Blog Archives

January 7 in San Antonio history…

1886
The first passenger train to Floresville went out over the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad.

1918
As a result of injuries sustained in a fall from a window of the St. Anthony Hotel yesterday morning about 4 o’clock, Henry Lee Borden, 39 years old, prominent lawyer of Houston, died this morning at a local sanitarium.  John T. Crotty, also of Houston, who shared the hotel room with Judge Borden, gave it as his belief that Borden, half awake, mistook the window opening for a door and walked out, falling before he could catch his balance.

1927don_juan
The first talking picture is shown as a press premiere at the Aztec Theater:  ”Don Juan” starring John Barrymore (right)

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December 18 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The spring Fiesta in commemoration of the Battle of San Jacinto, observed annually in San Antonio for the last twenty-three years, is to be abandoned next spring because of the war conditions which make it impossible to obtain excursion rates on the railroads or to secure railroad equipment under any conditions to accommodate the thousands of visitors.

1927
The Texas Theater celebrates the one year anniversary of their grand opening by offering free admission to anyone who attended the first performance last year and can show the ticket stub or souvenir program to prove it.

1968
Eastwood Country Club features “The Fabulous Ike and Tina Turner Revue (right).”

August 12 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The cantonment buildings at Camp Travis will be finished and ready for occupancy August 25, six days ahead of schedule, thus probably shattering the world’s record for this class of construction, according to an official telegram sent to the War Department by Major George E. Thorne and Thomas A. Carr, representing, respectively, the government and the Stone & Webster Company. Although one of the three largest of the sixteen cantonments under construction throughout the country, it will be the first to be completed, thus winning a race against time in which all the contractors were contestants.

1922
Frost Bank moves into its new multistory “skyscraper” at the SW corner of Commerce and Flores streets (now the Municipal Plaza Building.)

1927
“Wings”, a silent World War I epic filmed in San Antonio, premieres in New York.  The movie stars Clara Bow and Buddy Rogers and features the (brief) film debut of Gary Cooper.  The next year, “Wings” will be the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

 

 

June 16 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The fund for the Protestant Orphans Home to meet the increased expenses occasioned by the high cost of living has now reached $254. This money and other money that it is hoped will be subscribed to meet the monthly deficit will be used for the support of the 180 children in the home.

1919
San Antonio’s “Ace,” Major Edgar Tobin, will command a squadron of six fast DeHavilland airplanes which have been ordered to the border for scout duty in the campaign against Villa and his followers.  The ships, manned by a pilot and an observer, will leave Kelly Field at an early hour this morning.

1927
After being found between the mission and the San Antonio River, the stolen altar bell of San Jose is back on its ancient shelf today.

May 19 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The St. Anthony Hotel offers a “Khaki Night” of “Music, Dancing and Happiness” on their roof garden.  Cover charge is $1.50 and soldiers are specifically invited to wear their khaki uniforms.

1927
The Texas Theater shows a one-night-only sneak preview of “Wings,” starring Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper, before the official world premiere at the Criterion Theater in New York on August 12.  The motion picture was filmed in and around San Antonio and would win the first “Best Picture” Academy Award.

1975
Nearly two months before the release of their second eponymous LP, Anglo-American band Fleetwood Mac, featuring new members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, play a concert in Municipal Auditorium.

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.