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 calls for partly cloudy skies over the city today with moderate winds from the south. The high will reach 41° with the low tonight near 21°.

This city’s Bureau of Health announced today that it has no plans to follow New York City and lift the ban on the slaughter of horses for food. The ban in New York was lifted due to the high cost of living there and of meat in particular. Our city does not suffer from this problem. Chief Vogleson, a spokesman for the Bureau, stated that horse meat is perfectly acceptable for human consumption and is in fact generally safer than eating beef or pork. It is purely tradition that prevents horse meat from being a regular addition to the family dinner table.

Mrs. Otto English (shown below) of 2136 Oxford Street has received an early Christmas gift. Last evening the doorbell of her home was rung. By the time she was able to answer it no one was there although she did catch a fleeting glimpse of a woman turning the street corner. Then she heard a cry and looked down to see a babe on the step. She picked the child up and took it inside. The baby is a girl and although her clothes were clean and neat they did show signs of poverty.  There was nothing to identify the baby’s parents. So Mrs. English, who is childless, intends to adopt her. She says she has been given the greatest gift of all this Christmas, the gift of motherhood.

Mrs. Otto English

Mrs. Otto English

The borough council of Colwyn, Pennsylvania, a small town just east of Darby and near Sharon Hill, has passed an ordinance segregating Negroes.  The ordinance mandates that Negroes not be permitted to live in the same block or district as whites. In order to frame the ordinance so that it would not violate the Constitution of the United States it also provides that whites may not live in Negro neighborhoods. The council asserts that the ordinance is necessary to prevent ill feelings and conflict between the races.

On the sports beat, shooting and particularly rifle shooting has long been a popular sport in this area. But recently there has been an increase in participation in the sport nationwide spurred on by a law passed by Congress last year. Under that law when 10 or more citizens organize a club, register it with the Secretary of War and affiliate with the National Rifle Association, then for every 5 members of that club the government will provide 1 new Krag rifle and 120 rounds of ammunition annually for target shooting. These free rifles and the ammunition have made the organization of shooting clubs quite popular.