Philadelphia Information Locator Service
Archival Record Series

Mayor's Correspondence and Files

[Record Group 60-2]

60-2.1 Correspondence and Files
1844-1854, 1887-1941
2 volumes, 4 cu.ft.,
Correspondence and files include materials relating to the Frankford Creek flooding of 1931-1932, & 1935, the Parkway (1935), port of Philadelphia, celebrations, the National Recovery Administration, proclamations, etc. Files 1919-1931 contain isolated documents; Files 1932-1940 more comprehensive in scope, but only represents a sampling of total files generated by the Mayors during this period. Files 1844-1854 consists of single letter book containing impressions of outgoing correspondence. Also included is one volume of minutes of meetings between the Mayor and the heads of various executive departments, 1887-1941. 2 boxes of miscellaneous speeches by the mayors between 1936 and 1941 survive as well as payroll records for the Mayor's office between 1932 and 1938.
Note: Many of the papers of J. Hampton Moore, mayor of the City from 1920-1924 and 1932-1936, were deposited by Mr. Moore with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Shelf list is available.
60-2.2 Administration of Bernard Samuel
46 cu.ft.,
Bernard Samuel (1880-1954) won election to City Council in 1923. He became President Pro. Tem. of City Council in 1939 when George Connell, then President of City Council, became acting Mayor upon the death of S. Davis Wilson. On 1 January 1940, Samuel was elected President of City Council, a position he held officially throughout the next four years but not exercised after the death of Mayor Robert E. Lamberton in August 1941 for Samuel then occupied the Mayor's office throughout the remainder of Lamberton's term. Samuel won election to the Mayor's office in 1944 and 1948, defeating Democrats William C. Bullitt and Richardson Dilworth respectively, thus becoming the first multi-term mayor since William S. Stokley (term 1872-1881). His term stretched the longest continual span in Philadelphia's history.

The files 1941-1946 represent only a sampling of the files during this period. Principally, they contain information on oaths of office, city property (including the Betsy Ross House and Independence Hall), scholarships, victory taxes and taxation in general, proclamations, the Army-Navy Game, airports, public works, water pollution and water supply, etc.

The files 1947-1951 include detailed correspondence relating to many aspects of city government, including but not limited to the following: proclamations, the Board of Theater Control, Council, ordinances, Public Safety, Police, Electrical Bureau, Public Works, City Hall & City Hall Annex, airports, Gas Commission, Surveys, water pollution, city planning, housing, health, transit, budget, scholarships, Independence Hall, licenses, annual reports, Freedom Train, redevelopment, recreation, Civil Service, bonds, the PTC strike of 1949, Committee of 15, the Delaware River Joint Commission, and invitations.

Miscellaneous speeches are filed alphabetically by subject between 1941 and 1946; speeches in 1947-1951 are arranged chronologically. There also exists a box of payroll records for the Mayor's Office for the years 1942-1943.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Shelf list is available.

60-2.3 Administration of Joseph S. Clark
37 cu.ft.,
Joseph Sill Clark, Jr. (1901-1990) won election as City Controller in 1949. Two years later, he defeated Daniel A. Poling for the office of the Mayor. He held the office for only one term, successfully attaining the office of United States Senator in 1956, which he held until 1969. Clark was the first mayor to hold office under the provisions of the 1951 Home Rule Charter. As one biographer noted, " Clark concerned himself primarily with reform affecting the physical and economic development of the city. To foster progress, Clark staffed his government with skilled professionals and strove to involve business and civic organizations . . . in physical and social planning."

There exist few files from 1952, Clark's first year in office. Principally, the majority of the files concern the period 1953-1955. In addition to files concerning all of the City's departments, offices, and major boards and commissions, the files contain information relating to the Philadelphia Transportation Company, subways, Shoomac Park, parking, the Greater Philadelphia Movement, the Municipal Finance Officers Association, the Bureau of Municipal Research, Commissioners' quarterly meetings, City-Country consolidation, civil defense, Reyburn Plaza, Glen Mills School, Edwin Forrest Home, the Home Rule Charter, housing, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the Philadelphia Housing Association, the Committee of 70, expressways, the Urban Traffic & Transportation Board, the Philadelphia Committee on City Policy, the Committee on Noise Abatement, the Non-Partisan Register & Vote Committee, the Gas Commission, the Youth Services Committee, railroads, and scholarships, among other topics.

Three boxes are devoted to files of the Assistant to the Mayor, 1952-1953.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Shelf list is available.

