Celebrate Central Library’s 20th anniversary!

May will mark 20 years since a vision in bright red, designed by renown Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, would paint the city’s landscape with a modernist touch to deliver the power of information, imagination and ideas.


San Antonio Public Library is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Central Library in May and we’d like to invite you to the party in a very personal way: we’d like to know how Central Library has played a role in your life. Did you ace that important test because of the studying you did here, did you learn a new tech skill or find a job at our Jobs & Small Business Center? Have you been coming here since we opened our doors in 1995? Maybe you met the love of your life here or joined a new social group and you’ve made life long friends; or maybe you spend your lunch hours sitting in the plaza for your daily moment of zen. However the Central Library has impacted your life, we’d like to hear about it.

Celebrate Central Library’s 20th with us by sharing your story with us. Email your story (and a photo you’d like to share if you want to) to saplsocialmedia@gmail.com.

All stories are important, and while the details are meaningful, we suggest keeping your submission to about 250 words. We’ll share some of these great stories here on our blog and on social media. In fact, your story could be selected to be part of an audio collection at the Central Library – read by a Central Library team member.

May 7 in San Antonio history…

World War I – May 7, 1915lusitania
The RMS Lusitania, once the world’s largest ship, is torpedoed and sunk off the southern coast of Ireland.  The sinking of the Lusitania helps to turn American feelings against Germany.  In firing on a non-military ship without warning, the Germans violated the international laws known as the Cruiser Rules, although they had reason to believe the ship was carrying munitions.  1,195 of the 1,959 passengers died of drowning or hypothermia as only six lifeboats were able to be launched. 128 American lives were lost.

Abraham Wolff and Daniel Marx form a partnership and go into business together as Wolff & Marx.  They would remain one of San Antonio’s most popular mercantile stores until being purchased by competitor Joske’s in 1965.

In the San Antonio mayoral election, Julian Castro finshes with 42 percent, Phil Hardberger finishes with 30 percent and Carroll Shubert with 26 percent in the mayor’s race, leading to a June 7 runoff election.  Phil Hardberger would prevail in the runoff.

May 6 in San Antonio history…

Radio station WOAI returned to 50,000-watt power when its new 435-foot tower at Selma went into operation today (right). The tower replaces the one hit and demolished by a B-29 from Randolph Air Force Base April 3. Erection of the new tower was completed in a little over three weeks. During reconstruction of the tower at Selma, WOAI operated on an auxiliary power of 5,000 watts.

San Antonio City Council unanimously passes an ordinance requesting that the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation name the North Freeway (IH-10) for former mayor Walter W. McAllister.

A four-alarm fire burns the main building at Our Lady of the Lake University causing $15 million in damage.

May 5 in San Antonio history…

Mission Concepcion is established.

Little is left now of the collection of rock and adobe hovels which formerly encumbered the block bounded by Soledad, Veramendi, Houston and Main. They have been torn down to make room for the new Wolff & Marx.

In a ceremony reflecting ecumenism and a confluence of cultures, Patrick F. Flores was consecrated the auxilliary bishop of the San Antonio Archdiocese late Tuesday morning.  Consecration ceremonies were held at the Convention Center Arena, marking the first time a Catholic event of this magnitude has ever been held in the United States outside a church building.

May 4 in San Antonio history…

Little Bobby Ledger bravely stepped to the head of the line at 9 a.m. Tuesday, bared his arm, gritted his teeth and became the first San Antonian inoculated with Salk polio vaccine.

Supertramp brings their “Breakfast in America” tour to Convention Center Arena (right).

Nelson Wolff wins the mayoral election over Lila Cockrell and Maria Berriozabal.

May 3 in San Antonio history…

Henry B. Gonzalez announced he was resigning from the city council to run for state senator from San Antonio.

Dr. Wendell Stanley, Nobel prize-winning director of the virus laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. Sidney Farber (right), director of the Children’s Cancer Research foundation in Boston, are in San Antonio for the annual trustees’ meeting of the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education.

Tony Bennett signs autographs in Platter Palace on the lower level of Wonderland Shopping City for fans, and then performs his concert,  “A Swingin’ Evening with Tony Bennett” at Municipal Auditorium at 8:30  p.m.  One lucky fan, and a guest of her choice, gets to have lunch with Tony in the Mr. Checkers restaurant before the show.

May 2 in San Antonio history…

The chapel at the Concepcion Mission, as repaired, is rededicated to our Lady of Lourdes by Bishop Neraz.

Continental Airlines inaugurated the first commercial flight between San Antonio and El Paso.

May 1 in San Antonio history…

Mission San Antonio de Valero is established on the west bank of the San Antonio River after the removal of the Alamo Mission “San Jose del Alamo” is ordered by the Marquis Valero, viceroy of New Spain, from the Rio Grande to San Antonio.

A bust of Dr. F. Herff Sr. is unveiled in the Carnegie Library.  [It is now in the Briscoe Western Art Museum on Market Street.]

KCOR, owned by Raoul Cortez, becomes the first full-time Spanish language radio station in the United States.

April 30 in San Antonio history…

The operator of a gun and saddle shop on S. Flores admitted he had sold machine guns and other weapons to George “Baby Face” Nelson and John Dillinger, America’s public enemies No. 1 and No. 2.

The contract to build a 650-foot tower at the HemisFair site was awarded today to D.J. Rheiner Construction Company.  Architectural details for the unnamed tower will be released within 60 days.

California Governor Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidential hopeful Jimmy Carter both come to San Antonio today on a campaign swing.  Reagan speaks in front of the Alamo with actor James Stewart and former Mayor W.W. McAllister.  Mayor Lila Cockrell proclaims him an honorary mayor of La Villita.  Carter speaks at the Convention Center.

April 29 in San Antonio history…

The old central dome of San Fernando Cathedral is demolished.

The last of San Antonio’s mounted policemen retired today.  80-year-old W. J. Stewart of 1015 West Hildebrand Avenue, saddled up for the last time after 22 years of service. When the police force discontinued the use of horses about 18 years ago, he persuaded the force to let him continue working on the Brackenridge Park bridle paths.  “I can still ride with the best of them,” Stewart said.

Demolition is begun on the State Theater on the northwest corner of Flores and Houston streets (right). This theater was originally named the Majestic and opened in 1913.   Acts such as  Mae West, The Marx Brothers and Houdini all appeared there. The name was changed to the State when the current Majestic Theater was constructed in 1929.

April 28 in San Antonio history…

Expressions of good will and predictions of success from prominent citizens greeted the announcement today of the consolidation of the San Antonio Daily Light and the Gazette, effective tomorrow.

1958San Antonio Express, 29 April 1953
Two tornadoes (later rated F3 and F4) strike Bexar County in the area of Helotes, killing two people and injuring twenty.

The Doobie Brothers play a concert in Memorial Auditorium.


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