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 clear skies today and Sunday with moderate breezes from the west. The temperatures will remain pleasant for this time of year with the high reaching 64° and the low tonight near 44°. The school war gardens organized by the Board of Education have had a very successful season producing more than $22,000.00 worth of fruits and vegetables. In total there were 70 gardens set up covering 66 ½ acres throughout the city. The gardens were planted on land attached to schools and in vacant lots and tended to by almost 30,000 students under the supervision of their teachers.

There was no official Army-Navy game this year but an unofficial contest did take place today at Franklin Field. The United States Army Ambulance Corps (shown below) came from their headquarters in Allentown to meet the United States Marine Corps team from the Navy Yard. Before a crowd of 20,000 the USAAC proved their mettle defeating the Marines 16 to 0. It must be admitted that quite a few members of the USAAC team had played college football before volunteering for the service. The hero for the Ambulance Corps was Mike Murphy who kicked 3 field goals.

On the literary scene, Mr. H.G. Wells and Mr. Upton Sinclair have both published new novels. Mr. Well’s book is entitled “The Soul of a Bishop” and deals with the spiritual crisis of an English Anglican Bishop brought on by the war. Mr. Sinclair’s new novel is entitled “King Coal” and tells the story of a young rich man who goes to work in the mines of the western United States to learn the truth about the life of the miners. Both books are available for $1.50 at area bookstores.

On stage this weekend, at the Forrest Theatre the “Ziegfeld Follies” has arrived from New York with a cast of over 60 performers including Miss Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Will Rogers and Philadelphia’s own, W.C.Fields. At the Orpheum, Germantown & Chelten Avenues the play “A Daughter of the Sun” is performed detailing life in Hawaii. And at the Lyric, the Victor Herbert musical comedy “Eileen” tells the story of a young Irish girl outwitting British redcoats to save her sweetheart from the gallows.

W.C. Fields

On motion picture screens at selected theatres around the city, at the Nixon, 52nd & Market Streets, Dustin Farnum stars in “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. At the Palace, 1214 Market Street, William S. Hart stars in “The Narrow Trail” the tale of how a woman’s love can change an outlaw’s heart. And at the Locust, 52 & Locust, Sessue Hayakawa stars in “The Call of the East” a drama of forbidden interracial love.