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


Philadelphia’s coal famine may be coming to an end. Over 28,000 tons of coal has been shipped into the city in the last 24 hours. Nearly every dealer now has enough coal on hand to meet the needs of freezing families. The warmer temperatures will also go a long way to alleviate the suffering of our citizens. Today’s high will reach 38° with the low tonight about 29°. Doctor Wilmer Krusen, Director of the Department of Health and Charities said today that the increase in pneumonia and the grip is directly related to the lack of heating fuel for homes. Also all public schools reopened today as did all Catholic schools with the exception of LaSalle.

The housing of the thousands of workers needed for the Hog Island shipyard has been a matter of concern for many months. Today Mr. Charles Piez, general manager of the Emergency Fleet Corporation which owns and operates the facility, said he believes most of the housing will be built in Philadelphia due to the transportation advantages afforded by the city.  Mr. Piez said he does not want to inconvenience workers by making them travel long distances to and from work. Also privately owned land across the river in New Jersey is exorbitantly priced and Mr. Piez said the government will not allow those owners to extort a windfall from the taxpayers. Mr. Piez will meet with Mayor Smith tomorrow to discuss the plans the city has developed for housing.

In legal news, Judge Charles L. Brown of the Misdemeanants Court has issued a ruling banning girls from flirting at railroad stations. The judge made the ruling as part of a hearing for five young girls charged with disorderly conduct at Reading Terminal. The judge placed the girls on probation and gave them a sever reprimand with a warning to change their ways. The Judge also ruled that flirting at railroad stations will not be allowed any longer.


Yesterday in France the birthday of the Maid of Orléans, Joan of Arc, was observed. And for the first time in history the United States played a role in the celebration. At churches throughout the country millions prayed for the victory and safety of French and American soldiers. And in Domremy, the little town of her birth, the American and French flags were intertwined across the altar where Joan worshiped and received the visions that helped save France. The Stars and Stripes were also displayed at the font where the baby Joan was baptized.

The Germans have now moved an estimated 750,000 men from the eastern front to the west as a result of the cease fire with Russia. On the southern front, Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces are engaged in a fierce battle in the lower Piave River area.