Blog Archives

April 29 in San Antonio history…

The old central dome of San Fernando Cathedral is demolished.

Temple Beth-El is dedicated.

Demolition is begun on the State Theater on the northwest corner of Flores and Houston streets (right). This theater was originally named the Majestic and opened in 1913.   Acts such as  Mae West, The Marx Brothers and Houdini all appeared there. The name was changed to the State when the current Majestic Theater was constructed in 1929.


April 18 in San Antonio history…

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.

Underground parking came a step nearer reality today, when the city council instructed Mayor Gus Mauermann to advertise for bids at four business district locations.  The facilities are in the vicinity of or under Alamo Plaza, Travis Park, Main Plaza and La Villita.

Chili queens, a familiar sight on Military and Alamo plazas a number of years ago, will be back in San Antonio in all their glory at “A Night in Old San Antonio.”

March 28 in San Antonio history…

“The police look well their new uniforms – much more respectable in appearance than formerly – but the wearing of a rough pistol outside the neat blue suit is in very bad taste.” – San Antonio Daily Express newspaper.

The addition of a band tournament as one of the features of the Battle of Flowers this year adds interest to the event. Bands are expected to come from all over the state.

The new Magnolia gas station at Broadway and the Austin Highway opens for business (photo, right, taken in 2011).

February 16 in San Antonio history…

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.

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.

Final plans and specifications for the city’s proposed $1.7 million new main library were approved unanimously during a special meeting of the Library Board.  Advertisement for bids is expected to go out Monday.

January 26 in San Antonio history…

A company’s proposition to install 200 arc lights and 150 incandescent lamps about San Antonio for $50,000 is being considered by City Council.

The “handsome, attractive and artistic new hotel at the Hot Sulphur Wells” is dedicated with a 5 p.m. dinner under the supervision of Chef Burt De Vault.

The Plaza Hotel (later the Granada) holds its grand opening.

January 7 in San Antonio history…

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.

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

50 years ago today, the temperature dropped to a bitter 15 degrees, only one degree higher than the all-time record for the date from 1886.

December 27 in San Antonio history…

G. T. Lewis, rural route mail carrier, filed suit today against a wagon driver who would not pull over for Lewis’s automobile.  He held the center of the road for six or seven miles.  After Lewis was finally able to pass, he got out of his car to confront the wagon driver, who pulled a shotgun, cocked it and ordered Lewis to stand back.  He is charged with obstructing and delaying U.S. Mail and assaulting a carrier in the discharge of his duty.

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.

New Light Baptist Church features a festival of gospel singing groups, including the Gospel Harmonizers, New Hope Gospel Singers, King’s Harmonizers, Mt. Sinai Trio, Mt. Rose Gospel Singers, Jefferson, Newton, Jefferson, Wade and Wilson singers of New Light Baptist, The Cleary Sisters, Starlight singers, Floresville Chorus, Spiritual Five of Jourdanton, Glorified Voices, Harmonizing Five, Mt. Olive, the New Sisters, Evangelist Singers, Brooks Gospel singers, the San Antonio District Chorus, St. Luke Methodist chorus, Mt. Olive Spiritual Singers, Charlottes (of Austin), Silver Light Singers (of Houston), The Gospel Travelers (of Seguin) and the Soul Stirrers – with their 22-year old lead singer Sam Cooke.

November 24 in San Antonio history…

The Olmos Park Estates subdivision opens to the public (right).

Ground is broken for the new St. Gerard’s High School at S. New Braunfels and Nevada streets.  The Very Reverend Joseph Flanagan presides over the ceremonies.

Chris Marrou retires after 36 years as anchor of KENS Channel 5.

August 12 in San Antonio history…

“Irvy” Dresch of the San Antonio Public Service Company, pitches a perfect game against the Eagle Furniture Company team in a City League baseball game.  The Public Service Company team won, 14-0.

“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.

The newspapers report that the chamber of commerce board of directors yesterday unanimously approved a resolution urging the Texas Highway Commission to issue a minute order authorizing its engineers to complete plans for a northside expressway to link U.S. 281 at a point near Loop 13 with the interchange of Interstate 35 and 37 just east of Broadway.

June 16 in San Antonio history…

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.

The name of municipal airport is changed from Winburn Field back to Stinson Field.

The Cable House (right), the winter home of Rock Island President Phylander L. Cable, is slated to be demolished by Southwest Research Institute.  The house dates to 1883.