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 skies will remain overcast and cloudy with rain this evening and into tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 54° with a low of 38°. Ministers meeting at the 131st annual session of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church unanimously supported the call for prohibition today. The ministers are meeting at Simpson Memorial Church, Kensington Avenue and Cambria Street. The Conference passed a resolution calling for a national prohibition amendment to the Constitution which it will forward to the White House.

The 1600 men confined behind the walls of Eastern State Penitentiary want to do their part to support our boys over there. A call has gone out from the inmate committee for yarn. Yes yarn for knitting socks, sweaters, scarfs and other articles that the men in the trenches may need. The institution’s warden, Robert McKenty, fully supports the inmates request for the raw material and their desire to do their part for the war effort. Citizens can send their yarn donations directly to the Penitentiary.

Philadelphia has pledged to contribute 5000 nurses to the Red Cross by June 1 for service in army and navy hospitals in U.S. and overseas. The Red Cross has already registered 7000 nurses nationwide but it is believed 30,000 nurses will be needed during the coming year. Any nurse wishing to volunteer can contact the Pennsylvania Division of the Red Cross at 16th & Walnut Streets.

In national news, Mrs. Lucretia Garfield, the widow of President James Garfield died today in Pasadena, California. Mrs. Garfield was 86 years old.  Mrs. Garfield grew up in Portage County, Ohio and met her future husband when they were both students at Geauga Academy in 1849. They were married in 1858. It will be remembered that President Garfield was assassinated on September 19, 1881. In recent years Mrs. Garfield was prominent in Red Cross work. She leaves five children including Harry A. Garfield, President Wilson’s Federal Fuel Administrator.


News has reached the city of a Philadelphian killed in France. Mr. Ercell William Martin, a negro, of 1012 South Chadwick Street was killed during an attack on the transport ship “Von Steuben” near the French coast. Mr. Martin was 18 years old.  On the western front there is scattered fighting all along the line. In the American sector north of Toul, American troops again attacked German positions. However, upon arrival they found the Germans had evacuated the area. Also, three Zeppelins attacked England last night with one dropping bombs on the city of Hull. One bomb hit a house causing a woman to die of shock.