1917 – World War I
The physical examination of men drafted for service in the National army, which started today for Divisions I and 2, demonstrates that an additional call probably will be necessary to make up the quotas required from San Antonio. This is not due so much to physical disabilities, as most of the men examined passed this without difficulty, but to the many claims for exemption based on marriage, dependent relatives or the fact that the registrants are not American citizens.
Bexar Country today boasted its first woman sheriff. Mrs. Matilda Stevens, widow of Sheriff James Stevens, who died last night, was appointed to fill his unexpired term by the Commissioners Court.
All-female Westmoorland College will admit boys as day students in all departments when the fall season opens, the college president announced.
The Texas Theater shows its first “talkie” motion picture and the first from Paramount Studios – “Warming Up,” featuring Richard Dix.
Approval of the designation of the present Post Cemetery at Fort Sam Houston as an addition to the San Antonio National Cemetery has been granted by the War Department, according to word received at the Eighth Corps Area today. The new cemetery is on the east side of the Austin road immediately south of Dodd Field, and is on a hill overlooking the city. The section along the highway will be maintained as a park. The San Antonio National Cemetery is east of the city, adjacent to the city cemeteries.
Work begins on the restoration of old Hangar 9 at Brooks Air Force Base. Originally created as a temporary structure in 1917, the hangar is the oldest existing aircraft hangar at any U.S. Air Force Base. The hangar will become a museum dedicated to the late astronaut Edward H. White.
The F-15 Eagle makes its first appearance at Kelly AFB on a flight from Luke AFB in Arizona. The San Antonio Air Logistics Center at Kelly welcomed the Eagle.
The Texans in the Alamo are summoned by Santa Anna to surrender. He is answered by a cannon shot.
Colonel William Barrett Travis writes his famous letter:
Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World
Fellow citizens & compatriots
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat.Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.
William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis
The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort is opened.
Colonel Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant Colonel of 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrives at San Antonio to take charge of the Department of Texas.
Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing was formally appointed commander of the Southern Department with headquarters at Ft. Sam Houston. He succeeds Gen. Funston who died two days ago.
San Antonio triumphantly became the greatest base in the American Air Corps when President Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the establishment of a flying school on the 2,000-acre tract; 15 miles out the Seguin Road.
The Bluebonnet Hotel at St. Mary’s and Pecan streets opens for business.
A large, regional shopping mall, consisting of five major department stores in a two-level enclosed structure will be built at Ingram Road and Loop 410, a Fort Worth realtor announced today. Sid Uberman, the realtor who also put together the Windsor Park Mall package, said the center will contain more than 1 million square feet of retail space. Approximately 100 stores will be in the new mall.
Establishment near San Antonio of the “West Point of the Air Corps,” a great flying school from which all flyers must graduate before winning their rating as army pilots, was practically assured today with the introduction of the James Bill in Congress. Site for the field is 15 miles east of the city.
The London Festival Ballet, under the artistic direction of Anton Dolin, performs in San Antonio.
Commissioner Albert Pena Jr. termed a proposed plan to fingerprint all county employees a “fundamental invasion of privacy and it violation of civil liberties.”
The first regular trip in San Antonio of an electric motor car was made on the Alamo Electric Street Railway Company’s track from Navarro Street to the International Fair Grounds, south of the city (Thompson-Houston system). Since the date, all the main street car lines adopted electric motor cars of this and the Sprague system, replacing mule-drawn streetcars.
Carey Avenue is renamed to Hildebrand Avenue.
The San Antonio Express newspaper announced that $75 million was approved in Austin yesterday for road work in San Antonio and South Texas. Included in the program is construction of a key leg of Interstate 37 from Delaware St. south to Dauchy Road and on the south city limits at Interstate Loop 410 near Brooks Air Force base. This expressway will provide a southeast access to the Hemis Fair site, running within about 16 blocks of the grounds.
The Fox Company retail store at 209 Alamo Plaza is destroyed by fire resulting in $150,000 damage and the death of a night watchman. The film developing and mail order business of the Fox Company at 1734 Broadway is not affected.
Count Basie & His Orchestra, The George Shearing Quintet, Ruth Brown, T-Bone Walker, The Jacks, The Orioles, and Joe Williams play a concert in Municipal Auditorium
Eddie Money comes to San Antonio for the first time, opening for the J. Geils Band at Municipal Auditorium.
World War I – 1916
German Field Marshal Von Mackensen is forced to retreat and give up the fortresses of Silistria and Turtukai along the Danube due to gains made by Russian and Romanian troops.
Mayor C.M. Chambers has upheald the right of San Antonio newsboys to shout their wares on the street. The mayor’s action was prompted by the fining of a newsie in Corporation Court.
H.E.B. opens its first grocery store in San Antonio at 1802 N. Main St.
Personnel from a complete garbage route – two drivers and three loaders – were fired Friday after a drinking spree in which both garbage trucks were parked in front of beer taverns.
Before the end of the week the city expects to own all of the land necessary for the right-of-way of the crosstown flood prevention channel. The channel will run from the back of the Public Service Company across Commerce, Market and Dolorosa, connecting with the river again in the rear of the Plaza Hotel.
Mayor Kuykendall drove off behind the wheel of a spanking new Cadillac today, the first city-owned chariot since Maury Maverick was in office. A limousine for the mayor was discontinued during World War II.
Northside School District opens three new elementary schools – Monroe May , Virginia Myers and Henry Steubing – thanks to a $98 million bond package approved by voters in 1995.