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


Today’s weather will bring clear and bright skies to the city. The high will reach a pleasant 76° with a cool evening tonight with the temperature near 58°. Women are being offered positions at the Schuylkill Arsenal where they can earn up to $25.00 per week. The women will be employed operating newly designed sewing machines making soldiers’ uniforms. The government is looking to hire at least 4000 women. To qualify a woman must be at least 18 years old. Inexperienced ladies will be trained at a lower pay rate of either $12.00 or $15.00 per week depending on their ability until they become proficient with the new machines.

Schuylkill Arsenal

For the good of the war effort, the 1900 saloonkeepers in this city have joined together and agreed to cease selling liquor to uniformed soldiers and sailors of the Allies. The saloonkeepers explained that they consider it unfair that they are not permitted to sell alcohol and beer to American soldiers and sailors but can provide the drinks to the fighting men of the allied powers.

The second American draft lottery was held today and went off smoothly. The drawings took place in the Senate office building in Washington, D.C. and included men who have attained the age of 21 by June 5, 1917 up to the age of 30. Secretary of War Baker drew the first number at 9:30am and all the numbers had been chosen by 11:40am.

Sadly another Philadelphia area man has fallen in France, Private Edward F. Myers, U.S.A., of Berwyn appeared on yesterday’s causality list as killed in action. Marine casualties include Joseph B. Kite of 711 North 39th Street in West Philadelphia. Private Kite is listed as severely wounded. Before entering the Marines Private Kite trained at the Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Military Training Corps in Lansdowne. Also listed as severely wounded are Corporal Harold S. Dorsey of 4246 Wyalusing Avenue and Corporal John Huran of 2129 Appletree Street. Both men are with the 5th Regiment, 2nd Battalion.  Corporal Dorsey’s brother John is also serving in the same Regiment (the brothers are shown below with Corporal Dorsey on left) [EDITOR’S NOTE: Corporal Harold Dorsey would later die of his wounds].

Harold and John Dorsey 


American Marines and Army units have now gained full control of Belleau Wood. The victory was capped by the capture of the German stronghold of Torcy, northwest of Chateau-Thierry. The fight took 7 hours and at times included hand to hand combat. Over 1200 Germans held the town but when the battle was over 700 of them were dead. The remaining 500 were either wounded or captured. Belleau Wood is now in American hands.

The first Polish regiment of the First Polish Division entered the trenches against the Germans on the western front yesterday. These brave Poles are fighting under the Polish flag proving that the German contention that the “Polish Question” is settled and Poland is now a part of the German Empire is just another Hun lie.