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 forecast calls for rain throughout the day with clearing overnight. The high will reach 63° with the low tonight 44°. The first steel column of the Frankford elevated line was set in place today at Front & Callowhill Streets. Each column will average 3,600 lbs. and range in length from 16 to 36 feet. The company handling the construction on this section of the superstructure, McClintic-Marshall Company, will place columns from this location to Frankford Avenue & Unity Street at a cost of $261,400.00.

He was called the mayor of Sansom Street and today he lies on a marble slab at the city morgue. Albert Glock started out young and full of fire. He entered politics in the 1870s as a democrat and had friends and family willing to help him. He became caught up in the old way of politicking in the eastern half of the 8th Ward. He knew the name of every voter and joined them in the saloons for drinks and the occasional fight. But he visited the bars too much and stayed too long. A career in politics became a dream of the past. Albert became caught in the life of the saloon. He grew old and tied to the drink. Now the mayor is gone.

Crowds gathered today at the South Street wharf to watch Aleck Shoblom do his job (shown below). Mr. Shoblom is an underwater diver and a man in that regalia is a rare sight to see. He is assigned to clean the water intake pipe for the Franklin Sugar Refinery at Front & South Street. To him it’s just a job but to the curious onlookers it’s an event not to miss.

4-14-1916 Diver at work

There are serious developments in the Mexican situation. First Chief Carranza has issued a statement that the United States misunderstood his correspondence with Washington and he had not given permission for American troops to enter Mexico. Mr. Carranza has now demanded all American troops leave the country. Today Carranza’s troops and Mexican citizens fired upon American soldiers at Parral. One American soldier was killed and about 20 injured. There are about 150 troops at Parral and reportedly the fighting there is continuing.

Today’s Phillies game here and the Athletics’ game in Boston have been called because of rain. In yesterday’s games the Phillies lost to the Giants 2 to1. Once again shortstop Dave Bancroft had a terrible day in the field committing 4 errors. Erskine Mayer took the loss. Up at Fenway Park, the Red Sox had their way with the A’s clubbing Mr. Mack’s boys 8 to 2. Starting pitcher Carl Ray was knocked out in the 1st inning giving up 4 runs and recording only 1 out. He was spelled by Jack Richardson who finished the 1st. The rest of the game was pitched by Elmer Myers.