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 rain again today but not as much as the inch we received yesterday. The showers will start to dissipate by the afternoon. The high will be near 70° with the low tonight about 60°. By a unanimous vote today the Board of Education discontinued the teaching of the German language in the public high schools beginning next year. Petitions for this action had been presented by numerous fraternal, social and labor organizations. A separate resolution was submitted by board member John Wanamaker seeking to extend the summer vacation of students into October and end the school day at 2:00pm. Mr. Wanamaker said this will give children more time for war work activities.

In baseball, the A’s fell to the visiting White Sox 3 to 0 at Shibe Park. Urban “Red” Faber held the Athletics to just 3 hits in 9 innings of work. Out in St. Louis the Phillies beat the Cardinals 5 to 4 with Brad Hogg going all 9 inning for his 3rd win of the season. In other baseball news, Washington D.C. will henceforth have Sunday baseball. The Commissioners of the District of Columbia made the decision because of the increased population of the city due to the war and the need to provide these workers with some type of recreation.

And last night “Shoeless” Joe Jackson bid goodbye to his manager and teammates on the White Sox. Today he walked through the gates of Harlan & Hollingsworth Shipbuilding Company in Wilmington, Delaware to begin work. He punched the clock and received his assignment from his supervisor. He was to become a ship painter but after seeing his work with a brush the boss decided he would make a better inspector.

Shoeless Joe Jackson

There is troubling news from the southern border. Mexico has begun taking overtly anti-American and anti-British actions. President Carranza, it is said, believes Germany will win the war and is therefore secretly assisting the Empire by harassing American and British interests in Mexico. New confiscatory tax laws have been imposed on Allied holdings at the oilfields not far from Tampico. Recently over 200 Americans working at the oilfields were robbed and driven from their homes. The men have fled to Tampico and now live under the protection of American warships.

Almost 500 Marines are on the warships and ready to disembark if ordered. The oil from the fields is primarily used by the British navy to power its fleet. If President Carranza attempts to seize the fields the Marines will act to stop the Mexican army. Some who know Carranza have advised him that it is a mistake to antagonize the Americans and the British at this time. He has responded that he believes once Germany wins the war it will keep its promise to help Mexico recover Texas and New Mexico. The oil companies have made counter-proposals to Carranza in the hopes of ending the impasse.