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 cloudy skies over the city today with occasional blustery winds. Rain is forecast for late in the afternoon and tonight. Today’s high will be about 80° with the low near 59°.

The superdreadnought, Oklahoma (shown below), went into commission today at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The ship moved down the Delaware from the New York Shipbuilding yard in Camden to the Navy Yard to meet her crew of 800 men and 50 officers. The Oklahoma is the largest battleship ever built on the Delaware. The ship’s armaments include ten 14-inch breech-loading guns. The Oklahoma was built at the New York Shipbuilding Yard and launched in 1914. She has since undergone sea trials and recently returned to the shipyard for repairs.


An invisible line has been drawn in the Tenderloin between the 13th and 14th Wards. On one side is the 13th Ward, lying east of 10th between Vine and Poplar Streets. Here the police have imposed a strict quarantine. Gambling houses, opium dens, backroom saloons and houses of ill repute have been shut down. On the other side is the 14th Ward, from 10th to Broad Street. And there business is wide open. This entire area is under the control of the 8th Police District, so what could cause the difference? It seems that the 13th Ward is under the political control of the Penrose-McNichol faction while the 14th belongs to the Vare family. The Tenderloin provides both factions with money and strong-arm men when needed. But the police of the 8th district answer to the Vares. So when word came down to put the lid down on the 13th Ward the police complied. And the decision isn’t being kept a secret. When asked about the difference in enforcement, Captain Nicholas J. Kenney of the 8th district simply said “That’s politics”.

On the social scene, a charming affair took place last evening at the Rittenhouse Hotel. The local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy hosted a dance and dinner for the benefit of poor southerners living in this city. Also, it was announced today that last week’s bazaar held at Convention Hall to benefit the women and children of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empire suffering as a result of the war raised over $200,000.00. It is estimated that 300,000 people visited the bazaar during the 10 day event. The money will be given to the German-American Charity Association of Pennsylvania for distribution to hospitals in the two countries and the Red Cross.


On the western front, the French under General Henri-Philippe Pétain have launched a successful assault against German troops southeast of Fort Douamont near Verdun. Over 1 mile of German trenches have been captured in the last 3 days.