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, DECEMBER 22, 1917
There will be clear, bright skies over the city today with temperatures almost the same as yesterday. The high will reach 47° with a low tonight of 24°. The Philadelphia Weather Bureau is predicting a 50-50 chance for snow Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Beginning at 3:00pm this afternoon a huge procession of motorized floats will carry thousands of singers down Broad Street. The great choir will sing Christmas carols along the way including “Adeste Fideles” and “Joy to the World”. The event is not just to celebrate the season but also in support of the Red Cross’ drive to sign up new members. Four hundred churches of this city and many independent coral groups will make up the multitude of voices.
The parade will start at Broad & Diamond Streets and proceed to City Hall. After rounding City Hall the procession will continue to Spruce Street. The theme of the parade will be the spirit of the Red Cross from medieval times to the present. Each float will present a different tableau depicting a period of history where men and women answered the call to help their fellow man. Each float will carry or be followed by a choir. An armored knight mounted on a charger will lead the parade accompanied by a group of mounted men and women.
Many of Philadelphia’s big businesses presented Christmas gifts to their employees today. Perhaps the most generous was the John B. Stetson Company. Almost 6000 Employees were treated to a party presided over by the company’s president J. Howell Cummings. Mr. Cummings received a rousing round of applause when he announced that the 48 hour work week would be continued next year with Saturdays off during the summer. After his speech Mr. Cummings began distributing gifts to the employees which included stock, cash bonuses of up to 20% of the worker’s salary and watches. The 3000 or so married men each received a turkey. The single men received hats and the women each received a box of candy and a pair of gloves.
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