Blog Archives

December 24 in San Antonio history…

1872
Today and tomorrow are magical days for San Antonio children – Christmas and the arrival of Cole’s Monster Menagerie Circus, featuring “three hundred and fifty wild and tamed animals, reptiles, birds and curiosities!”

1874
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.)

1915
As a Christmas gift to the city, Mrs. Emma Koehler donates the 11 acres known as Madarasz Park to connect Brackenridge Park with the Zoological Gardens, to be known henceforth as Otto Koehler Park.

November 26 in San Antonio history…

1877
John James dies at the age of 56.  He became Bexar County chief surveyor, surveying and establishing the city’s boundaries in 1846. He participated in the Battle of Salado in 1842 and in 1844 he surveyed and laid out the city of Castroville. In 1853, he and Charles de Montel established the city of Bandera and set up a horse-powered lumber mill there. He also established the first lumberyard in San Antonio and introduced Merino sheep to the Bandera area. In 1854, he and 35 others headed to California with more than 1,000 head of cattle. James also surveyed Fort Davis, Boerne, D’Hanis, and Quihi. He is said to have surveyed more land in Texas than any other individual surveyor. James was also the father-in-law of well known architect Alfred Giles.

1915
Six planes from the First Aero Squadron, in a history-making event, land in San Antonio to end a 450-mile nonstop flight from Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

1941
The first pedestrian crossing lanes in San Antonio have been painted at the intersection of Alamo and Houston streets.

November 12 in San Antonio history…

1872
The Vance House is opened as a hotel.  It was the military headquarters before, and some years after, the Civil War.  Its location is now the Gunter Hotel.

1915
The Stinson School of Flying, the first flight school operated by a woman, is opened by Emma Beaver Stinson.  Its heritage lives on in the current airport code for Stinson Airport, SSF.

1942
The Harry Hertzberg Circus Room is formally opened at the San Antonio Public Library.

November 6 in San Antonio history…

1888
The election returns will be displayed by a magic lantern arrangement on a canvas in front of Hugo & Schmeltzer’s on Alamo Plaza.

1915
The old city hospital was being torn down to make room for the Robert B. Green Hospital.

1957
William Holman, 32, takes over today as librarian of the San Antonio Public Library.

May 25 in San Antonio history…

1838
City limits fixed at “one league in every direction from the city [San Fernando] church.”

1915simms-header
Virginia “Ginny” Simms (right), actress and singer with the Kay Kyser Orchestra, is born in San Antonio.

1942
The little community of St. Hedwig, 18 miles Southeast of San Antonio, was hit by a twister that demolished roofs and windmills and brought hail that ruined crops.

April 23 in San Antonio history…

1915
A gigantic advertising campaign launched the new Camel cigarette brand in San Antonio.

1925
Governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson and her ousted governor husband arrived in San Antonio to see the Fiesta parades.

1979
Archbishop Francis Furey dies and is succeeded by Archbishop Patrick Flores.

January 22 in San Antonio history…

1915
A “deaf mute” who said, “that’s tough” when found guilty of vagrancy was sentenced to 100 days in jail for fraud.

1954first_corvette
The first Corvette in San Antonio is delivered to Smith Motor Sales (right).

1973
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson is transported by airplane from his Johnson City ranch to Brooke Army General Hospital where he is pronounced dead on arrival.

December 30 in San Antonio history…

1908
Mechanic Prentice Newman has constructed an aeroplane which he will tow behind an auto to see if it will rise above the ground before a motor is built for it.

1915 Alamo_Plaza_pre_1935
The new bandstand in Alamo Plaza has been completed (right).  It will probably be opened to the public in early January as soon as all the furniture is installed.  The bandstand contains San Antonio’s first “comfort station” (public restroom). “The basement, in which the comfort station is located, has a tile floor and ample sewer connections for the purpose to which it will be devoted. One room will be fitted up with first-aid appliances and it is proposed to have a nurse there so that persons injured or overcome while downtown can be given temporary dressings or treatment.”

2010
The Milam Diner, a downtown fixture, closes after 79 years.

November 3 in San Antonio history…

1915
Buffalo Bill Cody brings his Wild West show to San Antonio in combination with the Sells-Floto Circus (right).

1916
Charlie Chaplin performs at the Strand Theater in his newest comedy “A Revue of 1916.”  This vaudeville theater, at 113 W. Houston Street, will later become a movie theater renamed the Prince Theater.

1918 – World War I
The government sales store of the Fort Sam Houston Station, which will be conducted by the quartermaster’s department to sell clothing to officers will be located at 216 West Commerce Street.  Lieutenant Harold Joske, son of Alexander Joske, will be in charge of the store.

August 31 in San Antonio history…

1915ag
The largest single piece of glass in the South is installed at Joske Bros.

1918 – World War I
John Ringling, circus owner, has proposed using African elephants in the reconstruction of France after the war due to the shortage of mules and horses.

1973
“American Graffiti,” George Lucas’s coming-of-age film set in the summer of 1962, premieres at the Central Park Fox theater.