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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


The weather today calls for continued overcast and cloudy skies but without any rain. Today’s high will reach 57° with the low at 44°. Mayor Smith announced today that the French War Commission presently in Washington will visit this city on May 3rd. Marshal Joffre, the hero of the Marne, former Premier Viviani and Ambassador Jusserand have accepted the city’s invitation. Plans are being made for the reception which will include a rally at Independence Hall.

Students at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Broad & Cherry Streets, are as filled with patriotism and martial vigor as any others. The students take a break from their painting, sculpture and studies for one hour each day to learn the rudiments of military training. And it’s not just the male students learning drill and the martial arts. The ladies are also playing their part as shown below by Miss Lucy Holt with her musket.

Miss Lucy Holt

From Harrisburg comes the news that Governor Brumbaugh has sent letters to the heads of all the departments of State Government directing them to have every employee swear allegiance to the United States. Any employee who refuses faces immediate dismissal. A list of all employees refusing such an oath will be sent to the Governor.

In Washington, the Committee of National Defense has decided that in order for the nation’s medical schools to continue their teaching and work a provision will be made that teachers in those schools who have joined the colors will not be ordered overseas or to military posts. This will allow the medical instructors to remain at their schools. Also in Washington, yesterday the United States made its first war loan to Great Britain. The loan is for $200,000,000. In a ceremony at the Treasury Department, Secretary William McAdoo signed a Treasury warrant and then presented it to Lord Cunliffe, governor of the Bank of England.

All sports fans are looking forward to the University of Pennsylvania’s Relay Carnival which opens today at Franklin Field. This is the 23rd annual gathering of the finest track and field athletes in the country. Over 100 colleges and universities will be represented. The Philadelphia area high schools and preparatory schools will also be competing in their own events.  The most watched event today will certainly be the Pentathlon where Philadelphia’s own Howard Berry will be defending his title. Mr. Berry won the event in 1915 and 1916.