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 city will have another clear, fair day with gentle winds from the southwest. The temperatures continue to rise with the high today around 79° and the low about 59°. Bright and early this morning 250 students left Broad Street Station for a trip to the nation’s capital. The students are from Central High School, Palmyra High, Bordentown High, Lower Merion High and John Wanamaker Collegiate Institute. The itinerary includes an afternoon at Congress watching a debate and a visit to President Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon. And to end the trip on a special note, on Saturday the students have been invited to lunch at the White House with President Wilson and Vice-President Marshall.

In other scholastic news, the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Arts, Broad & Pine Streets, will hold its graduation ceremony this evening. Forty nine students will receive diplomas, prizes and certificates in this, the largest class in the school’s history. An exhibition of the graduates’ work will go on public view immediately following the event.

As part of “Clean-Up Week” the Department of Public Health and Charities is distributing pamphlets to homeowners teaching how to “Bat the Rat, Flop the Fly and Mangle the Mosquito”. The information can also be found at the Civic Exposition continuing at the Commercial Museum, 34th & Spruce Streets. The circulars instruct residents on how to fight these pests including keeping trash receptacles tightly covered, burning trash and garbage not collected and pouring chloride of lime or kerosene into drains and gutters to kill rats and bugs.

On the sports beat, in Polo Bryn Mawr meets the Philadelphia Country Club team for the Woodcrest Cup this afternoon. The match will be played at the Country Club’s field starting at 4:30pm. In high school baseball Northeast leads the league but is closely followed by Central High, Catholic High and West Philadelphia as the season winds down.


On the western front the fighting around Verdun continues. Untold thousands have now been killed on both sides. The wounded and mutilated equal 2 fold more.

5-25-1916 Verdun (1)

It is now said by many who have studied history and war that Verdun is not just the most brutal, terrible battle of this present war but perhaps the most horrific in all history. Yesterday the Germans recaptured Fort Douaumont and killed every Frenchman inside. Along a 20 mile line between Fort Douaumont and Avocourt Wood the land is covered with dead bodies. Half a million men are at each other’s throats. Over the last 3 days of fighting an estimated 40,000 Germans have been killed, wounded or missing. These men were sent in wave after wave against French artillery and machine gun positions only to be wiped out. French losses are thought to be only slightly less.