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 today will bring fair skies and cool temperatures. There will probably be a light frost overnight in some outlying areas. The high in the city will reach 60° with the low about 42°. In the last 48 hours there have been 521 deaths from influenza and 338 deaths from pneumonia. However, in the last 24 hours only 465 new cases of influenza have been reported.

Philadelphia’s health officials are sure the epidemic is on the decline. A meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at noon in City Hall to discuss the reopening of certain public places. All trolleys and trains will now have signs in the front of the vehicle and inside reminding passengers that spitting is prohibited. The Philadelphia Home Reserves will assist police in the coming weeks to make up for the shortage of patrolmen who are out sick with influenza. Six hundred reservists will be assigned to the 42 police stations throughout the city.

A possible scientific breakthrough has been announced for the treatment of insanity. Dr. Henry Cotton, medical director of the New Jersey State Hospital for the Insane in Trenton, New Jersey, has presented the results of his 11 year scientific study on the cause and possible cure for insanity. Dr. Cotton asserts that some mental disturbances begin with fecal infection of the teeth. The infection then spreads to the gastro-intestinal system and other organs. Dr. Henry believes that the use of x-ray examination to identify infected teeth and then removing them will lead to a lessening of the disease. The State Department of Charities and Corrections intends to look into the study for possible use with insane, feeble-minded, epileptic and other patients suffering from abnormalities.

Eddie Grant, former Philadelphia Phillies 3rd baseman, has been killed in France. Grant played for the Phillies from 1907 to 1910. He also played for the Cleveland Naps, the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Giants. He joined the army shortly after America’s Declaration of War in April 1917 and served as a captain with the 77th infantry Division. He was killed on October 5 while leading troops in the Argonne in search of the “Lost Battalion”. He was 35 years old.


On the western front, Allied armies continue forcing the Germans back in Belgium and France. In northern France British and American troops have crosses the Oise Canal. American troops are in fierce fighting on both banks of the Meuse north of Verdun. In Belgium, British, French and Belgian forces are within 7 miles of the ancient city of Ghent. There are also reports that the Germans are preparing to remove all war material from Brussels and that regiments of German troops have been leaving the city.