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 weather will bring fair skies with clouds moving in overnight. The high will reach 69° with the low tonight of 44°. Philadelphia’s Department of Health has decided not to permit the opening of churches, schools, places of amusement, saloons and liquor stores. Originally the Department was to end the closings. But that was overruled by the State Health Commissioner who ordered that the closings be continued for the time being. Philadelphia authorities strongly protested this action.

Today the Health Department received only 395 new cases of influenza. That is the smallest number for a 24 hour period since the epidemic began. There were 431 reported deaths today, however that number was calculated from death certificates received by the Department in the last 24 hours. Many of those deaths may have actually occurred earlier.

Today President Wilson formally responded to the October 20 letter from Germany requesting negotiations for a peace. In his reply the President noted that the entreaties for peace negotiations came from ministers and members of the Reichstag who represented the majority of the German people. And that these representatives had accepted the President’s principles enunciated in his speeches to Congress on January 8 and September 27 of 1918 as the basis for peace. Because of this the President stated that he would petition the Allied governments to discuss an armistice.

However, the President also stated that the United States would not negotiate with the present autocrats of Germany which includes the “King of Prussia” or the military chiefs. If they are to remain in power, the President warned, the United States would not enter into negotiation but would continue the war until it gained Germany’s complete and total surrender.


 Today the White House announced that there are now 2,000,000 American soldiers in France. On the western front in France American forces are meeting stiff resistance west of the Meuse River and north of Bantheville. The battle for Hill 281 has been going on for 4 days now. The hill is important because it will give the Americans command of Clery-le-Grand and the valley along the Landon River. Further north the British 3rd and 4th armies are driving toward the Scheldt Canal on a wide front south of Venciennes. And in Belgium there are reports that the Germans are evacuating Ghent.