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 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1917
Fair and clear skies are predicted today by the Weather Bureau. The high will reach 69° with the low about 52°. Jews around the world are celebrating their New Year or “Rosh Hashana”. The holiday began at sunset yesterday and ends at sunset tomorrow. In the synagogues of this city prayers were offered that America’s servicemen, both Jew and gentile, return from the task ahead safe and sound to their families.
The fight for control of the 5th Ward continues in advance of Wednesday’s election. Arrest warrants have been issued for numerous supporters of James Carey, the McNichol candidate, in the hopes, according to the McNichol faction, of suppressing the vote. The supporters of Isaac Deutsch, candidate of the Vare brothers, are hoping to wrest control of the ward from the incumbent Carey.
Beginning around 11:00pm last night a near race riot broke out in Rittenhouse Square. The residents of this fashionable neighborhood were stunned by the turmoil and violence. The trouble began when about a dozen young negro men began annoying strollers in the park. Police were called to drive the men away. When the police arrived the negros drew revolvers and fired at the police causing the police to return fire. Miraculously no one was hit. However, during their escape down 19th street the gang assaulted a white couple, stabbing the man and beating the woman. The couple, Joseph Kilgara and Dolly Ennie, were taken to the Polyclinic Hospital where they are expected to fully recover. Eight of the negroes were eventually captured.
Perhaps the youngest soldier in the United States Army was accidentally shot and killed at a training camp in Syracuse, N.Y. He was James Giordano, 15 years old, of this city (shown below). His family lives at 843 Montrose Street in South Philadelphia. His death resulted when a fellow soldier accidentally fired his pistol striking Giordano in the back. Young James ran away from home last December to fight for Old Glory. He had recently been promoted to corporal.
In baseball today, the Phillies are out in Cincinnati where Grover Cleveland Alexander won his 27th game of the season as Pat Moran’s boys beat the Reds 4 to 1. The A’s were off today as they travel to Chicago for a 3 game series starting tomorrow.
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