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 fair and sunny skies over the city today with a high temperature of 83° and a low of 66°. The survivors of the submarine attacks on American ships Sunday evening and early Monday morning are arriving in ports in New Jersey and Delaware today.

Residents of Lewes, Delaware have reported hearing the roar of guns off the coast today as a battle is continuing between American scout cruisers and German submarines. The scout cruisers were chasing the U-Boat that attacked the oil taker Herbert L. Pratt. The ship was struck off Cape Henlopen. Once the ship’s captain determined it would not survive he beached the boat at Hen and Chickens Shoals. The crew of the Pratt took to lifeboats and are now at Lewes, Delaware.

Tanker Herbert L. Pratt

Life boats also arrived at Atlantic City today carrying some of the crew and passengers of the steamship Carolina. The first boat arrived at 2:00pm. Ten boats in all are scheduled to reach Atlantic City. Lifeguards, bathers and passersby rushed to the docks and into the surf to assist the exhausted survivors to shore. The Carolina was attacked on Sunday night about 6:12pm. The survivors had been on the open sea rowing for shore for hours. As the survivors reached the Boardwalk the crowds cheered them and the Lu Lu Temple Band of Philadelphia, which was visiting the resort, serenaded them. The crew of the steamship Texel which was sunk arrived in Atlantic City at 1:00am this morning on their lifeboats escorted by a coast patrol boat.

The Navy Department issued a statement today that 11 American vessels had been attacked by U-Boats off the Delaware, New Jersey and New York coasts. The Navy also announced that not only are submarines attacking shipping but they are also laying mines along the coast. It is believed that the plan of the German Navy is to blockade the east coast so as to slow or stop the transport of men, material, food and other supplies to France. As of today the following vessels have been sunk or attacked, the schooners Samuel Hathaway, E.W. Cole, Hattie W. Dunn, Isabel B. Wiley, Edna, Hauppauge and Jacob S. Haskell. The steamships attacked are the Texel, Winneconne and Herbert L. Pratt and also the passenger liner Carolina.

The city of New York will be in blackout tonight. A ban on all illumination, except streetlights, was imposed by the Police Commissioner of that city because of the German submarine activity so close to the coast. The lights in office buildings must be turned off at sundown or the shades on the windows must be drawn to block out any light. Even the amusement park at Coney Island will go dark at nightfall as will other beach resorts. Philadelphia is considered safe from U-boat attack because the Delaware River would be impossible for a submarine to navigate.