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 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1917
There will be fair skies today but clouds will be arriving overnight with the possibility of rain. Today’s high will be 63° with the low near 47°. The National League for Woman’s Service has opened its headquarters at 1713 Walnut Street. The location is the home of Mrs. Johns Hopkins. Donations are being solicited for wool which will be made into warm socks and sweaters for our boys.
The War Department is considering establishing a permanent training camp at Betzwood near Norristown. The land was part of which was operated by Siegmund Lubin until earlier this year. If the land does become a training camp all saloons within a 5 mile radius will be closed. That would include all bars in restaurants and hotels in Norristown, Phoenixville, Valley Forge and King of Prussia.
In sports, the champions of the Eastern League of Basketball, the Greystock Greys of Grays Ferry, have announced that there will be no more professional basketball games at Cooper Battalion Hall, 23rd & Christian Streets. The reason is the facility will be used exclusively as a club for enlisted men. Additionally the Greys manager announced the team is up for sale. And Frankford High School’s football team is looking for a game this week. The team was scheduled to play Brown Preparatory School but Brown had to cancel the match. Any scholastic team available can telephone Frankford High at Frankford 1100. The game will be played at Frankford’s field. And in boxing, lightweight champion Benny Leonard has joined the Army and received a Lieutenant’s commission. The champ will start army life as a boxing instructor at Camp Upton.
In national news, fire at the Kansas City Stockyards yesterday destroyed a large part of the yard and killed 11,000 cattle and 3,300 hogs. Thousands of head of cattle that escaped the blaze are roaming the streets of Kansas City today. Locals are trying to round them up. Officials are denying that the fire was a result of German sabotage.
On the western front the weather is clearing and with that British artillery fire is increasing in Flanders. This artillery barrage is leading many to believe it is the prelude for anther British offensive. In Eastern Europe, All of Oesel Island in the Gulf of Riga is now in German hands. Also under German assault is Dago Island. If the Germans are successful in taking the Islands the entire coast of Esthonia (modern Estonia) will be open for invasion.
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