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 as the temperatures begin to warm. The high will reach near 50° with the low tonight around 30°. The biggest flower show in history opens in this city today. At 2:00pm the Society of American Florists and the Ornamental Horticulturists will act as hosts as Convention Hall, Broad Street & Allegheny Avenue, welcomes flower lovers of this city and from around the country. There will be thousands of roses, carnations, daffodils, rare orchids and scores of other plants too numerous to mention. In total there will be 8000 separate exhibits. One particularly interesting exhibit will be the vast tea garden which will provide full service every day till closing. Also promised are dozens of large fish aquariums, fully stocked with some of the rarest fish in the world. And each evening a 42 piece band will provide music for entertainment and dancing.

3-25-1916 Flower Show

It was a sad occasion in Coroner’s Court today. Robert and Anna Lee stood accused of causing the death of their month old baby. The baby had smothered to death while both his parents were passed out drunk. In front of Coroner Knight the couple sobbed as the city nurse, Miss Katherine Berg testified that the two were actually good parents when sober but neglectful when drunk. Coroner Knight absolved them of being criminally responsible for the baby’s death. He then made them promise to give up alcohol and take good care of their 2 year old daughter Nellie. Both parents swore to do so and then left the court.

On the sports beat, tonight every boxing fan will be watching electric news boards as they relay from the wireless the round by round news from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Tonight is the night that the “Pittsburg Dentist”, also known as Frank Moran challenges the “Pottawatomie Giant”, heavyweight world champion Mr. Jess Willard, for the greatest title in all of boxing. This is Willard’s first defense of his crown since winning it from Jack Johnson in Cuba last year. Willard enters the contest with a record of 23-4-1, while Mr. Moran brings and equally impressive record of 27-11-7. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds and win, lose or draw Mr. Willard will earn $55,100.00 while Mr. Moran will take home $26,750.00.


Two British liners were apparently torpedoed today off the English coast. The liner “Sussex” was in the English Channel bound from Folkestone to Dieppe when it was struck. The 2nd ship, the Dominion liner “Englishman” was traveling from Avonmouth, England en route to Portland, Maine in the Bristol Channel. It is believed that over 50 lives have been lost in total. It is also thought that between 20 and 30 Americans were on board both ships. The “Englishman” sunk but the “Sussex” remained afloat and its survivors rescued by the ship “Maria Theresa”.