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 and this evening. The high will reach 38° with the low tonight about 25°. Notwithstanding the warming temperatures the Delaware River is still clogged with ice flows. Two freight steamships carrying millions of pounds of raw sugar are trying to plough through that ice today. The ships are bound for the refinery docks. The Bayamo is carrying 8,960,000 pounds of raw sugar while the Ottar has 4,800,000 pounds.

And across the Delaware Governor Walter Edge of New Jersey spoke to the legislature of that state today and formerly requested legislation authorizing a bridge spanning the Delaware River and connecting Philadelphia with Camden. The governor also asked for authorization for the building of a tunnel under the Hudson River connecting Jersey City and New York City.

Here in Philadelphia government housing experts and representatives of the American International Shipbuilding Company met today with city officials. The meeting was to discuss the housing of up to 40,000 workers needed for the Hog Island shipbuilding yard. Also invited were representatives of various transportation companies including Thomas Mitten of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company.

In national news, President Wilson addressed Congress this afternoon and presented his proposals for any peace terms between the Allies and the Central Powers. In his speech Mr. Wilson laid out fourteen points which he declared were the only possible basis for an enduring peace.

The points include: open, public covenants of peace with no private, hidden understandings or agreements; absolute freedom of the seas; removal of barriers wherever possible to equality of trade conditions among nations; reduction of national armaments; impartial adjustment of all colonial claims; evacuation of all occupied Russian territory; the complete independence and restoration of Belgium; restoration of all French territory including the Alsace-Lorraine region; the readjustment of the frontiers of Italy; the right of the peoples of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to self-determination; the restoration of all territory of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro; The providing of autonomy for all non-Turkish regions of the Ottoman Empire; the establishment of an independent Polish state; and the creation of an association of nations for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to both great and small states.

In sports, the high school basketball schedule will not be affected by cold auditoriums. Today’s games include South Philadelphia vs. Central High which will be played at Temple; Philadelphia Trades School meets Northeast High at the Y.M.C.A. North Branch; The School of Pedagogy plays West Philadelphia at West Philadelphia High and Germantown visits Frankford at Frankford High.