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


Many thought the unexpected thunderstorm late yesterday would cool the temperatures today. Over an inch and a half of rain fell in a relatively short period. Alas that was not the case. Today’s high will reach 94° with a low of 73° tonight.

In a move to protect the thousands of workers currently employed at the Frankford Arsenal, the office of the United States Department of Justice in our area has created a ½ mile dry zone around the site. This will mean the closing of 35 saloons with the zone. Notices were sent to the saloon owners that their businesses must close by August 22. This order was issued in accordance with President Wilson’s proclamation of June 27, 1918. The government is also looking at declaring additional dry zones around the University of Pennsylvania and the First Regiment Armory at Broad & Callowhill Streets.

Down at Hog Island, 25 young Indians have enrolled in classes to learn shipbuilding. The students are from the Carlisle Indian School and are too young to enlist or be drafted. The boys will learn riveting, chipping, caulking and ship carpentry.

Carlisle Indian School Students at Hog Island

Acting superintendent of Police Mills has ordered 40 patrolmen to appear before a police trial board. The men are charged with claiming to be disabled and remaining on the payroll. Some of the men served only a few years before claiming disability. Some patrolmen have claimed disability for 15 years. Superintendent Mills wants to remove the men from the force so new policemen can be appointed in their place.

In baseball today both of our teams had disappointing days. The A’s hosted the Senators at Shibe Park for a doubleheader and dropped both games. In the first contest Washington’s Walter Johnson pitched a fine game and even hit a home run in the effort to get his 20th win of the season in the 5 to 3 win. In the second game the A’s were never really in the contest losing 6 to 1. The Phillies are up in Brooklyn where they also played a doubleheader today unfortunately they fared no better than the A’s. The Phillies lost both games in the last inning. They lost the first game to the Dodgers 2 to1 in the bottom of the 9th and dropped the second game 4 to 3 after 12 innings.


American troops are facing a strong German defense in the fighting around the town of Fismette, located on the north bank of the Vesle River. All along the line from Soissons to Rheims the Germans are launching counter attacks against the American and French forces in an attempt to halt the Allied advance. Also on the southern end of the Picardy battlefield the French are moving to take the town of Lassigny and the Valley of the Divette.