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. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


The Weather Bureau is forecasting fair skies for the city today. The high will be 47° with the overnight low around 36°. The results from yesterday’s elections bode well for clean government in Philadelphia. In the election for seats on the City Councils, the new Town Meeting Party elected 68 councilmen, with 48 seats in Common Council and 20 in Select Council. The Vare-Smith faction now holds only 77 seats in both bodies. The loss of the 2/3 majority formerly held by the Vare faction means that they will not be able to arbitrarily control the city’s finances.

Also the Town Meeting Party has raised the possibility of vote theft. The Party contends that 20,000 votes are missing including the voting box from the 1st Division of the 5th Ward. Once it became clear that the Town Meeting Party was wining in that Division the box with the votes mysteriously disappeared. They also note that votes from soldiers have not yet been received. The Party contends that when the soldiers’ votes are received and the missing votes found they will have the majorities in both Councils.

Additionally in the District Attorney’s race Samuel Rotan was overwhelmingly returned to office with 158,750 votes against 16,192 received by his Democratic opponent, Richard McSorley. This is seen as another defeat for the Vares and Mayor Smith who supported McSorley. Mr. Rotan intends to vigorously pursue the case against the Mayor and other Vare men in the murder of police officer Eppley and the violence that occurred in the “Bloody” 5th Ward on September 19th.

A pleasant result from yesterday’s voting was that Philadelphia’s own Harry Davis (shown below), who spent 15 years playing for Connie Mack’s Athletics, was elected to Common Council from the 38th Ward. Harry has been on 3 World Series Championship teams with the A’s and now he has taken that winning spirit to politics. Harry was born in Philadelphia in 1873. He attended Girard College and started his baseball career with the Giants in 1895. In 1901 he came to the A’s where he has remained, except for 1912 when he played for Cleveland. In recent years Harry has acted as a player and assistant coach for the Mackmen. Harry is known as both a sharp baseball man and a sharp businessman. That may explain why he ran on the Republican, Democratic and Town Meeting Party tickets.

Harry Davis