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 snow flurries you may see today are but passing through. No accumulation is expected. It is, perhaps, just a cruel joke from Old Man Winter. The cold temperature will remain at least for today. The high will only reach 47° with the low tonight about 35°.

The employees of the Post Office in West Philadelphia have built a fine pine coffin for Kaiser Bill and anyone who buys a thrift stamp can drive a nail into it, while those who invest in War Saving Stamps can pound a substantial spike in it. Below are Boy Scouts acting as pallbearers for his “Majesty” and parading the coffin up and down Market Street.

The Hebrews of this city will be holding two mass Liberty Loan rallies tomorrow. The first will be at the Arch Street Theatre, 6th & Arch Streets, and then at the American Theatre, Franklin Street & Girard Avenue. The rallies will be addressed in both English and Yiddish. The meetings have been organized by Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, chairman of the Jewish Liberty Loan Committee and leader of the Congregation Keneseth Israel.

Word has been received here from the War Department of the death of two of our boys in France. Clarence Slatcher, 18 years old, of 5209 Westminster Avenue died from wounds received in battle. Private Slatcher was a graduate of West Philadelphia High where he excelled on the track team. He was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 11. The second is Frank de Flavia, 19 years old, of 1336 S. 9th Street who died from drowning. Private de Flavia was a graduate of James Wilson Public School at 12th & Wharton Streets. He enlisted in April 1917 and was assigned to the 19th Engineers where he worked on locomotive repair.


There is now little doubt that the British army in France and Flanders is fighting for its life. Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig sent a message to his troops asking them to fight to the death where they stand and hold their positions until French reinforcements arrive. Sir Douglas told his troops “With our back to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end. The safety of our homes and the freedom of mankind depend alike upon the conduct of each one of us at this critical moment”.

Practically the entire German army, a full 96 divisions, has been brought against the British to cut them off from the French and smash them. For three weeks the Germans have attacked at enormous loss to their own army to break the British. But as of yet they have not succeeded.