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 OCTOBER 17, 1918
The weather will bring another day of clear skies to the city. The high will be a pleasant 73° with the low about 53°. The Department of Health has reported that only 1,686 new cases of Spanish Influenza have been reported in the last 24 hours. That is 604 less than was reported yesterday.
There was also good news from Coroner William R. Knight who reported that he has made arrangements to bury all the bodies currently at the Morgue. Over 100 bodies had been left in the Morgue due to the inability of finding undertakers to bury them. Also shipyard workers from Hog Island have volunteered to dig graves at Woodlawn Avenue Cemetery. Bodies have been left unburied at the cemetery due to the lack of grave diggers.
In other news concerning the epidemic, Doctor Wilmer Krusen, Director of the Department of Health, is visiting the 8 emergency hospitals today to review the situation in each facility. The Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania has opened a refuge for children left homeless or orphaned by the flu at the Philomousian Club, 3944 Walnut Street. And the Girl Scouts of Kensington are now working in 5 different hospitals assisting nurses and staff in caring for those suffering from influenza in that section of the city.
A Dry Zone will not be declared around the First Regiment Armory, Broad & Callowhill Streets. The declaring of the zone would have forced the closing of all saloons and bars within a ½ mile radius. It was also suggested that Student Army Training Corps installations on college campuses will not be considered military installations requiring dry zones to be declared around the schools.
From the sports world comes the news that Boston Red Sox slugger George “Babe” Ruth is suffering with the Spanish Flu. After the World Series Ruth took work with the Lebanon, Pa. plant of Bethlehem Steel. He is presently at home in Baltimore and is expected to recover.
General Pershing has sent a message to the employees of the Eddystone rifle factory of the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company in Eddystone, Pa. The message was in response to the announcement that the plant had produced one million rifles during the past year. General Pershing wrote “The American Expeditionary Force send thanks to the employes of the Eddystone rifle plant …for what you have done, for what you are now doing, but most of all, for what you are going to do during the coming months.”
Heavy fighting continues northwest of Verdun as American forces push back the Huns. German counter attacks have been repulsed inflicting great losses on the enemy. In Flanders the British and Belgians are striking at the Germans near Thielt and Thourout and have reportedly crossed the Lys River. Franco-Belgian forces have captured Boscheeweter and Edenwalle. The German army in Belgium appears to be retreating on an enormous scale.
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