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


The Weather Bureau is predicting that the cold temperatures will continue at least until Sunday. Today’s high will only reach 18° with the low tonight near 3°. The continued shortage of coal is causing great discomfort and illness throughout homes in the city, especially in the poorer neighborhoods. Today 43 schools were closed for lack of heat. Most of these schools will remain closed through the rest of the week.

Temperatures in the suburbs are even colder. Jenkintown’s low was reported at -2° last night and Willow Grove and Abington reached -4°. The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers are frozen. Ice boats are attempting to open a channel in the Delaware this afternoon. One good thing about the temperatures is that skating is open on all the lakes and ponds in the city. Happy skaters are shown below enjoying the afternoon on Centennial Lake in Farimount Park.


Fourteen hundred more Philadelphia men left for Camp Meade yesterday. The men left the Baltimore and Ohio Station, 34th & Chestnut Streets, at 9:30am. The men were accompanied to the station by friends and family who even broke into song while they were waiting. The selectees and those with them shivered a bit in the bitter cold and made their goodbyes. Mothers, wives, sister, sweethearts and even fathers shed tears as their boys boarded the train. It took all of the 150 policemen on hand to hold back the crowd as the train began to pull away.

In national news, the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama has released a report which records 38 lynchings in the United States in 1917. Thirty six of those lynched were negroes and two were whites, one was a woman. The reasons for the hangings included, twelve men accused of rape or attempted rape, six charged with being insulting or insolent to women, ten accused of murder or attempted murder and two hung for disputing a white man’s word. There were six lynchings in Texas and Georgia, five in Louisiana, four in Alabama and Arkansas, three in Tennessee, two in Kentucky and one each in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming.