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

Thacher Longstreth, a longtime Philadelphia politician, attended Princeton University on scholarship where he played three sports and served as Chairman of the Honor Committee, Chairman of the Undergraduate Council, and President of the Senior Class. After college, Longstreth joined the U.S. Navy, serving in World War II, before going to work for LIFE magazine from 1946 to 1953. Around this time, Longstreth ran for mayor of Philadelphia against Dick Dilworth's campaign and lost. He then went to work for an advertising agency in Philadelphia. He left in 1964 to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, where he stayed until the time of the interview. It was first suggested that Longstreth run for office in 1951, and he ran for Mayor of Philadelphia in 1955 and 1971, losing to Dick Dilworth and Frank Rizzo, respectively. Longstreth goes on at length about issues within the Republican party and discusses several major Pennsylvania political figures before moving on to a discussion of projects and accomplishments completed during his time with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce. Around 1967 Longreth was elected Councilman-At-Large and served on the Philadelphia City Council for four years. He concludes by describing his involvement with the national Bicentennial in Philadelphia and discusses what still needs to be done in the City of Philadelphia in the coming years.

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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

Thacher Longstreth Oral History, December 5, 1976
Politicians, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Longstreth, Thacher
Personal Names:
Longstreth, Thacher, Dilworth, Richardson, 1898-1974, Rizzo, Frank, 1920-1991
Geographic Subject:
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Organization / Building:
Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (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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