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 partly cloudy skies over the city today with warmer temperatures. The high today will be about 45° with the low overnight near 34°. The Schuylkill Arsenal today shipped 20 freight cars filled with clothing, tents and other supplies to the Army for the soldiers of the Mexican campaign. Colonel George Penrose, commandant of the arsenal, said that 2,300 men are employed in the manufacturing plant and that presently there is on hand enough supplies to support and equip 50,000 soldiers.

Mr. Powell Fenton (shown below) of this city was today awarded the French Croix de Guerre for distinguished and faithful service in the American Ambulance Corps in the Alsace region. Mr. Fenton is 24 years old and a 1914 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He left for France in February 1915 and joined the American Ambulance Hospital of Paris. In April 1915 he left Paris for Alsace where he was attached to the 66e Division d’Infanterie. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Powell Fenton served a total of 27 months with the American Ambulance Field Service. When America entered the war he was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the U. S. Army. Twenty years later prior to America’s entry into World War II he served as a volunteer with the American Red Cross in France. In December 1941 he was arrested by the Nazis and interned as a prisoner of war. He was held until the Allies liberated France in May 1944. Mr. Fenton was repatriated to the U.S. after the war. He died in Philadelphia in 1986 at the age of 95.]

Powell Fenton

Powell Fenton

Last evening Governor Martin Brumbaugh announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President. This announcement is seen as opening what could be a bitter fight for control of the Republican Party in this state. The Governor stated that he hopes his candidacy will reunite the progressive forces in the Republican Party with those who left the party in 1912 to follow Mr. Roosevelt. However, the Governor’s action will bring him into direct conflict with Senator Penrose for control of the Party in Pennsylvania.

In national news, beginning today martial law will be in effect along the Mexican-American border. Also from San Antonio, Texas comes the news that Major General Funston has chosen Brigadier General John Pershing to command the expedition into Mexico.


 The French have opened a counter-attack on the German left wing near Verdun. Some limited success has been reported by the French War Office in the area of Le Pretre forest. Both sides are engaging in bombardments at Bethincourt, Douaumont and in the Woevre region. On the Austro-Italian front, avalanche warfare has been inaugurated by Italian Alpinists in the Tyrol region. The tactic used is to shell the mountainside under which Austrian troops are camped sending thousands of tons of rocks and snow rolling down onto the enemy soldiers.