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


And just like that the cold is back. Clouds rolled in overnight and brought with them the cold. The temperature has dropped precipitously since yesterday. Today’s high will only reach 31° with a low tonight of 24°. Dr. John Garber, superintendent of schools is opposed to military training in high school. Dr. Garber believes the boys are not yet physically able to endure the strain of such training. However, that opinion is not shared by the boys of West Philadelphia High School who are spending time each day preparing themselves in the event their country needs them and they are called to the colors.

West Philadelphia High School Boys at Drill

One of this city’s most renowned artists, Joseph Pennell, has quit the Art Club. Supposedly the resignation was the result of Mr. Pennell being called before a club committee to defend certain anti-English and pro-peace statements he has recently made. When asked about the situation Mr. Pennell refused to discuss the matter but did confirm that he had tendered his resignation. Some members of the club divulged that Mr. Pennell’s statements were so anti-English that they became “obnoxious” and could result in impugning the patriotism of the entire club. Mr. Pennell is also a member of the Nation Academy of Design, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Royal Belgian Academy of Arts and many other societies in Europe and America.

In news from our southern border, Mexico is imposing a tax on anyone leaving that country to enter the United States. The tax imposed is equal to $8.00 per person in American currency. It has also been learned that a tax is being imposed on anyone entering Mexico through either its southern or northern border. That tax however is only equal to 25¢.

In entertainment, on screen at the Arcadia Theatre, 16th & Chestnut Streets, Benjamin Chapin stars as Abraham Lincoln in Son of Democracy. A spectacular film tracing the great man’s life from his early days on the frontier to his efforts to preserve the Union and expunge slavery. At the Victoria, 9th & Market Streets, William Farnum stars as Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. And at the Fairmount Theatre, 26th & Girard Avenue, Tom Mix stars in Cupid’s Round-Up.