Blog Archives

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.

February 16 in San Antonio history…

1861
On this day 156 years ago, a militia of 1,000 armed Texans, calling themselves “The Knights of the Golden Circle,” surrounded U.S. Gen. David E. Twiggs’s 160-man garrison at San Antonio, forcing the general to surrender. Union soldiers were allowed to leave the state carrying their arms, but $1.6 million of government property was left to be seized by the Confederacy. Texas took possession of the 20 military installations, 44 cannon, 1,900 muskets, 400 pistols, 2 magazines of ammunition, 500 wagons, and 950 horses. Twiggs’s unwillingness to fire upon Texans in the streets of their own cities was not appreciated in the North. What he viewed as an attempt to avoid bloodshed, most Unionists saw as a part of a Southern conspiracy for which Twiggs was mercilessly vilified. On March 1, 1861, Twiggs was dismissed from the Union Army by President Buchanan. Ten weeks later he was commissioned as a Major General in the Confederate Army and transferred to New Orleans to command the District of Louisiana. Twiggs retired shortly thereafter and died at age 72 near Augusta, Georgia on July 15, 1862.

1927
A. J. Drossaerts becomes the first archbishop of San Antonio at noon today.  In San Fernando Cathedral, crowded to the doors by the thousands, the wool band with four crosses was placed on his shoulders by Archbishop John W. Shaw of New Orleans.

1958
Sam Cooke appears at the Municipal Auditorium with the Silhouettes, Thurston Harris, The Dubs, The Drifters and Ernie Freeman & his Orchestra.

December 27 in San Antonio history…

1897
Bad roads prohibited wagons from bringing Christmas turkeys to San Antonio.  This resulted in many families having to do without the traditional Christmas bird this season.

1927
A candle burning at the altar of the Chapel of Miracles, 113 Ruiz street, set fire to the interior of the little church this morning and caused considerable damage before firemen extinguished the blaze.

1947
Despite being undersized and trailing at halftime, Class 2A Brackenridge High School defeats Dallas Highland Park, 22-13, in front of 24,795 fans at Alamo Stadium to win the city’s first UIL state football championship.

December 12 in San Antonio history…

1907
Local toy dealers, heavily stocked for Christmas, have reassuringly reported that brutish Teddy bears have not replaced dolls as the object upon which little girls most like to shower their instinctive motherly love.  Doll sales are way up.

1927
San Antonio businessmen today met with city and county officials to launch a campaign to raise $500,000 by popular subscription so that a site for the new Air Corps flying center can be purchased outside San Antonio.

1953
San Antonio’s freeway engineer today charged the city planning department is attempting to force the state to follow an undesirable route on the Highway 87 freeway project.

 

October 18 in San Antonio history…

1909
No less than 50,000 people packed Alamo Plaza today on the occasion of President Taft’s first public speech in this city. Thousands more lined the streets to get a glimpse of our distinguished visitor.

1914
A large vaudeville company, including the Marx Brothers, plays the Majestic Theater.

1927
Charles A. Windus, 76 years of age, dies in the hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Mr. Windus had had an unusually varied military career. He fought in the Union Army at Petersburg, deserted the cavalry in 1868 and served a year of hard labor for it, and later won the Medal of Honor fighting the Kiowa at the Battle of the Little Wichita in 1870. In 1877 he acquired another dubious distinction while serving as deputy sheriff in Brackettville: while arresting four fugitives he shot and killed a Black Seminole named Adam Payne, one of several “Buffalo Soldiers” who had won the Medal of Honor serving as scouts for the U.S. Army. Thus, Windus became the only Medal of Honor recipient who ever killed another.

 

August 21 in San Antonio history…

1927
With approximately 100 artesian wells pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water daily, it is only a matter of time until the San Antonio River dries up, acting Mayor Phil Wright declared today.

1955
All new police cars are being equipped with beacon-ray emergency red lights that flash revolving red beams as a warning to all.  Sixteen lights have been installed and are in operation now, said Capt. Frank Mosel.  They are replacing the old blinker lights which were much smaller and flashed only forward.

1993
The Dallas Cowboys lose to the Houston Oilers, 23-20, in the Alamodome – a preseason NFL game for the Governors Cup.

July 17 in San Antonio history…

1856
San Antonio’s city limits are set as one square league with the dome of San Fernando Cathedral as center, divided into four wards.

1924
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.

1926
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.]

May 22 in San Antonio history…

1894
Burdett Green received a commission from Mayor Pascall making him the second negro police officer on San Antonio’s force.

1927
From a sick bed in the St. Anthony Hotel, Porter Adams, president of the National Aeronautical Association announced a reception and $25,000 was awaiting Charles A. Lindbergh when the flyer arrives back in the U.S.

1992
Fiesta Texas amusement park opens in northwest San Antonio.

May 20 in San Antonio history…

1927
In a spectacle, immensity of which almost took the breath away, 200 airplanes and a dirigible airship passed in aerial review before high ranking officers and the secretary of war at Kelly Field this morning.

1934
A debate on the question of unifying U.S. air forces as a separate military service was scheduled for graduation exercises at San Antonio Military Academy.

1956
One of the Army’s most powerful weapons – the 250mm “atomic gun” will be on public display at Randolph Air Force Base today during the Armed Forces Week Open House.  A crew from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma will mount the 85-ton cannon and ready it for firing.  This part of the exhibit is being planned by Post Ordinance at Fort Sam Houston.

May 17 in San Antonio history…

1906
The skating rink at Electric Park was opened to the public and the sport instantly was established as a favorite among young people.

1927
A distillery on wheels was discovered by prohibition agents last night when they stopped a truck with a still operation on it and five gallons of whisky.  The owner said he did the bootlegging on the side to support his children.

1952
The San Antonio Zoo receives a young African male lion from a private owner who was moving overseas and could not bring the cat with him.  The young lion was transported to San Antonio from Austin in an automobile, whose upholstery suffered considerably.