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, FEBRUARY 1, 1917
There are fair skies over the city today with the high reaching 45° and the low tonight about 32°. However, colder temperatures are expected for the remainder of the week. The city treasury today reported an amount of $876,290.15 in excess of disbursements.
Trolley cars came to the rescue of 4 Philadelphia fire trucks today. The trucks were returning from a fire at the farm of George Johnson, 81st Street and Madison Avenue. When they reached Island Road and Dicks Avenue they somehow got stuck in the mud. The horses were unable to pull the trucks out. Luckily the trolleys came along, hooked up each truck and pulled it to freedom. In scholastic news, this evening West Philadelphia High School will hold commencement exercises at the auditorium, 47th & Walnut Streets. Eighty Four girls will be receiving their diplomas.
On sports beat in basketball Trenton beat Camden last night 45 to 32 knocking the Alphas out of 1st place. Tonight Kensington’s Jasper Jewels take on the Reading Bears at the Nonpareil A.C., Kensington Avenue and Ontario Street.
Unrestricted submarine warfare is now in effect. The German Admiralty has declared that beginning today its submarines will sink on sight any ship in the designated “War Zone”. Neutral ships, including those of the United States, are subject to attack. The war zone in the Atlantic Ocean covers the area from the Norwegian coast west to Iceland and south to the northeast tip of Spain. All waters around the British Isles and the French coast are also included. Additionally included is the Mediterranean Sea. There are certain designated free zones that neutral ships may use to reach Spain, Portugal, Norway and Holland. But these routes are of very limited area, some only 20 miles wide. The Germans also advised the United States it will only permit one American ship a week to enter British waters via a designated route. President Wilson is preparing a formal response to the German Empire’s declaration.
Here at our port 50 foreign ships remain at dock while 35 ships from Philadelphia are currently on the high seas. At the Navy Yard, shore leave has been denied to the interned German officers and crew of the ships Eitel Friedrich and Kronprinz Wilhelm. One German officer told reporters today that America will do nothing in response to the submarine threat because she has no real navy and the ships that are available have no sailors to man them. He also asserted that now England will capitulate or else be starved.
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