April 18 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
“Judging from the splendor of the opening events San Antonio’s Fiesta San Jacinto deserves far greater fame than it has yet achieved.’’ said Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the Southern Department, this morning. “It is a revelation to me for I never dreamed It was such a magnificent affair. It deserves to rank with the Mardi Gras at New Orleans and will surpass it when it becomes better known. If the climax to the Fiesta is as wonderful as the opening events seem to justify, and I hear it is, people should come many miles to see it.”

1927
Archbishop Robert J. Drossaerts rededicates San Jose Mission as a sacred edifice. Restored to its original lines of 160 years ago, the mission will be reblessed to compensate for the time it lay in ruins.

1947
Mission Stadium and Ballpark opened and the first Texas league game was played there.

April 17 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that German spies are at work in San Antonio and have been carrying on their activities for an undetermined period, compiling all the data obtainable which might be of use or advantage to alien enemies. Federal officers have asked the aid of Chief of Police Lancaster and his men in running down these German agents, some of whom are said to be reservists of the German army and all in the employ of the imperial German government.

1920penneys_1920
J.C. Penney opens their first San Antonio store at 305 W. Commerce Street downtown (right).

1981
Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., father of the slain civil rights leader, speaks in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel here.  The event also features singer Jessy Dixon and is a fundraiser for United Ministries.

April 16 in San Antonio history…

1917
King Antonio III, attended by members of his court, arrives by train at the International & Great Northern Railroad depot, is given a 21-gun salute and is escorted to the St. Anthony Hotel in a grand procession of decorated automobiles, where he is presented with the keys to the city.

1929
Smoking by uniformed policemen while on duty is forbidden in a general order issued by Police Chief Owen Kilday today.  Exempted from the order are men on dogwatch from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

1968
La Posada Motor Hotel (now La Mansion del Rio) was “eternally opened” today at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony.  Father Louis Blume, S.M., president of St. Mary’s University, Rabbi David Jacobson and Espiscopal Bishop R. Earl Dicus joined in the ecumenical blessing of the new hotel.  Mayor W. W. McAllister then tossed a key off the balcony and into the San Antonio River to officially open the hotel.  “The doors of La Posada will never again be locked,” said Tom Herring, president of the hotel company.  The building previously housed the St. Mary’s School of Law before its conversion into a hotel.

April 15 in San Antonio history…

1917
The men’s dormitory of the Moody Sanitarium in Alamo Heights was destroyed and the women’s buildings and pump house damaged by a fire that broke out at 12:15 o’clock this morning in the furnace room of the men’s building. Thirty patients were in the building but were rescued by the nurses with the help of members of the United States field hospital No. 6, who came from the Fort Sam Houston hospital only a short distance away. The loss was estimated at $35,000.

1955
This is the first day that income tax is due on April 15.  When the Sixteenth Amendment was passed in 1913, the filing deadline for individuals was March 1. It was changed to March 15 in 1918.

1988
Sea World of Texas opens.

April 14 in San Antonio history…

1880
Anthony Dominic Pellicer, the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of San Antonio, dies.

1917
The San Antonio Light reports that General Pershing threw out the first pitch (to Mayor Clinton Brown) to begin the season yesterday at League Park. However the San Antonio Bronchos lost to the Beaumont Oilers, 7 to 4.

1963
The first Starving Artist art show is organized by Rev. Paul Soupiset to raise funds for the food program run by the Little Church of La Villita.

April 13 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Following an address by General Pershing at the Rotary Club luncheon in the St. Anthony Hotel today at noon in which he urged universal liability to military service as the only logical method by which the United States can build an army to wage a successful war against Germany, a resolution was unanimously adopted favoring conscription. The 200 Rotarians and their guests rose as one man when the resolution was read and passed it by acclamation. There was not a dissenting voice. It was one of the most spontaneous and impressive demonstrations of patriotism ever seen in San Antonio.

1998
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood perform the first of six consecutive shows at the Alamodome.

2008
The grand opening festivities are held for the newly renovated Main Plaza

April 12 in San Antonio history…

1793
Mission San Antonio de Valero (today known as “The Alamo”) is secularized by decree.

1909
Two cornerstones are laid for the new First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Avenue D and Fourth Street.  The first stone set was the one that marked the date of the original church at Houston and Flores Street in 1860.  The other stone marks the beginning of the new structure that will cost nearly $90,000 and will be one of the finest edifices in the entire Southwest.

2016
The Spurs tie the 1985-86 Boston Celtics for the best home record in a season, going 40-1 with a 102-98 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

April 11 in San Antonio history…

1917
A spectacular moving picture depicting Texas history from the sixteenth century to the present time and including the great mobilization of the National Guard on the Mexican border will be made in San Antonio and shown as a part of the two-hundredth anniversary of the anniversary of the Alamo in the spring of 1918. The title of the film will be “The Battle Ground of Nations.”

1957
The “Brackenridge Eagle” miniature train begins operation in Brackenridge Park.  This is a “soft opening.”  35,000 passengers will ride the train before the grand opening is held on June 14.

1966
Artists from the ABC TV show “Where the Action Is” play Municipal Auditorium.  The roster includes: Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Linda Scott, Steve Alaimo, Keith Allison, The Action Kids, The Knickerbockers, Billy Joe Royal and The Viceroys

April 10 in San Antonio history…

1917
The Light has made arrangements through the San Antonio Gas and Electric Company to announce the result of tonight’s school board election as soon as it can he determined. This is to he done by flashing all the electric lights in the city. In the event the School Children ’s ticket is victorious the lights will he flashed once and if the Independent ticket wins the lights will be flashed twice. It is expected the result will be known at 8 o’clock or shortly after.

1931
The new African-American newspaper, the San Antonio Register, owned by Valmo C. Bellinger, publishes its first issue.

1974
Rev. Bob Harrington, “The Chaplain of Bourbon Street,” preaches a sermon at halftime of a critical playoff game between the Spurs and the Indiana Pacers (below).  “You’re going for your Pearl [beer] and I am talking about the pearly gates,” said Harrington.  The Spurs won, 102 -86.  “Bring Harrington to Indiana,” said one Spur as he left the court.  Harrington resumed preaching after the game and about 3,000 of the 12,304 spectators stayed to listen.
(Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Express-News)

April 9 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Austria-Hungary, under pressure from Germany, has severed diplomatic relations with the United States.

1970
The San Antonio City Council votes to rename San Pedro Tennis Courts to McFarlin Tennis Center.

1976
President Gerald Ford visits San Antonio during his re-election campaign and infamously bites into a tamale without removing the husk. (right)  This is later humorously referred to as “The Great Tamale Incident.”