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


Yesterday’s rain was record breaking. A total of 3.16 inches fell in the 24 hour period ending at 8:00 am this morning. The previous record was set in 1915. The rain brought with it lightning and thunder. Many sections of the city lost electrical powder as did some surrounding towns. West Philadelphia was virtually lightless during the height of the storm. Trees were felled and some building and houses were damaged. The Schuylkill is presently five feet above normal and flooding is expected. If the river does overflow many businesses along the upper Schuylkill will be forced to close. For today, partly cloudy skies are expected with the probability of a passing shower. Today’s high will be 88° with the low tonight near 67°.

Out in Gettysburg where the greatest battle for American liberty was fought, the United States Tank Corps is in training. The men comprising the 328th Battalion of the Tank Corps are handpicked for their superior physical abilities. These are the soldiers who will soon be in France manning America’s tank flotilla for General Pershing. The Battalion posed for the picture below at the Pennsylvania State Memorial that commemorates the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers who fought at Gettysburg. The Camp is under the command of Captain Dwight Eisenhower. Their main training area is on the field made famous by Pickett’s Charge. As of now the men do not have actual tanks to train with but they are fully engaged in all other areas of military training.

328th Tank Battalion, Camp Colt

In International news, a mysterious epidemic has spread over Spain and reports are that close to 40% of the population has been afflicted. The symptoms resemble influenza but the effects are much more serious. King Alfonzo has become ill with the malady and is confined to bed. All Spanish military maneuvers have been suspended.


On the western front, American troops in Picardy were engaged in a vicious battle yesterday. The morning began with a German artillery bombardment of high explosive shells and gas. This was followed by infantry attacks. At first the Germans gained some ground but a counter attack by our men drove them back beyond their own lines. The doughboys occupied some German trenches inflicting heavy losses on the Huns and taking some prisoners. German attacks against American positions in the Lorraine region were also repulsed.

Elsewhere, the Germans have driven the British and French troops back and crossed the Aisne River between Vailly and Berry-au-Bac. The French and British have admitted the retreat saying it is executed for defensive purposes. On the Alpine front, the Italians have taken the Austrian positions on Monte Segolan and the Maroccaro Pass.