Blog Archives

June 20 in San Antonio history…

Work began in earnest on the new Opera house, with the first old shed occupying the building’s site taken away.

Police Chief Irvin announced he would rigidly enforce a new ordinance requiring San Antonio automobiles to be numbered.

USAA is founded in the Gunter Hotel.


January 18 in San Antonio history…

Leopold Wolfson buys the White Elephant Saloon to expand his dry goods business.   The building is destroyed on Oct. 1, 2011 in a fire.

Pedestrian traffic control will be inaugurated in San Antonio within 30 days, police said today.  Equipment for installing pedestrian signal lights arrived today.  The city commission must now assess penalties for jaywalking.

San Antonio shivered in its coldest winter temperature recorded since 1899 as the temperature fell to an 11 degree reading.  A four degree reading was recorded in 1899.

December 20 In San Antonio history…

Emma Abbott is featured at the grand opening of the Grand Opera House on Alamo Plaza (right).  The Grand Opera House (later Grand Theatre) was built in 1886 and for many years was the best theatre in San Antonio. It was located at 303 Alamo Plaza. It stayed in business until the 1930′s when it closed. The Grand was razed in 1954 to make way for H. L. Green Dept. Store.

1910Yes, Virginia
The San Antonio Light and Gazette reprints Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter (right) that originally appeared in the New York Sun in 1897.  “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Santikos multiplex Palladium 20-screen & IMAX theater holds soft opening.

December 19 in San Antonio history…

The Electric Motor Co. is becoming an assured fact. They intend using electricity to supply light and power to our merchants and what manufacturers we have.

Officers and enlisted men alike are joining in arrangements for a huge Christmas tree at cavalry post, Fort Sam Houston.

Local entertainer, street performer and downtown fixture, George “Bongo Joe” Coleman, dies at age 76.

June 27 in San Antonio history…

A contract for the removal of the old buildings on Alamo Plaza at the site of the new opera house was about to be let.

A new bunting flag was put up over the Alamo yesterday afternoon to replace the old cotton one which was tattered and torn. It has only been within the past few months that the Texas flag has waved over the Alamo. Heretofore, the United States flag was used.

1918 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that the assassination of Czar Nicolas II of Russia by Bolsheviks is “confirmed.” (The Czar was not assassinated until July 17).

June 17 in San Antonio history…

Men were prohibited from smoking in street cars while occupying front seats, but women were permitted to smoke anywhere in the car.

Fred Tolle, proprietor of the Stock Exchange saloon on Dolorosa street, and his phonograph are defendants in an injunction suit issued today by Fred Terrell and Sarah Hickman, owners of the Southern Hotel.    They claim that the phonograph “talks from early morning to late at night, or sings and whistles, rings bells, gives long band concerts” and reproduces the arrival and departures of passenger trains, causing disturbances to their hotel patrons.

1918 – World War I
Eight thousand men, including whites, Mexicans and negroes were taken to the Central Police Station beginning at 7 o’clock p.m. by agents of the Department of Justice, Deputy Sheriffs and officers and members of the Intelligence Department.  Of this number, 325 were held as slackers in evading military service.

March 26 in San Antonio history…

Alamo Plaza has won the location of the new Grand Opera House. It is also a prominent and strong candidate for the site of the new government building.

1918 – World War I
Twenty-two Camp Travis men who were sent to camp as deserters between March 24 and February 14 have been relieved of the charge of desertion and will be admitted to the army clear of any blight,  Maj. Gen. Henry T. Allen has announced.  In each case, the man arrested as a deserter, and who is relieved of that charge, bears a name which indicates he is of foreign extraction, either Spanish or Greek, and it is said most of them were not familiar with the draft law and did not intentionally desert.  All have agreed to serve.

Big Joe Turner entertains at Woodlake Country Club along with Guitar Slim and his Orchestra.

January 18 in San Antonio history…

Leopold Wolfson buys the White Elephant Saloon to expand his dry goods business.   The building is destroyed on Oct. 1, 2011 in a fire.

The Battle of Flowers Association appropriated $600 to endow a bed in the first American hospital in France.

Ray Charles and the Raelets play a concert in Municipal Auditorium (right).

January 7 in San Antonio history…

The first passenger train to Floresville went out over the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad.

As a result of injuries sustained in a fall from a window of the St. Anthony Hotel yesterday morning about 4 o’clock, Henry Lee Borden, 39 years old, prominent lawyer of Houston, died this morning at a local sanitarium.  John T. Crotty, also of Houston, who shared the hotel room with Judge Borden, gave it as his belief that Borden, half awake, mistook the window opening for a door and walked out, falling before he could catch his balance.

The first talking picture is shown as a press premiere at the Aztec Theater:  ”Don Juan” starring John Barrymore (right)

December 24 in San Antonio history…

Rt. Reverend Anthony Dominic Pelicer is installed at San Fernando Cathedral as first Bishop of San Antonio (he was buried in this cathedral April 17, 1880.)

Nearly all the bawdy houses in the city will give Christmas dinners to their “guests” and two have issued printed invitations, sending them to nearly every young man in the city.

1917 – World War I
The government has ordered that officers may no longer purchase clothing from the quartermaster’s department.  They must purchase through the open market which will more than double the cost of purchases.