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 warmer temperature has caused a heavy fog to blanket the city this morning. Traffic on both rivers was slowed to a snail’s pace. For the remainder of the day there will be periods of rain and partly cloudy skies which will continue through Sunday. Today’s high will be around 57° with the low near 32°.  The city’s Bureau of Health released the weekly mortality report today showing 659 deaths this week which is an increase of 72 over last week. The most prevalent cause of death was pneumonia which took 122 lives.

Late yesterday afternoon ½ mile from Chester, 5 men were killed and at least 20 persons injured when 3 trains collided because of heavy fog. The signals of the Baltimore and Ohio system were nullified by the dense fog. Nearly all the victims were on a local train made up of wooden coaches. That train was hit from behind by a special from Baltimore at speeds of more than 50mph and shattered into bits. As the debris from the first collision was settling to the ground another train from Philadelphia to Baltimore slashed through the wreck at over 60mph. Officials say it is a miracle that more people were not killed. The Pennsylvania Public Service Commission and B&O railroad officials are investigating the accident.

Even though none are invited, the Washington social set is abuzz today with the wedding of the President of the United States to Mrs. Edith Bolling Galt this evening. It is reported by those who have seen him that President Wilson is as happy as a school boy. Even the heavy rains in the Capitol have not dampened the excitement. Mrs. Galt, 43 years old, was quite lovely as a young woman and today looks younger than her years. Although she is a little plumper than in her youth she was considered a pretty widow. She devotes her time to charity and the running of her late husband’s jewelry business. Mr. Wilson will be the 3rd President to wed while in office.

In sports this afternoon the final game of the Intercollegiate Soccer League will be played and the championship will go to the winner. Penn will visit Haverford and the victor will get the crown. The other teams in the league, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell and Harvard are all out of the running. In basketball, the Greystock Greys suffered only their 2nd defeat of the season to the Camden Alphas last night, 35 to 29. Greystock has a 4 game lead in the standings over 2nd place Reading and 5 games over South Philadelphia’s DeNeri.


An announcement was made today that the Serbian government will temporarily be located in Rome. From Africa comes news that the Emperor of Abyssinia, Lidj Jessau (also known as Jesus V), who has made no secret of his leanings toward the Entente Powers, has offered 200,000 troops to fight with the Allies and to be deployed as their military needs dictate.

Emperor of Abyssinia

Emperor of Abyssinia