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


Philadelphians awoke to snow this morning but those wishing for a white coating to the city were disappointed. The flakes did not stick. There will be moderately cold temperatures today with the high reaching 37° and the low near 29°.

There is joy in the Northeast section of the city today as little Louis Snyder has been returned to the loving arms of his mother (shown below) and family at 2151 North Leithgow Street. After being gone for 2 days the 4 month old was left on the doorstep of Mrs. Ella Foust at 2910 Rorer Street. Police and neighbors of the Snyder family had conducted a door to door search through Kensington and Frankford for the baby to no avail. Police also visited stores selling milk in the hope of finding information. The child’s abductor is still not known but police speculate that she may have lost her own baby to illness recently and in a moment of madness took little Louis.

12-2-1915 Little Louis Snyder

There will be a Mummers Parade this January 1st even if only one club marches, so declared John H. Baizley, chairman of city councils’ New Year’s Committee. The controversy and rumors of the parade moving to Wilmington, Delaware were started by “outsiders” who seek to turn the parade into a money-making proposition, Mr. Baizley said.  Supposedly 20 clubs comprising the Federation of New Year Associations had voted to march in Wilmington. But Councilman Baizley stated that all the prominent Mummers clubs have told him they will be on Broad Street including the White Caps, The Lobster, M.A. Bruder and Silver Crown.

On the sports beat, in soccer yesterday the Haverford 11 stunned Columbia winning 3 to 0. The win puts Haverford in a tie for 2nd place in the Intercollegiate League with Yale and Princeton. In Eastern League Basketball last night Greystock beat Camden 30 to 25. In tonight’s game the Reading Bears will be visiting the Jasper Jewels at Nonpareil Hall, Kensington Avenue & Ontario Street. Also in basketball, it was announced today that the Philadelphia Grammar School Basketball League will begin next week. The schools in the southern section of the city will open play and feature teams from Sharswood, Campbell, Drexel, Wilson, Hancock, Poe and McCall.

In National news, the Department of Justice has begun a nationwide investigation of possible spies and saboteurs operating in this country. The chief of the Bureau of Investigations, A. Bruce Bielaski has stated that his agents are watching and keeping track of certain known German and Austrian sympathizers. Since the start of the European war approximately 100 Americans have been killed in munition plant fires and explosions in this country. This includes 30 men killed at the DuPont powder plant in Wilmington on November 30.