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, SEPTEMBER 8, 1917
There will be a steady and at times heavy rain over the city today. The high will only reach 60° with the low tonight near 52°. Because of the rain the police carnival scheduled for this afternoon at Franklin Field has been postponed until next Saturday.
A series of five explosions rocked the Frankford Arsenal at 2:20am leaving two dead, thirty injured and two missing. Five buildings have been destroyed and a huge quantity of munitions destroyed. Although the cause of the destruction is presently unknown it is believed it was triggered by the accidental detonation of a tray of artillery shell fuses. The surrounding neighborhood was jolted by the blasts. Windows for blocks around were blown out and shattered. And many residents fled their homes and ran into the streets in panic. Thankfully the steady rain helped keep the fires from spreading and doing additional damage within the facility. The Army intends to convene a commission to investigate the incident. The Arsenal is now closed until the extent of the damage is fully determined.
Freihofer’s Bakery has announced that it has invented a new kind of bread which will not grow stale even after 5 days. Mr. William Freihofer, senior member of the company, said that the long life of the bread will prevent waste and result in a savings of 11,000,000 loaves a year. This is in keeping with Mr. Herbert Hoover’s appeal to conserve food. Mr. Freihofer wishes to assure the public that the recipe, which is secret, does not contain any substitute materials like the war bread of Europe. The bread is made with all natural products. Mr. Freihofer stated that before making the bread available to the public he tested it on his own table with his family. Freihofer’s is calling the bread “Liberty Loaf”.
In entertainment this weekend in motion pictures, at the Locust, 52nd & Locust, Douglas Fairbanks stars in “Down To Earth”, a comedy love story which has Fairbanks trick the girl he loves and a group of hypochondriacs into leaving the sanitarium they are in to accompany him on a wilderness adventure. The trip results in curing all that ails them. At the Strand, Germantown Avenue & Venango, George M. Cohan and Hedda Hopper star in “Seven Keys to Baldplate” a murder mystery based on Mr. Cohan’s 1913 stage play. And at the Garrick, 1330 Chestnut Street, the official Royal Italian War Picture “The Italian Battlefront” is on screen.
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