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 forecast calls for overcast skies with periods of rain this afternoon and tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 72° with the low about 50°. Today begins the final week of the Third Liberty Loan Campaign. The Treasury Department announced today that $2,225,934,450.00 has been collected to date. However, this city is behind in its goal. Philadelphia’s quota was for $136,000,000.00 but we are still $45,000,000.00 short of that mark. A “Liberty Button” will be given to all who subscribe today and the rest of this week. So do your part and wear your button proudly so all can see who is doing their bit and who isn’t!

The Emergency Fleet Corporation has done some more commandeering. But this time it wasn’t houses, it was a ship. The steamship Thomas Clyde which has long plied the Delaware taking excursionists from Philadelphia to Woodland Beach and back was commandeered by the government. It is one of the oldest and also one of the fastest ships on the river. From now on it will carry employees of Hog Island to and from work. It is unknown what if any compensation was paid to the owners.

The Circus is in town and untold numbers of children skipped school to attend the big parade which opens the “Greatest Show on Earth”. Elephants, horses, lions, tigers and even skating bears paraded from the circus grounds at 19th & Hunting Park Avenue to Broad Street then south on Broad to Germantown Avenue and back up Germantown to Hunting Park returning to the grounds. Hundreds of clowns, acrobats, freaks and pretty girls thrilled the crowds along the parade route. The circus will be here all week with performances daily at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. The first performance will be later this afternoon and the Gimbel Brothers will be treating all the inmates of the city’s orphanages and foster homes for crippled children to the show and providing them with all the candy, cake and other treats they may desire.


American forces are now fully engaged in the great battle of northern France. Infantry, artillery and machine gun units are holding a sector only 200 yards away from the Germans. The French formerly held the area but now it is all American.  The entire front in Flanders is engulfed in battle today. The British have retreated back to where they were in 1914 prior to the battle of Ypres. The focus of the German high command now is to crush the British army and reach the channel ports at all costs.