1917 – World War I
Local authorities believe that a rash of fires recently may have been started by German spies or sympathizers. On July 10, a mysterious fire broke out in the plant of the Southern Macaroni Company, near the lower I. & G. N. Railroad yards. This concern has a contract to furnish the government with approximately 50,000 pounds of
macaroni. The night of the fire. The fire broke out in the midst of 9,500 pounds of the product which had been prepared and was scheduled to be delivered the following day. Investigation showed the lock of one of the doors had been sawed to gain an entrance to the place.
Leslie Tillett was at a reception in San Antonio speaking to the “Friends of the Tillett Tapestry” about his creation, a 100 by 3 foot tapestry he created, depicting Cortes’s conquest of Mexico. He was hoping to sell it for $200,000 as a “gift to the city.” Ultimately, it was not purchased and went on display elsewhere.
Mission San Antonio de Valero is established on the west bank of the San Antonio River after the removal of the Mission San Jose del Alamo is ordered by the Marquis Valero, viceroy of New Spain, from the Rio Grande to San Antonio.
Bexar County Medical Society passes a resolution asking for a law to protect bats in San Antonio. Dr. Charles A.R. Campbell has told the group bats were beneficial in eradicating malarial mosquitoes.
1917 – World War I
As soon as definite instructions are received from President Wilson, enrollment under the provisions of the selective conscription act will be under way in Texas. Blank forms, enrollment lists and complete instructions are on the way from the War Department to the Sheriffs in every state in the Union, and these are to be distributed by the Sheriffs to the various voting precincts in their counties.
The City Council gives authority to the Scientific Society to establish a zoological garden in Brackenridge Park. This is the beginning of the San Antonio Zoo.
During the Battle of Flowers parade, Ira Attebury sprays the crowd with shotgun and semiautomatic rifle fire from a parked motorhome. Two die, 55 are wounded. Attebury commits suicide as SWAT teams close in.
Hundreds of extras stormed the walls in a movie reenactment of the Battle of the Alamo as throngs of San Antonians looked on from roofs of nearby buildings. (This is the 1914 film “The Siege and Fall of the Alamo.”)
World War I – April 7, 1917
A young man who unknowingly sat on an American flag at a recruiting office this morning, found himself suddenly jerked to his feet by Chief Evans, who witnessed it. The Light reported, “The astonished youth, ignorant of the great respect for the flag paid by sailors, received in silence a verbal lashing that impressed him with the fact that the nation’s ensign must be respected by all.”
“I didn’t know I was doing it,” was his explanation. “I just sat down without looking to see what was on the chair.”
In a 5-3 vote, City Council approves adding fluoride to the city’s water supply. Anti-fluoridationist Stephen Harvasty vows to launch a campaign for a referendum. A petition with at least 11,340 signatures would force the council to repeal the ordinance or force a referendum.
In one of the most sensational crimes in San Antonio history, Otto Koehler, the president and manager of the San Antonio Brewing Association, is murdered by his mistress, Hedda Burgemeister.
A new city is born in the suburbs of San Antonio today. Citizens in Balcones Heights voted by a lopsided margin of 25 to 3 for incorporation.
A massive explosion at Medina Air Base shatters windows throughout San Antonio and is felt as far as Castroville, 17 miles away.
Lucky Strike model and Sweetheart of the Texas Centennial, Janice Jarratt (right), is born in San Antonio.
Baylor University defeats Villanova, 7-0, in a game played at Alamo Stadium. Milt Merka scored the decisive touchdown midway through the final period.
Bexar County’s brand new coliseum was “open for business” with the two-day performance of the Ringling Brothers – Barnum & Bailey Circus.
No less than 50,000 people packed Alamo Plaza today on the occasion of President Taft’s first public speech in this city. Thousands more lined the streets to get a glimpse of our distinguished visitor.
A large vaudeville company, including the Marx Brothers, plays the Majestic Theater.
Charles A. Windus, 76 years of age, dies in the hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Mr. Windus had had an unusually varied military career. He fought in the Union Army at Petersburg, deserted the cavalry in 1868 and served a year of hard labor for it, and later won the Medal of Honor fighting the Kiowa at the Battle of the Little Wichita in 1870. In 1877 he acquired another dubious distinction while serving as deputy sheriff in Brackettville: while arresting four fugitives he shot and killed a Black Seminole named Adam Payne, one of several “Buffalo Soldiers” who had won the Medal of Honor serving as scouts for the U.S. Army. Thus, Windus became the only Medal of Honor recipient who ever killed another.
Concluding events of the jubilee celebration at St. Mary’s College were held on the college grounds. A concert, directed by H. Gaudin, was on the program.
Two juveniles confessed to Probation Officer J. Ross Boles a plot to lure him to an abandoned shack where he would be dropped into a trap, triggering a fatal shotgun blast. Investigating, Boles found the shack and rigged shotgun just as the youths described them.
A report that a cache of gold was buried in San Antonio failed to touch off a treasure hunt. The report was made in California by Miss Delores Vasquez, 67. She told reporters she learned of the gold when she was a nurse in Pancho Villa’s army.
John Keiser, who is engaged in classifying probate papers in the county clerk’s office, came to a package yesterday containing the papers of Davy Crockett. First papers were filed July 12, 1837 and the estate was closed in 1857.
Parade fanfare and visits by Gov. Shivers and Hollywood stars will mark the world premiere of “The Man From the Alamo” at the Majestic Theater.
Responding to a proclamation of Mayor Brown, thousands of San Antonians stopped their work for a citywide 10-minute session of swatting flies. Health officials promoted the campaign.
Television station KCOR Channel 41 (now KWEX) takes to the airwaves as the country’s first Spanish language TV station.
Last night, Saul Palacios, security guard at the Tower of the Americas, prevented a woman from being the third person to commit suicide by jumping from the top of the tower. The first was in March 1970 and the second in August 1974.