Blog Archives

March 9 in San Antonio history…

The first Canary Islanders arrive in San Antonio.  Sixteen families traveled overland from Veracruz, Mexico. Their legacy lives on today in Main Plaza downtown, also called Plaza de las Islas.

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

Joske’s advertises the new Motorette mini-car, available at Joske’s Sportsman’s Store located at 122. E. Commerce Street, across from the main store.


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).

Henry Mancini conducts the San Antonio Symphony in the newly renamed Lila Cockrell Theater for the Performing Arts.  In a ceremony earlier in the day, the theater was renamed from the Hemisfair Theater for the Performing Arts to honor the former mayor of San Antonio.

February 2 in San Antonio history…

Victor’s Harlandale Theater has its formal grand opening at 5600 South Flores Street, showing “Rose of the Golden West” starring Mary Astor. (right)

Hemisfair Arena holds its grand opening with a performance by the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals. Joining the two teams were Bob Hayes, “The World’s Fastest Human,” and a lineup of variety acts that performed before the game and during intermission.

Jack LaLanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger make personal appearances at the grand opening of the International Fitness Center location at 9926 San Pedro Avenue.

February 1 in San Antonio history…

The Menger Hotel (right) holds its grand opening.

A loaf of bread  weighing nearly 30 pounds and 3 feet in length is posted up in a saloon on the east side of Military Plaza with the label:  “We’ll all eat bread when W. L. Richter is elected.”
[W.L. Richter was the owner of Richter’s Steam Bakery at the corner of S. Laredo and Santa Rosa streets, and would later produce Butter Krust Bread. He was running for Alderman.]

The Milam Cafeteria opens in the Milam Building at the intersection of Soledad and Travis streets.

December 26 in San Antonio history…

This ad appears in the San Antonio Light:
“A nice Christmas present would be a life size portrait by E. Rivoire, a French artist, who recently arrived in San Antonio.  Persons desiring a first-class portrait are respectfully invited to visit my studio at No. 6 College Street, San Antonio, Texas.”  – Emilie Rivoire, Artist

The Lockwood National Bank, having consolidated with the Frost National Bank under the name of the latter bank, notice is hereby given by the Lockwood National Bank, its officers and employees, that all our business is now being transacted at our new banking home in the Frost National Bank on Main Plaza, instead of our former location at 113 Broadway.

The J.C. Penney Company opens their sixth San Antonio store today at Ingram Park Mall.  The new store is the company’s 149th store in Texas and 2,090th in the J. C. Penney chain.  It has almost 180,000 square feet of floor space, 42 merchandise departments and 325 employees.

August 21 in San Antonio history…

Notification of the acceptance by the Secretary of War of the site offered by San Antonio as the future home of the Air Corps Training Center, was received here today.  Land for the “West Point of the Air” was donated by the city.

Thirty-one days out of the past three months have recorded temperatures of 100 degrees or more, the highest number on record in the weather bureau.  The previous record of 18 days was in 1911.  (The record is now 58 days, set in 2009.)

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.


August 2 in San Antonio history…

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.

The Jolly Jack restaurant holds its grand opening at 4318 Broadway, offering free soft drinks and free pirate hats. (right)

Laura Garcia and Karen Sheppard are the first two women to graduate from the San Antonio Police training academy.


July 15 in San Antonio history…

Workmen began clearing out debris left in the Alamo after its use during the Civil War as a quartermaster storage barn.

A Southern Pacific passenger train coming into this city from Houston made the last 57 miles between Luling and San Antonio at the rate of a mile a minute.  One of the passengers said, “Why,  I couldn’t count the telegraph poles!”

For 10 years there has been no regular police force in San Antonio.  This came to light yesterday when it was revealed that none of the men employed in that period have been confirmed by the city commission as required by the city charter.

June 15 in San Antonio history…

19031903 Carnegie Library
The San Antonio Public Library opens in the Carnegie-funded building on Market Street (right).

Plunging into space simultaneously from different planes, seven Brooks Field soldiers today floated gracefully to the ground in one of the most unusual parachute demonstrations ever attempted at a government field.

Construction workers at the new San Antonio Library were expected to return to work after a dispute involving metal cups, which some workers said were unsanitary.

June 2 in San Antonio history…

The largest artesian well ever opened in the downtown district of San Antonio gushed forth water estimated at 3,500 gallons per minute onto College Street yesterday when the Dingman Drilling company, boring on the site where the new Majestic theater is to be built, reached a depth of 794 feet.  The well will be used for the cooling system of the theater and for the water supply for the office building.

Officials announced completion of a federally-financed restoration job on San Antonio’s San Jose mission.

The Westfall branch library opens.