December 18 in San Antonio history…

First Lieutenant Irving McCracken, a native San Antonian and 1903 graduate of West Texas Military Academy (now TMI), is killed at Camp Kearny when a hand grenade explodes during training.  He is buried in City Cemetery #3.

The Central Park Fox Twin Theatre opens with world premiere of “Viva Max”.  The stars of the movie in attendance are: Peter Ustinov, John Astin, Harry Morgan, Pamela Tiffen & Keenan Wynn. (right)

Jerry Tarkanian is fired as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs after a 9-11 in only 20 games.  He is replaced with John Lucas.


December 17 in San Antonio history…

Workmen begin conversion of the Princess Theater on Houston Street into Blum’s Department Store.  It was purchased in 1931 by Frost Brothers.  The building still stands at 217 E. Houston Street.

The newly reconstructed Olmos Dam is dedicated.

Bexar County commissioners re-enact the cornerstone laying ceremony of Dec. 17, 1892 at the site of the new County Justice Center.  The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. with a short parade which includes horse-drawn carriages carrying members of Commissioner’s Court and their wives, Sheriff Harlon Copeland, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, County Clerk Bob Green, a color guard and the Theodore Roosevelt High School Rough Rider Band.  A time capsule will be buried during the ceremony.

December 16 in San Antonio history…

The new electric blanket, which maintains a comfortable temperature in the bed at the approximate cost of four cents a night for electricity, is being introduced here by Joske’s.

Robert H. H. Hugman is named the official architect of the River Beautification Project.

Alan Jackson makes his first-ever San Antonio appearance at Bluebonnet Palace in Selma.  His debut album Here In The Real World would be released two months later, in February 1990.


December 15 in San Antonio history…

The new ultra-modern science hall of Incarnate Word College was ready for use. Dedication ceremonies were held, attended by Francis Cardinal Spellman, archbishop of New York and military vicar of the U.S. Armed Forces.

After premiering during Memorial Day weekend, “Return of the Jedi” ends a remarkable 29-week run at Northwest 10 theater.

“Ginny,” a 37-year old Asian elephant at the San Antonio Zoo, kills her keeper by picking him up with her trunk and throwing him to the ground.  Ginny has been at the zoo since 1962 and used to give rides to children.

December 14 in San Antonio history…

The name of Acequia Street is officially changed to Main Avenue.

Jefferson High School and University of Texas alumnus Tommy Nobis (right) becomes the first player drafted by the newest NFL franchise – the Atlanta Falcons.

Converse Judson scores on a 76-yard pass with seven seconds left to defeat Midland High, 33-32, in the State Championship game.

December 13 in San Antonio history…

August Siemering and his new partner, W.B. Moore, first publish the Express as a daily afternoon newspaper. A subscription costs $16 a year. They continue to publish the weekly Express as a “family newspaper” for $5 a year.

Lawton Motor Company, at 632-634-636 Main Avenue, advertised a brand new Standard Electric car for $1,990.00 – “a magnificent Christmas present for your wife. Have one at the front door when she wakes up on Christmas morning.”
($1990.00 in 1913 dollars translates to $$50,324.11 in 2018.) 

Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie perform in concert in Municipal Auditorium.  The concert of the two now-legendary African-American jazz artists is unfortunately advertised “for whites only.” (right)

December 12 in San Antonio history…

Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie perform in the Library Auditorium on the East Side (now the Carver Center).

San Antonio police urged officials of Harlandale and McCollum High Schools today to admonish parents to help fight the wave of vandalism that has swept both schools. Detective Henry Zunker said student rivalry between the two schools has “gotten completely out of hand and must be stopped.”

Most San Antonio Catholics celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the 445th anniversary of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin to the Indian peasant Juan Diego.

December 11 in San Antonio history…

The Olmos Dam is dedicated and opened to traffic.

WOAI-TV Channel 4 was dedicated today (right). The station began broadcasting regular programming at 4:45 that afternoon and signed off at 9:00 pm. The feature program is the SMU-Notre Dame game from Dec. 3.  The program was condensed to 40 minutes by eliminating huddles and time between plays.

A 13-year-old Tanya Tucker performs in Municipal Auditorium with Connie Smith as part of the Toys for Tots Show sponsored by KITY radio and the U.S. Marine Corps.

December 10 in San Antonio history…

The city’s first F.W. Woolworth & Co. store opens at the corner of  Houston & Alamo streets (right).

Savoy Brown, Atomic Rooster and Chicken Shack play a concert in Municipal Auditorium.

On the 25th anniversary of the station, WOAI-TV changes their call letters to KMOL.

December 9 in San Antonio history…

The Baylor Bears play the Haskell Fighting Indians from the Haskell Institute, a Native American school located in Lawrence, Kansas.  Haskell defeats Baylor, 21 to 20, in front of 4,200 fans at Schwab Field.  The Haskell team features John Levi, now enshrined in the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.  The Baylor squad features Wesley Bradshaw at quarterback, now enshrined in the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. From the 1900s to the 1930s, Haskell’s football program was referred to as the “Powerhouse of the West,” playing teams from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma A&M, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is first broadcast, at 6:30 on CBS (KENS Channel 5).

Mrs. Steve Nava, of 218 Wingate Street, becomes the first patient directly admitted to the new $17.5 million Bexar County Hospital (now University Hospital).