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 – SATURDAY JULY 13, 1918
There will be rain on and off throughout the day today and continuing into tomorrow. The high will only reach 73° with the low about 63°. Two new trolley lines to Hog Island will begin operating on Monday. The Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company will run a line starting at 40th & Market Street while the Philadelphia Railways Company will operate a line originating at 3rd & Jackson Street. Both lines begin running every morning at 5:00am.
Today this city’s French colony celebrates Bastille Day and Philadelphians join them. Starting at Noon over 200 members of various French societies marched from the French consulate, 524 Walnut Street to Independence Hall to begin the commemoration (shown below). Music was provided by the Firemen’s Band. At Independence Hall the crowd heard speeches from the French Counsel and other dignitaries describing the special friendship between our nations. After the speeches the crowd joined in singing the Marseillaise.
At other locations around the city celebrations and parties are being held in support of our oldest ally. Down at the Navy Yard the sailors and marines showed their support by flying the French flag on the ships. Out at the Belmont Mansion a party was held where all the foreign counsels present in the city attended along with representatives of the allied powers, city officials, and officers from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Again the Marseillaise was sung followed by the Star Spangled Banner. Then there was dancing and sporting events.
There were also smaller celebrations and parties at schoolyards and parks around the city to honor France’s support for America during the Revolution and its great courage and sacrifice in this war. The Bastille fell 129 years ago on July 14. Tomorrow being Sunday the celebrations here were planned for today.
In Washington D.C. today the United States Army Chief of Staff, General Peyton C. March, announced that there are now 1,100,000 troops either in Europe or in transit to the war zone. Last week alone 90,000 men were transported to France. Eventually three army corps will be formed of between 225,000 and 250,000 men.
In entertainment this weekend at Willow Grove Park along with the amusements and fireworks there will be music and dancing provided by Victor Herbert and his Orchestra. Maestro Herbert is not only a conductor but also an accomplished composer best known for his operetta “Babes in Toyland”. And at Woodside Park, Giuseppe Rodia’s Band is in concert.
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