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 will be clear skies over the city today with the cold temperatures continuing. The high winds of yesterday have lessened but gusts of over 20 miles per hour are still occurring. Today’s high will be around 30° with the low tonight near 20°.

It seems romance can blossom anywhere, even in athletic competition. That is what happened when Mr. Arlington Evans, principal of the Sherwood Recreation Centre, 56th & Christian Streets met Miss Eleanor Greer, assistant principal of the Happy Hollow Recreation Centre in Germantown (shown below). For two years these rival leaders coached their teams in various athletic events. Each team had its victories and losses. Temporary truces were called for the occasional dance at the Sherwood Centre to which Happy Hollow children, parents and coaches were invited. But romance was never expected. However, love can even overcome sporting competition and today it was announced that next fall Miss Greer will become Mrs. Evans.

Miss Greer and Mr. Evans

Miss Greer and Mr. Evans

The Bureau of Health and Charities is vaccinating against smallpox in sections of West and South Philadelphia. Today’s vaccinations are being done in the neighborhood of 22nd & Kimball Streets. At 4:00am this morning representatives of the Bureau appeared in the neighborhood bounded by 22nd & 23rd Street and Carpenter Street and Washington Avenue. They went door to door attempting to vaccinate the residents. Those refusing vaccination have had their homes quarantined and police stationed outside the door prohibiting anyone from leaving or entering the house. So far today 400 people have been vaccinated. Yesterday’s vaccinations occurred in the area bounded by 40th & 42nd Streets between Market and Chestnut. Twelve hundred people were vaccinated there.

This action was necessitated when it was found that Mrs. Mary Mills, a 30 year old Negress, who lives with her sister and daughter at 2229 Kimball Street, was found to be infected. It is believed Mrs. Mills caught the disease while visiting in Virginia. She in turn passed the disease to Mr. Walter Reed, also a Negro and living at 4127 Ludow Street. Mr. Reed is an acquaintance of Mrs. Mills and recently visited her. Since both of these people have visited, traveled and interacted with others in their neighborhoods a complete quarantine was consider necessary.

After 35 years of traveling throughout this state, going from one small town and hamlet to another, “Porgie O’Brien’s Circus” comes to an end today. George Lawrence, proprietor and inheritor of the one-ring circus from his step-father the original “Porgie”, explained there is no place for a small circus in today’s business and that the show is deeply in debt. So, those interested in trained horses, ponies and dogs or perhaps desiring a gaudy wagon or two can attend the auction of the animals and equipment today at the Bull’s Head Bazaar, 38th & Market.