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


Bright, sunny skies are in store for the city today. The high will be about 50° and the low tonight near 35°. The city announced today that the Municipal Band, led by Benjamin Roeshman, will once again furnish music as part of the city’s free summer concert series. The Band of 46 men will receive $13,662.00 for 90 concerts to be given in the public squares in various areas of the city.

In business news, the Port of Philadelphia is experiencing a phenomenal increase in activity and trade. The increase is the direct result of the many improvements made to the waterfront according to George S. Weber, Director of the Department of Wharves, Docks and Ferries. Annual port revenues this year were $1,500,000.00 or a 1.3% increase over last year. The latest piers constructed are Nos. 16, 38 and 40 South which have brought a return of 4% over construction coasts. Three more piers are currently planned, one between Race & Arch Streets, one in Southwark and one at Bridge Street.

Harry J. “Dad” Winkel (shown below) is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Dad is well known for his cheery disposition and engaging personality. That surprises some because of Dad’s profession. Dad is the keeper of the city morgue and has been at his position for 21 years. Since 1890 Mr. Winkel has even lived right next door to the morgue at 1305 Wood Street because it is convenient to his work. He estimates he has taken care of over 21,000 bodies in his time. Dad says he thoroughly enjoys his work. He is also very proud of his service in the Civil War with the 5th Maryland Volunteers. And remembers being present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. But he is most proud of his family which includes 21 children (10 of whom are living), 25 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Happy Birthday Mr. Winkel.

Dad Winkel

Dad Winkel

In national news it was announced today that Vice-President Thomas Marshall will again be the running mate of Mr. Wilson in the upcoming election. Other candidates for the position had been suggested but with both Senate seats in Indiana up for election this year it was thought having Mr. Marshall on the ticket would help the Democratic Party secure those seats.


Prince Oscar of the House of Hohenzollern, 5th son of Kaiser Wilhelm, has been proclaimed King of Lithuania. The Kaiser accompanied by the Prince and Field Marshal von Hindenburg visited Vilnius, the ancient capital of that country, on April 2nd. There the men visited the tombs of the old Lithuanian Kings and the famous castle on the hill. While there a petition was given to the Kaiser requesting the restoration of Lithuanian independence and asking that Oscar be made King to which the Kaiser assented.