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. We will also recount the events occurring in the war on that day. So, check back often for new updates.

To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com


There will be rain over the city today with the showers continuing tonight and probably tomorrow. The high today will reach about 76° with the low around 61°.

Ida Riehl is free on bail tonight. The 17 year old was released today on $5,000.00 bail pending her trial for the murder of Edmond Hauptfuhrer. The money was put up by a New York woman who read about the case in the newspapers but has declined to disclose her identity. The New York woman has also promised to pay all the expenses of Miss Riehl’s defense. At the hearing today when Judge McMichael granted bail the spectators who filled the courtroom erupted with wild cheers and applause. Ida left City Hall and returned to her father’s home.

Fire swept through the installment house of Harry C. Kahn & Sons, 11th & Filbert Streets, this morning and for a time threatened to spread to adjoining structures. Nearly all of the fire companies of center city responded to the blaze including Engine Company 11.  Lieutenant Donahue of Engine 11 led his men into the smoke-filled basement where the fire originated. There they found a broken gas pipe. Donahue ordered his men out but was himself overcome by the gas and unable to follow. When his men realized he was still inside they went back in, risking their lives to save the officer. Once they brought Donahue outside the men administered artificial respiration and first aid to revive him (shown below).


Jenkintown has been virtually shut down due to a measles outbreak. Public and parochial schools are closed and all moving picture theatres have been shut. As of today 57 cases of measles have been reported. In this city the Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum, Church Lane & Chew Street in Germantown has been quarantined due to measles.

On the sports scene, the weather played a role in the attendance at both the Devon Horse Show and the Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships at Franklin Field. Both events continued as scheduled but the number of spectators was considerably less than yesterday.  At Franklin Field, Cornell had a slight lead going into today’s finals.

In baseball here at Shibe Park, the A’s spit a doubleheader with the Red Sox. The A’s took the opener 2 to1 as Weldon Wyckoff outpitched Babe Ruth. But Boston came back and took the 2nd game 6 to 5 despite a valiant A’s rally in the bottom of the 9th that fell 1 run short. At Fenway Park in Boston the Phillies lost their 3rd straight to the Braves 9 to 4. And in golf Mrs. Ronald Barlow of Merion won the women’s individual championship of Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Mrs. Barlow has taken the title 5 times in the last 7 years.