Blog Archives

November 18 in San Antonio history…

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.

The San Antonio Light reports that open house for the dedication by President Kennedy of the new Air Force School of Aerospace medical buildings at Brooks Air Force Base will start at 11 a.m. Thursday. A variety of space age displays will be on view, including a display of the X15 research rocket plane and the X20 Dyna-Soar manned space craft.


“A Christmas Story” debuts at the Galaxy and Century South theaters.  “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

“The Far Side” and “Calvin & Hobbes” first appear in the San Antonio Express-News, replacing “Porterfield” and “Pavlov,” respectively.


July 22 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The Secretary of War has declared baseball to be non-essential under the “work or fight” regulations and the owners of the American and National League teams will meet this week to see if the games with continue in restricted form or be abandoned altogether for the duration of the war.

Bids are being received for the new one and two-story bus terminal buildings to be constructed at the corner of Navarro, Martin and Pecan streets.  The building is to be of brick, stone, tile and concrete construction and is to be of Spanish design.  It will cost approximately $200,000.

The Gibbs Building is advertised for sale for $275,000.

March 9 in San Antonio history…

The first Canary Islanders arrive in San Antonio.  Their legacy lives on today in Main Plaza downtown, also called Plaza de las Islas.

Former San Antonio mayor A. I. (Arthur Ingersoll) Lockwood passed away today at 1:30 p.m.  He served as mayor pro-tempore from December 6, 1892 to February 26, 1893.  He formerly was employed by the government in the quartermaster department when the office of the quartermaster was in the Alamo chapel.

In the early morning hours, the bell tower of San Jose Mission collapses.  Archbishop Drossaerts has given architect Atlee Ayers charge of the reconstruction.

January 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The battery of field artillery that fired the first American shot against the Germans was commanded by a San Antonio officer, Captain Ralph Heard, according to letters received in San Antonio from members of the expeditionary force.  A French .75 was the weapon used.  Captain Heard is the son of Col. J. W. Heard, of the regular army and was graduated from San Antonio High School with honors in 1915.

Prohibition as directed by the 18th Amendment takes effect tonight at midnight.

Bluebonnet HotelThe Bluebonnet Hotel at St. Mary’s and Pecan streets opens for business.


January 3 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Two first lieutenants from Kelly Field and six young men were arrested at a downtown hotel last night while engaged in a craps game.  Belief was expressed that the lieutenants would forfeit their commissions as a result.

Though the weather is gradually moderating with only one more freeze predicted, six San Antonio schools were still closed today because of frozen heating systems and plumbing fixtures.

The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will have its first queen this year.  The lucky winner will have a place of honor in the opening parade which winds its way through the city on opening day and choice box seats to the 1978 shows.  She also wins a western outfit from Harry’s Western Store, a fur felt, hand-creased Resistol cowboy hat and all-leather, hand-stitched boots to match her outfit.  Finally, she wins a 7-day trip for two to Acapulco, Mexico with accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Acapulco with $500 expense money.

January 2 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
A representative of the Secretary of War, sent here to investigate vice conditions, has few if any compliments for the manner in which local city and county officers are enforcing the laws.  He says there is too much politics.

San Antonio students celebrated today’s severe 18-degree temperatures.  The high and junior schools were dismissed when all heating systems were disabled.  Officials hope for more moderate temperatures tomorrow.

San Antonio fans and alumni of the University of Texas are saddened when the #1-ranked Texas Longhorns, with Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, are crushed by Notre Dame, 38-10, in the annual Cotton Bowl.  The previously undefeated Longhorns were a touchdown favorite.

August 2 in San Antonio history…

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.


July 28 in San Antonio history…

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.

February 24 in San Antonio history…

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

Radio station KTSA (“Kum To San Antonio”) goes on the air (right).

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort is opened.

February 21 in San Antonio history…

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.