Mariachi Vargas Singer Returns to SAPL Week of November 17

Join us as Houston, Texas native Vanessa Cerda Alonzo shares her experiences as a vocalist, musician,songwriter, and actress. At the age of 18 she competed in San Antonio’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, and was named the “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” She has performed for the Houston Grand Opera in Chicago, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix, and Paris, France and will perform with the Chicago Lyric Opera company’s Lyric Unlimited program in March of 2015. Vanessa will be talking about her experiences during performances at several San Antonio Libraries as part of the 20th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.


Mission Branch Library on Monday November 17, 11:30AM 3134 Roosevelt Ave. 78214
Cortez Branch Library on Tuesday November 18, 5PM 2803 Hunter Blvd. 78224
Bazan Branch Library on Wednesday November 19, 5PM 2200 W. Commerce St. 78207
Las Palmas Branch Library on Thursday November 20, 5PM 515 Castroville Rd. 78237

For more information, call 210.207.2500.


Vanessa Cerda Alonzo is an award winning vocalist, musician, songwriter, and actress who developed her artistic career through the non-profit arts organization MECA. She won “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the US” during the 1999 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and has since then gone on to perform as a cast member in the Houston Grand Opera’s- mariachi opera- “To Cross the Face of the Moon.” Vanessa was recently named as a cast member for a new mariachi opera commissioned by the Chicago Lyric Opera “El Pasado Nunca se Termina.” Vanessa will perform in the new opera during the world premiere in Chicago in March 2015. Vanessa will talk about her experiences in performing both mariachi and opera, and will perform a few songs, at selected libraries as part of the 20th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.

November 22 in San Antonio history…

Staacke Bros. places a newspaper advertisement announcing a sale on all “vehicles” – meaning carriages. From this point on, they will sell automobiles only.

San Antonio’s Catholic churches were packed with mourners for President Kennedy as soon as his assassination was learned.

Little Hipp’s Gimmedraw Parlor closes after 42 years of serving up funky atmosphere, oversized burgers and tater tots.

November 21 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio Police, armed with 12-gauge riot guns, launched “Operation Bird Kill” at City Hall.  The hunt, which began at 2:30 a.m. was designed to drive the cowbirds away from City Hall after they had become a nuisance, both noisy and unsanitary.

Scheduled dedication ceremonies for the new John F. Kennedy High School have been postponed by the Edgewood School District.
President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy visited San Antonio where he dedicated the Aerospace Medical Health Center at Brooks Air Force Base. He promised to return and dedicate the school at a later date. (He would be assassinated in Dallas the following day.)

Janis Joplin’s scheduled concert in the Hemisfair Theater of the Performing Arts with Shiva’s Headband and Winter is cancelled.


November 20 in San Antonio history…

1909>November 20 in San Antonio history...
The Gunter Hotel is completed and opened for business. The hotel stands on the former site of the Vance House. Previous to that, it was the site of U.S. Army barracks and was the headquarters of Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and other Civil War heroes.

An old rock quarry, east of San Jacinto Park and near Brackenridge Park was approved by Mayor C. K. Quin as the site of the proposed athletic stadium for the public school system.

Depeche Mode comes to San Antonio for the first time and performs at the Alamodome.  Stabbing Westward opens.

November 19 in San Antonio history…

The University of Texas is trying to schedule a Thanksgiving Day game next fall with Notre Dame.  If Notre Dame accepts, it is fairly certain that the Longhorns will play Haskell in San Antonio sometime in the two weeks before Thanksgiving.

The first building for the 107-acre Trinity University site at Hildebrand and Stadium has been approved by the executive committee of trustees. It is planned for the highest point of the campus.

Joske’s debuts their Christmas “Fantasy Land” on the fourth floor of their main store downtown.

November 18 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
German forces continue bombardment from the coast of Flanders the the River Lys, with attacks throughout the territory around Ypres.

The Fox Company retail store at 209 Alamo Plaza is destroyed by fire resulting in $150,000 damage and the death of a night watchman.  The film developing and mail order business of the Fox Company at 1734 Broadway is not affected.

Bob Hope visits San Antonio to dedicate a new elementary school in Southwest San Antonio named in his honor. “I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for grammar school—I spent 10 of the best years of my life there,” Hope joked before the large audience gathered outside the school at 3022 Reforma Dr.


November 17 in San Antonio history…

Lyndon B. Johnson marries Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. LBJ didn’t have a wedding band for her and had asked Dan Quill, friend and Postmaster of San Antonio, to get one. Quill bought a wedding band at the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. for $2.50.  (The Sears store was located in what is now called the Tower Life Building.) After the wedding, they had dinner at the St. Anthony Hotel and spent their wedding night at the Plaza Hotel.

Tennis pros Althea Gibson and Karol Fageros play a 45-minute exhibition tennis match at halftime of the Harlem Globetrotters game vs. the Baltimore Rockets at Alamo Stadium gymnasium.

Ground is broken for the new ceramics studio on the campus of the Southwest Craft Center – the former home of Ursuline Academy.  The studio is the first new building on the campus since the Priest’s House was built in 1885.  (There was a dormitory built in 1912 but it was destroyed in a 1967 fire.)

The new studio had to be approved by city and state historical commissions and should be ready for use in about six months.

November 16 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
German troops force the Russians back to a defensive position at Lodz, Poland after fierce fighting at Vlotsavek and Kutno.

The cornerstone for the Paine Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Protestant church in San Antonio, is laid on Soledad street.

The J.M. Nix Professional Building is opened.  The new 200-bed hospital inside has a private bathroom, a radio receiving set and a telephone in every room.

November 15 in San Antonio history…

Justice McAllister is holding an inquest in the death of Billy Ellis at the Silver King saloon yesterday morning. There are 15 witnesses to examine and it will take practically all day.

Sale of the Congregation Beth-El Jewish temple at Travis and Jefferson to Lane Taylor for a minimum of $100,000 was announced by the organization which plans a $225,000 temple to be located in Laurel Heights.

The Express-News has acquired a new FCC-approved radio system to allow their reporters to communicate stories on-scene back to the news office.  “The Handie-Talkie is strapped to his belt and weighs no more than a photographer’s strobe light battery,” the article gushed.  “No other San Antonio newspaper, radio or TV station has a portable system like it.”

November 14 in San Antonio history…

Hertzberg Jewelery Company at St. Mary’s and Houston streets announces the opening of San Antonio’s first art gallery devoted to small paintings and crafts.

The Brackenridge Park skyride was opened to the public.

Wonderland Mall reopens as Crossroads Mall.

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