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, OCTOBER 13, 1917
The city will see fair, clear skies today with cool temperatures. The high will be 57° with the low near 36°. The Food Commission of the Philadelphia Home Defense Committee is suggesting people add shark to their diets. The Commission noted that shark is tasty and selling at only 5¢ per pound.
Over 150,000 Philadelphians gathered on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park this afternoon to honor their men who have joined the colors. Hours before the start of the festivities the roadways and paths to the plateau were crowded with automobiles and walkers heading to the event. Above the plateau was a huge balloon with a banner reading “Buy a Bond”. Madam Louise Homer of the Metropolitan Grand Opera Company led the crowd in the “Star Spangled Banner” accompanied by a military band while overhead aeroplanes from the Navy Yard and Essington soared in formations and dropped American flags on the crowd.
Then the multitude joined in singing numerous well known and well-loved favorites including “America”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Old Black Joe” and “Annie Laurie”. Along with everyday citizens, sailors and marines from the Navy Yard and 10,000 school children lent their voices. Also joining were choirs and choral societies from Wanamaker Department Store, Strawbridge & Clothier, Stetson Hat, Settlement Music School and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Tomorrow Archbishop Prendergast will be joined by other dignitaries of the Catholic Church in the dedication of the West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys. The school is located at 49th & Chestnut Streets. The new school is a monument to the catholic people and parishes of West Philadelphia who pledged their work and funds to the building of the school. The building is 4 stories high, stretches 250 feet by 210 feet, contains 24 classrooms and is thoroughly modern in all facilities. It cost $200,000.00 to build.
In sports, out in Chicago at Comiskey Park the White Sox pulled out a victory in a hard fought game. Chicago was trailing 5 to 2 in the 7th inning when they finally got to Giants pitcher Slim Sallee for 3 runs in the bottom of the inning and 3 more in the 8th, taking game five of the series 8 to 5. The White Sox now lead the series 3 games to 2.
In football, at Franklin Field Penn beat Swarthmore 10 to 0. Fullback Howard Berry carried the load for Penn’s offense scoring the Quakers only touchdown, kicking a field goal and rushing for 130 yards. In the earlier game at Franklin Field Penn’s freshman team took on the United States Marine team from League Island. The yearlings in Red & Blue were no match for the Corps who opened up on the freshmen in the 4th quarter for 20 points for a final score of 34 to 7.
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