Blog Archives

August 13 in San Antonio history…

1923
Police Chief A. O. Van Riper and Traffic Capt. T. O. Miller supervised the inauguration of San Antonio’s new traffic light system, installed on Houston Street.

1947tv1947
For a full hour, three times daily and uninterrupted except for 15 minutes of cowboy music, the commercial use of television is being demonstrated on the fourth floor of Joske’s – the first display of television in the state of Texas (right).  Some of the spectators have made inquiries about the cost of the television machines and if they are for sale.  They can be purchased for about $350 ($3,793.95 in 2016 dollars!) and stored in the attic until television is here to stay.

1960
The Dallas Cowboys play their first game in the state of Texas right here in San Antonio – an exhibition game in Alamo Stadium against the newly relocated (from Chicago) St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals, featuring Texas Aggies John David Crow &  Bobby Joe Conrad, win, 20-13.

July 20 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The draft begins and the first five men drafted from San Antonio are:  Andres Perez, John Martinez, W. A. Shacklett, Philip Best and Lawrence Abernathy

1923
Pancho Villa is assassinated in Parral, Mexico.

1969
San Antonio, as well as the rest of the world, is awestruck watching Americans land on the moon.

July 12 in San Antonio history…

1907
The new state law in effect today requires San Antonio automobile owners to report to the county clerk, register their names and obtain a number for their machine.  County Clerk Newton says this law affects all vehicles – gas, electric and even motorcycles.

1923
The newly installed electric street lamps in Alamo Heights lit up the town for the first time tonight when all 63 lights were turned on.  The new lighting system was installed at a cost to the San Antonio Public Service Company of between $1,500 and $1,600.  The city of Alamo Heights will pay an annual rental on each lamp.

1963
San Antonio banks let it be known Thursday they are willing to lend $4.5 million, the sum required to launch the HemisFair project.

May 26 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The Menger Hotel offers “Old Glory Night,” a night dedicated to the military, with dinner and music.

1923
The Travis Building and Robert E. Lee Hotel are opened.

1933
San Antonio resident, Jimmie Rodgers, “The Singing Brakeman” dies at the Taft Hotel in New York.

November 30 in San Antonio history…

1923mansfield
Former Ziegfeld Girl, Martha Mansfield (right), as Agatha Warren, is burned severely while filming the movie The Warrens of Virginia in Brackenridge Park. She is rushed to Physicians and Surgeons Hospital where she dies.  It is determined that a match, carelessly tossed by a cast member, ignited her costume.

1942
Determined to prevent a fire in San Antonio like the deadly fire that killed 477 people at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston two days earlier, Mayor C.K. Quin, Fire Commissioner P. J. Anderson and Fire Chief C. A. Hart met to discuss inspection of local night spots and the abolition of revolving doors in those establishments.
The daughter of Ft. Sam Houston commander, C. K. Nulsen, was killed in the Cocoanut Grove inferno.

1981
The University of Arkansas plays UTSA in an early season game at Convention Center Arena.  The defending SWC champion Razorbacks prevail, 71-42.

November 17 in San Antonio history….

1923
San Antonio hosts its first intercollegiate football game at Schwab Field between the St. Edward’s University Saints and the Hillbillies of Daniel Baker College of Brownwood.  St. Edward’s rolls over Daniel Baker, 48-0.

1934
Lyndon B. Johnson marries Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. LBJ didn’t have a wedding band for her and had asked Dan Quill, friend and Postmaster of San Antonio, to get one. Quill bought a wedding band at the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. for $2.50.  (The Sears store was located in what is now called the Tower Life Building.) After the wedding, they had dinner at the St. Anthony Hotel and spent their wedding night at the Plaza Hotel.

1954togo-tosh-16
Tosh Togo (right), a wrestler making his first appearance in San Antonio, fights to a draw in a 15-minute match with Larry Chene at Wrestlethon at Municipal Auditorium.  (Togo’s real name was Toshiyuki “Harold” Sakata, and he would find fame ten years later as the mute henchman to the titular villain in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger.”)

 

November 14 in San Antonio history…

1923
Harry Houdini escapes from a locked crate on the stage of the (old) Majestic Theater.

1936
With science predicting that half of America will be living in trailers within the next 15 years, San Antonio was at the start of a record-breaking tourist season and the title “Highway gypsy capital of the U.S.”

1975outlaws
Waylon Jennings brings his Country & Western All-Star Show to Convention Center Arena, featuring his wife Jessi Colter, Tompall (Glaser) and the Outlaw Band, and Rusty Weir.  These performers, with Willie Nelson replacing Rusty Weir, would be featured on the album “Wanted!  The Outlaws” the following year.  This was the first country & western album to be certified platinum with sales of one million copies.

November 10 in San Antonio history…

1859
The San Antonio Daily Ledger and Texan newspaper is first published.

1923
Actress and former Ziegfeld Girl, Martha Mansfield, makes an appearance at the Empire Theatre.  She is in San Antonio filming “The Warrens of Virginia” in Brackenridge Park.

1968
KBUC Grand “New” Opry plays Municipal Auditorium, featuring newer country artists Charley Pride, Conway Twitty & the Lonely Blue Boys, Leroy Van Dyke and the Auctioneers, Stonewall Jackson & His Minutemen and Jeanie C. Riley

April 1 in San Antonio history…

1923
Linda Condon of Boerne is selected as the winner of the contest to name the new hotel under construction at Main, Travis and Flores streets.  The new hotel is to be managed by Percy Tyrrell.  Here’s what she wrote: “Tyrrell, please look no further. No need to hesitate; I am sending to you, mister, a name I think is great. By patriotism, yes, I am prompted, also the cash, you see; So, please be a good fellow – WOAI broadcast – The Robert E. Lee.”  For her winning submission, Linda receives $100.

1947
The San Antonio Transit Company begins putting into service their new fleet of 50 air-conditioned city buses.  The Alamo city is the first city in the world to have air-conditioned metropolitan buses.  They even offer free rides on a downtown loop between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

1949
A photograph of the Goodyear blimp moored to the Transit Tower is shown on the front page of the San Antonio Light.  It’s just an April Fool’s joke.  The blimp is in San Antonio for a week but it is being kept at Municipal Airport.

March 4 in San Antonio history…

1836
Santa Anna gathers his officers for a council of war. It is decided that when the final assault in the Alamo takes place, that they will take no prisoners. The time for the assault will be determined tomorrow. Having been consolidated into two batteries, the Mexican artillery, is brought to within 200 yards of the compound. More Texian reinforcements arrive in the late hours.

1923scan0048
Louis Santikos opens the Palace Theater at 212 Losoya (right).

1954
The Municipal Auditorium presents a concert featuring Billy Eckstine, Ruth Brown, The Clovers and Johnny Hodges.