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 OCTOBER 2, 1918
There will be partly cloudy skies over the city today but no rain is in the forecast. Today’s high will reach 73° with the low near 52°. John Philip Sousa and his 350 piece Great Lakes Naval Band is in this city today to help the Liberty Loan campaign. The band will perform first at 12:45pm on South Penn Square in front of the Statue of Liberty. Then at 1:15pm the band will march down Chestnut Street to Independence Hall for another performance. Finally at 8:00pm this evening Sousa and his band will give a concert at the 2nd Regiment Armory at Broad & Susquehanna Avenue.
Doctor Wilmer Krusen, Director of the city’s Department of Health, announced today he will send 50 physicians into South Philadelphia to battle the influenza epidemic. The costs for the effort will come from the city’s emergency war fund. The Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania intends to open soup kitchens in South Philadelphia to provide nourishment to families suffering the effect of the epidemic. The Emergency Aid has also asked for nurses to volunteer with helping to care for the sick in the neighborhood and wash and care for babies whose mothers are bedridden with the flu. Between yesterday and today 1,249 new cases of Influenza have been reported.
The conditions in South Philadelphia are reported as being pitiful. Entire families are ill and most are unable to find medical help. Physicians in the area are said to be exhausted. Druggists have run out of medicine and like doctors, are exhausted from working without rest. Although the situation in South Philadelphia seems the most dire at the moment the grip is now reported in every section of the city.
Nurses at the city’s hospitals are falling ill from taking care of the infected. At Pennsylvania Hospital 28 nurses are sick, at Episcopal Hospital the number is 38. At Jewish Hospital 7 nurses are ill while at Polyclinic Hospital the number is 24 and at St. Agnes there are 17 stricken with the disease. At Hog Island, 2400 workers are now sick and unable to work. Over in Camden 100 workers at New York Shipbuilding Company became so ill today they were sent to that city’s Municipal Hospital. Also Camden has ordered closed all theatres and motion picture houses and has prohibited public gatherings.
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