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, NOVEMBER 12, 1917
There will be partly cloudy skies today with the possibility of some light rain overnight and tomorrow. Today’s high will reach a warm 65° with the low near 42°. The chrysanthemum show opened at Horticultural Hall in Fairmount Park yesterday. Thousands of the colorful flowers will be on display through the week.
Approval was given by the city today for the Federal government to build a road on a diagonal line from the Penrose Ferry Bridge to Hog Island. The road, which will stretch 1 ½ miles and be 100 feet wide, is necessary to move material by motor truck to the Island. Once completed, the road will allow a direct route from the Island to center city.
The last monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani died yesterday at her home in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Queen was 79 years old and had been in poor health for some time. She was much beloved by her people and fought valiantly for the rights of the Hawaiian people after the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and its subsequent annexation by the United States in 1898. During her incarceration after her government was overthrown the Queen, who was an accomplished musician, composed the hauntingly beautiful song “Aloha ‘Oe” (“Farewell to Thee”)
There is disaster brewing on the Alpine Front. The combined Austrian-German army has advanced to the Piave River. There are reports that the Italian army is in complete disarray and as many as 10,000 Italians have been taken prisoner. General Luigi Cadorna, Chief of Staff of the Italian Army has been relieved of command. General Armando Diaz has been given overall command replacing General Cadorna.
In Russia, Leon Trotsky has now assumed the position of Foreign Minister and Vladimir Lenine has taken the position of Chairman of the Soviet Council of People’s Commissars, which essentially makes him President of Russia. Opposition to the Bolshevik government is taking shape. Moderate Socialists and centrist democrats are joining together in a coalition to wrest power away from the Bolsheviks. A new anti-Bolsheviki government is being formed in Moscow and some army regiments that had previously supported the “Reds” have now withdrawn that support.
We have also learned that on the day that the Bolsheviks deposed Kerensky they attacked the Winter Palace in Petrograd. The Palace was defended by the famous Women’s Battalion of Death. These brave Russian Amazons held out in defense of the government offices and personnel until they were overwhelmed by Bolshevik forces including bombardment from naval vessels in the harbor.
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