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


There will be fair skies over the city today but clouds will arrive overnight and linger tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 85° with the low this evening near 63°. Lieutenant C.B. Griffin of 4627 Sansom Street has been decorated for bravery. Lt. Griffin serves with the American Red Cross Ambulance Section No. 4 on the Italian front. And Richard Folsom Cleveland, the son of former President Grover Cleveland, has enlisted here at the Navy Yard in the United States Marine Corps. Private Cleveland has just completed his junior year at Princeton.

Richard Folsom Cleveland

“Villanova”, “Alma Mater, Hail”, was heard from a thousand voices as the Main Line College celebrated its 75th anniversary today. Students, faculty and alumni from around the country joined together to celebrate at the campus. The festivities continue tomorrow and include the annual commencement exercises and the raising of the Villanova service flag which contains 245 stars, one for each student or alumni presently in the military.

Philadelphia is developing plans for a force of Policewomen. The unit will be 2500 ladies strong. The plan is being devised by Mrs. Barclay Warburton and Mrs. George Wharton Pepper. The lady police will focus on dance halls and amusement places frequented by young women in order to protect them from immoral or criminal activity. They will also distribute literature concerning patriotic work and food conservation.


The Germans have launched a new offensive toward Paris. The front extends 22 miles and goes from Montdidier to Noyon. The American forces in that area are under intensive bombardment but have not been attacked by infantry forces as yet. British troops around Arras have also come under heavy artillery bombardment. French troops west of Chateau Thierry repulsed two German infantry attacks overnight.

The battle of Belleau Wood continues. The Marines have attacked on numerous occasions over the last few days but met little success and have suffered heavy losses. This morning the 6th Marines and the 6th Machine Gun Battalion attacked north into the Wood. Unfortunately, after initial success, the assault was halted by German machine gun fire and huge quantities of mustard gas. Thankfully our Marines are equipped with gas masks.

Marines At Belleau Wood With Gas Masks