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 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1917
There will be clear and fair skies over the city today but with colder temperatures. The high will only reach 58° with the low tonight near 48°. There is a chance of frost in the suburbs and surrounding farms. Today Germantown celebrates its 234th birthday. On this day in 1683 thirty-three Germans who had fled religious persecution purchased a tract of land from William Penn near Philadelphia. Led by Francis Daniel Pastorius they originally called the colony Germanopolis. Pastorius became the recognized head and law giver of the settlement. Penn described Pastorius as “sober, upright, wise and pious”. Mr. Pastorius died in 1720. Although his final resting place is disputed, his legacy shines as today’s Germantown.
Mrs. Jane Deeter Rippin of this city has been appointed by the War Department to investigate the moral conditions at army cantonments. Mrs. Rippin is presently the chief probation officer of the Municipal Court. She has been granted six months leave from her duties there to serve her country. She will begin by visiting army camps in the southern states and then proceed to France. Rumors have reached the War Department concerning the welfare of young girls living near the camps down south. Mrs. Rippin will investigate these rumors and institute plans to deal with the situation.
In International news, it seems that Russia may truly be on the verge of civil war. Yesterday Leo Trotsky, the chief lieutenant of Nicholas Lenine who heads the Bolsheviki Party, declared as much in a speech before the democratic congress. His remarks were in response to the congress’ rejection of a plan for a new coalition cabinet. Trotsky is known to be a bitter opponent of the present Premier, Mr. Kerensky.
There are some wonderful motion pictures at theatres this weekend including the spectacular fantasy production, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Arcadia, 16th & Chestnut Streets. The giant is played by the “World’s Largest Man”, Jim Tarver who stands 8’6” tall [Editor’s Note: A 16 minute portion of the film has been preserved and can be seen on youtube.com]. At the Cedar, 69th & Cedar Avenue, the incomparable Billie Burke stars in the love story The Mysterious Miss Terry. And at the Stanley, 16th & Market, Douglas Fairbanks stars in the western drama The Man from Painted Post.
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