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.
Frost Bank moves into its new multistory “skyscraper” at the SW corner of Commerce and Flores streets (now the Municipal Plaza Building.)
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Sam Cooke appears at the Municipal Auditorium with the Silhouettes, Thurston Harris, The Dubs, The Drifters and Ernie Freeman & his Orchestra.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A large vaudeville company, including the Marx Brothers, plays the Majestic Theater.
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.
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.
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.
The Dallas Cowboys lose to the Houston Oilers, 23-20, in the Alamodome – a preseason NFL game for the Governors Cup.
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.]