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 but there is a chance of showers this evening and tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 85° with a low tonight of 68°. The Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, N.J. has accepted a contract with the government to produce 1,000,000 Enfield rifles. The company intends to refit its plant to manufacture the weapons. The contract is thought to be worth $18,600,000.00 or $18.60 per rifle.

It was learned today that Philadelphia’s Mayor, Thomas Smith, risked his own life in an attempt to save a drowning man. The incident occurred above the Delaware Water Gap. The Mayor saw a man struggling in the water and dived in to help him. The Mayor had to swim a fair distance to midstream to reach the man. By the time he reached him he had stopped struggling. The Mayor grabbed the man and swam back to shore. Mrs. Smith had in the meantime called for help. Both the Mayor and Mrs. Smith administered first aid until assistance arrived but the man was pronounced dead. The incident occurred a few days ago but the identity of the man attempting the rescue was not known because when asked his name he identified himself, modestly, as “Mr. Smith”. It was only today that authorities in that area realized “Mr. Smith” was the Mayor of this city.

In baseball today Philadelphia’s teams met the Boston gangs in doubleheader action. The Phillies hosted the Braves here at Shibe Park. The first game was a pitcher’s duel between Joe Oeschger and Boston’s Dick Rudolph. The game was scoreless in the bottom of the 9th when Gavvy Cravath smashed a 2 out drive into center field scoring Irish Meusel from 2nd for the win. Unfortunately the second game was not so close with the Braves winning 8 to 3.

Up in Boston the A’s took on the 1st place Red Sox. The A’s of course lost both games but the most incredible thing on display today was Carl Mays. Mays pitched both games for the Sox and won. In 18 innings he gave up a total of 1 run. Mr. Mack’s team put on a pathetic show losing the first game 12 to 0 and the second 4 to 1. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Carl Mays was the 32nd man to pitch complete games in both ends of a doubleheader and win them both. From 1876 to 1926, the last time it was done, this amazing feat was accomplished by 37 pitchers. Four of these were Philadelphia Phillies, Charlie Ferguson did it in 1886, Al Orth in 1898, Al Demaree in 1916 and Grover Cleveland Alexander who did it in 1916 and then again in 1917. Joe McGinnity of the New York Giants did it 3 times and even more amazingly he did it all in the same month, August of 1903.]

Carl Mays