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 often for new updates.

To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


The forecast calls for clear and fair skies over the city today and Sunday. The high will reach about 82° with the low tonight around 69°.

It was Alumni Day at the University of Pennsylvania and all around the campus old Alums and newer ones were enjoying the festival like event.  Bands played ragtime and march music and vendors sold all manner of goods including pennants and little Liberty Bells. Sandwiches, salads and fruits were piled high on tables for the taking. At the Houston Club, Alumni who were veterans of the Civil War and dressed in blue and butternut gray shook hands and engaged in remembering. Two thousand Penn men fought in that war on both sides.

Eventually the alumni lined up and in the hundreds marched into Franklin Field. Each class followed its own banner, some were dressed in costume as clowns, devils (shown below) and other characters while others wore their mortarboard and gowns. Brass bands accompanied them all around the field as they cheered, sang and generally cavorted.  When the parade was over each class took their seats in the stands to watch the Penn-Harvard baseball game which unfortunately for Penn, Harvard won 4 to 0. But even the loss did not dampen the spirit of the day.

6-12-1915 Penn Class of 1913 as clowns

Class of 1913

Classof 1912

 Baldwin Locomotive Works has procured another war contract, this time from Russia. The contract is for artillery shells to be produced at the company’s Eddystone plant. The order is said to be worth $6,000,000.00. Also, the French government has placed an order with Bull’s Head Bazaar, 3730 Market Street, for 20,000 horses for its army. One thousand horses have already been shipped.

In baseball at Shibe Park today 15,000 fans turned out for “Ty Cobb Day”. It’s rare for fans of an opposing team to honor a competing player but A’s fans did just that. The Georgia Peach (shown below) is considered the best player in baseball now, currently hitting over .414 and leading the American League in every category.

Ty Cobb2

When Cobb stepped to the plate he was greeted with tremendous applause. Then a representative of the local Shriners Lu Lu Temple appeared and presented Cobb with a shotgun as a gift. Despite Ty’s 2 hits today the A’s pulled out the victory 7 to 6. Out in Chicago, Erskine Mayer pitched a 2 hit shutout as the Phillies hitting exploded and they clubbed the Cubs 13 to 0.

Finally in sports, it is the turn of the grammar school boys to show their talents at the annual grammar school track meet held at Houston Field, 13th & Lehigh Avenue. A large crowd turned out to see boys from all sections of the city compete in sprints, the broad jump and other events.