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 and bright skies this afternoon with continued clear skies this evening. The almost 40 degree drop in temperature last night from an afternoon high of 60° to 22° overnight has resulted in continued cold temperatures today. Today’s high will only reach 39° with the low tonight about 18°.

The strong winds, some measured at over 40mph, and cold temperature of the early morning hours caused the deaths of three boys. The boys were huddled around a fire next to the brick wall of a fire-damaged warehouse near 20th & Market Street when the wall of the building was blown over and collapsed on them. The dead are Robert Dawson, 16 years old of 5036 Willows Avenue, Joseph Gallagher, 12 years old of 1927 Moravian Street and John Fitzpatrick, 11 years old of 2054 Sansom Street. One other boy was injured in the collapse while three more escaped unhurt. The group had gathered around the fire to get warm.

The courtroom of Judge Thompson at the United States Courthouse was full of Socialists today as two of their fellow believers were sentenced for violating the draft law. Charles Schenk and Dr. Elizabeth Baer had been arrested by Federal agents in July during a raid at the Socialists Book Store on Arch Street near Juniper. Today they faced sentencing. Mr. Schenk received six months in Trenton State Penitentiary while Dr. Baer will spend ninety days at Moyamensing Prison and pay a fine of $500.00. Both were released on bail while they decide whether to appeal the sentence or report to prison.


On the western front, American troops successfully struck at German positions north of Toul this morning. This was the first All-American assault on the enemy without any French or British participation. Our boys went over the top after a 45 minute artillery barrage against the Boches. According to first reports the enemy trenches were destroyed and the Germans had retreated to their rear lines. Further south in the Lorraine a joint Franco-American attack on German positions was also successful with reports stating that the German casualties numbered more than the entire attacking allied force. In the Middle East, The Turks are reportedly retreating in the face of British advances. The Turks are now 22 miles north of Hit which is 80 miles west of Bagdad on the Euphrates River. As the Turks retreated they were bombed and fired upon by British airplanes inflicting heavy casualties.