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


The skies over the city will be fair and sunny today but the cold temperatures and strong westerly winds remain. A light snow shower accompanied the dawn but it quickly moved out. Today’s high will be about 40° with the low around 26°.

From Columbus, New Mexico comes a report on the casualties from yesterday’s battle. Nineteen Americans are known killed. Seven of those are American soldiers. Mexican casualties include 80 killed during the raid and 60 more by the 13th Cavalry (shown below) which pursued the bandits into Mexico. Seven Mexicans were wounded in the fight in the town and taken prisoner. No prisoners were taken by the Cavalry during its pursuit.

13th Cavalry Camp

President Wilson today ordered American troops into Mexico with the orders to capture or kill “Pancho” Villa and destroy his band of outlaws. Mr. Wilson made the decision after a 2 hour cabinet meeting this morning. Secretary of War Baker stated that the invasion is entirely punitive and in no way directed against the duly constituted government of Mexico. The Secretary also stated that the sovereignty of the Republic of Mexico will be scrupulously respected. The initial expedition will consist of 3,000 infantry troops and 2,000 cavalry but more men may be needed depending on the situation. Also, this afternoon 19,000 additional troops were dispatched to patrol the border and the New Mexico militia has been mobilized and is also on patrol.

Members of Congress of both parties have voiced support for the President’s decision. For now there are no plans to ask Congress for specific authorization. However, an official of the administration did say that if the situation necessitates the president will ask Congress for the authority to raise a volunteer army. There is little doubt that if the President requests such authorization it will be quickly given. This morning a resolution was offered in the Senate exhorting the President to hunt down and destroy the perpetrators of this heinous act. Similar sentiments were expressed in the House of Representatives.

On the sports beat, the final game of the season for the Intercollegiate Basketball League was played last night and Princeton defeated Cornell 22 to 10. The victory gives Princeton a tie with the University of Pennsylvania for 1st place. It was thought that in the event of a tie a post-season series would be arranged to decide a champion. But apparently that will not occur. Penn will not consent to a playoff because, according to its coach, the team is both physically unfit to engage in such a series and the players must return to their scholastic duties. If Princeton decides to press the issue they will be able to claim the championship by forfeit.