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


Clear, bright, sunny skies greeted Philadelphia today with the high temperature reaching 58° and a low tonight of about 39°. The weather was perfect as today this city opened the 3rd Liberty Loan Campaign in the quintessential Philadelphia way, with a spectacular parade. The date to begin this campaign was also one celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the United States joining the free people of the world in the fight against tyranny, despotism and Teutonic barbarity.

Broad Street was transformed into a red, white and blue thoroughfare as untold thousands filled the sidewalk to view the parade. Patriotism was not only on parade but in the hearts of every person lining the street. The first marchers were 6000 Boy Scouts who marched up Locust Street from Washington Square and stood as an honor guard along the curbside from Locust to South Penn Square.

The parade itself began precisely at Noon at Broad & Wolf Streets. Fifteen hundred girls from South Philadelphia High led the march. The young ladies were dressed as Goddesses of Liberty and danced as they proceeded up the street to music provided by the Philadelphia Police Band.Then came the Liberty Bell, brought from its home in Independence Hall and escorted by an honor guard of veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic. These heroes of yesteryear, some of whom walked with difficulty due to age or injury, proudly marched with rifles and banners shouldered performing their assigned duty with dignity and honor.

Liberty Bell escorted by Civil War Veterans

The G.A.R. was followed by thousands of sailors and marines from League Island and the Cape May Naval station. Next in line were soldiers from the city’s armories. These men at arms were followed by John Philip Sousa’s Great Lakes Band, the Girard College Band, the Italian Band and Chorus and the Lu Lu Temple Band. Next came the women of the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania, the National League for Women’s Service, the Women’s Motor Messengers Corps and then the Girl Scouts.

After all the marchers and spectators had gathered at South Penn Square Secretary of the Treasury William McAdoo accompanied by Governor Brumbaugh of Pennsylvania, Governor Edge of New Jersey and Governor Townsend of Delaware took their places on the platform for the unveiling of the replica statue of Lady Liberty. After a short musical program which ended with the entire multitude singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic little Miss Nona Martin, the 4 year old granddaughter of Secretary McAdoo pulled the cord unveiling the statue as the crowd sang America.

Unveiling Lady Liberty