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 weather will bring mostly cloudy skies over the city today and also slightly warmer temperatures. The high will reach near 40° and the low tonight about 20°.Thousands of Kensingtonians have been attending the “Winter Carnival” at the Union Tabernacle Church, Coral & York Streets, which is being held to raise funds for uniforms for the “Class Six” Band, a favorite musical organization in the neighborhood. The carnival will end tonight with a full musical program.

A proposal is being discussed to construct an aeroplane landing field on the roof of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, Broad & Walnut Streets. A drawing of the plan is shown below. If completed it would make the Bellevue the only rooftop landing stage in America. The idea comes from certain European cities where docking or landing facilities for Zeppelins were built on rooftops of tall buildings. Proponents of the plan believe that with a 300 foot landing platform a skilled aviator could safely bring their machines down by flying in progressively smaller circles. The service would be ideal for travelers between New York and Philadelphia and provide guests quick access to Hotel elevators by walkways along the sides of the landing platform.

Landing Filed on Roof of Hotel

Landing Filed on Roof of Hotel

In other Pennsylvania news, Merion Township, in which many of the Main Line towns are located, announced today it will need to expend $325,000.00 in 1916 for services. Appropriations include $32,000.00 for police and fire, $85,000.00 for highways, $16,000.00 for lighting and $32,000.00 for health and drainage. Also further west, three counties, Carbon, Clarion and Armstrong, of this Commonwealth are under quarantine due to an outbreak of rabies among dogs.

In entertainment around the city this weekend, on stage at B.F. Keith’s, 12th & Chestnut Streets, McIntyre and Heath, the world’s greatest blackface comedians, present “The Georgia Minstrels”. At the Walnut Street Theatre, Fiske O’Hara stars in “Kilkenny” and at the Knickerbocker, 40th & Market, Eleanor Montell stars in “Carmen”. On screen at the Chestnut Street Opera House, 11th & Chestnut, the thrilling film taken on the battlefield “On the Firing Line with the Germans”, which contains 8000 feet of real battle footage. At the Drury, 13th & Germantown Avenue, Florence Reed stars in “New York”. And at the Overbrook, 63rd & Haverford Avenue, Pauline Frederick stars in “Bella Donna”.

In sports, Penn regained 1st place in the intercollegiate basketball league with its defeat of Dartmouth last night 42 to 19. In Eastern League play the Greystock Greys defeated Kensington’s Jasper Jewels 16 to 15. Tonight Greystock visits DeNeri in South Philadelphia and Trenton meets Reading. Two important matches will take place today in the Philadelphia Trapshooters’ League. First place Lansdale will meet the Highland club in Lansdale and the 2nd place S.S. Whites will take on du Pont at Holmesburg Junction. In all 250 gunners will be competing.