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 – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1917
A fierce winter storm struck the city this morning bringing rain, snow and damaging winds. Train service has been delayed into the city and some trains from New York this morning were delayed for up to 4 hours. Telephone and telegraph lines are down in some areas. Today’s high may reach 30° this afternoon with the low tonight near 20°.
Over 200 women, distraught by the lack of coal to heat their homes and cook for their families swarmed on a Pennsylvania Railroad coal car at 7th & Washington Avenue this morning. They carried off as much coal as they could in buckets, bags, pockets and coats. The women were mostly Italian and pleaded in that language “Misericordia”, meaning mercy and “siamo congelati”, we are frozen. Even the arrival of police did not stop the women. Those arrested were taken to Magistrate Coward’s court for charging. But after he heard their pitiful pleas and the stories of their freezing and hungry children, he set them all free.
Down in Cape May, the Coastal Air Station is ready for aviators. The building of the barracks, store house and hangers is completed. Six hydroplanes are on hand to train the first class of 80 students under the direction of Marine Corps instructors.
In more surprising baseball news, today Connie Mack announced that he has traded Bullet Joe Bush, Wally Schang and Amos Strunk to the Boston Red Sox for Vean Gregg, Pinch Thomas and Merlin Kopp and $60,000.00. Schang hit .285 with 3 home runs, 9 triples and 36 RBIs. Center fielder Strunk hit .281 with 1 home run, 7 triples and 45 RBIs. Bullet Joe started 31 games with a record of 11 wins and 17 loses and a 2.47 ERA.
On the Italian front, a huge artillery barrage is being carried out by the Austro-German forces along a front that stretches from the Brenta to the Piava Rivers. The Italians have halted the Austrian offensive toward the Venetian lagoon. For now Venice is safe.
From Tokio comes the news that Japanese troops have landed in the Russian port city of Vladivostok. The Japanese have announced that if the western allies agree, Japan will check the anarchist and Bolshevik movement in the far east of Russia. In western Russia, at Brest Litovsk, Russian and German representatives are preparing to meet in conference regarding an armistice.
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