Rain began falling in San Antonio and would continue for three days leading to widespread flooding, killing 51 people and causing millions of dollars in damages. The flood was caused by some of the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Texas. The immense amount of rain quickly overwhelmed the the San Antonio River. Most of the victims were trapped in their cars by the surprise flood and drowned. Five to 10 feet of water submerged the city’s streets, delaying an evacuation.
The city was underwater for nearly a week following the flood, which was responsible for at least $5 million in damages. In the aftermath, San Antonio embarked on a 10-year overhaul of its flood system.
Ceremonies dedicating St. Mary’s Church completed at a cost of $250,000 were conducted by Rev. A.J. Drossaerts, bishop of San Antonio. (The original church was heavily damaged in the 1921 flood.)
The first Folklife Festival opens on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. 7,546 people attend on opening day.
1917 – World War I
The newspaper censorship provisions were stricken entirely from the administration espionage bill today in the Senate by a vote of 39 to 38 on motion of Senator Johnson of California. After the censorship clause had been stricken from the bill, Senator Kirby, Democrat, of Arkansas, introduced an amendment providing for a definite and specific press censorship under the supervision of the secretaries of war and the navy and that was defeated, 65 to 5.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band bring their Detroit sound to Convention Center Arena. The opening act is a rock singer who had recently auditioned to be lead vocalist for Black Sabbath named Michael Bolton.
The San Antonio Conservation Society is organized to save the old Market House and the San Antonio River.
“West Point of the Air,” a new movie with scenes filmed at Randolph Field and starring Wallace Beery, Robert Young, Maureen O’Sullivan and Rosalind Russell, holds its world premiere at the Majestic Theater.
In advance of a May 12 Federal Court hearing, the City Council repeals the June 19, 1954 ordinance (No. 20307) prohibiting people of color from city swimming pools.
The first flight in a military airplane occurred at Fort Sam Houston by Lt. Benjamin Foulois, flying Army Aeroplane #1.
Canadian rock trio Rush, with the Dutch opening act Golden Earring, draw a crowd of 13, 281 to the show in Hemisfair Arena.
KONO-TV Channel 12 (later KSAT) begins regular programming with Eisenhower’s second inauguration.
2003 & 2006
Two San Antonio hotels hold grand openings on this date: Hotel Valencia in 2003 and Hotel Contessa in 2006.
Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, dies in San Antonio.
Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie perform in concert in Municipal Auditorium. The concert of the two now-legendary African-American jazz artists is unfortunately advertised “for whites only.” (right)
The City Zoning Commission has approved changes in zoning to allow construction of theme park being jointly developed by Opryland USA and United Services Automobile Association. Construction of the theme park is scheduled to begin in about six months, said R. Douglas Leonhard, senior vice president of USAA Real Estate. The first phase of the park will include theme areas with a focus on Hispanic, western, German and 1950’s-style music.
The Gunter Hotel is purchased from the San Antonio Hotel Company for $1,400,000 by the Baker Hotel Company.
Sgt. Cleto Rodriguez, San Antonio’s sixth winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is soon to become a bridegroom and grateful Latin-American citizenry are planning to “start him off right” for his feat of killing 62 Japanese in Manila. The former San Antonio newsboy, honored at a banquet last night at the Gunter hotel, stands to get “a house, a car and all the trimmin’s” if representatives of Latin American organizations can raise approximately $15,000.
Santikos opens the new Mayan 14-screen theater, replacing the Century Plaza 8 complex, built in 1968 as the Century South, San Antonio’s first multiplex.
Between 4 and 6 o’clock this afternoon a representative of the San Antonio Light newspaper will walk about town from Alamo to Soledad and from Travis to Commerce streets with three new five-dollar bills. The first three persons he meets, whistling “Barney Google” will each be given a five-dollar bill. The only requirements are that the whistler must have a copy of any edition of Saturday’s Light and be willing to give this stranger his or her name and address for publication in the Light.
Laura Garcia and Karen Sheppard are the first two women to graduate from the San Antonio Police training academy.
San Antonio’s city limits are set as one square league with the dome of San Fernando Cathedral as center, divided into four wards.
Official census figures for July 1 showed San Antonio still the leading city in Texas with a population of 191,398. Dallas ranked a close second with 187,826.
San Antonio became the second Hollywood of the United States when announcement was made by the famous Player-Lansky Corp. that “Wings,” one of the most spectacular pictures of the year, would be shot in San Antonio.
[“Wings” was the first movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.]
Announcement was made of the purchase of the San Antonio Light newspaper by William Randolph Hearst, 11 days after actual transfer of corporate stock.
San Antonio is on day two of energy conservation measures due to the city’s natural gas supplier cutting gas flow to one-third of the usual capacity. The Tower of the Americas, City Hall and the National Bank of Commerce building were among the many landmarks last night that were dark.