60-2.4 Administration of Richardson Dilworth
90 cu.ft.,
Richardson Dilworth (1898-1974) initially ran for mayor in 1947 against Bernard Samuel. In 1949, he was elected City Treasurer when Joseph Clark became City Controller. He ran for governor in 1950 but lost a close ran to John Fine. In the following year, he completed a reform slate in which Clark ran for Mayor and Dilworth for District Attorney. In 1955, he was elected Mayor of Philadelphia in a race against W. Thatcher Longstreth. Four years later, he won re-election against competition mustered by Harold Stassen by the largest majority vote ever obtained in a municipal election. During his terms as Mayor, he served as President of the American Municipal Association, and of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He was also a member of the Governor's Commission on Constitutional Revision. In February 1962, Dilworth resigned the office of Mayor in order to make a second attempt at the governorship, which he lost in a race against William W. Scranton. In 1965, Mayor Tate appointed him as President of the Board of Education where he served until his resignation in 1971.

Mayor Dilworth's files are organized in general groupings with specific subjects within each group. These general groupings include advertising and publicity; associations; administration, authorities, boards, commissions, committees, departments, and mayor; municipal and industrial development; state and federal government; general; and invitations. The files of advertising and publicity contain principally the files of the Press Secretary (see Record Series 60.8). Associations contain material relating to, but not limited to, the American Civil Liberties Union; the Americans for Democratic Action, the American Municipal Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Citizens' Charter Committee, Citizens' Council on City Planning, Crime Prevention Association, Greater Philadelphia Movement, Health & Welfare Council, Philadelphia Housing Association, and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The administration files are broken into several subgroups: authorities, which includes the Airport Improvement Authority, the Redevelopment Authority, the Parking Authority, the Housing Authority, and the Delaware River Port Authority; boards, including the permanent boards and other boards such as the Advisory Child Welfare Board, the Atwater Kent & Betsy Ross boards, the Jury Selection Board, the Recreation Coordination Board, the Board of Theater Control, the Urban Traffic & Transportation Board, the Youth Services Board, and others; commissions and committees, including the permanent commissions and other appointments by the Mayor, viz., the Advisory Commission on Historic Buildings (later titled the Philadelphia Historical Commission), the Independence National Historical Park Advisory Commission, the Register & Vote Committee, the Committee for Loans, the Noise Abatement Committee, the Committee on Higher Educational Opportunities, the Municipal Office Space Requirements Committee, the Veterans Advisory Commission, the Youth Conservation Commission, and others; departments, including all city departments, and special concerns such as a 40-hour work week for police and fire, vice (1956), Clean Block Committee, parking violations and traffic tickets (often also found in the general files), requests for Mummers tickets, Jet Day (1958), taprooms, the Food Distribution Center, Children's Fairyland, Playhouse in the Park, Anti-Litter Campaign, Canine Corps, the Youth Rehabilitation Center, and others; directors, including the Director of Finance and the Managing Director; and mayor, which includes all operations directly under the Mayor, including the Housing/Development Coordinator's office.

Municipal and industrial development topics include city college, Delaware River Basin, Delaware and Schuylkill Expressways, Independence Mall, Korean Incident (1958), labor problems, mass transit, parking and parking garages, Reyburn Plaza - Municipal Services Building, city dumps, mass transportation, including railroads, SEPACT, etc., Washington Square, Schuylkill Falls project, and Penn Center, among others.

General issues range from the Aquarium to the wage tax, with emphasis given to Puerto Rican problems, rent control, Sunday Blue Laws, Blue Cross, unwed mothers, and even a movie starring Brigette Bardot in 1958.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

60-2.5 Administration of James H. J. Tate
258 cu.ft.,
James Hugh Joseph Tate (1910-1983) ran successfully for the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1940 and served until 1946. In that year, he was elected a real estate assessor. More importantly, he became executive secretary of the Democratic city committee in the same year. In 1951, he won election to City Council, representing the 7th district. In 1954, he became President pro. tem. of Council during a protracted illness of the then president, James Finnegan. Mr. Finnegan resigned from Council on 14 January 1955 to become Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor George M. Leader. Tate was elected President of City Council on 20 January 1955, a position he held and exercised until 1962. Upon the resignation of Mayor Dilworth, Tate became acting Mayor, although technically he remained but did not exercise his powers of City Council President. Tate ran for the office of Mayor twice, defeating James F. McDermott in 1963 and Arlen Specter in 1967. While Mayor, Tate also served as president of the National League of Cities in 1967-1968 and as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1970-1971.

The files of Mayor Tate are arranged alphabetically during the early years of his administration. Those files from 1968-1971 are arranged in a format similar, but not exact, to those of Mayor Dilworth. In addition to files on each of the city departments, permanent boards and commission, and other city offices, Mayor Tate's files contain information on the American Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association, the Barber Advisory Board, the Broad Street Subway, Broadway Maintenance Corporation, the Citizens' Council on City Planning, the Citizens' Advisory Committee on Civil Rights, Colonial Germantown, inc., Community Renewal Program, Delaware Expressway, the Hospital Survey Committee (Duane Committee), the Fretz Building Fire of 1963, Food Distribution Center, Food Stamp Plan, Greater Philadelphia Movement, Hero Scholarship Fund, Manpower Utilization Commission, Municipal Services Building, NAACP, Old Philadelphia Development Corporation, PENJERDEL, Passenger Service Improvement Corporation, Philadelphia Housing Authority, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Regional Conference of Elected Officials (RCEO), SEPACT, SEPTA, weekly reports, special events, the Register & Vote Committee, Veterans Stadium, the Transit Labor Relations Committee, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Pennsylvania League of Cities, the Philadelphia Anti-Poverty Action Committee, poverty, Tri-Institutional Facility, snow removal and gang control.

