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 – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 5, 1918
Today’s weather will give us clear fair skies with a high of 51° and a low of 45° overnight. And on this day all Philadelphians send their best wishes to Mr. Isaac Clothier, one of the founders of Strawbridge & Clothier, on this his 81st birthday.
Those visiting the City Hall area around Noon today will be treated to a “Tank Circus” at the base of the Liberty Statute on South Penn Square. The circus is an exhibition of the operational abilities of tanks in warfare. The French “Whippet” tank will be operated by the “Treat‘Em Rough” squad of the U.S. Tank Corps. The whippet is a small 2 man tank developed for speed and maneuverability on the battlefield. Also appearing will be cowboy comedian Will Rogers who will regale the audience with his stories and exhibitions of his lassoing skills.
Today is Election Day in Pennsylvania and across the nation. The polls are open today from 7:00am to 7:00pm. All saloons are closed until midnight. In Philadelphia 241,317 citizens are entitled to vote. Most prognosticators predict that the Republican Party will easily maintain control of city councils and the Pennsylvania legislature. It is also believed from those at the polls that the Republicans will elect William C. Sproul as Governor. According to poll watchers’ reports from South Philadelphia, Republicans are virtually receiving unanimous support.
In the national election news, the Democratic Party is predicting it will retain majority control of the Senate. In fact Democrats think they will actually gain two seats in the Senate. However there is less surety about the Democrats retaining control of the House of Representatives. The Republicans, on the other hand, are predicting victory in both houses of Congress. Some believe the falling popularity of President Wilson may lead to Republican gains.
It is now estimated that during the 10 day Battle of Vittorio Veneto beginning on October 24 until the signing of the Armistice with Austria, the Italian army took 500,000 Austrian and German prisoners of war. This is the largest number of prisoners ever taken in military history.
Notwithstanding the fact that Germany now stands alone against the allies, the fighting on the western front continues. In the face of fierce opposition the American army took the wooded heights south of Beaumont, France. This was the last German stronghold west of the Meuse River. Further north the British are attacking along a 30 mile front between Oisy and Landrecies, France. Reportedly the British have taken Landrecies and have entered Oisy. Ten thousand German prisoners have been taken.
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