Blog Archives

November 13 in San Antonio history…

The Empire Theatre is remodeled and opens as the Majestic Theater today.  Featured entertainment includes Thomas J. Keogh, Josephine Jacoby and the Edison Kinetograph of the London Steeplechase.  (Neither of these are the current Empire and Majestic theaters.)

Thousands of people crowded the sidewalks of the main streets of the city this afternoon to see San Antonio’s United War Work and Victory parade.  In order that everyone would have an opportunity to see the biggest parade the city has known, Mayor Bell declared a half-holiday today beginning at noon.

Country stars Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle perform together in Convention Center Arena.


August 15 in San Antonio history…

An ordinance was adopted by the city council wherein the city disclaimed any right, title or interest in the Alamo property.  The mayor was authorized to execute a quitclaim deed to Miss Clara Driscoll.

1918 – World War I
A patriotic program for the opening of the recently erected Knights of Columbus Hall at Camp Stanley has been prepared for this evening.  The festivities will include presentations by the 304th Cavalry Band and an address by Jay Elmer Fox, Director Field Service, Knights of Columbus, Southern Department.

Playland Park introduces the new “Rocket” rollercoaster.


June 25 in San Antonio history…

The Annie Cotter Sullivan Memorial Library is dedicated at St. Mary’s Church by her son, Will C. Sullivan.

1918 – World War I
Automobiles from Kelly Field will, in the future, be decorated with the insignia of the aviation corps, the red, blue and white concentric circles that are used on the American planes (right).  They will also carry the designation “Air Service Section.”

Christie’s , the longtime San Antonio seafood restaurant that first opened its doors in 1942, closes for good.

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.

January 24 in San Antonio history…

The State Legislature passed a bill to purchase the Alamo for a historic shrine for $65,000.

1918 – World War I
Garments furnished by the Red Cross may now be worn by soldiers and officers without fear of violating the rules of Camp Travis.  The adjutant of the army has given out the following information:  “The wearing of woolen garments furnished by the Red  Cross, or by private individuals, is authorized when necessary on account of climatic conditions.  If the clothing furnished by the Government is not sufficient, the garments may also be worn.”

Demolishing of the old markethouse on Market Plaza started today.  After the 37-year old structure is razed, construction will begin on a new $168,981 markethouse.  It will be one story of brick and concrete.


September 1 in San Antonio history…

Miss Katherine Stinson’s Chicago-New York airplane flight lasted just 41 minutes today.  Miss Stinson, ambitious to break Ruth Law’s record for the flight, left the ground in Chicago at 5:09 a.m.  At Porter, Indiana, at 5:50 a.m., her engine malfunctioned and she volplaned.  She failed to see some telephone wires and her machine was damaged.  The aviatrix was unhurt.  After some repairs, she will try again next week.

A deed was filed in the county clerk’s office this morning in which Clara Driscoll transferred the Alamo property to the State of Texas in consideration
of $65,000. The property is described as follows: The Hugo & Schmeltzer property, formerly a part of the old Alamo mission and adjoining the Alamo church property now owned by the state. The property Is bounded on the north by Houston street, east by the Alamo ditch, south by the Alamo
and Alamo plaza and west by Alamo plaza.

Television station KONO (Channel 12) has completed all arrangements to put all the Cleveland Browns’ professional football games on the air in San Antonio this fall, according to Bob Roth, commercial manager. The first telecast of 11 Sunday afternoon games will be Sept. 29 when the Browns meet the champion New York Giants.

Playland Park closes for the winter and signs are put up promising the usual St. Patrick’s Day reopening the following year.  Unfortunately, owner Jimmy Johnson decides not to reopen and a legendary San Antonio amusement park passes into history.

The legal drinking age in Texas is raised from 19 to 21, resulting in the layoffs of 70 workers at the Lone Star Brewery and 25 workers at the Pearl Brewing Company.

June 30 in San Antonio history…

The Annie Cotter Sullivan Memorial Library for children, located in the home of the Oblate Fathers on St. Mary’s Street, opens to patrons.  The library was established by John and William Sullivan in honor of their mother who passed away last November.

1917 – World War I
The use of Temple Beth-El has again been tendered the Jewish troops as an educational and social center. Rabbi Samuel Marks, whose religious and social welfare work, among the Jewish troops has been extensive, visited Camp Wilson Thursday and extended a cordial invitation to Jewish soldiers to attend services at Temple Beth-El, and, through the courtesy of the commanding officer, a notice to that effect was posted on the camp bulletin

J. H. Morse, executive vice president and general manager of Joske’s of Texas, sends a letter to Joseph Luter, the president of the San Antonio chapter of the NAACP which states: “[I] just thought you would like to know what we have done and what we hope to do in connection with desegregation at Joske’s.  On Thursday, June 23, we desegregated our Chuck Wagon luncheonette.  Since then, operation has been going alone without any incidents of any kind.  Meanwhile, our Camellia Room is still closed, except for private parties, also on a desegregated basis, but by arrangement so that we can properly schedule such parties.  It is our hope that over the near term we can reactivate our Camellia Room, also on a desegregated basis.”

May 30 in San Antonio history…

A steel cable in the City Hall bell tower broke, dropping a 700-pound weight through the building to the second floor.

1917 – World War I
The complete unity now existing between North and South was expressed this morning in the most impressive feature of the Decoration Day exercises when Capt. C. A. Denny, commander of the Albert Sidney Johnston Camp of the United Confederate Veterans, and Capt. A. Mosher, commander of E. O. C. Ord Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, clasped hands at the base of a Confederate monument in the Confederate Cemetery. The sentiment uttered by them and applauded by 3,000 persons who witnessed the event was that sectionalism no longer exists and that the Blue and the Gray are united once more in spirit and in fact as Americans.

The $74.4 million upgrade to the Museum Reach expansion of the San Antonio River is completed on-time and $2 million under budget.

January 24 in San Antonio history…

Firemen estimate losses at $200,000 in a fire which destroyed L. Wolfson’s clothing store on Main Plaza.  (It would be destroyed by fire again and for good on Oct. 1, 2011.)
(right, photo courtesy Maria Watson Pfeiffer)

The State Legislature passes a bill to purchase the Alamo for a historic shrine for $65,000.

Oscar Levant performs Gershwin’s “Concerto in F” and “Rhapsody in Blue” with the San Antonio Symphony at Municipal Auditorium.

November 4 in San Antonio history…

The University of Texas plays their annual football game against the  Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas right here in San Antonio at the International Fairgrounds.  A&M disputes a fumble in the second half and refuses to take the field, forfeiting the game to Texas, 6-0.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas filed an injunction to restrain Miss Adina de Zavala from retaining possession of the Alamo.

President Lyndon B. Johnson appears on the cover of LIFE magazine with his hand on the shoulder of San Antonio resident SSgt. Charles K. Caughlan (right).  The photo was taken on the president’s recent trip with General Westmoreland to Vietnam.