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 temperature this afternoon dropped a full 10 degrees from yesterday making it seem almost chilly. Today’s high would only reach 85° with the low tonight expected to be near 69°. At 8:00am the schooner “Dorothy Barrett” sailing 20 miles off the coast of Cape May was attacked and destroyed by a German submarine. The crew of 10 men escaped the vessel in a lifeboat and was later rescued by a submarine chaser. The schooner and crew are out of Bath, Maine.

Philadelphia police are asking the help of residents and tourists down along the New Jersey coast in finding two runaway boys. The boys are John Malkus, 9 years old of 3825 Wallace Street and Frank Foster, 14 years old of 3832 Wallace Street. The boys’ have been missing for several days. They had told neighborhood friends that they were going to the seashore to see German U-boats.

A Philadelphia man has been commended for bravery by the Secretary of the Navy. He is Pharmacist’s Mate Raymond E. Schoup, 27 years old, of 3020 Wharton Street. Schoup along with eight others maneuvered a vessel through dangerous waters under dense fog to rescue 26 sailors on a sinking British ship. When told of her husband’s commendation and bravery Mrs. Schoup said it was “only what she would have expected of Raymond”. The Schoups have been married two and a half years and are parents of a new born baby.

Raymond E. Schoup

An afternoon celebration at the Sun Shipbuilding Company in Chester almost turned into murder when an absent minded negro employee forgot to remove his hat at the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner”. The event was held to celebrate the raising of the French, British and American flags at the yard. Speeches were heard and music was played but when the negro, whose name was not released, failed to bare his head some of the 15,000 employees on hand became incensed. The man was grabbed and threatened with lynching. Guards saved the man and took him to a room safe from the crowd. One of the speakers, F.H. Chase a lawyer from New York, tried to calm the crowd. The irate workers demanded the negro be brought out and kiss every star on the American flag which he did to appease their anger. The man was then released and discharged from his employment to avoid further trouble.


The British have pushed the Germans back 2 miles along a 9 mile front at the western edge of Flanders. Further south the French have captured all the high ground on the Lassigny Massif. And Pennsylvania’s own, the 28th Infantry division, continues fighting in and around the town of Fismette. The fighting is reported to be brutal with neither side giving any quarter. In the far eastern part of Russia, American troops have landed in Vladivostok. The troops are with the 27th Infantry Regiment from Manila. The 27th will join an international force aiding the Czecho-Slovak army in its campaign in Siberia against the Bolsheviks.