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 weather will bring partly cloudy skies with the possibility of rain tonight. The high will reach 55° with the low this evening about 44°. The influenza continues to wane. Only 26 new cases have been reported in the last 48 hours. Only 70 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours resulting from either influenza or pneumonia.


At Noon today in Europe hostilities between the Allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased. Austria has surrendered. Yesterday at the Villa Giusti (shown below) outside of Padua in northern Italy the Austrians signed an armistice. The terms of the armistice stipulate: that every Austrian soldier lay down their arms and that the army be completely demobilized; all Austrian ships at sea are to return to port; Austria must evacuate all territory it has invaded since the beginning of the war; the immediate repatriation of all allied prisoners of war; and that all allied armies have the unfettered right of free movement over all roads, railways and waters within Austria-Hungary. The Empire that bears full blame for the start of this terrible war has now reaped its reward. Its people are starving, its empire is broken and its army is defeated.

Villa Giusti

When news of the surrender of Austria reached this city’s “Little Italy” section joyous celebrations began. South Philadelphia was treated to colorful parades, music and dancing. Crowds of Italians began gathering on street corners at around 3:00am as news filtered into the neighborhood of Austria’s defeat. As the crowds grew in number spontaneous parades began throughout the colony (shown below picture 2). Bands joined in and Italian music and singing was heard everywhere. This evening the Sons of Italy has planned a huge celebration at Independence Square for all the city’s Italians.

Italian Celebration in Little Italy

In sports over the weekend football was fully back in play. Penn fell to Swarthmore 20 to 17, The Navy Yard team defeated Lehigh College 14 to 3, Villanova was beaten by Muhlenberg 23 to 0, the League Island Training Camp team beat Hog Island 19 to 0, Hahnemann topped St. Joseph 6 to 0 and Notre Dame beat Wabash 66 to 7. In the high school game Catholic High held out against West Chester 6 to 0.