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


Today’s forecast calls for cloudy skies with the chance of rain overnight. The high will reach 73° with the low near 55°. The acting Pennsylvania Commissioner of Health, Dr. B. Franklin Royer, has again refused to lift the order closing public places in the city. Dr. Royer feels that the epidemic has not sufficiently abated to allow public places, schools and churches to reopen. Dr. A.A. Cairns, Philadelphia’s acting president of the Board of Health and Dr. Wilmer Krusen, Director of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health and Charities had both requested that the order be lifted this Sunday at the latest.

Dr. Royer believes the schools should not be opened until next Wednesday and churches the following week. And he stressed this should only be done if the number of new cases of influenza and deaths continue to substantially decrease. Drs. Cairns and Krusen have pointed out that some of the emergency hospitals are now empty and two are closing. Others have only a few patients and the general hospitals are caring for remaining flu patients. Only 274 new cases of influenza have been reported in the last 24 hours.

The fight against the spread of the disease continues. Police in plain clothes and members of the Home Reserve Corps arrested almost 200 men today and charged them with spitting. Several hundred policemen and over 1000 reservists covered the city immediately arresting anyone seen violating the no spitting law. The “spitters” will be arraigned this evening. A special night court has been constituted to deal with those brought in each day.


American forces have taken Bantheville and are now extending their lines west along the Meuse River. Further north the British have taken Valenciennes are now only 18 miles from Mons. It will be remembered that Mons was the location of the first major engagement of the British Army in August of 1914. And it is there, so the story goes, that the retreating British were shielded from German bullets and artillery shells by a group of celestial bodies, The Angels of Mons. In Belgium the Germans are in full retreat.