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


Philadelphians will enjoy another clear, bright day today with moderate winds from the northwest. The high will be about 77° and the low around 53°.

The first municipal aviation school in the country will unofficially open today at Essington. Mayor Smith and the directors of all the city departments will be given a tour of the facility located on the old Lazaretto property by the school’s director, Mr. Robert Glendinning (shown below). So far 25 pupils have been accepted out of 100 applications. The formal opening of the school is planned for a later date. [Editor’s Note: When America entered the war Robert Glendinning was commissioned a Major in the Aviation Section of the United States Army. He would later be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and for his service in France and Italy awarded the Order of the Crown by King Victor Immanuel of Italy.]

Robert Glendinning

Robert Glendinning

Twenty-one firemen were overcome by smoke as they fought a blaze this afternoon at the John T. Bailey & Co. located at Water & Morris Streets. The company produces rope and twine. It was the burning of tons of jute in the storage warehouse that produced the thick smoke that overwhelmed the firemen. Most of the men were treated on the spot but some including Anthony Shaffer of Engine Company 46, Thomas Duane and Joseph Smith of Truck 11, Robert Rodebaugh of Engine Company 10 and John Pedrick of Engine Company 3 were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital for treatment.

In national news, former President Theodore Roosevelt today declared that he fully supports an amendment to the United States Constitution giving women the right to vote. And yesterday Mr. Roosevelt received the wholehearted endorsement of Thomas Edison for the Republican nomination for President. Mr. Edison wrote in a letter yesterday that Mr. Roosevelt was absolutely the only man that should be considered for the office at this crucial period of time.

In sports, tomorrow’s regatta on the Schuylkill River will be one of the grandest events in rowing history. The races begins at 2:00pm with some of finest teams in the country participating. The oarsmen of Penn will be there as will Navy, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia and Syracuse. Along with the colleges the Schuylkill Navy will be represented by Malta Boat Club, Undine Barge Club, University Barge Club and Vesper Club. Other teams from Boston and New York are also expected. There will be single scull, four-oared shells and eight-oared races. Even the local high schools will race with the 8 maned crews of West Philadelphia, Central and Northeast competing for the Franklin Challenge Cup.