Saint John Neumann established the Beneficial Savings Fund Society as a safe haven for Philadelphia immigrants to save their money. WSFS absorbed Beneficial in 2019, but the old Beneficial buildings remain as an important part of the fabric of the city.
Bernie Uhr shared the story of “Uhr’s”, Philadelphia’s most revered Jewish restaurant and catering establishment. Beloved institutions like Uhr’s have nearly disappeared from Philly’s cultural landscape. Uhr’s was opened by Bernie’s father “Jack” in 1919 in South Philadelphia as “Uhr’s Original Roumanian Restaurant”. Trolleys brought patrons to Uhr’s from many Philly neighborhoods including Strawberry Mansion, Logan and South Philly. Local crime and Jewish resettlement forced Uhr’s to relocate to an old theater in Philly’s Wynnefield section. “Uhr’s” is long gone; its historic Wynnefield home is now a senior apartment building.
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Janet Gaynor was born in Philly’s Germantown neighborhood in 1906. She was the first star in a succession of “A Star is Born” films. Ms. Gaynor was first to win the “Best Actress” Academy Award in 1928. She became a painter of beautiful “still lifes” in her later years.
Join us for a trip through old Philly. Our destination is the Philadelphia Zoo. With a little help from his friends, meet “Massa”, the zoo’s most famous citizen and the lifespan record holder for a gorilla in captivity.
Burt describes his “wonder years” growing up in West Philadelphia, 1940-1955, including his great days at West Philadelphia High School. The popular song “All the Things You Are” wafts over and through his memories.
Philadelphian David Raksin (1912-2004) was an outstanding film composer, with over four hundred movie and television scores to his credit. He is most noted for arranging the music for Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” and for writing the haunting score for the film “Laura”. Among his many honors, Mr. Raksin was elected to the Central High School Hall of Fame in 1979.
The story of Philadelphia’s original Northeast High School, 8th St. and Lehigh Avenue in Philadelphia. Northeast High moved to a new building at Cottman St. and Algon Avenue in 1957. Before the Lehigh Avenue property was razed it was occupied by Thomas Edison High School and the Julia De Burgos Middle School.
Historian and Attorney Mark Turetsky presents a fascinating talk on the “Crime of the 20th Century”: The 1930’s Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping. Meet the personalities, explore the crime scene, examine the evidence and be witness to the explosive trial .