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 overcast skies today with warmer temperatures and winds out of the northwest. The high will be near 47° with the low about 36°.

In Philadelphia a women’s place is not just in the home. Nearly 1/3 of Philadelphia women of working age earn their own living by going out into factories, mills and other commercial fields. Over 205,000 women are employed in this city. Some start work at the age of 14 earning $2.00 per week in factories. Today 83,000 women work in the manufacturing industry alone.

Dr. John Kirby, 27 years old of Virginia, tried to end it all in his room in the early hours of this morning by using illuminating gas.  His reason was unrequited love. But before he could end his life he was found by a fellow border and rushed to Roosevelt Hospital where he is being treated.

The center of his attention is Miss Rose Beck (shown below), 18 years old of 1218 North Howard Street. Dr. Kirby met Miss Beck shortly after moving here and immediately fell in love with her but the affection was not returned. The doctor is a chiropodist and must often go on long trips which put Miss Beck off from having a courtship.

1-11-1916 Rose Beck

The final straw for the young man was a poison-pen letter shown to him by Rose’s sister. Hurt and dejected he decided to end it all. He left her a final letter in which he poured out his heart and love for her. He wrote “I have always loved you. Even in death I will love you”. Miss Beck was so touched by his profession of love that she now says she will marry him if he recovers. She will only ask that he give up traveling because she wants a husband who will stay at home.

On the sports scene in high school basketball today Southern takes on West Philadelphia at Madonna Hall, 12th & Wharton Streets and Northeast meets Central at the Quaker City Athletic club, 26th & Dauphin Streets. Also in high school sports, it has been reiterated by the Board of Education that athletes are prohibited from smoking cigarettes. Professor John Mahoney of West Philadelphia High School recently said “The cigarette falls into a different class because of two great reasons – its adulteration with other narcotics and the temptation to inhale… these reasons make the cigarette the greatest foe of muscle and nerve.”