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, NOVEMBER 21, 1917
The city is in for another cloudy day with the possibility of a light rain overnight. Today’s high will be near 48° with the low this evening about 42°. It was announced today that Philadelphia had raised $2,160,000.00 for the Y.M.C.A. war fund drive. The Y.M.C.A. is hoping to raise $35,000,000.00 nationwide to support programs and activities for men and women in the service both here and overseas.
Philadelphia has received orders from Washington D.C. to section off certain areas of the city to keep enemy aliens out. This order is issued pursuant to President Wilson’s Proclamation yesterday. Initially ropes will be uses as a barrier and the areas will be guarded by National Guard units. Everything will be done under the direction of the War Department. The waterfront and the docks and piers will be the first areas roped off. Factories involved in war material productions and warehouses storing the material will also be restricted.
On the sports scene, Roy Mack, son of the Athletics’ manager has enlisted in the Navy. Young Mr. Mack is now a yeoman 3rd class at the Charlestown Navy Yard. In basketball last night at the Musical Fund Hall, Grays Ferry’s Greystock Greys defeated South Philadelphia’s DeNeri 21 to 17. Tonight in Camden, Trenton visits the winless Skeeters at the Armory.
The British under Field Marshal Haig have broken the Hindenburg line smashing through almost 5 miles and taking thousands of German prisoners. The attack took the Germans totally by surprise starting at dawn yesterday. It was British tanks (shown below) that led the way, battering down barb wire and cement emplacements and sending the Germans into retreat.
Then came the “Tommies” streaming through the gaps and rushing the dazed Boche (shown below). The battle was led by over 430 tanks followed by the British 3rd Army under General Sir Julian Byng. Numerous towns and villages have been taken. The focal point of the fighting now is at the town of Cambrai which serves as an important German supply and communications center. If nothing else, the attack establishes that the impregnable Hindenburg line is impregnable no longer. In the Middle East, the British army under General Allenby is enveloping Jerusalem. Today Scottish troops occupied Beit Likia, which is 9 miles from the Holy City.
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