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 cloudy, unsettled skies today with rain this evening. The high will reach 47° with the low tonight near 38°. The Scots of our city are celebrating St. Andrew’s Day. The centerpiece of the festivities will be a dinner at the Bellevue-Stratford this evening organized by the St. Andrew’s Society.

In other news, Warden Robert McKenty of Eastern State Penitentiary said today that 200 former inmates are now on the firing line abroad serving America. Many of the men write to the Warden to keep him informed of their wellbeing and that of other former prisoners. The letters are all written in a secret code that was developed at the Penitentiary by the inmates.

In entertainment this weekend, on stage at the Lyric, Broad and Cherry Streets, two Philadelphians come home as John and Lionel Barrymore star with Constance Collier in George du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson, a tale of true love which transcends reality itself.  At the Little Theatre, 17th & DeLancy, Margaret Anglin stars in W. Somerset Maugham’s Caroline and at the Chestnut Street Opera House, 1021 Chestnut Street, one can find Arthur Hammerstein’s musical comedy of love, life and youth You’re In Love. At the Academy of Music, Burton Holmes presents his travel talk on Japan, with both photographs and moving pictures. And at the Forrest Theatre, direct from Broadway in New York, the musical comedy, Rambler Rose starring Joseph Cawthorn and Julia Sanderson.


American National Guard units from 33 states are now in France. Most of the units arrived some weeks ago but it was not till today that permission was granted to announce their arrival. The men are quartered in numerous towns behind the lines and were welcomed by the French with grand celebrations. Garlands of flowers were given to many soldiers as they marched through the towns. French bands serenaded the Sammies upon their arrival by playing America songs, including ragtime numbers. And it seemed every Frenchman had a little American flag to waive. The arrival of the Americans is a great relief to the French since it is believed that 1,250,000 French soldiers have been killed in the war thus far with a similar number seriously wounded.

 On the western front southwest of Cambrai the Germans mounted a vicious assault just after dawn this morning. The center of the attack is near the village of Gonnelieu. The attack began with a massive artillery barrage. The German hope is to break the British line there and relieve the assault on Cambrai.