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


Today’s weather will bring cloudy skies with the high about 60° and the low this evening near 54°. The Weather Bureau is predicting a cold wave will reach Philadelphia beginning tonight.

In yesterday’s Jewish war relief campaign Philadelphians contributed over $75,000.00 coming in 6th among American Cities. However, not all funds from Philadelphia have as yet been counted and organizers here believe more money will be coming in from contributors who have promised donations but not yet delivered them. New York contributed over $2,000,000.00. In total thus far over $5,000,000.00 has been raised nationally.

It seemed like the entire neighborhood rushed to volunteer to fight the fire at the home of Ralph Ricci, 1164 South 11th Street early this morning. In fact Ricci even tried to stop the volunteers at his front door explaining that the fire was really nothing of consequence but his neighbors knocked him down and rushed over him. They poured into the cellar where the fire started and also where the wine barrels of another tenant, John DeSillipi, were located. There were so many “volunteers” that they even impeded the work of the firemen. The fire was quickly put out but for over an hour after the firemen left volunteers were still in the house and cellar rescuing furniture and wine.

In national news today President Wilson nominated Louis Dembitz Brandeis (shown below) as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to fill the seat of late Justice Joseph Lamar. Mr. Brandeis is 59 years old and an 1877 graduate of Harvard Law School.  He is a well-known advocate of labor and a fighter against the power of banks and money trusts. He has been called “the people’s lawyer”. Mr. Brandeis is the first Jew to be nominated to the Court and is active in the Zionist movement having long participated in the effort to bring Jews from Russia and Armenia to Palestine. Many members of the Senate were stunned by the nomination as Mr. Brandeis is seen as an ultra-radical by Senators in both parties.

Louis Brandeis

Louis Brandeis

On the sports beat, in high school basketball this afternoon West Philadelphia travels south to meet Atlantic City High, Lower Merion takes on Germantown Academy, LaSalle goes to Darby High and Chestnut Hill Academy plays Germantown Friends at Queen Lane. In Eastern League play last night Kensington’s Jasper Jewels beat South Philadelphia’s DeNeri 30 to 21 at Nonpareil Hall, Kensington & Ontario Streets.


Allied troops are evacuating Albania with the exception of the port of Avlona. Austrian troops are now in control of all of northern Albania. The remaining Serbian, Montenegrin and Albanian forces are being transported to the Greek Island of Corfu. In the Middle East, 20,000 British troops are under seige at the Port of Aden on the Red Sea by Arabs loyal to the Turks. In Mesopotamia the British relief column marching to Kut-el-Amara to aid British troops surrounded there is now 24 miles away.