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 – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1917
The weather will give us another day of fair skies and cool temperatures. The high will only reach 55° with the low tonight near 34°. Final approval was received today from Mayor Smith for the 1918 Mummers Parade. An expenditure of $7,500.00 was approved for prize money. Nineteen clubs are expected to march and Councilman John Baizley, who chairs the committee responsible for the extravaganza, stated that the 1918 parade will be the most spectacular ever staged.
Poultry merchants in this city announced this afternoon that there will be plenty of turkeys for everyone’s Thanksgiving feast. Pennsylvania law allows cold storage of turkeys for up to 9 months and a large number of turkeys were placed in cold storage in February and are therefore available. There are also large numbers of birds available in Virginia. It is predicted that cold storage turkeys will sell this year for about 34¢ a pound.
Today there are many events, socials, classes and lectures which have free admission for anyone wearing a military uniform. One such free event is motion pictures at the Strand Theatre, Germantown & Venango Avenues. Also a class in automobile mechanics will be given this afternoon at the Marine Barracks at the Navy Yard. This evening dinners will be provide to servicemen at a number of churches including: the Church of the Incarnation, Broad & Jefferson Streets; Universalist Church of the Messiah, Broad & Montgomery Streets; St. Jude and the Nativity Church, 11th & Mount Vernon Streets; and Immanuel Baptist Church, 23rd & Summer Streets. And at 8:00pm this evening, the Knights of Columbus will give a smoker and entertainment for up to 1500 servicemen at the St. Thomas Aquinas School Hall, 18th & Morris Streets.
On the International scene, there is troubling news from Russia. The Bolsheviki leadership in Petrograd has announced that they have deposed Premier Alexander Kerensky and his government. The Bolsheviks declared they will replace the former government with one which will seek an immediate peace with Germany and Austria. All authority is to be given to a Soviet Assembly with elections to be called immediately.
Leon Trotsky (shown below), president of the Soviet Committee in Petrograd declared the provisional government of Kerensky now non-existent. No information has been released on exactly how the government was overthrown or what has happened to Kerensky. So far three Cossack regiments have pledged their support to the Bolsheviks. Whether or not this revolt is limited to Petrograd or has wide support is yet to be determined. There are fears these events could lead to all out civil war.
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