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


Cloudy skies will cover the city today with cooler temperatures this evening. There is also a possibility of rain or snow overnight. The high today will be near 45° and the low around 36°. All Americans send their best wishes to Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States on his birthday today. Mr. Wilson is 59 years old. The President is spending this birthday in Hot Springs, Virginia on his honeymoon. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson intend to return to Washington, D.C. next Sunday.

A model of the proposed art center of Philadelphia was unveiled today in City Hall courtyard for all to see (shown below). The Philadelphia Museum of Art is intended to make this city the center of art in the United States. This “Temple of Art” will be built on Fairmount Hill at the end of the Parkway providing a splendid view of the city before it. The cost of the museum will be between $3,000,000.00 and $3,500,000.00. The architects for the project will be Mr. Horace Trumbauer, Mr. Clarence Zantzinger and Mr. Charles L. Borie.

12-28-1915 Art Museum Model

The brothers Vare, Congressman William and State Senator Edwin, provided 8000 children of South Philadelphia (and future voters) with a grand party today at the Plaza Theatre, Broad & Porter Streets. It was the annual Christmas party hosted by the brothers. The festivities included a motion picture and a vaudeville show as well as toys, apples and candy for the children. Last night the boys and girls of this city who are members of their school’s orchestras were given a special treat. The children were the honored guests of the Philadelphia Orchestra at a concert at the William Penn High School for Girls, 15th & Wallace Streets. Leopold Stokowski led the orchestra in a program which included selections by List, Debussy and Tchaikovsky.

On the sports scene, Philadelphia is undoubtedly the basketball center of the nation. There are presently 23 leagues playing in the city. They include: the Eastern League; the Pennsylvania State League; the American League; the Industrial League; the Bank & Trust League; 7 church leagues and 2 juvenile leagues. Then of course there are the college and high school teams. No other city in the country has a comparable number of leagues or teams and nowhere is the sport supported more avidly by fans.


 On the western front, Allied artillery is bombarding German positions in Westende, Belgium while German guns struck the railway station at Soissons, France. Artillery exchanges are also occurring in the Vosges Mountains from Hartmannsweilerkopf to the slopes of Mount Roherelsen. Also, from London comes news of the withdrawal of the Indian army from France. There was no indication of where the army was being sent. In Africa, Senussi tribesmen allied with the Turks have attacked British forces in western Egypt. The Senussi are a mysterious Moslem group native to Libya who heeded the Turkish Sultan’s call for a “Jehad” or Holy War against the British and the French.