Blog Archives

April 29 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Departing from a traditional policy formed at its inception, the Republic will raise its army of 2,000,000 men by selective conscription. The draft army bill passed both House and Senate shortly before midnight; the House by 397 to 24, and the Senate by 81 to 8.

1963State-2
Demolition is begun on the State Theater on the northwest corner of Flores and Houston streets (right). This theater was originally named the Majestic and opened in 1913.   Acts such as  Mae West, The Marx Brothers and Houdini all appeared there. The name was changed to the State when the current Majestic Theater was constructed in 1929.

1976
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas announce that a 49-year old plaque honoring Clara Driscoll was stolen “about a month ago” off the face of the Alamo where it had been relocated earlier this year.  Thieves were able to pry the plaque loose despite it having been anchored with bolts six inches deep in the stone wall.  The DRT notified police about the missing plaque but there had been no publicity, except a tiny classified newspaper ad saying: “Lost. Clara Driscoll plaque from the Alamo. Finder return. No questions asked.”

April 26 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The taking of the first American prisoner of war was reported to the American embassy today through the American consul at Glasgow.

1933burnett
Carol Creighton Burnett is born in San Antonio, near W. Commerce and Rosillo streets.

1956
Segregation was ended on San Antonio buses in line with a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

April 25 in San Antonio history…

1831
On April 23, 1831, Bowie and Ursula Veramendi, daughter of provincial Governor Don Juan Martin Veramendi, were married. Upon appearing before the mayor of San Antonio, he pledged to pay Ursula a dowry of $15,000. Bowie claimed his age as 32 (he was actually 35), and the value of his properties at $222,800. That was greatly exaggerated relying on over valuation of property in Arkansas and Louisiana, and included some money still owed him.
In fact, Bowie had to borrow over $2,500 from his in-laws for a honeymoon trip to New Orleans and Natchez, Louisiana. After the honeymoon, Jim and Ursula Bowie settled in San Antonio.

1917 – World War I
The selective service conscription bill is expected to pass the house.  If so, the next week will begin the organization of a conscription system.

1990srv
Stevie Ray Vaughan (right) and Double Trouble play La Semana Alegre in Hemisfair Park.  He enjoys it so much, he vows to return in 1991.  Sadly, he will not get the chance.  He dies in a helicopter crash four months later.  (Photo by Al Rendon)

April 23 in San Antonio history…

1883
The Alamo church building is bought by the State under an Act of April 23, for $20,000, from the Catholic church authorities.

1917
The citizens of Boerne witnessed the first aeroplane flying over this town today when John Frost of San Antonio flew over Boerne about 5 o ’clock, making a detour of the city twice, going almost out of sight and then coming down to about 250 feet near the main street.  He continued on toward Comfort and then turned to head back to his home in San Antonio.

1981
Brooke Shields comes to Dillard’s in Ingram Park Mall to promote her new collection of jeanswear.

April 22 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
With mock ceremony and great noise, and laugh-provoking buffoonery, after the passing of a pageant which was the worthy successor of the S. O. S. V. parade  of last year, King St. Vitus and Queen Loco were “crowned” last night on the special stage on Alamo Plaza. King St. Vitus appeared in the person of Edward Raymond and his fair consort was personified by Charles W. Fichtner, round, jolly, but quarrelsome. Bevies of court attaches. Hawaiian dancers, minstrels, buglers and royal personages lent an air of burlesque stateliness that was humorous in the extreme.

1908
A much improved and beautifully terraced Electric Park opened for the season last night. Everything was newly painted and spick and span. A Ferris wheel, largest in the South, has been added to the amusements.

1982
RepublicBank receives a permit from city council to demolish the Texas Theater.  The Conservation Society receives a federal court order to delay the demolition for 60 days.

April 21 in San Antonio history…

1889
Juan N. Seguin, in a letter to General Bee of this city, positively asserts that the charred bones and ashes of the Alamo defenders, burned by Santa Anna’s orders, were collected in an urn and deposited in a grave which the Seguin had dug inside of the cathedral of San Fernando, in front of the altar close to the railing.(from the April 21, 1889 San Antonio Light newspaper)

1917 – World War I
Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the Southern Department, will speak tonight at the big mass meeting called at the Grand Opera House for the purpose of placing San Antonio on record as advocating President Wilson ’s universal military service plan.

