Blog Archives

May 12 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
National Park, advertised as “Wholesome Fun for Wholesome People” holds its grand opening tonight at the corner of West Houston and Laredo streets.  The park will feature “The Largest Hawaiian Village in the South” with native singers and dancers.

The Hearst Corporation buys the San Antonio Light newspaper.

The $100,000, 3.2 mile “Brackenridge Eagle” railroad track began carrying its first passengers around Brackenridge Park.


March 24 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
San Antonio, especially the Army camps around the city, will be made mosquito proof.  The first step in this direction is being taken at Camp Travis where workmen are straightening Salado Creek to eliminate stagnant pools.  Removal of other stagnant water spots will also be undertaken.

City Council granted the I.&G.N. Railroad permission to erect a roundhouse on propety abutting on W. Commerce.

The long-awaited union between classical station KPAC and National Public Radio affiliate KSTX was formally voted on and approved today by the boards of the two stations.  “With any luck, this plan will be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and KSTX will be operating by the end of the year,” said Joe Gwathmey, who will be general manager of the two stations.

September 7 in San Antonio history…

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.

May 12 in San Antonio history…

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.

The Hearst Corporation buys the San Antonio Light newspaper.

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.

March 22 in San Antonio history…

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.

March 2 in San Antonio history…

The first flight in a military airplane occurred at Fort Sam Houston by Lt. Benjamin Foulois, flying Army Aeroplane #1.

Nearly 5,000 San Antonians witnessed the death of Mrs. Bertha Coffer Horchem when the plane she was flying in an aerial circus crashed at Municipal Flying Field.rush

Canadian rock trio Rush, with the Dutch opening act Golden Earring, draw a crowd of 13, 281 to the show in Hemisfair Arena.

January 21 in San Antonio history…

John Phillip Sousa, the King of the Marches, brings his 100-piece band for a concert in Beethoven Hall.

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.

December 13 in San Antonio history…


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.

October 16 in San Antonio history…

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.

August 2 in San Antonio history…

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.

Santikos begins showing the Star Wars Trilogy (right) in four theaters for the low price of $5.00.