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 calls for partly cloudy skies with mild winds from the northwest. The high will reach almost 59° with the low tonight about 44°. The Bureau of Health released the city’s mortality report showing only 522 deaths from all causes last week. That is the lowest number for any week thus far in 1916. The deaths were divided as 271 males and 251 females, 72 deaths were young boys and 61 young girls. Pneumonia and influenza caused 72 deaths, heart disease 73, Tuberculosis 57, Diphtheria 15, Bright’s disease and nephritis 50, Measles 8, Scarlet Fever 4 and Homicide 3.

The overcast and cloudy skies did not dampen the enthusiasm at the seashore yesterday for Easter Sunday. An estimated 250,000 visitors came to Atlantic City for the weekend. A crowd not even the most optimistic merchant of that town would have predicted. Hotels, restaurants and boardwalk cafes were overwhelmed by the throngs. And the parade on the boardwalk was a glorious spectacle (shown below).

4-24-1916 AC Boardwalk

The visitors celebrated Easter by strolling along the boardwalk in their finest attire. Smiles were everywhere as were compliments for the ladies who were arrayed in the newest styles of hats and dresses. Most hats were of the large type with broad sweeping brims (shown below). The predominant color for hats was white or oyster but natural straw, purple, pink and green were also displayed.

4-24-1916 AC Easter Parade 1

For those who remained here for Easter the parade on Fairmount Avenue from Broad Street to the entrance of the Park was a colorful delight to behold.  Over 2000 Philadelphians participated and prizes were awarded by the Fairmount Avenue Businessmen Association. The prizes included a gold watch and diamond pin to Walter and Helen Schwartz, 2921 North Park Avenue as best dressed couple, a gold bracelet to Miss R. Koerner of 3901 Cambridge Street for most becoming hat and another gold bracelet to Miss Minnie Dahms of 2021 Fairmount Avenue for being the prettiest girl.

It was the peeping of yellow Easter chicks that saved two families from death by fire last night. The fire began in the 1st floor cigar and candy store of Harry Zaritsky, 1200 South 4th Street. On the 2nd floor lived Harry Goldstein, his wife and 4 children and a box full of Easter chicks belonging to Mr. Goldstein’s 3 year old son Abraham. As smoke filled the 2nd floor rooms the chicks began peeping frantically waking little Abe. The boy then ran to warn the rest of the family. Mr. Goldstein awoke and carried his wife and children out of the house. After getting his family to safety Mr. Goldstein went back into the burning house and rescued the chicks. The Zaritsky family, who lived in the rear of the 1st floor also escaped without injury.