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


Today’s forecast calls for rain all day and probably tomorrow. The high temperature will be about 76° with the low around 59°.

Ex-President William Howard Taft and his wife attended the commencement exercises at Bryn Mawr College today. Mr. Taft made a brief speech to graduates and assembled guests (Mr. Taft is shown below on the right addressing the crowd).

6-2-1915 Taft at Bryn Mawr

The couple was there to watch the graduation of their daughter Helen (shown below) [Editor’s Note: Helen Taft would become Dean of Bryn Mawr and teach history at the school for many years. She died in 1987 and is buried in Bryn Mawr, at the Church of the Redeemer Cemetery].

Helen Taft

Woman’s Medical College also held their commencement today at the Garrick Theatre, 1330 Chestnut Street. The degree of doctor was conferred upon 30 women, 3 of whom had traveled here from India to study.

In Washington today President Wilson issued a warning to the warring factions in Mexico to begin acting together to bring relief to their people and their “prostrate country”.  The President said the purpose of the Mexican revolution was to rid that country of men who ignored the constitution and acted in contempt of the rights of its people. Now the leaders of that revolution have turned on each other and brought terrible suffering on Mexico. The President said that if necessary the United States would take action to bring relief to the Mexican people.

On the sports scene, the Phillies dropped a doubleheader today to the Dodgers up at Ebbets Field. Eppa Rixey took the loss in the 1st match 7 to 2. While in the 2nd game Stan Baumgartner went 7 innings giving up 4 runs in a losing contest. The Dodgers won 4 to 3. The Phillies are in a terrible slump winning just 1 game in the last 8 outings. The A’s-Senators game at Shibe Park today has been called due to rain.


Rumors are swirling in European diplomatic circles that Bulgaria and Rumania will shortly be entering the war on the side of Italy. Both these countries are in negotiations over the territorial demands to be made on Austria.

On the western front, the Italians have crossed the Isonzo River in their drive toward Trieste. However, the Austrians are putting up fierce resistance to the Italian advance. In France, a vicious struggle is taking place at the German fortifications southeast of Neuville St. Vaast near Arras. The fortifications are known as the “Labyrinth” due to the intricate, overlapping and complicated nature of the defenses. Reports are that both sides have already suffered heavy losses.

In the east, the Germans have launched a concerted advance in Poland along the Bzura, Rawka and Pilica Rivers. The Russians have been driven back by the German use of enormous quantities of poison gas.  Also, in Galicia the Austro-German army reportedly has captured 3 of the defensive forts north of Przemysl.