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 has another grey, partly cloudy day to look forward to with a chance of rain. The high will reach 71° with the low this evening around 55°.

In business news, Petty’s Island in the Delaware River (shown below) has been sold. The island of 350 acres was purchased yesterday by George Priestly for $55,000.00.

Petty's Island

Petty’s Island

In other news, there is a strike occurring that is making lovers of good food unhappy. Spaghetti makers have gone on strike and refuse to return to work until the “bosses” pay a wage commensurate with their skill. The employees describe the art of mixing the dough and patiently waiting for it to form, then lovingly putting it through the press and bringing forth the long beautiful strands of pasta. Employers on the other hand like Dominick Cini of Cini Spaghetti Manufacturing Company, 1126 South 9th Street, have a different view. They see the strike as extortion. Especially since most of the union members are not spaghetti makers but perform other work around the businesses. The workers are asking for a raise of .30¢ an hour and a half day on Saturdays.

Yesterday afternoon devout Negros attending the centennial conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 6th & Pine Street, broke open the tomb of Bishop Richard Allen. The men wished to view the bones of a man many consider a saint. Bishop Allen was born a slave in Delaware but bought his freedom in 1780. In 1816 he was elected the 1st Bishop of the AME Church. He died in 1831. Over 1500 people including 14 bishops of the church were in attendance at the conference when the entrance to the tomb was breached. The marble lid over the tomb was removed and Bishop Allen’s bones exposed for a time.

In international news, the German Empire has yielded to virtually every demand of President Wilson in regard to submarine attacks on neutral and merchant ships. The response was delivered by Gottlieb von Jagow, German Foreign Minister and has averted a diplomatic break between the countries. Germany has conceded the no merchant vessel, whether freighter or passenger liner will be fired upon without warning. This includes vessels in a designated war zone. Ships in a war zone may be boarded and inspected but will only be fired on if they offer resistance or attempt to escape. President Wilson has advised the Germans that he will use his influence to have the British agree to the same terms. The German Admiralty has issued orders to all submarine commanders to act according to this decree.

The executions continue in Dublin. Today four more men were found guilty of treason and shot. One was Joseph Plunkett who had signed the proclamation declaring Ireland free and independent of England. Fifteen others had their death sentences commuted to 10 years in penal servitude.