About this Collection

Water M. Phillips interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders on subjects related to Philadelphia city government and history between the late 1930s and the 1970s. Related collection: Walter M. Phillips, Sr. Papers (Acc. 527)

About this Interview

The interview with Robert Heckert, a Philadelphia area radio commentator since the 1940s and common figure in the Philadelphia area cultural scene, discusses the history of the old Philadelphia Forum in the 1920s. The Forum was the largest Forum in the United States at the time and was designed to provide the public with diverse educational and cultural programming at a very low cost. Heckert describes it as a kind of "People's University" offering offering an unrivaled variety of programs in almost all fields of study. He recalls a number of esteemed guests of the Forum, including William Jennings Bryan, former Secretary of State, and Calvin Coolidge, Vice President of the United States.

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Biographical / Historical Note

Walter M. Phillips, Sr. (1912-1985) was active in Philadelphia civic and political life for over thirty years. He worked and volunteered in a variety of city and regional organizations. After retiring, Phillips initiated an oral history project, interviewing in the 1970s many individuals with whom he had worked.

Record Details

Robert Heckert Oral History, September 14, 1978
Civic improvement, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Heckert, Robert
Personal Names:
Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933, Bryan, William Jennings
Geographic Subject:
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Repository Collection:
Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories
Oral Histories
Contact SCRC for the audio recording corresponding to this transcript.
Transcript Identifier:

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Transcript Note

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview. The interviewee/narrator read the transcript and made minor corrections, but the reader should bear in mind that it represents a transcription of the spoken word.

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About This Collection

Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories

Ohist cover
Walter M. Phillips initiated an oral history project, and between c. 1974 and 1980 interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders.
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