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 – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1917
The skies over the city remain cloudy and unsettled with moderate winds from the west and a slight chance of rain. Today’s high will be near 75° with the low tonight about 60°. Today Philadelphia celebrated the 160th birthday of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette known here as the Marquis de Lafayette, Major General of the Continental Army, friend of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and many of the other men who founded this nation.
The center of the celebration was Independence Hall which had been gaily decorated with French and American flags and bunting. Independence Hall was chosen because it was there that Lafayette first tendered his sword to fight for American independence and it was there in 1825 when he had returned to America for a grand tour that he was greeted by untold thousands of citizens welcoming him with unrestrained joy and fraternal love.
Today another enormous crowd assembled in the square outside the Hall to hear speeches from city, state and national dignitaries. The featured speaker was Ambassador Jean Jules Jusserand of France. The Ambassador arrived in this city around 1:00pm and was escorted to Independence Hall by veterans and active members of the First Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Upon his arrival and ascent to the speakers’ platform the band played the “Marseillaise” and everyone in attendance rose to their feet in respect of France’s national anthem.
When M. Jusserand addressed the crowd he spoke of the great friendship between France and America. He recounted that Lafayette had learned from George Washington the ideals of justice and freedom which he brought back to France. In conclusion the Ambassador thanked America for answering France’s call in her time of need. He said America’s answer was clearly expressed when General Pershing visited Lafayette’s grave in July and exclaimed “Lafayette, we are here”.
In baseball today, the A’s lost again to the Red Sox at Shibe Park, 3 to 1. The A’s pitchers only allowed 5 hits but those plus 3 errors cost the Mackmen the game. The Phillies are up at the Polo Grounds for the second doubleheader in as many days against the Giants. In the first game with the contest tied at 2 in the 5th the Phillies scored 3 runs including a home run by Gravvy Cravath, his 12th of the year. The second game didn’t go as well as Erskine Mayer was tagged for 10 hits and got no support from his teammates as the Phillies were shutout 7 to 0.
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW