Category Archives: Texana

August 20 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The 94th Aero Squadron is organized at Kelly Field.  The squadron was one of the first American pursuit squadrons to reach the Western Front and see combat, becoming one of the most famous. The 94th was highly publicized in the American print media of the time, and its exploits “over there” were widely reported on the home front. Its squadron emblem, the “Hat in the Ring” became a symbol in the minds of the American Public of the American Air Service of World War I. Three notable air aces served with the squadron, Eddie Rickenbacker, who was awarded almost every decoration attainable, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

1935
The rock in the old post office, quarried from the hills of Texas prior to 1888, will go into a $1 million Catholic shrine, to be built during the centennial.  The shrine, to be dedicated to St. Anthony, will be one of the finest in the United States. Entrance to the structure will be a replica of the Alamo, which was the first shrine to St. Anthony in the Unitet States. The new national shrine will be known as the New Alamo.

1954
A malfunction in the mechanism to raise and lower the new tainter gate installed in the San Antonio River at Market Street caused the gate to crash with enough force to be heard and felt for blocks this afternoon.

August 19 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
As a testimonial of their confidence in his ability and the ultimate success of the expedition he has led to France, the San Antonio Rotary club will send a signed message to General John J. Pershing, in command of the American forces Europe. General Pershing is an honorary member of the San Antonio organization.  Part of the message follows:
“Your selection as commander of the American army in France is a  matter of great pride to all Rotarians, especially to those of the club in San Antonio. We rejoice in every honor which comes to you. We eagerly follow your actions in the great war and await your achievements in absolute confidence. We are keeping the choicest place at our table and in our hearts for your happy return.
Respectfully and sincerely,
YOUR FELLOW ROTARIANS

1935
Mayor C. K. Quin today ordered a series of mural paintings taken from the walls of the foyer of the Municipal Auditorium, after their presence was protested by the American Legion Central Council of Bexar County. The paintings by Xavier Gonzales, were criticized for containing hidden Communist symbols.

2010
City Council passes a smoking ordinance that closes exemptions that have allowed smoking in bars, pool and bingo halls, comedy clubs and restaurants with enclosed smoking areas. The ordinance goes into effect on August 19, 2011.

August 18 in San Antonio history…

1813
The Spanish royalist army under Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo is victorious at the Battle of Medina south of San Antonio. Gen. Arredondo’s forces enter San Antonio two days after the battle and inflict punishment on the civilian population. 700 of the citizens are imprisoned, eighteen die of suffocation out of 300 in one house; the remainder are shot.

1917 – World War I
One hundred tons of food a day will be required to feed the 46,000 men of the National Army who will be mobilized at Camp Travis in September. That is the estimate given out by Capt. J. H . Dickey of the School for Bakers and Cooks at Fort Sam Houston.

1972
Trinity University ceases football scholarships

August 17 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Major General Henry Trueman Allen, assigned as commander of Camp Travis, is expected to report for duty about the middle of next week. General Allen is well known to many officers at the post, having been stationed at Fort Bliss, in this department, as colonel of the Thirteenth cavalry. No word has been received at Fort Sam Houston as to General Parker’s successor as department commander.

1956
The Edwards Aquifer reaches its lowest recorded level at 612.5 feet.

1980
Fleetwood Mac comes to the Convention Center to promote their new album “Tusk.”  Rocky Burnette, whose cousin Billy would join Fleetwood Mac in 1991, opened the show.

August 16 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
“So far as this office is concerned, saloons within half a mile of the Arsenal are closed and will remain closed for the duration of the war.” This was the comment made Wednesday at the office of the United States district attorney on efforts being made to reopen these saloons since the company of guardsmen at the Arsenal has been replaced with regulars.

1975
The San Antonio Express-News reports that the alligator gardens at Brackenridge Park will be closing within the next two weeks.  George Kimbrell, who captured the alligators himself and has operated the garden for the last 23 years, will donate the alligators to the Alligator Gardens of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

1977
San Antonians mourned the death of singer Elvis Presley, who died at age 42 at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee.

