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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


Today will bring cloudy skies with the chance of at least a bit of rain. The high will reach 81° with the overnight low near 65°. The administration of Hog Island announced today that there are now 28,500 men and women working at the shipyard. That is the largest number of people employed at any shipyard in history.

Fear and misunderstanding overwhelmed Mrs. Margaret Lelbach of 1426 West Thompson Street today. Mrs. Lelbach, who came to Philadelphia from Germany, had registered as an enemy alien in accordance with the law. Recently she received a summons to report back to the police station at 19th & Oxford Streets where she and her husband registered. She became terrified that she was going to be interned and in desperation hung herself. In fact the reason she received the summons was merely to ask her to provide another set of fingerprints because the first set was blurred.

Five Philadelphia men have received medals recognizing their valor under fire. They are R.W. Davenport, 18 years old, United States Army, whose parents live at the St. James Hotel. Private Davenport has been awarded the Croix de Guerre for heroic service in battle. Receiving the Navy Distinguished Service Cross are Lieutenant Colonel Logan Feland, Captain John H. Fay, First Lieutenant Frederic C. Wheeler and Sergeant John Groff all of the United States Marines. All the Marines received the award for heroic service in battle northwest of Chateau-Thierry.

In sports, yesterday both our baseball teams had the better of the boys from St. Louis but today the glove was on the other had. At Shibe Park the visiting Browns drove Mr. Mack’s Bob Geary from the mound with a 4 run 5th inning and held on to beat the A’s 5 to 3. The Phillies are out west visiting the St. Louis nationals. But unlike yesterday they could only put together 5 hits and lost to the Cardinals 8 to 2.


American troops are now using mustard gas against the Germans. The Germans started using the gas in November against allied troops. The gas is not lethal and rarely kills outright. It attacks the skin and internal membranes inflicting terrible burns. Allied chemists had not until recently known how to manufacture it. Now they do and artillery shells with the gas were used last night against the Huns near Chateau-Thierry scattering the enemy’s planned attack.