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 SEPTEMBER 21, 1918
The overnight rain will pass through the city by mid-morning followed by partly cloudy skies. The temperatures will be on the cool side with the high only reaching 62° and a low this evening of 48°.
In another instance of the ladies entering the work world of men, Western Union has hired 12 girl “messenger boys”. Like the boys the girls do chew gum but none of them smoke cigarettes. The first girl employed here was Miss. Margaret Fredericks, 18 years old of 857 North 3rd Street. Miss Fredericks is a husky lass who proudly admits that riding around on her bicycle all day has caused her to shed some of the 137 lbs. she started her employment with. She is also very proud of her “delicious” uniform which includes a linen-colored blouse, an olive drab skirt, puttees and a regulation cap. In fact Margaret loves the job so much she talked her younger sister Gertrude, 17 years old, into joining also. All the girls earn between $12.00 and $14.00 per week and work from 8:00am till 5:00pm with a half hour break for lunch.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is working with employers to insure that maimed and crippled soldiers, sailors and marines returning from war to this state will have work. So far 50,000 jobs have been designated for these wounded heroes when they come home. Nine hundred industrial plants in the state have joined the effort. Among the jobs available presently are 4300 positions for men who have lost one hand, 1900 positions for men who have lost both hands, 5600 are for men who have lost one eye and 6700 positions for men with repulsive facial disfigurements. The overriding purpose behind the effort was expressed by Mr. Frederic Keough of the National Association of Manufactures who said these returning men must be assured that the hardships they underwent are appreciated and every effort is being made on their behalf.
Officials at the Navy Yard are declaring that many of the patients suffering from the Spanish Influenza are virtually cured. They have also announced that no new cases have been reported. The death toll between the Navy Yard and the Wissahickon barracks in Cape May is placed at 15 but 5 of those sailors died of complications from pneumonia. Influenza has also been reported now at 9 army camps in the United States. The total number of infected men at these camps is over 9500.
On the sports scene, it was announced today that the knock out king of the west, heavyweight Jack Dempsey, will fight Philadelphia’s own Battling Levinsky at the National A.A. on October 9. This will be the first featured heavyweight bout in this city in quite some time. Levinsky (whose real name is Barney Lebrowitz) holds the world light heavyweight title and is widely considered one of the few boxers that can give Dempsey a competitive match.
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