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


Up to 4 inches of snow fell on the city last evening and today. The snow covered the area from New England to southern New Jersey. Some areas of the city are reporting drifts of up to 1 foot. The Philadelphia Rapid Transit authority has deployed its 11 snowplows to clear Market Street and adjacent streets. Also street-cleaning contractors employing over 1500 men have been hired by the city to shovel the streets in the center city business district.

The heavy snow has caused delays in the transportation of coal into the city. And also coal delivery trucks and wagons used to supply businesses and homes are having great difficulty making their deliveries. The Schuylkill River is frozen over (shown below) while the Delaware River is navigable. Today’s high will be near 24° with the low tonight about 17°. The snow is expected to continue throughout the day.

In non-weather related news, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has purchased the West Chester Turnpike for $75,000.00. The historic road stretches from 63rd & Market Streets to Newtown Square and for many years was a privately owned toll road. And in other news, city officials have met with representatives of the American International Shipbuilding Corporation and the Emergency Fleet Corporation and agreed on housing plans for Hog Island workers. The agreement calls for the immediate construction of 3,000 homes in the 40th Ward.

The area chosen comprises 400 acres and stretches from 63rd to 75th Streets between the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks and the Reading Railroad tracks and is bisected by Elmwood Avenue. An additional 4,500 home are also planned. The Federal government will provide all materials for the building operations. The plans call for the building of permanent 6 room structures and not hastily put together shacks for temporary use.


Over 160,000 Turkish troops have deserted the army in Palestine. The Ottoman army was under the command of General Erich von Falkenhayn who was formerly Chief of Staff of the German Army. In mid-July of 1917, in an effort to reform the Ottoman army, General Falkenhayn was given overall command.