Babe Ruth, Frank Sinatra, Buck Jones & Many Others Signed Visitor’s Book – From Former Philadelphia Mayor Bernard Samuel


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The Visitor’s Book From the Office of Philadelphia Mayor Bernard Samuel, Including Notable Visitors Such As Babe Ruth and Frank Sinatra

Bernard Samuel served as Mayor of Philadelphia from 1941-1952, the longest tenure in Philadelphia’s history (and the last Republican to hold the position).  During that time, his office kept a visitor’s book, recording notables that visited in both official and unofficial capacities.

There are hundreds of signatures, and all in person. Many have secretarial date notations.  The softcover leather book measures 7×9.5 with the signatures on similar-sized pages.  The first signature is noted as June 19, 1942 and the last December 4, 1951.  The principle signatories are:

Babe Ruth – “Sincerely Babe Ruth” (7/28/47) – Babe was at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on July 28, 1947 for the 4th Annual American Legion Baseball All-Star Game.

Frank Sinatra –  “It’s always nice to come to Philadelphia – I like it very much.  Sincerely, Frank Sinatra” (5/24/43)

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby – “Well here am I again Mayor / Bob Hope” and “Thank you, Mayor; for a pleasant visit.  Sincerely Bing Crosby” (5/21/43)

Buck Jones – “Buck Jones” (11/25/42) – actor who helped create the genre of westerns, signed just three days before he was killed in the famed Coconut Grove fire

Other signers include:  the great band leader Tommy Dorsey; King George II of Greece, in exile as the Nazis were occupying his country; Ireland’s President Eamon de Valera; Antanas Smetona, the first (and last) President of Lithuania, signing when he country had just been absorbed by the Soviet Union; Prince Bernhard, consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, signed when their nation was under Nazi occupation; parents of the 5 Sullivan brothers, all U.S. navy sailors killed when their ship was sunk in 1942; Eve Curie, biographer of her mother, Madame Curie; Joseph Martin, Speaker of the House of Representatives; opera star Lauritz Melchior; the wife of war hero Colin Kelly; actor Walter Pidgeon; boxer Barney Ross; Miss America 1943 Jean Bartel and Leo Carillo, actor and political cartoonist, who played Pancho in The Cisco Kid, who adds a wonderful drawing.

The book was recently obtained from the Samuel family descendants and is fresh to the market.