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, SEPTEMBER 26, 1917
Today will bring another day of clear, fair skies with gentle winds from the south. The high will be near 75° with the low about 58°. Service by Western Union telegraph has been badly affected because of Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday. Over 60% of the messenger boys employed by the company are Hebrews and absent celebrating. The company has tried to make do with clerks and office boys filling in but large delays are occurring.
There are new developments in the murder of policeman George Eppley. The man thought to be one of those that went to New York to recruit thugs to wreak havoc in the 5th Ward has been arrested. His name is James Clark. Before his name was known Clark was described as “the man with eyeglasses” by the New Yorkers he hired. Clark has given a statement to District Attorney Rotan which supposedly provides another link in the chain to the “men higher up” who are ultimately responsible for setting the whole terrible chain of events in motion.
Also today, Mayor Thomas Smith made his first formal statement on the entire situation. The Mayor made the statement after meeting in his office for 4 hours with his legal advisors. The Mayor completely denied any involvement in the incident last Wednesday. He also denied involvement in any political conspiracy for control of the 5th Ward.
The Mayor said he was aware that there might be certain “turbulences” during the election and therefore took steps to ensure extra police were sent into the Ward. He said he also gave specific written orders that police were to refrain from any political activity and stop any disturbances they saw. The Mayor promised to fully cooperate with the investigation. Finally, The Mayor for the first time mentioned officer Eppley, saying he sacrificed his life to preserve the peace. The Mayor has yet to send any expression of condolence to Mr. Eppley’s family.
In baseball today the Phillies knocked in 5 runs on 10 hits to beat the Pirates 5 to 0. Eppa Rixey pitched the shutout wining his 16th game of the season. Here at Shibe Park the A’s were also winners beating the Browns 4 to 0. Elmer Myers got his 9th win of the season holding St. Louis to just 2 hits. In football news, Temple College will not be fielding a team this season. At Temple only those students enrolled in the physical training classes play football and this year there are not enough men to field a gridiron squad.
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