Blog Archives

January 26 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The President urges Americans to have two wheatless days weekly and one wheatless meal daily to reduce wheat consumption in the United States by 30 percent.

A skeptical audience charged the stage at Beethoven Hall last night after group of mediums failed to convince the crowd that their spiritual demonstrations were worth the price of admission.  Police were called to disperse the angry crowd.

The Plaza Hotel (later the Granada) holds its grand opening.


January 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The battery of field artillery that fired the first American shot against the Germans was commanded by a San Antonio officer, Captain Ralph Heard, according to letters received in San Antonio from members of the expeditionary force.  A French .75 was the weapon used.  Captain Heard is the son of Col. J. W. Heard, of the regular army and was graduated from San Antonio High School with honors in 1915.

Prohibition as directed by the 18th Amendment takes effect tonight at midnight.

Bluebonnet HotelThe Bluebonnet Hotel at St. Mary’s and Pecan streets opens for business.


December 29 in San Antonio history…

Texas becomes the 28th state admitted to the Union.

The San Antonio, Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad, recently sold at a receiver’s sale, has been purchased by a party of San Antonio capitalists, the company reorganized and new article of incorporation filed with the secretary of state at Austin.  The San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railroad was built about three years ago by R. A. Love, formerly of Kansas City, and extends through part of Kendall and Gillespie Counties, a distance of 23.9 miles, connecting the town of Fredericksburg with the San Antonio & Aransas Pass railroad.

George W. Brackenridge, 88, retired financier and holder of extensive properties in Texas and elsewhere, died at his Fern Ridge home near San Antonio.  He left an estate worth approximately $3 million.


July 18 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Today is “Penny Day” as proclaimed by the mayor. Children wishing to contribute to the fund may bring their pennies to the “Happy Tribe Editor” of The Light or may drop them in one of the collection boxes placed In a number of the city’s stores. The campaign will continue for three weeks and the money will then be sent to the Red Cross to be used for the children of Belgium. Father and mother have contributed to the Red Cross. Here is the children’s opportunity to do their mite for the relief work and the best part of it is their pennies w ill go to the relief of little folks entirely.

A successful test of the ripcord parachute is made at Kelly Field.

“The Great (Little) Train Robbery:” Passengers aboard Old No. 99 , Brackenridge Park’s miniature train, are robbed of their valuables by two soldiers from Ft. Sam Houston. Riders initially think it is a joke – until they see the guns are real. Both robbers are caught and sentenced to prison terms of 20 and 10 years, respectively.

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.

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

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.

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 deed to transfer the Kampmann property at 4th and Avenue E to the Scottish Rite Masons of San Antonio has been filed with a consideration set at $65,000 in cash.  Plans are to erect a temple on the site.

The votes have been counted in yesterday’s election and San Antonio voters have rejected, by a four-to-one margin,  a 129-acre “supermall” to be located over the Edwards Aquifer at Loop 1604. Owners of the shopping mall site said they will file suit Monday contesting the legality of the election.

June 19 in San Antonio history…

Capt. John W. Sansom, former Union soldier, Texas Ranger and the first sheriff of Kendall County, dies at his residence at 1102 N. Flores Street here in San Antonio.

By a 5 to 2 vote, the San Antonio City Council votes to ban people of color from municipal swimming pools.  At the same session, however, racial barriers are dropped at city golf courses and tennis courts.  The two councilmen who voted against the segregation ordinance were Emil Sherlen and Henry B. Gonzalez.

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey’s extra-spectacular 200-year anniversary show is in town!  Today’s afternoon performance benefits the Hertzberg Circus Museum. For just $40 (and $30 for kids), you get lunch at the circus, a menagerie tour, door prize drawings and VIP seats for the 1 p.m. show.

April 16 in San Antonio history…

Baseball season begins in San Antonio against the Beaumont Exporters.  Last year’s San Antonio Bronchos are now known as the San Antonio Bears.  Play ball!

Work is progressing on the strengthening of Olmos Dam as construction crews tie reinforced steel bars crisscrossing each other on the south side of the dam.  A new roadway is also being constructed at ground level to replace the road formerly atop the dam.

Officials from Opryland USA and USAA officially announce that the name of the planned $100 million, 201-acre musical theme park to be located in northwest San Antonio will be called Fiesta Texas.

April 17 in San Antonio history…

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

The restaurant in the Tower of the Americas opens for business.

Between 12,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend the Computer & Office Systems Expo ’84, which opened today at the Convention Center.  The big draw is expected to be Apple Computer Inc.’s new Macintosh Computer and IBM’s new image-document handler.  The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will run for three days.  It was opened this morning by Mayor Pro-tem Maria Berriozabal who proclaimed this week “Computer and Office Systems Week.”

March 25 in San Antonio history…

The city limits are fixed at “one league in every direction from the city church (San Fernando).”

The Boston Red Sox blank the New York Giants, 3-0, in a preseason game here.  San Antonians Ross Youngs and Frank Snyder were both on the field for the Giants in this game.

Two months after she was forbidden to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington D. C. because of her race, contralto Marian Anderson performs a concert in Municipal Auditorium.   Fifteen days later, on Easter Sunday, she performs a concert at the base of the Lincoln Memorial at the request of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.  The concert is broadcast across the country.