Letters Home: Emmett Littler in Philadelphia

From the January 10, 1918 Skidmore News, page 4:

Is In Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 1st, 1918.

The Skidmore News, Skidmore, Mo.

To Friends of Skidmore and Vicinity:

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 1918.

At present I am making my home at League Island Navy Yard.  Landed here November 25th after a delightful trip on board the Baltimore steamer to the city of Baltimore, and from there to Philadelphia via the B. and O. Railroad.

I haven’t visited all the places of interest here owing to three weeks of isolation.

Have been through Independence Hall which is a very old building.  I couldn’t begin to name all the historical articles, so will only mention a few of the most important ones.  Her is the original globe from which was drawn the members for the army draft of 1917, the old Liberty Bell, Revolutionary and Civil war relics, and a number of Indian trophies.  The people of Philadelphia seem to vie with each other to see who can do the most to make it pleasant for the enlisted men.

There are several clubs where there are writing tables and games, among them is the St. Stevens Club where there is an entertainment every night except Sunday.

The committee serves sandwiches, coffee, cake, celery and fruit every evening.

Philadelphians have a novel way of celebrating the coming of the New Year, they make it a carnival every night, blowing horns, throwing confetta and making all the noise possible. This lasts all night and at eleven o’clock the following day they have what is called The Munsies Parade, composed of vehicles decorated and built to represent different things.  Two I remember in particular were very good imitations; one a British Tank the other the destroyer Fanning with a captured U-Boat.

The person who take part in this parade don all manner of grotesque costumes in order to amuse the public.  This is considered one of the most important functions in the East.

The thermometer registered 4 degrees below zero one night last week which is the coldest it has been here since 1899.

Well I must bring this letter to a close as it is already too long.

Respectfully, Emmett R. Litter.  League Island Navy Yard, Barracks No. 238, Philadelphia, Pa.