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, FEBRUARY 20, 1918
A slight rain, less than an inch, will fall on the city today with the high temperature reaching 59°. Temperatures will drop this evening to a low of 24°. The Weather Bureau is forecasting that colder temperatures are expected for the rest of this week.
Another gas explosion blew off manholes and tore up sections of a city street this afternoon. This time the explosion occurred at 6th & Chestnut Streets. Four young women were injured by the blast. As with last week’s explosion at 23rd Street & Ridge Avenue, the cause appears to be a small gas leak set off by a spark from nearby underground electric wires. The injured women are Alice Green, 19years old, Rose Schwaar, 18 years old, Anna Fossett, 20 years old and Ethel Myers, 18 years old. All the young ladies are telephone operators. The force of the explosion knocked the women to the ground and the flames escaping from the holes ignited their clothing. The women were taken to Pennsylvania Hospital.
Sad news has reached this city from Europe, Private John Hollowell, 3136 Reach Street, has been killed. Private Hollowell was serving with the Bell Telephone Unit in France. In civilian life he was a cable splicer employed by the Bell Telephone Company and went to France six months ago. The details of his death have not been released. Tragically Private Hollowell’s wife had just received a telegram from him stating he was “Well and happy and coming home soon” he also told her he was sending along some souvenirs for his nieces and nephews. Shortly thereafter she received a second telegram from the War Department advising her of her husband’s death. The couple had no children of their own.
On the sports scene Traymore Hall, Franklin Street & Columbia Avenue, will be the center of basketball in the city today. This afternoon St. Joseph’s College Prep meets Catholic High in the 2nd game of the Catholic School championship series. St. Joe’s won the first meeting. And this evening the American Basketball League will stage two games. The first game will pit Beth Israel against the Girard College Alumni. The second contest features the Y.M.H.A. against Port Richmond.
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