Especially noteworthy are files relating to the North Philadelphia riots (1964), the PTC strike (1965), ward realignment (1965), the Educational Home Rule Charter, the Committee to select a Police Commissioner (1966), succession issues (1962-1964), the Girard College emergencies, and the initial efforts of planning for the Bicentennial which began in 1964.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

60-2.6 Administration of Frank L. Rizzo
316 cu.ft.,
Frank Lazarro Rizzo (1920-1991) joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1947. Rising through the ranks, he became police commissioner in 1967. He ran for Mayor in 1971, defeating W. Thatcher Longstreth, and in 1975, defeating Thomas Foglietta and Charles W. Bowser. Barred by the Charter from running for a third consecutive term, he waited until 1983 where he lost the Democratic primary to W. Wilson Goode. In 1987, he changed party allegiance from Democrat to Republican and entered the race in that year, losing once again to Goode. He won the Republican primary for mayor in 1991 but died before the general election.

The correspondence files of Mayor Rizzo contain information from and about all departments, permanent boards and commissions, and other city offices. There also exist files on urban renewal areas, all boards, public relations efforts, proclamations, commissions, budget, scholarships, housing, drug abuse programs, police and crime, Hurricane Agnes, Spanish Village I & II, Commission on Municipal Hospital Services, Mayor's Law Enforcement Advisory Commission, federal and state agencies, labor issues, Bicentennial agencies, sites and programs, miscellaneous civic and community groups and organizations, transportation, weekly reports, councilmanic redistricting (1972), charter revisions (1973 & 1978), Science & Technology Advisory Commission, Task Force on Highway Development, sidewalk vendors, and other topics.
Note: Files kept in office after transition found in correspondence files of Mayor William Green.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

60-2.7 Administration of William J. Green, III
84 cu.ft.,
William Joseph Green, III, (1938- ), was elected in a special election in 1964 to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives caused by the death of his father, William J. Green, Jr., in 1963, and served until 1977. In 1976, he ran unsuccessfully for the post of U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. In 1979, he defeated David Marston and Lucian Blackwell in a three-way race for the post of mayor. Mr. Green did not run for a second term of office.

Materials in Mayor Green's files include correspondence, reports, and other materials relating to the various city departments, boards, commissions, and other city offices. Information is also available on the General Business Tax, the Mayor's Tax Committee, the Mayor's Scholarship Program of 1979-1980, cable TV, Century IV celebration, CETA, the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, energy, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Strike of 1981, the Educational Nomination Panel of 1981-1982, Mayor's and Cabinet members' schedules for 1980-1982, Conversation Hall renovations, council legislation, Freedom Festival, among other topics.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

60-2.8 Administration of W. Wilson Goode
31 cu.ft.,
Willie Wilson Goode (1938- ) first achieved prominence in Philadelphia's business and political communities when he became executive director of the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement in 1969. In 1978, he was appointed head of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission by Governor Milton J. Shapp. Mayor William Green appointed Goode as the city's first black Managing Director in 1980. Goode became the city's first black mayor when he was elected in 1983 in a three-way race against John Egan and Thomas Leonard. In 1987, he successfully achieved a second term running against former mayor Frank Rizzo.

Only the 1984 files of Mayor Goode's have been received and processed into the City Archives. Arranged alphabetically by subject, they contain materials on all city departments, boards, commissions and other agencies; individuals with whom Mayor Goode has contacted or been contacted; meeting notices, agendas & minutes of various boards and commissions; the Board of Education; various churches and religious leaders; and letters, clippings and other materials relating to the controversy over the building height of Center City structures. Four cubic feet contain letters by Pat McKinley, Special Assistant to the Mayor.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

60-2.9 Administration of Edward G. Rendell
Edward Gene Rendell (1944- ) started his career in the District Attorney's office in 1968 where he worked until 1974. Governor Shapp appointed him as deputy special prosecutor for corruption in Philadelphia in 1976. He won election to the post of District Attorney in 1977 defeating the incumbent, F. Emmett Fitzgerald, Jr., in the Democratic primary and Republican Malcolm Lazin in the general election. He was reelected to the position in 1981. In 1986, he lost the Democratic primary election for governor and in 1987, the Democratic primary for mayor. In 1991, he defeated Joseph M. Egan, Jr., a late replacement for the Republican primary winner Frank Rizzo who passed away during the campaign, for the office of the Mayor. In 1995, he was reelected in a landslide victory over Republican challenger M. Joseph Rocks.
No files have been received or processed relating to the administration of Mayor Rendell.

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Last updated on August 2, 2004