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 – MONDAY OCTOBER 28, 1918
Today’s high will reach an unseasonably 76° but we shall not complain. The skies remain clear and fair. Tonight’s low will be near 58°. Philadelphia’s saloons, club bars, theatres, motion picture houses and all other public amusements will be permitted to open at 8:00am Wednesday morning. The State Commissioner of Health and the city’s health departments agreed to lift the ban yesterday. Philadelphia’s public schools opened today. The Philadelphia Catholic schools will not open until November 4. This is because many of the nuns are involved with nursing the sick and will not be able to leave those duties and return to teaching until then.
Police will be closely watching the activity of saloons when they open. Any saloon which becomes overcrowded or unruly will be immediately closed. Director of Public Safety William Wilson stated that every precaution will be taken to prevent the orgies that occurred in Camden and Gloucester when their saloons opened last week. Only 257 new cases of influenza have been reported in the last 48 hours. Reported deaths for that period were 229 but some of these may be unreported from earlier last week.
Austria-Hungry has replied to President Wilson’s note and accepted all his terms to begin peace negotiations. The Austrian reply also stated they are willing to begin negotiations regardless of what Germany and the Ottoman Empire chose to do. This includes the recognition of the independence of Hungry, Jugo-Slavia and Czecho-Slovakia. It is also reported that the Royal Family is preparing to leave Vienna over fears of a revolution.
King Albert and Queen Elisabeth entered the liberated city of Bruges, Belgium on Friday to the cheers and joyful tears of the people of that city. Tens of thousands lined the streets to welcome the royal family. Every window and balcony was filled as the couple and their son Prince Leopold rode on horseback through the streets. The love of the people for their king was evident and unabashed.
Albert had remained with his army through the terrible years of Belgium’s occupation. He fought for his people from the narrow strip of land that was all that was left of free Belgium. With his French and British allies Albert fought to regain his country yard by yard and mile by mile. Now Bruges was free and the flag of brave Belgium flew once again over the city hall and from every window. And the church bells rang out, proclaiming liberty.
In the Middle East, the British have captured Aleppo. Coming after the capture of Jerusalem and Damascus this achievement by General Allenby’s army is the crowning event in his march through Palestine and Syria. The capture of Aleppo will permit the British to cut off the Turkish armies in Armenia and Northern Mesopotamia and may hasten the Ottoman Empire’s exit from the war.
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