Blog Archives

January 8 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Light reports that “the red brick bagnio of Dollie Love, on Cameron Street, has been closed up.”

In a brief telegram authorized by Mr. Andrew Carnegie, directed to Mrs. D. F. Ainsworth, president of the San Antonio Public Library; Mr. Carnegie offers to give the sum of $50,000 for the establishment of a library here, provided the city will supply an isolated site for a building and $5,000 yearly for the maintenance of the institution. The formal proposition embodying the conditions usually imposed by Mr. Carnegie in such cases has been forwarded by mail and may be expected soon.

The English punk band, Sex Pistols, play a notorious gig at the country & western nightclub, Randy’s Rodeo – the third stop on a seven date U.S. tour.  The band starts off playing songs from “Never Mind the Bollocks,” released only three months earlier, but lead singer Johnny Rotten nearly incites a riot after insulting the C&W faction of the audience.  The band is pelted by beer cans and food and one audience member is hit by Sid Vicious’s bass guitar but the show continues.  The band would never tour the U.S. again.

November 23 in San Antonio history…

The first regular mail run on the San Antonio-Aransas Pass railway embarked at 5:15 today from the Flores Street station.

Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson records eight songs during the first of three recording sessions in San Antonio. The songs include “Sweet Home Chicago”, “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” and “Terraplane Blues.”

The city receives a small snowfall of 0.4 inches.  This is the first-ever snowfall before Thanksgiving in San Antonio.

September 21 in San Antonio history…

City authorities declared they would strictly enforce the six-shooter ordinance, which required even law officers to obtain a permit from the mayor to carry a pistol.

In spite of the war in Europe, English and Irish in San Antonio joined hands with Germans to protest the changing of their street name from Washington to Prince Solms in order not to conflict with Washington Place in Laurel Heights.  It was not changed.  However, San Pedro Place was changed to Ashby Place.

Felix Stehling opens the first Taco Cabana restaurant at the corner of San Pedro and Hildebrand avenues (right).  It’s still there.

July 24 in San Antonio history…

Track laying begins for the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad.

Ike Kampmann announces that the Menger Hotel has been sold to the National Hotel Company, operators of numerous hotels throughout the South and Southwest, at a price of $265,000.  The hotel was purchased by the Kampmann family from the Menger family sixty years ago.

Columbia, the capsule containing the three Apollo 11 astronauts, splashes down in the Pacific Ocean at 11:50 a.m. San Antonio time (right).

June 19 in San Antonio history…

The first graduates of San Antonio High School are given their diplomas.  They are: Charles Arnold, Clara Carrico, Leila Emrie, Anna Graves, Lillite Gill, Ada Hockett, William Knox, Hannah Morris, Virginia Newton, Hart Poor, Seymour Thomas and Nannie Weir.

Subscriptions for the purchase of the ancient governor’s palace, a relic of the royal government of Spain, which stands on Military Plaza and which is in danger of being torn down, are beginning to be received by the committee working for its preservation, Miss Adina De Zavala, chairman. A regular plan of campaign has not been decided upon, but a meeting of the executive and advisory
committees will be held at some time next week, the time and place to be announced later. This building is one of the oldest structures in San Antonio and was erected by the Spanish government as the administrative palace when Texas was a province of Spain. In spite of disfiguring signs and years of neglect and abuse, the building has a commanding appearance and the ancient seal of Spain still remains over the door.

Megabus, a division of Coach USA, begins direct bus service from San Antonio to Austin, Dallas and Houston with 17 daily departures that leave from a parking lot at Broadway and 4th Street.  For the first week, fares are no more than $1.00 each way.

May 16 in San Antonio history…

The State of Texas buys the Alamo for $20,000.

Col. Belknap explored 40 feet of cave he found in San Pedro Park.

The movie “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, premieres at five San Antonio theaters.  The term “maverick” comes from Samuel A. Maverick, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence who refused to brand his cattle.  Maverick died in San Antonio on September 2, 1870 and is buried in City Cemetery #1.

February 22 in San Antonio history…

U.S. Marshal Hal Gosling of San Antonio is shot to death by a bandit on a train south of New Braunfels.

The San Antonio City Brewery will shortly put on the market their excellent XXX Pearl beer.  Orders are in already for the first output.

Louis Paulhan, “King of the Air,” flew his aeroplane over the city today.  He attained an altitude of 2,500 feet flying from Kirby to San Antonio and return, a distance of 18 miles in 21 minutes.
[This was the first airplane flight in Texas.  Benjamin Foulois made the second, and the first military flight, on March 2, 1910]

January 23 in San Antonio history…

A new stagecoach fare of $4 to Boerne was announced with the return trip costing $5.  (This is $98 and $123 in today’s money, respectively.)

The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and abolished the poll tax for federal elections.  The State of Texas did not ratify the amendment.  It was one of five states (Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia & Alabama) to still charge a poll tax for local and state elections.

Albert McKnight becomes the first African-American to serve in San Antonio city administration.

December 8 in San Antonio history…

The county is again being allowed to run jail sewerage into the San Pedro creek.

The street car company is disposing of its large number of mules at a rapid pace. Sixty-four of the animals have already been sold for $45 each.

Factories along the river have been dumping waste oil. This will kill fish in the river, it was feared.

September 30 in San Antonio history…

The upkeep of the Alamo was placed under the jurisdiction of the city.

1918 – World War I
All theaters and dance halls and other amusement halls in this city will be closed to men in uniform upon the appearance of the first case of Spanish influenza at Camp Travis or Ft. Sam Houston, according to an order issued by Brig. Gen. George H. Estes, camp commander, today.

Alamo Plaza is decided upon as the location for the cenotaph honoring the Alamo heroes.