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 sunny and clear skies over the city this morning and afternoon but the clouds will increase this evening. The winds will be from the south. The high temperature will reach 83° with the low tonight about 45°.

The circus is here! Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth has arrived. Today this city observed a new (unofficial) holiday, Circus Parade Day (shown below). School children and their teachers lined Broad Street joined by businessmen, shopkeepers, laborers, secretaries and housewives with babies. The parade was not just watched from the sidewalks but also from the windows, fire escapes and rooftops. Even the Mayor and members of City Councils were on hand.

5-1-1916 Circus Wagon

The route of the parade began at the Circus’s campgrounds, 19th & Hunting Park Avenue and traveled down to Broad Street where it headed south. At South Street it turned and countermarched back to Germantown Avenue and then back to its starting point. All along the route spectators lined the streets. More than 1,100 performers representing all features of the great show participated. The crowds continually expressed admiration and wonderment as bears, horses, lions, tigers, camels and elephants passed by. Music was provided by bands playing lively tunes as clowns, acrobats and jugglers danced and cavorted. Every act was met with smiles, laughter and joyous applause. For those wishing to attend the show one only need go to the vast tent city sprawled along Hunting Park Avenue and enjoy the sights. Of special interest is the animal kindergarten where baby lions, camels, giraffes, kangaroos, tigers and elephants frolic. The circus will perform 2 shows daily at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Tickets are .50¢ for adults and .25¢ for children.

5-1-1916 Elephant

In international news, the revolt in Ireland is over. It was announced today in London that all the leaders of the rebellion have surrendered. Those rebels holding positions in Dublin have ceased fighting. This morning about 450 of the Sinn Fein laid their guns down at the foot of the Parnell Monument while those at St. Stephen’s Green surrendered last night. Mr. Peter Pearse, Provisional President of the Republic of Ireland has ordered all his followers to lay down their arms. However, in some parts of the island fighting continues.

In sports, the Phillies’ Bert Niehoff and Dode Paskert lead the team in hitting with identical .333 averages. But that is not enough to get the men in the top 10 of the National League batting rankings. The boys are ranked 18th and 19th. First place belongs to shortstop Ivy Olson of the Brooklyn Robins who is currently batting .545. On the diamond today up in Boston, the Braves topped the Phillies 5 to 2. Erskine Mayer took the loss. The Athletics are hosting the Yankees at Shibe Park and took the 2nd game of the series 4 to 2 today. Bullet Joe Bush got the win.