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


The forecast calls for overcast skies and rain throughout the afternoon and tonight. Today’s high will reach 52° with the low tonight near 35°. Today is Philadelphia Flag Day and Mayor Smith has asked all true Philadelphians to wear the city’s colors, azure blue and golden yellow. Businesses and homes are asked to celebrate by flying the flag of our city.

When the offices of S.C Walker Company of Chadds Ford in Delaware County opened today Mr. William Pasco applied for a raise. Mr. Pasco works for the company as a teamster and he made a compelling argument for the extra money.  Last night Mr. Pasco became a father again, this time to quadruplets, 3 girls and a boy. All the babies are in good health as is their mother. The new children will join 2 twin brothers who were born to Mr. and Mrs. Pasco just 18 months ago. Mr. Pasco received the raise.

An interesting real estate swap has been made in South Philadelphia. Harry Berman has transferred to Fannie Feldman a motion picture hall at 508 South Street. The hall is 20’ by 120’ and backs to Kater Street. In exchange, Mr. Berman receives 21 dwellings from 2612 to 2652 South 9th Street. The houses are as yet unfinished and assessed at $2,000.00 each. Mortgages between the parties have also been exchanged.

In the Mexican situation, 3000 additional American troops are massed at Columbus, New Mexico ready to march in pursuit of Villa. Today General Funston admitted that Mexican troops supposedly loyal to President Carranza had allowed Villa to escape from Namiquipa. It seems these troops were more hostile to Americans than they were loyal to their President. Reportedly Villa and his men are now fleeing southward through the San Geronimo Canyon toward the Sierra Tarahumare Mountain Range.

In sports, boxing fans are still talking about the championship bout Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Frank Moran challenged champion Jess Willard for the heavyweight title (shown below). But after 10 uninteresting rounds, Jess Willard held onto his title. That is not to say that Frank Moran did not try. He did but the 6’6”, 259 pound Willard was just too much for him to take down.

3-27-1916 Willard-Moran


In just the last 24 hours German submarines have sunk 5 allied merchantmen and 1 transport liner with heavy loss of life. The merchant ships are the British vessels “Cerne”, “Khartoum”, “St. Cecelie” and “Fenay-Bridge” and the French ship “Hebe”. The transport liner is the “Minneapolis” which was sunk in the Mediterranean Sea. In Eastern Europe south of Riga, Latvia the Russians continue their attempt to breakthrough von Hindenburg’s lines but with little success. The Russians reportedly have suffered enormous losses in the offensive.