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Walsall Town Hall

Walsall Town Hall is a grade II listed building located in Walsall, England. The town hall, which opened in 1902, is used for a variety of functions including wedding receptions and concerts, its Baroque style design is by the architect James Glen Sivewright Gibson. It adjoins Walsall Council House. Bands that performed at the Walsall Town Hall in the 1960s and 1970s include Jameson Raid, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. In the theatre are a matched pair of pictures by Frank O. Salisbury, they were commissioned by Joseph Leckie "to commemorate the never to be forgotten valour of the South Staffordshire Regiments in the Great War 1914 - 1918" and completed in 1920. One shows "the First South Staffordshires attacking the Hohenzollern Redoubt", the other "the 5th South Staffords storming the St. Quentin Canal at Bellingtise Sept 29th 1918". Inside the building are a memorial to organist and composer Charles Swinnerton Heap, sculpted by Albert Toft, a 2009 memorial plaque to Walsall's three recipients of the Victoria Cross, John Henry Carless, James Thompson and Charles George Bonner.

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1955 Philadelphia municipal election

Philadelphia's municipal election of November 8, 1955, involved contests for mayor, district attorney, all seventeen city council seats, among other offices. Citywide, the Democrats took majorities of over 130,000 votes, continuing their success from the elections four years earlier. Richardson Dilworth, elected district attorney in 1951, was elected mayor. Victor H. Blanc, a city councilman, was elected district attorney; the Democrats kept fourteen of seventeen city council seats, losing one district seat while gaining another, kept control of the other citywide offices. The election represented a further consolidation of control by the Democrats after their citywide victories of four years earlier. In the mayor's race, incumbent Democrat Joseph S. Clark Jr. who had earlier declared he would serve only one term, did not run for reelection. He instead ran for election to the United States Senate in 1956 and was successful, serving in the Senate for twelve years. For the open seat, Democrat Richardson Dilworth ran against Republican Thacher Longstreth.

After service in World War I and a law degree from Yale, Dilworth practiced law in Philadelphia. He and Clark were allies in the anti-corruption reform effort that had swept the city four years earlier. Dilworth had run for mayor unsuccessfully with Clark as his campaign manager. In 1949, he was elected City Treasurer, he was defeated by Republican John S. Fine. Democratic party leaders had intended Dilworth to be their candidate for mayor again in 1951, but when Clark announced his candidacy, Dilworth agreed to run for district attorney instead, he won. In the primary election in May, Dilworth defeated his underfunded opponent, William A. Paschall, a local meat dealer; the Republicans nominated Thacher Longstreth, a 35-year-old advertising executive who had never run for office before. He emerged the victor of a four-way primary contest over George P. Williams, city magistrate James J. Clothier, Oscar H. Newman, a deputy constable. Longstreth's campaign got off to a rocky start when he broke with the city Republican organization over their failure to elect his preferred candidate, John M. Pomeroy, as chairman of the Republican City Committee.

Although he did receive a campaign visit and endorsement from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Longstreth had little other assistance from the Republican party machine and ran as an "Independent Republican". Republicans still held an edge in voter registration in 1955, but their share of the electorate continued to decline over previous years; the result was a landslide for Dilworth. In an election with higher than expected turnout, the Democrat took 59% of the vote, a slight increase over the party's tally from the mayoral contest of four years earlier; the Democrats carried 44 of the city's 52 wards. Longstreth conceded defeat early in the evening, said that he hoped for "an administration that will be good for all people and the progress of our great city"; the Philadelphia Inquirer described the result as "a ringing indorsement of the policies of Mayor Joseph S. Clark, Jr. whose Democratic administration was the key issue in the Fall ballot drive." For the open office of district attorney, vacated by Dilworth when he ran for mayor, the Democrats nominated city councilman Victor H. Blanc against the Republicans' Wilhelm F. Knauer.

Blanc, a veteran of both World Wars and former assistant district attorney, had been elected to city council in an at-large seat in 1951. During his time on the council, he was in charge of an investigation into corruption in construction at Philadelphia International Airport. Knauer, a state deputy attorney general, was a long-time Republican party leader, his wife, Virginia Knauer, would be elected to city council. As in the mayor's race, the Democrats were victorious, Blanc was elected, his vote totals led the Democratic ticket, exceeding Dilworth's numbers. Philadelphians elected a seventeen-member city council in 1955, with ten members representing districts of the city, the remaining seven being elected at-large. For the at-large seats, each political party could nominate five candidates, voters could only vote for five, with the result being that the majority party could only take five of the seven seats, leaving two for the minority party; the Democrats' citywide dominance continued into the city council races, as they retained control of nine of ten districts and five of seven at-large seats.

In the at-large races, the two incumbent Democratic candidates, Victor E. Moore and Paul D'Ortona, led the ticket. Three other Democrats were elected: John F. Byrne Sr., councilman for the 10th district. On the Republican side, incumbent at-large councilman Louis Schwartz was re-elected; the other Republican incumbent, Donald C. Rubel, who had won a special election as an independent Republican backed by Democrats, lost his spot to Thomas M. Foglietta, a young lawyer and son of former councilman Michael Foglietta. Losing bids for the Republican at-large seats were real estate assessor F. Raymond Heuges and former magistrate Hobson R. Reynolds. At the district level, Democratic incumbents Thomas I. Guerin, Harry Norwitch, Samuel Rose, Raymond Pace Alexander, Michael J. Towey, James Hugh Joseph Tate, Charles M. Finley were all reelected. In the 2nd district, Democrat Gaetano Giordano took the seat from Republican David Zwanetz, nominated when incumbent Republican William M. Phillips did not run for reelection.

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