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 – MONDAY JANUARY 29, 1917
Mayor Smith today stated he fully supports the construction of a bridge connecting Philadelphia and Camden. However the Mayor does not want to rush into the project but would rather take things one step at a time. The Mayor said that will prevent a needless expenditure of money. He recommends that city councils appoint a committee and engineers to study the proposal.
South Philadelphia residents were sent running in fear for cover when a man began randomly firing his gun at passersby on 10th Street near Mifflin. The shooter was Joseph Colosi of 1919 South Alder Street. As Colosi was reloading another man took out his pistol and shot Colosi in the chest. Colosi then retreated to his home where after exchanging gunshots with police he was taken into custody. He is currently at St. Agnes Hospital in serious condition. The identity of the man who shot Colosi is not known.
In news from the southern border, Mexicans rioted on the Juarez side of the International Bridge today throwing bottles and rocks at America troops on the other side. The Mexicans were incensed that they were not allowed to cross into the United States until they took fumigation baths. About 500 Mexicans shouting “death to gringos” and “death to America” charged across the bridge but they were pushed back by America soldiers. In the last few days tensions on the border have risen. There have been a number of cross border raids by Mexican outlaws and anti-American protests in Juarez. There are also reports of fighting between the forces of Carranza and those of the Pancho Villa-Emiliano Zapata alliance.
In entertainment, D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” continues at the Chestnut Street Opera House with 2 showings daily. In vaudeville at the Globe Theatre, Singer’s Midgets headline the bill. The entourage includes 30 tiny men and women, 20 miniature ponies and 2 midget elephants. Tickets start at 10¢. And at the Palace, 39th and Market, the adventurous can engage in roller skating every afternoon and evening for 15¢.
In sports, the Camden Alphas and the Greystock Greys are tied for first place in the Eastern Basketball League. In baseball, Phillies catcher Bill Killefer has categorically denied that he has agreed to hold out with Grover Cleveland Alexander until the team meets the players’ salary demands. Alexander has been offered $8,000.00 for the upcoming season but is asking for $15,000.00. Killefer has been offered $5,000.00 but has not as yet replied to the terms.
In war news, the German Admiralty is promising an enormous shipbuilding program to challenge its enemies on every ocean. Shipyards throughout the empire are engaged in continuous activity. Germany now boasts 800 submarines.
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