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 weather forecast calls for snow starting late this afternoon and through tonight. The high today will only reach 35° with the overnight low near 25°.

A terrible crime was discovered this afternoon by fireman responding to a blaze at 1518 South Taylor Street in South Philadelphia. Upon arrival firemen found the bodies of a man and a woman both of whom were shot in the head. The victims are Preston Powell, 41 years old and his wife Edna, 24 years old. Both are now in St. Agnes Hospital and not expected to survive. When firemen arrived at the home they saw smoke and flames coming from the 2nd story windows. As they rushed in they found the body of Mr. Powell with a revolver in his hand. Mrs. Powell was found lying on a bed. Neighbors say the couple had been having marital troubles and that Mrs. Powell had left her husband twice in the last year. Police believe Mr. Powell shot his wife then set the house on fire before shooting himself.

Over 300 couples attended last night’s 4th annual Convicts Ball at the New Lyric Hall, 930 South 6th Street. The affair was organized by the Anarchist Red Cross for the benefit of those held in Russian prisons in Siberia. Many in attendance had themselves served time in those horrible camps. Some of the Anarchists were dressed in prisoner’s garb with chains on their feet and hands, which did make dancing somewhat difficult, while others were dressed as guards to remind people of the plight of the prisoners. All money raised will be used to purchase food for those confined.

On the entertainment scene this weekend a number of new photoplays are opening including “The Yellow Streak” staring Philadelphia’s own Lionel Barrymore (shown below) at the Victoria, 9th & Market Street;


Theda Bara stars in “Sin” showing at the Strand, 12th & Girard Avenue; and Francis X. Bushman heads the bill in “Pennington’s Choice” at the Alhambra, 12th & Morris Streets. On the stage this weekend at the Forrest Theatre Gaby Deslys stars in the new musical “Stop! Look! Listen!” In vaudeville tonight at the Cross Keys, 60th & Market, “Sam Watson’s Barnyard” is headlining featuring an array of animal actors. And at the Globe, Juniper & Market Streets, the new comedy “Seashore Frolics” begins featuring Earl Cavanaugh and “The Honey Girls”.

On the sports beat, the University of Pennsylvania opens its basketball season tonight at Weightman Hall against Ursinus at 8:00pm. In professional basketball last night the Greystock Greys defeated the Reading Bears in front of a sold out Cooper Battalion Hall by a score of 31 to 15. In boxing at the National A.C., 11th & Catherine Streets, tonight 5 bouts are on the card with the main event featuring Southwark’s Pal Moore against New York’s Irish Patsy Cline.