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 cloudy, overcast skies over the city today. There is a good possibility of rain later this afternoon and tonight. The unseasonably warm temperatures have returned with today’s high near 65° and tonight’s low about 38°.

The circus is in town and it promises to be grand, glamorous and gigantic. The spectacular show opens today at Convention Hall, Broad Street & Allegheny Avenue. Although there will not be any tents or side shows there will be 3 rings and clowns, acrobats and animal acts of every kind including elephants, bears and horses. The circus is brought here under the auspices of the LuLu Temple of the Shriners. The LuLu band, patrol, Temple Guard and other members will all march in a parade to open the event. The circus will continue here for a week.


Philadelphia’s contribution to the Jewish war relief drive now stands at $200,000.00. The final event of the drive took place last night at the Metropolitan Opera House where 5000 people participated in a mass-meeting. Many of the women in attendance after hearing speeches describing the plight of the Jews of Europe openly wept and gave up their jewelry to the cause.

The cornerstone for the new Settlement Music School, 416-428 Queen Street, was laid yesterday afternoon. Hundreds of guests attended as former Governor Stuart did the honors. The building, when completed, will cost $150,000.00 and will provide commodious quarters for the over 300 students expected to attend. The schools present location at 427 Christian Street has proven to be too small for its needs. The purpose of the school has been since its founding in 1908 to Americanize the children of immigrants through music.

Another opening in the education realm will take place tomorrow when ceremonies will be held for the opening of the new Frankford High School building at Wakeling Street and Oxford Pike. The 600 boys and 250 girls of the school along with their parents and relatives are invited to attend. Much credit is given to the Parents Association which for years has “agitated” for the new building. A formal dedication of the school will take place in April when all the interior work is completed.

Philadelphia’s Fire Marshall reiterated today that all 208 motion picture establishments in this city must have their license fee paid by noon or face closure by the police this evening. The fee of $100.00 must be tendered to the office of Fire Marshal Elliott in City Hall. No time extensions will be given. 


German Zeppelins raided Paris Saturday and Sunday evening dropping bombs throughout the city. The Germans assert that the raids were in retaliation for French aeroplanes bombing of the open German town of Freiburg. The French announced that 34 people were killed in the raids with 29 wounded. Four of the dead are children. Many buildings were also destroyed.