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


1915’s last day will be partly cloudy with colder temperatures. The high will only reach 33° with the low near 20°. The New Year in this city will be greeted tonight with balls, banquets, dances and parties. And after the evening hours of gayety and rejoicing the dawn will bring the Mummers. Philadelphia’s Mummers are becoming a national institution with the parade being advertised all along the east coast, south to New Orleans and west to Chicago. The parade will officially begin at Broad & Wolf Streets at 8:00am. It will proceed north to City Hall where the judges will be located and then travel on to Broad & Girard after which some of the groups will then go to other areas of the city where prizes have been offered.

The center city hotels are all planning extravagant dinners accompanied by music and dancing. Almost 3000 are expected at the Bellevue-Stratford tonight, 1600 are expected at the Adelphia, 700 at the Walton and 600 at the Ritz-Carlton just to name a few. Parties are also planned for the youngsters. There will be a party for girls at the Athletic Recreation Centre, 26th & Jefferson Streets. Parties for boys and girls will be held at Starr Garden Recreation Center, 7th & Lombard Streets and Happy Hollow Playground, Wayne Avenue & West Logan Street among others. Finally, many Christian churches are also holding services and vigils this evening.

In other entertainment tonight Anna Pavlova and the Imperial Russian Ballet with make its final evening performance tonight at the Metropolitan Opera House, Broad & Poplar Street, and tomorrow in a special afternoon engagement. In motion pictures tonight at the Arcadia, 16th & Chestnut Streets, William S. Hart stars in “Between Men”. At the Apollo, 52nd & Thompson, Theda Bara stars in “The Galley Slave”. At the Palace, 1214 Market Street, Syd Chaplin stars in “A Submarine Pirate”. And at the Garden, 53rd & Lansdowne Avenue, two Keystone comedies are showing with Dorothy Gish in “Old Heidelberg” and Eddie Foy in “A Favorite Fool”.

On stage at the Adelphi Theatre, Broad & Cherry Street, one will find Bernard Shaw’s “Androcles and the Lion”. At the Garrick, Broad & Chestnut, the Cohan and Harris Play “On Trial” is presented. At Dumont’s Minstrels, 9th & Arch, there are continuous shows including matinees today and tomorrow with seats starting at .10¢. And in Vaudeville at the Trocadero, 10th & Arch, “Beauty, Youth and Folly” will be performed at midnight.


To all of you I wish a fun, happy and safe New Year’s Eve.