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


The city will have another day of clear skies and cool temperature. Today’s high will be about 66° and the low tonight near 49°. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has purchased land near 62nd Street and Cedar Avenue for the building of a new church and parochial school. No name for the new church has as yet been chosen. The land was purchased for $23,700.00. In other building news Mr. Burton C. Simon has made settlement on 3 large plots of land bounded by 24th and 25th Street and Moore and Mifflin Streets where he will build 300 homes. The total purchase price was $49,000.00.

Today 300 men met in the headquarters of the Public Service Committee of One Hundred, 233 South Broad Street, at Noon to create a new political party. The men are mostly loyal Republicans who are tired of the “bossism” in the Republican organization. The name of the new party was kept secret until today when it was revealed as the “Franklin Party”. The name was kept secret to keep it from being pre-empted by the Republican Organization as it did to the Keystone Party in the 1912 election. George Porter the present Washington Party candidate and former Director of Public Safety is expected to get the new party’s nomination for mayor.

Sad news has come from the Navy Yard at League Island last evening. Commandant, Captain John J. Knapp (shown below), died at his desk stricken with apoplexy. He was 59 years old. Captain Knapp was an 1878 graduate of the Naval Academy and appointed to the position of Commandant in June.

Captain John Knapp

Captain John Knapp

In baseball, Connie Mack has announced that due to the small crowds attending the games at Shibe Park the A’s will play their remaining games in Washington against the Senators. Today the A’s played a doubleheader at Griffith Stadium and lost both games. The score in first game was Senators 10 A’s 2. It got worse in the 2nd game as the Senators won 20 to 5. There is much better news in the National League. The Phillies are visiting Boston for a series against the 2nd place Braves. Pete Alexander pitched a 1 hit shutout wining his 31st game of the year and Gavvy Cravath hit his 23th home run as the Phillies won 5 to 0. The Phillies are now 1 win away from the pennant.


The Italian battleship, Benedetto Brin, was blown to pieces today as it sat docked in Brindisi harbor. It is estimated that 342 crewmen were killed in the explosion. The ship went down within 7 minutes. It is not clear yet whether the explosion was due to sabotage or the result of some accident. On the western front brutal fighting continues at Loos with British artillery mercilessly shelling German positions. It is also alleged that the British have, for the first time, employed asphyxiating gas in their attack.