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 but the rain is gone. Today’s high will be about 45° with the low tonight near 37°. Last night’s rain left many streets slippery for automobiles driving. Numerous crashes have been reported around the city. The only serious injury came to Miss Margaret Class who was crossing Broad Street at Lehigh Avenue when she was struck by motor car. The driver stopped and seeing her injuries drove her to Samaritan Hospital. During the drive he told her he had lost control of the vehicle on the wet street and could not avoid her. After placing her in doctors’ care the driver sped away without leaving his name. Miss Class suffered a broken right leg.

In business news, the war has resulted in an enormous increase in the demand for sugar. In response to this demand the Franklin Sugar Refinery will be reopening at Delaware Avenue and Bainbridge Street. The reopening will mean employment for hundreds of men. The plant’s equipment is still intact and needs only some general overhauling to be up and running.


In national news, a terrible train accident has occurred near Amherst, Ohio. Three of the New York Central’s passenger trains have collided. The early reports are that 30 are dead and 40 injured but more are expected as rescuers work through the wreckage. The initial investigation has found that the crash was the result of a sleeping tower operator who failed to set “block” signals on 2 tracks. The trains involved were the 1st and 2nd sections of the Pittsburgh-Baltimore-Buffalo Limited and the Twentieth Century Limited. Both trains are considered fliers because of their speed. The Twentieth Century Limited is considered the fastest train in the world.

In sports, Penn’s red and blue will meet the Princeton Tigers tonight at Weightman Hall for the intercollegiate basketball title. Although there is no doubting Princeton’s ability it has been learned recently that the Tiger’s winning record at home may also have something to do with the ball they use. In all games in the league teams use a regulation Spalding ball. But in games at Princeton the tigers use a ball of their own development. Supposedly this Princeton ball is far lighter than the Spalding ball. The lighter ball is difficult for visiting teams to get use to and by the time they do Princeton usually has the game in hand. However, the ball being used tonight will be a regulation Spalding.


On the western front, the Germans have broken the French line north of Malancourt and 10 miles from Verdun. Malancourt itself is now in danger of falling. This is the Germans furthest advance in over a fortnight. In the Julian Alps after a vicious 40 hour battle west of Gorizia, where at times the fighting was hand-to-hand, the Italians have claimed victory.