the rout with 2 doubles and 4 RBI’s. In high school baseball, La Salle tied Villanova Prep in the 9th inning at 9 all and then went on to win 10 to 9 in the 10th inning. And Catholic High defeated Germantown High 10 to 2. In boxing last night at the Olympia A.A., Broad & Bainbridge Streets, featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane knocked down Willie Jackson 3 times in the 1st round and finally knocked him so senseless that the referee probably saved the New Yorker’s life by stopping the fight in the 5th.
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