August 15 in San Antonio history…

1932
Despite a wire report saying that his decapitated body had been found in El Paso, kidnapped Deputy Sheriff Joe Johns of Carlsbad, New Mexico was found to be alive and well when he walked into the sheriff’s office here today.  His kidnappers, two men and an 18 year-old girl referred to as “Honey,”  abducted him yesterday and drove about 1,000 miles in 13 hours, zig-zagging through Wink, Kermit, Big Lake, Piote, San Angelo and finally San Antonio.  They dropped him off on the old Vance-Jackson road where a farmer, Mr. C. J. Webster brought him to town.  Johns said he would start back to New Mexico after sharing a visit and a meal with his nephew, Sam Johns, of 321 Barnett Place.  (The kidnappers were Raymond Hamilton, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.)

1945
While people took to the streets to celebrate Japan’s acceptance of surrender terms, effectively ending World War II, burglars ransacked houses and apartments left vacant by celebrants. A total of $425 in cash and numerous articles were reported missing.

1984
The San Pedro Drive-In closes.
(photo by Jim Miller)

August 14 in San Antonio history…

1895
Ground is broken for the main building of Our Lady of the Lake Academy.  Originally, the name was to be “St. Mary’s of the Lake” but Bishop Forest persuaded Mother Florence that there were so many St. Mary’s in San Antonio that another name might be more appropriate.  With that, the name was changed to Our Lady of the Lake.

1906
The S. A. and A. P. railroad will run a spur line to the 17,000-acre target range and maneuver ground, near Leon Springs, which the government has recently been acquiring. In event of any practice at this place there will then be ample facilities for the trans­portation of troops. The “Sap’s” engineer is now at work figuring out the route, and it is expected the work on the short line will be begun at an early date.

1917 – World War I
Colonel Malvern-Hill Barnum, chief of staff of the Southern Department of the Army, made the announcement today that the name Camp Kelly, used informally for years, is now officially Kelly Field.  The government is designating all its aviation posts as fields and not camps, so Camp Kelly must go.

August 13 in San Antonio history…

1923
Police Chief A. O. Van Riper and Traffic Capt. T. O. Miller supervised the inauguration of San Antonio’s new traffic light system, installed on Houston Street.

1947tv1947
For a full hour, three times daily and uninterrupted except for 15 minutes of cowboy music, the commercial use of television is being demonstrated on the fourth floor of Joske’s – the first display of television in the state of Texas (right).  Some of the spectators have made inquiries about the cost of the television machines and if they are for sale.  They can be purchased for about $350 ($3,793.95 in 2016 dollars!) and stored in the attic until television is here to stay.

1960
The Dallas Cowboys play their first game in the state of Texas right here in San Antonio – an exhibition game in Alamo Stadium against the newly relocated (from Chicago) St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals, featuring Texas Aggies John David Crow &  Bobby Joe Conrad, win, 20-13.

August 12 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The cantonment buildings at Camp Travis will be finished and ready for occupancy August 25, six days ahead of schedule, thus probably shattering the world’s record for this class of construction, according to an official telegram sent to the War Department by Major George E. Thorne and Thomas A. Carr, representing, respectively, the government and the Stone & Webster Company. Although one of the three largest of the sixteen cantonments under construction throughout the country, it will be the first to be completed, thus winning a race against time in which all the contractors were contestants.

1922
Frost Bank moves into its new multistory “skyscraper” at the SW corner of Commerce and Flores streets (now the Municipal Plaza Building.)

1927
“Wings”, a silent World War I epic filmed in San Antonio, premieres in New York.  The movie stars Clara Bow and Buddy Rogers and features the (brief) film debut of Gary Cooper.  The next year, “Wings” will be the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

 

 

August 11 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The war of the Cibolo River is at an end. With the spectacular clash  between the Red and the Blue forces of Camp Funston student officers in the trenches of the Fifty-seventh In­fantry Friday night, four days of gruelling mimic warfare for the stu­dents was brought to a close.

1922
San Antonio’s second radio station (WCAR) begins broadcasting from 324 N. Navarro St. It is later renamed KTSA. (License date 5/9/22)

1939
Bexar County Commissioners Court in a special resolution passed this morning, censured the city of San Antonio for its “ill-advised” granting of a permit for a Communist Party meeting in the Municipal Auditorium.