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. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back each day for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1917
Today the skies will be cloudy and overcast with a possible rain or snow shower overnight. It does seem that the cold spell has broken as today’s high will be near 30° with the low about 20°. The rising temperatures have had the salutary effect of allowing some ships to move along the Delaware River.
It is St. Valentine’s Day and romance is in the air. This was especially true at the Marriage License Bureau, where Philadelphians in love filled the small room in City Hall all day long. As of noon time over 50 licenses had already been applied for. From the southern border comes news that more of Philadelphia’s boys are heading home. The 6th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard which was guarding the border left El Paso, Texas today for home.
In labor news it appears there has been some movement in the sugar strike negotiations. Representatives of the refiners stated today that they are willing to grant workers a raise from .25¢ to .30¢ per hour. However, the employers are standing firm on work schedule. The companies will not change the present schedule of a 12 hour work day 7 days a week to the 10 hour work day the employees are demanding.
On a sad note, pedestrians and neighbors around 4th & Porter streets in South Philadelphia were horrified this afternoon when they saw a derrick holding 2 stone masons fall to the ground. The men, John Inglis 48 years old of 149 N. 15th Street and John Tinni, 45 years old of 423 Montrose Street, were working on the 4th floor of the new Taggart Public School. Both men were killed.
In the Adriatic, Italian seaplanes have bombed the Austrian naval base at Pola. All the planes returned undamaged. The raid may have been in retaliation for Austrian aeroplane attacks on Brindisi, Valona and Santi Quaranta over the weekend. In the Middle East, British forces on the Tigris River front have surrounded the Turks west of Kut-el-Amara. The only avenue of escape for the Turks would be a northward dash across the river. But such a move would result in enormous casualties as British artillery and machine guns line the route.
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