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 skies over the city today with the possibility of rain overnight. Today’s high will reach 79° with the low tonight near 60°. Tonight on the North Plaza of City Hall a grand vaudeville show will be presented to support the sale of War Savings Stamps. The show is organized by the managers of 25 of the city’s vaudeville theatres. The program will last over 3 hours and all the leading acts presently appearing at the theatres will perform. Those buying War Saving Stamps will be given preferred seating.

Over 700 slackers arrested in this city have been sent to army camps including Camp Dix in New Jersey. There are 206 more sitting in Moyamensing Prison waiting for a decision as to which camp they will be sent. According to Mr. Todd Daniel of the local office of the Department of Justice many of the slackers previously arrested are now serving in France.

The Spanish Influenza outbreak at the Navy Yard appears to have gotten worse. Additional  sailors and marines are now said to be infected and one sailor has died. Also, the disease has spread into the downtown neighborhood surrounding League Island.  Dr. Wilmer Krusen, Director of the Department of Health and Charities, estimated that there are now 1000 cases of the disease in the city. However, he assured the public that there is no reason for alarm. Dr. Krusen stressed that the cases that have spread into the neighborhood are not severe enough to require hospitalization.

In order to stop or slow the spread of the disease the Philadelphia Tuberculosis Committee released a list of rules and precautions for Philadelphians to employ. The rules include: always use a handkerchief, napkin of other fabric to cough or sneeze into; sterilize dishes and silverware after use; and do not share drinking cups or towels at home or in the workplace especially if someone has even the slightest suggestion of a cold.


On the western front, the British are continuing their drive into the Hindenburg Line in the region of St. Quentin. The American army in the St. Mihiel sector is now just 2 1/2 kilometers from the Hindenburg Line. The Germans appear to be building strong defensive works behind their line in fear of another American attack. There have not been any major infantry engagements in the last 24 hours. In the Balkans, the Bulgarian army is in retreat in Macedonia. An allied army composed of French, Greek and Serbian troops has driven the Bulgarians out of 45 towns and villages north of the River Gradeshnitza.