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 moderate winds from the southeast. The cold temperatures remain with us with today’s high only reaching 27° and the low tonight only around 8° making this the coldest March 18th on record. The Bureau of Health released the city’s weekly mortality report today showing 628 deaths from all causes which are 17 more than the preceding week. Some of the leading causes of death were heart disease 81, tuberculosis 66, pneumonia 128 and Bright’s disease 63. Homicide accounted for 2 deaths.

Last night Mrs. Robert Strange, 2073 East Monmouth Street, heard a noise from her dining room which woke her from her sleep. When she went downstairs she saw a man engaged in burglarizing her home. Mrs. Strange is not the type of women to cower or shrink from danger. She is described by friends and neighbors as opinionated, brave and “large”. Instead of retreating to her bedroom she grabbed the intruder by the hair and began to beat him. The pain of having his hair pulled and his neck and head stretched backward made him scream out and cry for help. In response Mrs. Strange banged his head against her china closet. In terror the thief struggled against Mrs. Strange’s grip and freed himself, leaving behind some of his hair in her hand. He ran for the door but the woman went after him and knocked him down with a punch to the jaw. Then she sat on him. Her neighbors, hearing the screams, called the police. They arrived and took Alvin Wilson, 28 years old of 2158 East Birch Street, into custody. Wilson is a known professional sneak thief. Not surprisingly, Mr. Wilson was not disappointed to see the police come to his rescue.

On the entertainment scene, Lillian Russell is here and as radiant as ever. Miss Russell (shown below) is appearing at B. F. Keith’s, 12th & Chestnut Streets. Her voice was in splendid form today as she sang her favorite songs including “My Heart”, “A Little Irish Girl”, “When Chloe Sings A Song”, “My Evening Star” and “Until”.

3-18-1916 Lillian Russell

Also in vaudeville, at Nixon’s Grand, Broad & Montgomery, Henshaw and Avery headline with 7 other acts on the bill. And at the Globe Theater, Juniper & Market Streets, the bill includes “The Sidewalk Cabaret”, the O’Connor Sisters and the Hebrew comedian, Orbin. At the Forrest Theatre, the greatest musical show ever produced, the Ziegfeld Follies takes the stage at 2:15pm and 8:15pm. In photoplays, at the Iris Theatre, 3146 Kensington Avenue, William S. Hart stars in Hell’s Hinges. At the Rialto, Germantown Avenue & Tulpehocken, Mary Pickford stars in Esmeralda and at the Plaza, Broad & Porter Streets, George Beban is featured in The Pawn of Fate.