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 skies are clear and bright but the cold has returned to our area. A northeast gale swept through the city in the early morning hours with 35 mile per hour winds that brought with them cold temperatures. Along with the cold the gale brought snow. But the flakes only fell for about 10 minutes and then the skies cleared. Today’s high will only reach around 30° with the low tonight a bitter 12°. The Bureau of Health released its weekly mortality report and noted that there were 612 deaths from all causes last week. Of that number influenza and pneumonia were responsible for 105 deaths, tuberculous caused 59 deaths and diphtheria resulted in 15 deaths.

Many children of the poor and working class of this city begin their day without breakfast. This can make the morning in school difficult for the youngsters as they deal with hunger and find it hard to stay awake. The Volunteers of America are doing what they can to alleviate this problem. The organization has opened a kitchen at 239 North 9th Street (shown below) to provide a free, nutritious and hearty breakfast to any child that comes to it. The organization has plans to open additional locations in other sections of the city.

Breakfast Kitchen

Breakfast Kitchen

The old Philadelphia Cemetery at 20th Street & Passyunk Avenue has been sold by the Philadelphia Cemetery Company to Charles I. Warfield for the Arlington Cemetery Company. The bodies in the Passyunk Avenue burial ground will be moved to Arlington grounds. The Passyunk Avenue grounds covered 11 acres and were assessed at $120,000.00.

A golf court has been built 300 feet above the city in the rooftop garden of the Adelphia Hotel, 1229 Chestnut Street. The court is 25 feet by 50 feet and has a driving tee and bull’s eye target. It is considered a stepping stone for the beginner to larger indoor courses such as those at Wanamaker’s Department Store.

On the sports beat, in basketball yesterday Greystock defeated Camden last night in front of a full arena at Cooper Hall, 32 to 21. Greystock now leads the Eastern League by 3 games. In the college game, Penn meets Columbia tonight at Weightman Hall and Temple will host Gallaudet College of Washington, D.C. In high school basketball today, Northeast meets Norristown High at Norristown, the School of Pedagogy takes on the Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf at Mt. Airy, Southern High faces the Penn Freshman at Weightman Hall and LaSalle visits St. Joseph at St. Joseph College.


Reports from London are that Germany has built 100 new U-boats. These craft are larger than the present vessels the Germans produce and carry in addition to torpedo tubes heavy caliber guns. The boats will be used in a new campaign against allied shipping.