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, MARCH 2, 1918
There will be fair skies over the city today and tomorrow with gentle winds from the west. Today’s high will reach 51° with the low tonight near 34°. The proud residents of the 19th Ward will raise a service flag this afternoon at 4th Street above York. The flag will contain 475 stars each one representing a man of that ward in the service of Uncle Sam. The flag will be strung on a cable stretching from the 18th Police District station to a building across the street. Twelve of the stars represent policemen from the 18th District, five of whom are now in France. The flag rising will be preceded by a parade of mounted police, the police band, Veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Stetson Uniformed Brigade. Patriotic speeches will follow the flag rising.
Leo Michelotti, 24 years old from 8th & Bainbridge Streets is a masher. Last night he tried to strike up an “acquaintance” with Mrs. Clara Davis at a motion picture show on Market Street. Mrs. Davis was not amused and would have none of it. The only thing Michelotti received for his effort was a black eye and a trip to jail. He appeared today in Magistrate Court where the sorry tale was told. The judge fined him $12.50 for the offense. Mrs. Davis had already given him the black eye.
On the western front, Germans attacked American positions around Toul. The raid was preceded by an artillery barrage. Then at 6:00am the infantry assault began. The German units were “stosstruppen” or stormtroopers, armed with short muzzle carbines, 10” long trench knives and hand grenades, all used for close in fighting. Desperate fighting ensued with our boys pouring rifle and machine gun fire into the German attackers. Eventually the Germans fell back. General Pershing’s headquarters has said that the Americans did suffer “considerable casualties” but specific numbers have not yet been released.
On the eastern front, since the breakdown of negotiations between the Germans and the Bolsheviks of Russia the Teuton army has been on the move. The Germans have taken great swaths of western Russia and are now less than 5 hours from Petrograd via the Riga-Petrograd Railway. Further south, near Novo-Sokoli, the Russians are putting up a spirited fight to avoid losing the Moscow-Petrograd Railway. The city of Petrograd is now preparing for a siege.
In the Far East, Japan has invaded Russian Siberia while Chinese troops have marched into Manchuria. A formal agreement has been reached between the Entente Powers and Japan for the Japanese Empire to protect Allied interests in Asiatic Russia.
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