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


It has been six days since the last of the bitter cold temperatures gripped this city. It now appears that the worse is over. Today’s high will reach 44° with the overnight low about 35°. Even warmer temperatures are predicted for the rest of the week.

In local news, Mrs. Lucretia Stotesbury (shown below), wife of Mr. Edward T. Stotesbury, has been appointed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to the Navy Commission on training camp activities. Mrs. Stotesbury has long been involved with charitable work for the Navy League and the Navy auxiliary of the Red Cross.

Mrs. Lucretia Stotesbury

Mayor Smith is proposing a grand military parade for our boys going to France. The Mayor is suggesting that every Philadelphia man currently in training at Camp Meade, Maryland be returned home for a parade and a great send off by their families, friends and the entire city. The Mayor proposes that the city assume all the cost of bringing the over 9,000 soldiers home. The invitation would also be extended to all of Philadelphia’s negro soldiers in training.

In national news, President Wilson addressed a joint session of Congress today to formally respond to the peace proposals made by German Foreign Minister, Count von Hertling and Austrian Premier, Count Czernin. The President stated that the United States will not turn back from the principle that the world must be emancipated from autocracy. Mr. Wilson said a permanent peace must be based upon justice to all peoples. Although Mr. Wilson expressed satisfaction and room for discussion as a result of Premier Czernin’s proposals, he rejected those put forth by Count von Hertling.

Mr. Wilson declared that any agreement must include the provision that peoples and provinces will not be bartered from sovereignty to sovereignty like chattels or pawns in a game. Also, that every territorial settlement agreed to be made for the benefit of the people of those territories. And that well-defined national aspirations be accorded the utmost respect especially with regard to Poland, the Balkans and the Baltic peoples.


The Russian Bolshevik government today announced a complete demobilization of the army and made clear it is withdrawing Russia from the war. Although a formal peace agreement has not yet been signed, Leon Trotsky, Bolshevik Foreign Minister declared “The war with the Central Powers is ended”. Mr. Trotsky made the declaration in Brest-Litovsk where peace talks with Germany have been ongoing. The dispatch from Brest-Litovsk specifically stated that hostilities with Germany, Austria-Hungry, Turkey and Bulgaria have come to an end.