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, OCTOBER 12, 1917
Today’s forecast calls for periods of rain throughout the afternoon and into this evening. The high will be about 65° with the low near 42°. Italian societies of the city celebrated the 425th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus today. The groups placed a wreath at the great navigator’s statute in Fairmount Park. Speakers included Chevalier C.C.A Baldi and John Queroli, chairman of the Columbus Day Italian Committee. Mr. Queroli appealed for Columbus Day to be observed throughout the country. At celebrations in the city’s Italian colony concerts were given and flags raised at predominantly Italian parochial schools. In recognition of the day the Stock Exchange, Produce Exchange, banks and numerous other businesses were closed.
Every Philadelphian is invited to join in for a great patriotic community “sing” at the Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park tomorrow. The event is planned for 3:00pm as part of the city’s tribute to her boys who have joined the service. The event will begin with Mme. Louise Homer of the Metropolitan Grand Opera Company leading the crowd in signing the Star Spangled Banner. Airmen from the Navy Yard and Essington will fly overhead and sprinkle thousands of flags over the crowd while the army fires off canons in salute.
On the sports beat, in World Series play yesterday at the Polo Grounds the New York Giants shutout the Chicago White Sox 5 to 0. Center fielder Benny Kauff led the Giants with two home runs and 3 RBIs. The series is now tied at two games each and heads back to Chicago. In High School football today South Philadelphia High goes across the river to take on Camden High, Episcopal Academy travels to Haverford and Germantown meets Chestnut Hill.
On the western front, the British offensive northeast of Ypres continues to meet with success. The victory is even more impressive because the constant rain has turned the ground into a sea of mud. It has rained in Flanders for 5 days straight. In the south, the Italians have repulsed the Austrian assault on Mount Costabella. In the east the Germans have launched a combined naval and land assault on Oesel Island and Dago Island in the Baltic Sea north of the Gulf of Riga. The German fleet includes eight dreadnaughts and numerous smaller vessels. The assault troops number over 25,000. The Russians, though outnumbered in both ships and troops are putting up a fierce defense.
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