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


There are clear skies over the city today but the temperatures are frigid. Today’s high will only reach 26° with the low near 16°.  From the “It’s never too late” file, Mr. Pietro Tobasco of South Philadelphia has finally found love and it has only taken him 72 years. Today Mr. Tobasco applied for a license to marry Miss Filomena Esposito, who may or may not be 67. She’s either not sure or just not saying. And any gentleman knows it’s not polite to ask a girl how old she is and it’s certainly a woman’s prerogative not to answer if someone does. The newlyweds will enjoy wedded bliss at 822 Carpenter Street, congratulations to the happy couple.

One of the social set’s most exclusive affairs will take place tonight at Horticultural Hall. The Midwinter Ball will be hosted by 20 of this city’s most prominent men including Lynford Biddle, Alexander Van Rensselaer, A.J. Drexel Paul, Gouverneur Cadwalader and T. DeWitt Cuyler, Jr. Also on the social scene tonight, St. Agatha’s Institute presents its 5th annual minstrel show at the Lu Lu Temple, Broad and Spring Garden Streets.

In national news, The Japanese ambassador has complained to the State Department about a proposed bill in Idaho baring aliens from owning land. The ambassador believes the bill is meant to discriminate against Japanese residents there. The senate of Idaho has delivered a message to the State Department defending the measure. The message assures Secretary of State Lansing that the law in not intended to discriminate against the Japanese. It is in fact to be applied against all aliens equally. The Idaho senate’s message also pointed out that Japan has long had a law prohibiting land ownership by aliens there.

On the sports beat in basketball last night the Jasper Jewels defeated Reading’s Bears 22 to 19. Jasper is now in 2nd place in the Eastern League standings behind the Greystock Greys of South Philadelphia. Tonight the Greys meet their South Philadelphia rivals, DeNeri at Cooper Battalion Hall, 23rd & Christian Streets.

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In the Atlantic Ocean today German submarines sunk 6 ships, 3 of which were from neutral countries. Two of the ships were Norwegian and one was Spanish. President Wilson continued meeting with his cabinet and other advisers today about the German threat. Reports are that no communication has been sent to Germany as yet. As is his wont when faced with a serious problem, Mr. Wilson played a round of golf starting at 9:00am, returning to the White House 2 hours later.