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 fair and clear skies over the city today with the high reaching 71° and the low about 55°. Three young Philadelphia area nurses are back on American soil today. The women were recent graduates of nursing school and had joined the American Red Cross for service in Europe. They have been serving at a hospital in Belgium for the last 6 months. The women are Miss Margaret Haggerty, 4641 Paschal Avenue, Miss Helen Barclay of Ardmore and Miss Lillian Wilsey. Before leaving Belgium the young Americans were invited to tea by Queen Elisabeth and thanked for their service.

South Philadelphia is abuzz with activity. First, the 600 barbers who went on strike in that neighborhood a few days ago are back cutting hair and shaving faces. The union barbers were victorious in getting their employers to meet their demands for shorter working hours and a ½ hour for lunch and a full hour for dinner. Also, young Jews of South Philadelphia have organized a new political party to defeat the Vare political machine so powerful in that part of the city. The “Independent Political League” will be headed by Jacob and Samuel Geifond, Joseph Smith and Maurice Oppenheim.

In national news, it has been learned that Samuel Gompers (shown below), president of the American Federation of Labor, met with President Wilson yesterday.  Mr. Gompers presented the President with details he has uncovered regarding a gigantic plot by German agents to commit sabotage. The plot includes acts to obstruct work at munitions factories by inciting strikes. Mr. Gompers disclosed that money had been offered to American labor unions by agents of Germany to go on strike at certain plants. He also gave the President information he has received of plots to plant bombs on ships carrying munitions.


Also, American troops have been rushed to Douglas, Arizona to safeguard the lives of American there from possible cross border attacks. Word reached Secretary Garrison that the forces of Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza were preparing for a battle on the Mexican side of the border near the town and that the fighting might spill over onto American territory.

On the sports beat, there is more news out of the Industrial League. J.B. Stetson Hats and H.K. Mulford Company are forming soccer clubs for their employees. In High School soccer Central defeated Friends Select 3 to 0. At the Gayety Theatre tonight, 8th & Vine Streets, the semifinals of the 110 and 115 lbs. amateur boxing championships will be held. The first bout begins at 8:00pm.