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


There will be generally fair skies over the city today and tonight. The high will reach 40° with the low tonight near 29°. Today Philadelphia celebrates the birthday of her most famous adopted son. For today marks the 212th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. This afternoon a solemn ceremony took place at the great man’s grave at 5th & Arch Streets where a wreath of laurel and flowers was laid by the Poor Richard Club. This evening a grand banquet will be held by the Club at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel with hundreds of invited guests. The featured speaker will be Secretary of War Baker. Entertainment will be provided by the Marine Corps Band, the Mandolin and Glee Clubs of Penn Charter School, the Strawbridge & Clothier’s Chorus and vaudeville and minstrel shows from the Chestnut Street Opera House and Keith’s and Dumont’s theatres.

Dumont’s Minstrels Theater

Officers of the Department of Justice aided by Philadelphia police raided a notorious “dance hall” at 1131 Wharton Street last night. Ninety-six girls ranging in age from 13 to 20 were arrested. Also arrested were 115 men, sixty of them were sailors from the League Island Navy Yard. The hall is well known in South Philadelphia and numerous complaints about the goings on there have been made to police. The Justice Department ordered the raid after complaints were made about servicemen visiting the location. The girls were all transported to Morals Court at 12th & Wood Streets. The sailors were sent to the Navy Yard and the civilian men are being held at the 15th & Snyder Avenue police station jail.

Down at Camp Dix, a quarantine has been imposed. The order was issued because of an outbreak of the measles. So far 65 cases have been reported. All personnel are confined to the Camp and no one can leave without a written order from the commanding officer. In other developments at the Camp, the over 1200 Negro soldiers training there will soon have a place to entertain their women friends. A new hostess house is to be built in the section now occupied by the 167th Brigade. The house will be in charge of two Negro hostesses and will include a cafeteria and a tea room. Hopefully the house will be finished by the time the quarantine is lifted.