December 25 in San Antonio history…
World War I – December 25, 1914 – The Christmas Truce
Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.
At the first light of dawn, many of the German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.
The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. In 1915, the bloody conflict of World War I erupted in all its technological fury, and the concept of another Christmas Truce became unthinkable.
A three-alarm fire at the Alamodome kept firefighters busy Christmas morning as smoke poured from vents on the east side of the building. For almost an hour, firemen scoured the dome, searching for the origin of the fire which was finally traced to a storage room where the old HemisFair Arena basketball court was smoldering. Damage was estimated at $100,000 which was about the cost of a basketball court. The next day’s game against the Dallas Mavericks went on as scheduled. The Spurs lost 126-123.
Merry Christmas from the Texana/Genealogy Department and everyone at the San Antonio Public Library!