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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


The city will see fair skies today with steadily raising temperatures. Today’s high will reach 39° with the low about 20°. Over 1500 people attended a Masquerade Ball last night at Mercantile Hall organized by the Nationale Francaise Association. The proceeds from the event were donated to the Red Cross and the French Relief Association. The highlight of the evening was the unfurling of the Stars and Stripes next to the French Tri-Color followed by the simultaneous playing of the “Marseillasie” and the “Star Spangled Banner” by two orchestras.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has issued a statement concerning the health of Archbishop Prendergast. The statement revealed that the Archbishop is in failing health and is not expected to live more than a few days. The Prelate has been in poor health for the last few weeks but apparently now his heart is beginning to fail.

In national news, President Wilson intends to fix the price of wheat this evening by means of a Presidential Proclamation. The President took similar action last year when he fixed the price of the 1917 crop at $2.00 per bushel. In other news from Washington, D.C. it was learned today that the government has been secretly interning Germans and German-Americans for spreading pro-German propaganda at their workplaces. It was not disclosed where the internees are being held.

In sports tonight at the National A.C., 11th & Catharine Streets, 5 fights are on the card including Young Jack O’Brien vs. Paul Doyle in the featured match. In basketball at Penn’s gymnasium, 33rd & Spruce Streets, Dartmouth visits the Quakers. The game begins at 8:15pm. Tickets start at 55¢ and there will be dancing after the game.

And finally in entertainment this weekend at the Chestnut Street Opera House, 1021 Chestnut Street, “Over The Top” is on stage staring Philadelphia’s own Ed Wynn leading a company of 100 performers including the wonderful brother and sister dancing team of Fred & Adele Astaire. Tickets start at 50¢.

Fred & Adele Astaire

Over at the Forrest Theatre, Broad & Locust, the delightful musical comedy “Toot-Toot” stars Harry Fern and Flora Zabelle with the music of Jerome Kern. And in vaudeville at the Colonial, Germantown & Maplewood Avenue, six big acts are on stage along with a British war film and Tyrone Power starring in “The Planter”.