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 clear sunny skies today with the temperature reaching 91°. Tonight’s low will only fall to about 70°. A parade and street party was held today by the residents of 10th & Huntingdon Streets to honor their relatives and neighbors who are off serving America. The children of the neighborhood marched in costume in a “service-star” parade carrying 35 stars representing the 35 men of the neighborhood off fighting the Hun.

Service-Star Parade

Master Philip Klien of 431 Main Street in Manayunk, recently sent a “bullet” to Secretary of War Baker. Along with the bullet young Mr. Klien enclosed a note asking Mr. Baker to use the bullet to shoot a German in France. Philip is a Boy Scout and wanted to do his bit. Secretary Baker’s private secretary replied to Master Klien thanking him for the gift and advising that since the bullet was BB shot it might not be useable by the American army but certainly would be put to use in some other way.

Commander Henry C. Mustin, U.S.N., of 233 Harvey Street in Germantown has been awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. Commander Mustin received the award for his actions on January 15 when he jumped in the ocean during a storm to save a crewman who had fallen overboard. Mustin was also commended for his handling of the vessel during the rescue and its aftermath.

Commander Henry C. Mustin

Four Philadelphia men and one man from Camden have lost their lives in France. The men listed as killed in action are Private Harry Rubenson, U.S.M.C., of 105 Diamond Street, Private Walter J. Sparing, U.S.M.C., of 1332 North 54th Street, Corporal Jack Knapp, U.S.M.C., of 424 Reed Street and Drummer John A. Overland, U.S.M.C., of 423 Steven Street, Camden N.J. Listed as dying of wounds is Private Michael J. Ward, U.S.A., of 1507 Stillman Street. Additionally Private Alban B. Lewis, U.S.M.C., of 6546 Germantown Avenue is listed as missing in action.

The Army casualty list contains 102 names listing 14 killed in action, 8 dead from wounds, 3 dead from disease, 1 dead from accident, 53 wounded severely, 22 missing and 1 taken prisoner. The Marine casualty list contains 87 names listing 42 killed in action, 10 dead from wounds, 17 severely wounded and 18 missing.


American troops have landed on the northern coast of Russia. They are there to support British forces on the Murman Coast. So far they have occupied the port of Kem on the White Sea. The entire region has been declared to now be under the protection of the Entente. The reason for the occupation is to counter German and Finnish moves against the territory. Also in Russia Czecho-Slovak troops have captured the city of Kazan from the Bolsheviks. The city is 430 miles east of Moscow. Reports from Petrograd are that hundreds are dying every day from cholera and starvation. Uprisings against the Bolsheviks are occurring in many cities across the country.