January 24 in San Antonio history…

1904
Firemen estimate losses at $200,000 in a fire which destroyed L. Wolfson’s clothing store on Main Plaza.  (It would be destroyed by fire again and for good on Oct. 1, 2011.)
(right, photo courtesy Maria Watson Pfeiffer)

1905
The State Legislature passes a bill to purchase the Alamo for a historic shrine for $65,000.

1953
Oscar Levant performs Gershwin’s “Concerto in F” and “Rhapsody in Blue” with the San Antonio Symphony at Municipal Auditorium.

January 23 in San Antonio history…

1945tophouse
Parks Commissioner Henry Hein banned Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings from San Antonio parks.

1964
The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and abolished the poll tax for federal elections.  The State of Texas did not ratify the amendment.  It was one of five states (Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia & Alabama) to still charge a poll tax for local and state elections.

1968
The tophouse of the Tower of the Americas is lifted into place (right).

January 22 in San Antonio history…

1925
The State Legislature prepared to end Bexar County’s “five-minute divorce” system.

1933
Only in chasing criminals or in answering emergency calls will radio patrol cars be allowed to exceed a speed limit of 25 miles per hour in the future, according to an order issued today by Chief of Police Owen Kilday.

1947
“It’s A Joke, Son!,” the new film featuring Kenny Delmar as Senator Claghorn (the inspiration for the animated character Foghorn Leghorn) premieres at the Aztec Theater with in-person appearances from cast members Una Merkel and June Lockhart (later a star on TV shows “Lassie” and “Lost in Space.”)

1973
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson is transported by airplane from his Johnson City ranch to Brooke Army General Hospital where he is pronounced dead on arrival.

January 21 in San Antonio history…

1924Sousa_1924
John Phillip Sousa, the King of the Marches, brings his 100-piece band for a concert in Beethoven Hall.

1957
KONO-TV Channel 12 (later KSAT) begins regular programming with Eisenhower’s second inauguration.

2003 & 2006
Two San Antonio hotels hold grand openings on this date:  Hotel Valencia in 2003 and Hotel Contessa in 2006.

January 20 in San Antonio history…

1881January 20 in San Antonio history...
The first issue of the San Antonio Light rolls off the printing presses. It remains in circulation until January 28, 1993.

1970
Mayor McAllister said he will ask that a special public meeting of the City Council be held next week to consider all proposals for the redevelopment of Hemisfair Plaza.

1984
Bob Barker, host of TV’s “The Price Is Right,” brings his “Fun & Games Show” to Convention Center Arena.

January 19 in San Antonio history…

1947
The long and bitter days and nights in Japanese prison camps were the subject for good-humored retrospect at a party honoring ex-prisoners of war of Bataan, held tonight by General Jonathan Wainwright, Fourth Army commander at his Fort Sam Houston headquarters.  Piece de resistance of the meal was “rice a la prison camp” – a rice soup served in tin pails and cups, reminiscent of the slim daily fare in the Japanese POW camps.

1958
San Antonio oilman-scientist Tom Slick said today it is “entirely possible” a Russian scientist’s claim he spotted two “Abominable Snowmen” is true.  Last year Slick led an expedition in which he photographed tracks believed to have been made by the elusive Himalayan creatures.

1982
Debbie Reynolds performs at the Majestic Theater for the Performing Arts.

January 18 in San Antonio history…

1886
Leopold Wolfson buys the White Elephant Saloon to expand his dry goods business.   The building is destroyed on Oct. 1, 2011 in a fire.

1920
The deed to transfer the Kampmann property at 4th and Avenue E to the Scottish Rite Masons of San Antonio has been filed with a consideration set at $65,000 in cash.  Plans are to erect a temple on the site.

1976
The votes have been counted in yesterday’s election and San Antonio voters have rejected, by a four-to-one margin,  a 129-acre “supermall” to be located over the Edwards Aquifer at Loop 1604. Owners of the shopping mall site said they will file suit Monday contesting the legality of the election.

January 17 in San Antonio history…

1917
Oysters are served at the annual alumni meeting of St. Mary’s College, thus beginning the tradition of Oyster Bake.

1932
The new Central Catholic High School is dedicated.

1976
Legendary newsman Walter Cronkite appears with the San Antonio Symphony to narrate Aaron Copeland’s “A Lincoln Portrait.”

January 16 in San Antonio history…

1928
The Bluebonnet Hotel at St. Mary’s and Pecan streets opens for business.

1976
A large, regional shopping mall, consisting of five major department stores in a two-level enclosed structure will be built at Ingram Road and Loop 410, a Fort Worth realtor announced today. Sid Uberman, the realtor who also put together the Windsor Park Mall package, said the center will contain more than 1 million square feet of retail space. Approximately 100 stores will be in the new mall.

1980detail_wade_boots
“The Biggest Cowboy Boots in the World,” 40 feet high and 30 feet long and designed by Bob “Daddy-O” Wade (right) in 1979, are assembled in front of North Star Mall facing Loop 410.

January 15 in San Antonio history…

1956elvis
Elvis Presley makes his first San Antonio appearance at the Municipal Auditorium (right), playing a 3 pm matinee and an 8 pm show. He will return to San Antonio twice more in 1956.

1959
City Council passes an ordinance allowing ambulances to use a red, flashing light and to exceed the speed limit by up to 10. mph “when it is safe” but sirens on ambulances are now prohibited.

1970
The San Antonio City Council recognized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday today with a resolution, a moment of silence and instructed the city manager to study the  possibility of re-naming a street after the slain civil rights leader.  A request that the city observe Jan. 15 as a holiday, however, fell on deaf ears and was put off without any discussion.