February 24 in San Antonio history…

1836
The Texans in the Alamo are summoned by Santa Anna to surrender.  He is answered by a cannon shot.

Colonel William Barrett Travis writes his famous letter:

Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

Fellow citizens & compatriots

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat.Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.

William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.

P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

1928KTSA
Radio station KTSA (“Kum To San Antonio”) goes on the air (right).

1993
The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort is opened.

February 23 in San Antonio history…

1720
Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo is founded by Father Margil de Jesus, who names it in honor of San Jose, San Miguel and Governor Aguayo (Jose de Azlor y Virto de Vera, the Marquis de Aguayo, appointed Governor of Texas and Coahuila in 1719).  Olivares protests its closeness to Mission San Antonio.  Captain Alazar lays out the 10 leagues distance between the missions required by the Laws of the Indies in order to give it the protection of the presidio.

1929post_office
Fire, apparently started by defective wiring, threatened mail and federal records and did $30,000 damage to San Antonio’s historic federal building in Alamo Plaza (right).

1968
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas formally open the Long Barracks at the Alamo.

February 22 in San Antonio history…

1917
A proclamation signed by Mayor Brown, County Judge Davis and President Franz C. Groos, of the Chamber of Commerce, is as follows: “In appreciation of the distinguished services rendered this republic by that great soldier and patriot, Major General Frederick Funston, and as an expression of the high esteem and love felt for him by citizens of every rank in San Antonio, we, the undersigned, call a memorial meeting in his honor, to be held at Beethoven Hall on Saturday. February 24 at 3 p.m.  All citizens of San Antonio and members of the army are invited to participate.’’

1944
A San Antonian waited in line two hours at the Federal Building to pay his income tax but balked when a seaman attemped to fingerprint him and enlist him in the Navy. He was in the wrong line.

1946Tex Ritter at the Texas Theater, 1946.
Tex Ritter appears in a stage show at the Texas Theater (right).

 

February 21 in San Antonio history…

1860
Colonel Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant Colonel of 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrives at San Antonio to take charge of the Department of Texas.

1917
Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing was formally appointed commander of the Southern Department with headquarters at Ft. Sam Houston.  He succeeds Gen. Funston who died two days ago.

1928
San Antonio triumphantly became the greatest base in the American Air Corps when President Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the establishment of a flying school on the 2,000-acre tract; 15 miles out the Seguin Road.

February 20 in San Antonio history…

1962glenn_light
The San Antonio Light, an afternoon paper, proudly trumpeted the news that John Glenn had become the first American to orbit the earth (right).  The Express, a morning paper, could only report the countdown in progress.

1965
After 88 years in business, Wolff and Marx closes their downtown department store in the Rand Building at Soledad and Houston along with North Star Mall location (later reopened as Joske’s).

1988
RiverCenter Mall holds its grand opening festivities.

February 19 in San Antonio history…

1877
The first passenger train (Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio) arrives in the city.  The public celebrates with a torchlight parade.

1939novachord
The new “miraculous musical instrument” – the Hammond Novachord – at San Antonio Music Company, is featured live on four San Antonio radio stations:  KTSA, KABC (now KKYX), KONO and WOAI.  The Novachord, one of the first polyphonic synthesizers, retailed for $1,900, which is over $32,000 today.

1956
Mrs. Mamie Bradley, mother of Emmett Till, speaks at the Carver Library (now the site of the Carver Community Cultural Center) on the murder of her son and subsequent murder trial.

February 18 in San Antonio history…

1916
The Marx Brothers appear at the (old) Majestic Theater as part of a vaudeville review of 27 people.

1977triumph-logo_transpo
Canadian rock trio Triumph plays their first show in the United States right here in Convention Center Arena.  Yesterday & Today and the Runaways are the opening acts.

1986
The San Antonio Spurs’ Alvin Robertson becomes the second player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals against the Phoenix Suns.  The Spurs win, 120-114.  Robertson remains the only player to set the mark with double figures in steals instead of blocks.

February 17 in San Antonio history…

1918piggly
Piggly Wiggly opened San Antonio’s first self-service grocery.

1983
Billy Squier makes his first appearance in San Antonio, bringing his “Emotions in Motion” tour to Convention Center Arena.  Canadian group Saga opens the show.

1991
The Finck Cigar Company building, built in 1882,  is illegally demolished at 7:45 on a Sunday morning.  A construction company crew discovered at the debris-covered site of the designated city landmark was cited for allegedly violating the city code by not having a demolition permit.  Just weeks after the demolition, State Sen. Frank Tejeda filed a bill requiring responsible parties to rebuild historic buildings that are damaged or destroyed, or pay an amount equal to the estimated replacement cost to be used for preservation projects. But since the bill was not retroactive, it could not be used to make anyone pay the estimated $200,000 it would have cost to replace the Finck Building. In the end, the joint venture paid a $25,000 fine to the city for the demolition.

February 16 in San Antonio history…

1861
On this day 156 years ago, a militia of 1,000 armed Texans, calling themselves “The Knights of the Golden Circle,” surrounded U.S. Gen. David E. Twiggs’s 160-man garrison at San Antonio, forcing the general to surrender. Union soldiers were allowed to leave the state carrying their arms, but $1.6 million of government property was left to be seized by the Confederacy. Texas took possession of the 20 military installations, 44 cannon, 1,900 muskets, 400 pistols, 2 magazines of ammunition, 500 wagons, and 950 horses. Twiggs’s unwillingness to fire upon Texans in the streets of their own cities was not appreciated in the North. What he viewed as an attempt to avoid bloodshed, most Unionists saw as a part of a Southern conspiracy for which Twiggs was mercilessly vilified. On March 1, 1861, Twiggs was dismissed from the Union Army by President Buchanan. Ten weeks later he was commissioned as a Major General in the Confederate Army and transferred to New Orleans to command the District of Louisiana. Twiggs retired shortly thereafter and died at age 72 near Augusta, Georgia on July 15, 1862.

1927
A. J. Drossaerts becomes the first archbishop of San Antonio at noon today.  In San Fernando Cathedral, crowded to the doors by the thousands, the wool band with four crosses was placed on his shoulders by Archbishop John W. Shaw of New Orleans.

1958
Sam Cooke appears at the Municipal Auditorium with the Silhouettes, Thurston Harris, The Dubs, The Drifters and Ernie Freeman & his Orchestra.

February 15 in San Antonio history…

1915
After four years of remodeling and widening, Soledad was opened from Commerce to Houston.

1949
A plan to air condition Municipal Auditorium as well as San Pedro Playhouse was revealed today by Mayor Callaghan by issuance of $200,000 in revenue bonds.

1988
Rivercenter Mall opens for business but the grand opening festivities will have to wait five more days.