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


There will be rain throughout the day today with slightly colder temperatures. The high will only reach 39° with tonight’s low near 36°.

The Merion Cricket Club will employ women on the golf course this spring as laborers and maintenance workers. This makes Merion the first club in the country to permit the “fair sex” the opportunity to maintain the links. The move is in reaction to the shortage of men who are either in the service or employed in war production industries. The ladies will cut the tees, run the 5 horse-drawn mowing machines, rake the bunkers and do other light work. Running the lawn mowers over the putting greens will be done by men since this is considered too difficult for women. The remaining male workers at the club will also handle all other hard manual jobs. The women will be paid 25¢ per hour to start.

In Washington, D.C. today President Wilson was almost run down by a moving van. The President was crossing 15th Street when he encountered a traffic jam. While walking through the jam he suddenly had to maneuver out of the way of 3 moving vans. The first truck almost hit the President but by some quick stepping he managed to avoid a collision. The President was on his way to a meeting at the Shipping Board. Three secret service men were with him but had fallen behind due to the President’s pace.

Also today President Wilson took personal action to require that the release of casualty lists include all information available to the War Department including the full names and addresses of those killed or injured. For Philadelphia, the unenviable task of receiving the names of our boys killed and wounded will fall to Mrs. M.L. Woodruff (shown below). Mrs. Woodruff is the director of the Personal Service Bureau located in City Hall. She has compiled the names of over 20,000 sons of Philadelphia who are serving America. It will be her duty to scan the casualty list received from General Pershing’s headquarters each day for local men and when identified to notify their relatives of the news.

Mrs. M.L. Woodruff


In the air war, the Germans brought down 19 French airplanes on the Franco-Belgian front yesterday. German headquarters announced that the battle included Captain Baron von Richthofen achieving his 64th victory. And Zeppelins again raided the English coast last night at Hartlepool. Five civilians are known dead with at least 9 injured. Six houses were demolished by the bombs and 30 others damaged.