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


The forecast calls for cloudy skies and colder temperatures today. However, the Federal Weather Bureau in Washington is predicting slightly warmer temperatures beginning tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 28° with the low near 13°. Housewives, remember tomorrow is a porkless day so plan your family’s meals accordingly.

Today the Post Office vehemently denied the story reported yesterday that it was ready to hire women mail carriers. Assistant Postmaster John Lister said today that whoever is responsible for spreading such a rumor is lying. Mr. Lister said the Philadelphia Post Office currently has a waiting list of 400 men. This list would have to be exhausted before hiring a woman would even be considered. He did state, however, that there are some women in the post office working as clerks.

The continuing coal shortage forced the city to seize 165 tons of coal from the George Newton Coal Company, 30th & Chestnut Streets, and deliver the fuel to the Philadelphia Hospital (Blockley). The seizure was forced because only 1 hours’ worth of fuel remained at the hospital which houses 5300 insane and indigent patients. The seizure has caused a sharp clash between federal fuel administrator William Potter and Dr. Wilmer Krusen, Director of Public Health who ordered the seizure. Mayor Smith fully supports Dr. Krusen, stating the city government’s first responsibility is to protect the ill and infirm in the hospitals.

There was violence today at two textile mills in Kensington. Striking works armed with clubs attacked the men who had replaced them on the job. One of the workers attacked had to be taken to the hospital. The mills attacked were Sidney Worsted Mills, 105 Palmer Street and Franklin Worsted Mills, Mascher Street below York. When police first arrived the strikers turned on them. A call went out for reinforcements and eventually police from 8 different station houses were rushed to the scene. Unfortunately the police were forced to use their clubs on the heads of some of the rioters. Twenty-two strikers were arrested.


There is barbaric news from the western front today. American officers have come into the possession of German documents describing the treatment to be accorded captured American soldiers. The documents were found on captured German officers. The documents order that all American prisoners be kept in cages for up to 4 days without food or water and be compelled to stand at all times. After 4 days small amounts of nourishment are to be given. American officers familiar with the documents believe the treatment was devised to make our soldiers disclose military information. Our officers stated this may be the result of the inability of the Germans to force Americans captured in November to disclose any secrets.