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 AUGUST 3, 1917
The death toll from the heat has now reached 174. The total number of deaths yesterday reached 64. However, it appears the worst may be over for now. At Noon today the temperature at the Weather Bureau reached only 81° whereas yesterday at that time it was at 95°. A brief thundershower late yesterday helped bring some relief. Today’s high is expected to reach only 86° with the low tonight about 71°. Another passing thundershower tonight may cool the city a bit more.
Draft slackers beware. The Philadelphia branch of the National Security League has announced it will form a vigilance committee. The purpose of the committee will be to ensure that no eligible man in the city escapes military service. The League will work with the government to track down men who used fictitious addresses when registering for the draft or who are now hiding out from doing their duty. Volunteers will visit every neighborhood in this city to search for these despicable slackers who would let another man do the fighting for them.
In national news, anti-draft resistance is breaking out in some parts of the country. In southeastern Georgia, farmers have armed themselves to prevent their sons from being taken into the army. And in western North Carolina mountaineers have set aside large supplies of Winchester rifles and ammunition in case anyone comes for their family members. Agents of the Internal Revenue Service have reported that speakers, most of whom are socialists, are traveling around these areas declaring the draft is unconstitutional and urging people to resist conscription.
The worst incident has occurred in Ada, Oklahoma where violence has broken out. A mob of over 300 has marched through the city, burning railroad bridges, cutting telephone and telegraph wires and “impressing” young men to keep them from the draft. The mob has now set up a camp about 12 miles from town. The citizens of Ada were called to a meeting by the County Prosecutor and asked to join a posse to deal with the mob. About 200 men joined and were provided with rifles and pistols.
In international news, the Provisional Government of Russia has rejected the declaration of independence of the Finnish Landtag (parliament). The Russian response to the declaration stated that the fate of Finland can only be decided within an agreement between the Russian people and the Finns.
GET YOUR COPY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW