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 SEPTEMBER 10, 1918
The city will have another day of clear fair skies with the high reaching a seasonably 81° and a low tonight of 58°. Today in the basement of City Hall 18 large German flags were set alight and burned. The flags had formerly been used for decorative purposes prior to the war. They were discovered stored among 2000 flags kept in the loft of City Hall.
The girls at Hog Island Shipyard held a “baby show” last night. The event was held in the new Y.M.C.A. building and allowed the girls to throw off the working world and revert back to when they were carefree toddlers. The girls slipped into babies clothing and brought toys and rattles to keep the “kids” from acting up. It was the first event held at the new Y and was planned as a way for the ladies to relax among themselves. No men were invited or permitted, except for the Hog Island Band which provided the music for dancing and singing entertainment. And as soon as that part of the evening was over the men were shooed out.
Some of the girls dressed as “little boys” and waltzed with the “little girls”. Contests where held to pick the funniest costume, the fanciest baby and the fattest girl. Prizes included a pom-pom box, a powder puff and a lovely lace collar and cuffs. Refreshments included ice cream, cake, cinnamon buns and fruit punch. Notwithstanding the late evening fun all the girls reported bright and early for work this morning.
In sports, up in Boston game 5 of the World Series was threatened by a players strike today. Fenway Park was filled with 25,000 fans who initially had no idea of why the game was delayed. The Boston fans were kept occupied with marching bands and salutes to wounded soldiers in the grandstands. After about a ½ hour an announcer with a megaphone stepped to home plate and said the contest would begin in 15 minutes. That was not to be.
The issue was money. The players wanted a written guarantee that each member of the winning team would receive $1,500.00 and each member of the losing team $1,000.00. Originally the winners were promised $2,000.00 each and the losers $1,400.00. Those shares were lowered by the owners to $900.00 and $300.00 respectively due to low gate receipts. Without the guarantee the players refused to take the field.
At 3:00pm Ban Johnson and Garry Herrmann representing the National Commission met with Harry Hooper of the Red Sox and Les Mann of the Cubs representing the players. Johnson argued they could not change the percentages of the allotment between the owners and the players. He also stated that had it not been for his own and the owners’ efforts in Washington D.C. the season would have been ended earlier and no World Series played because of the war. Johnson also asked Hooper and Mann to beseech the players not to disappoint the assembled fans. Former Boston Mayor, John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald was also at the meeting and joined in that request.
After debate among themselves the players decided to play the game under protest and deal with the money issue at a later time. Upon hearing this “Honey Fitz” announced to the crowd that the game would go on and the players took the field after about a 2 hour delay.
When the game finally was played Hippo Vaughn, who had lost games 1 and 3 for the Cubs, pitched a suburb 9 innings, tossing a 5 hit shutout. The Cubs took a 1 to 0 lead in the 3rd inning on a double by left fielder and player representative, Les Mann. But it was Dode Paskert, who is fondly remembered in this city for his 7 years in center field with the Phillies, who finished off the Red Sox chances today with a 2 run double in the 8th.
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