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


A cold rain accompanied the cold temperature this morning and there is every chance the rain will turn to snow tonight. The winds and perhaps the snow will continue through tomorrow. Today’s high will be about 38° with the low tonight near 22°.

The Philadelphia Fire Department is today celebrating the 45th anniversary of its birth. The Bureau of Fire went into effect on March 15, 1871 establishing a professional, paid force. Eight men still remain on the force since its inception and some even served in the old volunteer service. They are: Captain John Rumney and Fireman William Lanigan of Engine Company 12 in Manaynuk; Captain Charles Williams of Engine company 42 of Front & Westmoreland; Hoseman William Graham, of Engine Company 25 of 1915 Adams Street; Captain Lawrence Green of Engine Company 43 of 2110 Market Street; Captain Samuel Killian of Engine Company 57 at 55th & Pine; Engineer William Robertson of Engine Company 11 at 10th & South and Driver John Winring (shown below) of Engine Company 41 at 61st & Thompson. These gray-haired fire laddies are happy to recall stories of the things they have seen and done and they all marvel at the equipment now in use as opposed to what they had in bygone days.

Fireman John Winring

Fireman John Winring

Plans are underway for the organization of a Jewish Regiment of Philadelphia. The regiment will be raised in accord with the nation’s general program of preparedness. Last evening at a meeting in the home of Isador Stern, 536 Spruce Street, Mr. Joseph D. Lit was elected to command the regiment. The regiment, to be known as the “Maccabeans”, will be recruited among the city’s Hebrew population. Recruiting headquarters will be established at 5th & Pine in the office of the Jewish Morning Journal. Mr. A.J. Drexel Biddle, although not a Jew, has been asked to assist in recruiting and organizing and to act as drillmaster due to his experience with the Drexel Biddle Military Corps.

On the sports beat, in boxing at the Douglas A.C., 11th & Spring Garden, 5 bouts are on the card with the featured fight being Johnny Mayo against Preston Brown. In baseball, the Phillies played an inter-squad game at Coffee Pot Park in St. Petersburg, Fla. before 500 locals. The regulars beat the rookies 9 to 5 behind the pitching of the big Cherokee warrior Ben Tincup. Up in Jacksonville, Manager Mack is working his entire squad from 10:00am till sundown.


On the western front, Austria has followed Germany and today declared war on Portugal. In France, a French counter-attack has halted the German offensive launched yesterday on the west bank of the Meuse, northwest of Verdun. In the Middle East, capitalizing on its successes in Persia the Russian army is now marching toward Bagdad. Presently the Russians are in Kirind which is 120 miles from Bagdad.