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 for today is for showers through the afternoon and into the evening. The rain will clear out overnight. Today’s high will reach 63° with the low this evening about 42°. The Bureau of Health has released the city’s weekly mortality report showing 545 deaths last week. This was the lowest weekly number since last fall when the grip epidemic started. Of that total 270 were male and 275 female. Young boys accounted for 62 deaths and young girls numbered 54.

Miss Bessie Strauss (shown below) has taken it upon herself to distribute 1000 pounds of matzoth to the destitute Jews of this city for Passover.

Bessie Strauss


The 8 day celebration of Passover begins tonight with a Seder meal commemorating the emancipation of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Miss Strauss of 426 South Street is only 17 years old but has endeavored to assist poor Jews since she was 10. The money for the matzoth came from funds she has been saving to study music in Europe. Instead she felt the money could be better used helping suffering Jewish families in the southern section of the city. She says she now intends to study music in this country.

In national news in Detroit Mr. Henry Ford has declared he will not be a candidate for the office of President. Mr. Ford says he will not run as a democrat or a republican nor will he start a 3rd party. Mr. Ford said “I’m a business man, not a politician. I have no political ambitions. Under no conditions would I consent to run for the Presidency.”

In baseball over the weekend, on Saturday the Phillies beat the Giants 5 to 4. Al Demaree got the win for the Phillies. The A’s took another loss up in Boston falling to the Red Sox 2 to 1. Both teams were off on Sunday and rain all along the East coast has forced the calling of today’s games. The Braves will be coming to town to meet the Phillies for a 2 game series starting tomorrow and the A’s are traveling to New York to play the Yankees also on Tuesday. In other sports news, in spite of the rain Penn met Harvard at Franklin Field in Lacrosse playing to a 4 all tie.


 On the western front, the fighting around Verdun is almost entirely between the artillery forces. The bombardment was particularly vicious around Avocourt Wood. On the Russian-Turkish front, three British areoplanes dropped bombs on Constantinople causing terror among the Turkish inhabitants. According to the British, the airmen flew the extraordinary length of 300 miles to accomplish the raid. Reportedly the bombs were of the incendiary type and caused many fires. Also, the Russian army has dislodged the Turks from their defensive positions 17 miles east of Trebizond. The city is an important port in eastern Anatolia on the Black Sea.