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, NOVEMBER 20, 1917
Today’s weather will bring cloudy and unsettled skies. The temperatures will remain on the cool side with a high of 49° and an overnight low of 35°. Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving gifts to her boys at Camp Meade in Maryland left this morning. Five tons of food, tobacco, candy, sweaters, socks, underwear and all manner of knickknacks were loaded on trucks this morning and sent on its way. Tomorrow a similar shipment for our boys will be loaded on a special train car and sent to Fort Hancock, Georgia.
Today will be observed as “meatless” Tuesday. Previously all meats except beef was permitted on Tuesdays but that has now been changed by order of Mr. Herbert Hoover. No meat of any kind, including chicken and ham sandwiches, will be available at lunchrooms, saloons or restaurants.
A special demonstration is planned for Thanksgiving afternoon over City Hall. An aerial battle will be staged between biplanes from Fort du Pont and hydroplanes from League Island and the Essington Aviation School. The exhibition is being organized by the National Food Conservation Board as an educational opportunity to spread the message of conservation. The bombs that will be dropped around City Hall will be educational circulars with advice to housewives on practical methods of husbanding supplies. The air show will start at 2:00pm.
On the sports scene, in basketball tonight DeNeri meets Greystock at Musical Fund Hall, 8th & Locust Streets. Since this year the Hall is home court for both teams, there will be no “home-floor” advantage for either team. DeNeri has currently won 3 straight games. Last night Trenton ran rings around Reading winning easily 42 to 28.
Brutal, fierce fighting is continuing in Northern Italy on the Piave River front. The German-Austrian army recently took Mount Tomba (shown below). Now the Italians are making counter-assaults to drive the enemy off. Also there are reports the Italians are considering retreating from the area to form a new defensive line if they are unable to beat the Teutons back. A retreat by the Italians would mean the evacuation of Venice and that city’s capture. Many of Venice’s art treasures have already been removed. Additionally, the Pope has obtained a promise from the Germans that no damage will be done to Venice if it is surrendered without any resistance.
GET YOUR COPY BY CLICKING HERE: PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS