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


Thundershowers, soaking, drenching thundershowers have finally broken the heat wave which has engulfed the city. The rain came in downpours today and is expect to continue into tomorrow but with less intensity. The temperature has dropped to only 84° with tonight’s low expected at 69°.

Outbreaks of rioting continued today in South Philadelphia and have now spread to other sections of the city. This afternoon negroes armed with clubs, blackjacks and stones attacked white men at 5th & Lombard Streets. One white man and one negro man had wounds so serious they had to be taken to Pennsylvania Hospital for treatment. In court today, Mrs. Adela Bond testified against Joseph Kelly, the man she shot Friday night. Mrs. Bond testified that Mr. Kelly threatened her life and was the ringleader of the mob that attacked her home. Kelly’s trial will continue tomorrow. So far two whites and two negroes have been sentenced to 30 days in jail for the rioting. Dozens of more trials are scheduled over the next few weeks.

Mrs. Adela Bond

Two committees of negro representatives have called on Mayor Smith and Director of Public Safety Wilson to protest what they claim is the partiality being shown to whites by the police during the disturbances. Mayor Smith was not in the city but the groups were received by Mr. Wilson. Letters were also sent to the Mayor and the Director condemning the police for failing to protect negroes and their homes from rampaging white gangs. The letter also stated that the constitutional rights of negroes were violated in that they are being arrested on the slimmest pretense while “white hoodlums” roamed the streets stoning colored homes and churches. The committees suggested that assigning colored policemen in the negro neighborhoods would alleviate much of the problem.

By order of Superintendent of Police Mills all saloons from Spruce Street to Moore Street between the Schuylkill River and Broad Street have been ordered closed. Superintendent Mills has also suspended from duty Policeman Robert Ramsey pending an investigation into the shooting death of Riley Bullock, a negro, yesterday afternoon. Mr. Bullock was shot while in the custody of Policeman Ramsey and other officers as he was entering the police station at 20th & Federal Streets. Mr. Bullock died from the wound.

The events in this city have overshadowed other stories both at home and in the war. However, we must not forget that our boys are fighting and some are dying in Europe. Therefore, we will provide here the names of those Philadelphia men who have been wounded this past week and those that have given their lives.

Listed as being killed in action are Private Edward J. McIntyre, U.S.A., 25 years old of 2033 South 23rd Street. Private Frank R. Collins, U.S.A., 21 years old of 2431 Ann Street, Sergeant William H. Starkley, U.S.A., 23 years old of Bustleton and Private Edwin G. Danfield, U.S.A., of 5501 West Girard Avenue. Listed as dying from wounds is Corporal Leonard Langsdorff of 528 East Thompson Street.

Listed as severely wounded are Sergeant Howard G. Daniels, U.S.A., of 3343 Amber Street, Sergeant Stanley J. Merook, U.S.A., of 4422 Almond Street, Private Joseph Gallagher, U.S.A., of 3505 Haverford Avenue, Private George A. Snyder, U.S.A., of 3005 North Bonsall Street, Private George H. Sheehan, U.S.A. of 926 Dakota Street, Private Joseph C.A. Guiliani, U.S.A., of 761 South Warnock Street and Private William Meyer Harvey, U.S.A., of 4821 Haverford Avenue. Listed as wounded are Private George Adam Heiler, U.S.A., of 522 West Westmoreland Street, Private Jacob M. Peterman, U.S.A., of 149 East Courtland Street, and Private William P. Widerman of 201 Richmond Street. Listed as missing is Corporal Albert W. Henkel, U.S.A., of 4312 North Marshall Street.