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 seems the cold will never end. Today the high temperature will only reach 9° and tonight’s low is expected to be near -2°. The cold is bringing terrible suffering to those without coal to heat their homes. It is also bitter for commuters who stood in freezing temperatures this morning waiting for trains and trolleys which were delayed due to the weather. Strong winds from the northwest made the waiting even worse. Shipyard workers along the Delaware were sent home because working outside was unbearable. At 7:00am the temperature in Philadelphia was -2°. At that same time temperatures at Eddystone measured at -8°, Darby at -2° and Chestnut Hill at -6°.

In scholastic news, last evening Norristown High School graduated 35 students at its commencement ceremonies for its winter class. The salutatorian was Miss Dorothy Webb Simons and the valedictory address was given by Miss Elizabeth H. Hurst. In high school sports, the basketball games scheduled for today between the Philadelphia Trades School and West Philadelphia High and Central High versus Germantown High have been postponed. The shortage of coal to heat the gymnasiums caused the cancellation. The games will be rescheduled.

The Young Men’s Hebrew Association is certainly doing its patriotic part. The Association recently raised a service flag outside its headquarters at 1616 Master Street containing 105 stars. Each star represents a member serving in the army, navy or marines. The headquarters building is also being used as a Boy and Girls Scout headquarters and a Red Cross branch.


An attempt by the Germans to raid American trenches was beaten off by prompt and efficient artillery shelling. The Yankee gunners inflicted heavy causalities on the Huns. The German plan was to strike the Americans in a surprise attack Monday morning. But our gunners were ready and laid down an overwhelming barrage of fire into the enemy’s line. The Germans responded with gas attacks but no casualties from that have been released.

In the air war, British areoplanes have again bombed the German base at Zeebrugge. Reportedly 4 and 1/2 tons of bombs were dropped doing considerable damage. On the Italian front, Venice has been bombed along with other cities on the Venetian plains. The Austrian aeroplanes struck this morning. Severe damage is reported at Padau, Treviso and Mestre. The number of casualties has not been released. On the Eastern Front, Bolshevik forces are battling Rumanian troops along a wide front in southwestern Russia. The fighting extends across Moldavia and into the Russian province of Bessarabia.