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 SEPTEMBER 3, 1918
There will be cloudy overcast skies over the city today with the chance of showers tonight. Today’s high will reach 79° with the low tonight at 62°. The Philadelphia County Fair opened yesterday at Byberry. The Fair’s slogan is “Food Must Win the War”. Virtually every exhibit and event deals with food conservation and the role it plays in victory. There are exhibits featuring farm equipment and trucks and events including horse racing, livestock competitions, cooking demonstrations and a variety lectures on agriculture and animal husbandry. Also on the schedule are daily band entertainments and vaudeville acts. The Fair will close on Thursday evening.
A hermit has been living at the abandoned baseball field at 67th & Elmwood Streets making his home under the grandstand. The man is described as having long blonde hair and a shaggy blonde beard. In the pre-dawn light each day he makes his way along the streets and pilfers milk bottles and bread left on the doorsteps for the morning delivery. This morning he was seen by Police Sergeant Bersch. A chase ensued with the hermit guzzling milk and munching bread as he ran. Finally after a few blocks he just sat down and waited for the Sergeant. The man refuses to give his name and police believe he grew his hair and beard long to look older and avoid military service. He is now living at the House of Detention where his hair will be cut and his beard shaved and if he appears young enough to serve he will be turned over to Federal authorities as a slacker.
In international news, the United States has formerly recognized the Czecho-Slovak peoples as a co-belligerent nation in the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. France, Britain and Italy had previously recognized the Czecho-Slovaks as an independent nation. The territory of the country is considered to include Bohemia, Moravia and a portion of Galicia. All of which is currently under Austrian domination.
Also on the international scene, the attempted assassination of Bolshevik leader Nikolai Lenine on Friday in Moscow, Russia has resulted in drastic counter measures by the government. A proclamation has been issued decreeing that anyone found with a gun in their possession in Moscow will be immediately executed. Also, anyone agitating against the Soviet Government will be arrested, sent to a concentration camp and have their property confiscated by the state. Lenine was hit three times and is recovering from his wounds. The woman who fired the shots, Dora or Fanya Kaplan, a member of a rival socialist party, was executed today.
American and French forces have taken the plateau above Soissons. The assault began Sunday night by the Americans from the Bethune-Soissons roadway. The Americans led the assault under heavy machine gun fire and airplane attack. Further north the “Wotan Switch Line”, one of the most formidable German defensive sectors was captured this morning by British and Canadian troops. The line stretched between Drocourt and Queant along a six mile front. Field Marshal Douglas Haig also announced that British forces have entered and captured the city of Lens.
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