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


There will be overcast skies today with increasing clouds tonight and tomorrow. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday. Today’s high will reach 66° with the low around 54°.

A tense and crowded courtroom in City Hall today listened as evidence was presented to the Coroner’s Jury concerning the death of Edmond Hauptfuhrer. The story was retold of Hauptfuhrer’s rejection of Ida Riehl and of the shooting that ended his young life. When Ida entered the room many in the crowd sobbed audibly. Instead of being placed in the prisoner’s dock, Coroner Knight permitted here to sit in the front row of seats next to her father Charles and her 5 year old brother John. Ida was dressed totally in black, including a heavy black veil covering her face.

The testimony presented was brief. Virtually all the witnesses showed sympathy to Miss Riehl including the policemen. Only one, John Rogers of 2946 Lawrence Street, a friend of Hauptfuhrer, spoke harshly toward her as he described the shooting. During Rogers’ testimony Coroner Knight questioned him sharply and with obvious impatience. In the end it was found that Ida shot Hauptfuhrer twice in the abdomen causing his death and that she must be held over for a Grand Jury. After the proceedings were concluded Ida was taken to the Coroner’s private chambers to rest before being returned to the hospital.

Memorial Day exercises were celebrated today in all the city’s public schools because the holiday this year falls on a Sunday. Members of the Grand Army of the Republic visited every school to speak to the children. Many of these men are nearing 100 years of age while some of their listeners are as young as 6. The children presented their guests with flower arrangements to be placed on the graves of fallen soldiers at the various cemeteries throughout the area.

The 85 girls graduating today from Bryn Mawr College are all remarkable, intelligent, young and pretty but not one of them is engaged to wed! According to Miss M. Carey Thomas, president of the college and a few of the young ladies interviewed, cupid’s darts missed their marks because the girls were too busy with their studies to give any time to boys.

On the sports scene, it’s fighting under the stars tonight as the Fairhill Athletic Club, 3rd & Lehigh Avenue, inaugurates this season’s open air boxing. The arena has a seating capacity of 300 and 5 bouts are scheduled. At Franklin Field today the 40th annual track and field championships of America have begun. Although 400 athletes representing 28 colleges will be competing, four teams will be watched most intently. They are Penn, Cornell, Yale and Harvard.  The Quakers will field a fine team including (shown here left to right) Kaufman in the hurdles and Meredith, Lippincott and Lockwood in the sprints.

5-28-1915 Penn Track Team