1987mopac
The refurbished copper Indian is returned to his place atop the old Missouri Pacific depot downtown.  Castroville blacksmith Alan Lewis restored the Indian after it was found battered and bent in a nearby field when vandals removed it five years ago.

April 19 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1917wake_up_america
Less than two weeks after the U.S. declares war on Germany, New York’s Mayor’s Committee on National Defense began planning a national recruiting event, called “Wake Up America Day,” to be held less than two weeks later, on Thursday, April 19, the anniversary of the battle at Lexington and Concord. By April 10, six governors and 80 mayors in 36 states had signed on. Cities across the country planned parades, meetings and demonstrations, along with midnight church bells and horseback-riding messengers dressed as Paul Revere trotting through the streets. In Manhattan, Miss Jean Earl Moehle played the part of the well-known patriot.  Unfortunately, the patriotism failed to spur an increase in recruiting and a draft was instituted in May.

1957
San Antonio oilman Tom Slick was quoted from Katamandu, Nepal, as saying his exploring party had found three sets of mysterious tracks which he is convinced were made by the fabled “Abominable Snowman” of the Himalayas.

1985
A set of twins, the first children in the world to be born as a result of the gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) method, are born in San Antonio at Methodist Hospital.

1991
Longtime album-oriented rock station 99.5 KISS changes formats and begins simulcasting the 50’s and 60’s oldies format of 930 KOOL AM.  Eight full-time and part-time disc jockeys are fired as a result.  Reaction from listeners is swift and harsh.

April 18 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
“Judging from the splendor of the opening events San Antonio’s Fiesta San Jacinto deserves far greater fame than it has yet achieved.’’ said Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the Southern Department, this morning. “It is a revelation to me for I never dreamed It was such a magnificent affair. It deserves to rank with the Mardi Gras at New Orleans and will surpass it when it becomes better known. If the climax to the Fiesta is as wonderful as the opening events seem to justify, and I hear it is, people should come many miles to see it.”

1927
Archbishop Robert J. Drossaerts rededicates San Jose Mission as a sacred edifice. Restored to its original lines of 160 years ago, the mission will be reblessed to compensate for the time it lay in ruins.

1947
Mission Stadium and Ballpark opened and the first Texas league game was played there.

April 17 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that German spies are at work in San Antonio and have been carrying on their activities for an undetermined period, compiling all the data obtainable which might be of use or advantage to alien enemies. Federal officers have asked the aid of Chief of Police Lancaster and his men in running down these German agents, some of whom are said to be reservists of the German army and all in the employ of the imperial German government.

1920penneys_1920
J.C. Penney opens their first San Antonio store at 305 W. Commerce Street downtown (right).

1981
Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., father of the slain civil rights leader, speaks in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel here.  The event also features singer Jessy Dixon and is a fundraiser for United Ministries.

April 16 in San Antonio history…

1917
King Antonio III, attended by members of his court, arrives by train at the International & Great Northern Railroad depot, is given a 21-gun salute and is escorted to the St. Anthony Hotel in a grand procession of decorated automobiles, where he is presented with the keys to the city.

1929
Smoking by uniformed policemen while on duty is forbidden in a general order issued by Police Chief Owen Kilday today.  Exempted from the order are men on dogwatch from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

1968
La Posada Motor Hotel (now La Mansion del Rio) was “eternally opened” today at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony.  Father Louis Blume, S.M., president of St. Mary’s University, Rabbi David Jacobson and Espiscopal Bishop R. Earl Dicus joined in the ecumenical blessing of the new hotel.  Mayor W. W. McAllister then tossed a key off the balcony and into the San Antonio River to officially open the hotel.  “The doors of La Posada will never again be locked,” said Tom Herring, president of the hotel company.  The building previously housed the St. Mary’s School of Law before its conversion into a hotel.