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 overcast skies over the city today with thunder showers this afternoon. The rain is expected to pass through overnight and bring a pleasant Sunday. Today’s high will be about 76° with the low near 60°.

Philadelphia’s children were the featured attraction this morning at the Civic Exposition Building, 34th & Spruce Streets. The event was organized by the Municipal Board of Recreation. Children representing various playgrounds around the city entertained the assembled with dances of all descriptions. There were Indian ceremonial dances, Swedish and Spanish dances and dances of fantasy and frolic. In truth the girls did most of the dancing while the boys engaged in more rough and tumble exhibitions. The playgrounds represented were Starr Gardens, 6th & Lombard, Kingsessing Recreation Centre, 50th & Kingsessing Avenue, Funfield Playground, 22nd & Lehigh Avenue, Shot Tower Playground, 2nd & Carpenter Streets and the Weccacoe Playground, 4th & Catherine Streets.

Two fires in different parts of the city caused extensive damage and left many families homeless today. The first blaze was at the Daniel Adams Mill and Lumber Company, 2936-2954 North Marshall Street. The mill was completely destroyed and homes along 7th Street behind the property were badly damaged. Firemen exhibited great courage not just to bring the flames under control but also to rescue families from the nearby homes. Many of the residents were overcome by smoke and had to be carried to safety by the firemen. Also neighbors and local Boy Scouts rescued dozens of horses kept in stables along the block. Luckily Police were also on hand because it was necessary to shoot at three men attempting to loot a recently vacated house. The thieves escaped in the smoke and confusion.

The second fire was at the Cyrus Borgner Company, 234 North 23rd Street. Because so many fire companies were fighting the first conflagration this blaze had time to spread and cause extensive damage to surrounding buildings. Five firemen were injured fighting both blazes. They are: Lt. John Wells, Engine No. 50, whose feet and legs were burned; William McCann, Engine No. 20, whose legs were crushed by falling lumber; Arthur Jacobs, Engine No. 28, who fell from a ladder; Peter Downey, Engine No. 17, who was overcome by smoke and Harry Piper, Engine No. 12, whose foot was pierced by a nail. All were taken to nearby hospitals.

In entertainment, the magnificent Pavlova is here with the Russian Ballet at the Forrest Theatre.



At the Globe Theatre, Juniper & Market Streets, the Peerless Minstrels De Luxe will be performing hilarious sketches in beautiful costumes. At Woodside Park, Kryl and His Band conclude their engagement tonight. On motion picture screens around the city, at the Apollo, 52nd & Thompson, Billie Burk stars in Peggy. At the Great Northern, Broad & Erie, Douglas Fairbanks stars in The Good Bad Man. And at the Tioga, 17th & Venango, Mary Pickford stars in The Eternal Grind.