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 skies will be slightly overcast today with the chance of light rain tonight. Today’s high will be a pleasant 68° with the overnight low 48°. Testimony continued today in courtroom 676 of City Hall on the murder, voter intimidation and violence in the “Bloody 5th” on September 19th. Mayor Smith sat with the other defendants as Michael Sullivan, an employee of the Val O’Farrell Detective Agency took the stand. Sullivan was a surprise witness who was arrested Saturday evening and brought to court by D.A. Rotan.

The defendants and their supporters appeared shocked with Sullivan’s entrance. When Sullivan took the stand he assured the court he has not been offered immunity or any other deal and was ready to tell all. Then another shock went through the crowd when seven handcuffed men guarded by 25 police detectives were brought into the court. These are the gunman from New York who had been arrested there and just today arrived in this city. Sullivan testified that he was the man who went to New York and negotiated the price for the gang from “Frog Hollow” to come to Philadelphia. Sullivan stated Isaac Deutsch, the Vare brothers’ candidate, personally solicited the trip. Testimony will continue tomorrow.

In national news, Mr. Emmett J. Scott has been appointed as a special assistant to Secretary of War Newton Baker. Mr. Scott will be responsible for representing the interests and affairs of America’s 10,000,000 negroes to the War Department. Mr. Scott previously served as confidential secretary to the late Booker T. Washington [EDITOR’S NOTE: Emmett J. Scott’s book “The American Negro in the World War” can be downloaded for free from various internet sites. For those interested in the challenges met and overcome by the African American solider in WWI and their heroism in battle, I highly recommend it.]

Emmett J. Scott

In World Series play the New York Giants have been thoroughly humiliated in the first two games in Chicago. In front of sellout crowds of over 30,000, the White Sox have played excellent ball. In game one Eddie Cicotte pitched a brilliant complete game as the Sox won 2 to 1. In game two another complete outing from Red Faber helped Charlie Comiskey’s boys take the contest 7 to 2. If the White Sox pitchers keep up their dominance, Chicago may sweep the series in four games. Game three is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the Polo Grounds.

In high school football over the weekend South Philadelphia High defeated Radnor 6 to 0. Northeast was given the forfeit when Villanova Prep failed to show up for the game. Cheltenham High beat Darby High and West Philadelphia lost to Haverford because of a disputed forward pass to tight end Monroe who did cross the goal line. However, the pass was ruled illegal because the quarterback had thrown the ball from 21/2 yards behind the line of scrimmage instead of the required 5 yards.