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


Snow fell last evening on the 1st night of spring leaving about an inch of accumulation on the ground. Today will be dry with cloudy, overcast skies and slightly warmer temperatures. The high will be around 35° with the low tonight near 27°.

Another bomb exploded last night in “Little Italy”. The bomb was placed on the steps of the home of John Cietueri, 617 Annin Street. The bomb is thought to be the work of the “Black Hand”. On January 11th Mr. Cietueri received a letter from that group instructing him to bring a certain amount of money to 15th & Vine Streets on January 18th and give it to a man who would be waiting for him. Mr. Cietueri failed to comply. He then received another letter promising retribution. The explosion caused extensive damage to the front of Mr. Cietueri’s home and also blew out the windows of other homes along Annin Street. Police are asking the public for help in identifying those responsible for the bombing.

Colonel Fred S. Foltz (shown below), commanding officer of the 1st U.S. Cavalry has joined General Pershing in Mexico. Colonel Foltz was born and raised in this city and graduated from Episcopal Academy prior to entering West Point. He hails from an old military family. His father, J.M. Foltz, served as surgeon general under Admiral Farragut.

Colonel Fred S. Foltz

Colonel Fred S. Foltz

In Mexico, reports have been received that forces under President Carranza engaged Villa’s troops near the Santa Clara Mountains. Supposedly Carranza’s troops had the better of the fight and Villa’s men retreated into the mountains.

On the society scene this evening a concert will be given at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel for the benefit of the Oncologie Hospital, 33rd & Powelton Avenue. The event is entitled “In a Persian Garden” with music provided by the Orpheus Quartet. The Quartet is composed of Miss Edna Harwood Baugher, Miss Mabelle Addison, Mr. Nicholas Douty and Mr. Donald Redding. Also, Miss Dorothy Johnstone-Baseler will be performing additional music on the harp.

In sports, down in spring training baseball the Phillies visited Tampa, Florida and beat the newly combined Chicago Cubs/Whales team 6 to 2. Erskine Mayer and Al Demaree did the pitching for the Phillies.


On the western front, all French positions around Avocourt Woods have been taken by the Germans. The Woods are 7 miles northwest of Verdun. More than 2,500 men including two regimental commanders were taken prisoner. In the east, a continuous Russian bombardment has forced the Germans to withdraw from their positions south of Narocz Lake. And 800 miles to the south The Russians have also been successful in capturing the Uscieczvo bridgehead, northeast of Czernowitz in Galicia, from the Austrians.