Blog Archives

February 23 in San Antonio history…

The Referendum on Secession takes place and Texans head to the polls to vote.  Bexar County votes to secede, 827 to 709.  Nearby counties of Blanco, Gillespie, Medina and Uvalde do not.

The Beethoven Männerchor (German singing society) is organized.

E. Raba, the photographer in S. Alamo, badly burned his hand in the premature explosion of powder while making a flashlight picture.

Fire, apparently started by defective wiring, threatened mail and federal records and did $30,000 damage to San Antonio’s historic federal building in Alamo Plaza (right).


January 20 in San Antonio history…

1881January 20 in San Antonio history...
The first issue of the San Antonio Light rolls off the printing presses. It remains in circulation until January 28, 1993.

The San Antonio Light reports that in the eleven months since the Milam Cafeteria opened (February 1, 1928), over half a million people have eaten in the restaurant – nearly twice the population of San Antonio.

Jackie Gleason hosts his new show “You’re in the Picture” at 8:30 p.m on KENS Channel 5.  The show is cancelled after only one episode.  For the next week’s episode, he spends the entire 30 minutes apologizing for how bad the show was.

December 26 in San Antonio history…

Today, the day after Christmas, has been set aside as a holiday in San Antonio – a day to be devoted to the making of New Year’s resolutions.  City offices, all banks and most businesses will be closed.

Police report that 100 cases of tomatoes belonging to the Morris Novich Company were stolen from a boxcar near the company’s headquarters near 503 Medina Street.

A messenger for the W. T. Grant store was held up by a lone gunman in the heart of the downtown district this morning and robbed of $3500 in Christmas receipts he was taking to the Frost National Bank. Tlie robbery occurred on the St. Mary’s street bridge across from the Public Service building.

December 25 in San Antonio history…

Santa visits St. Peter and St. Joseph’s orphanage at 1 a.m.  Children are allowed to catch a glimpse of the old elf and served an early breakfast after the festivities.

It’s not a white Christmas in San Antonio – far from it!  The mercury rises to a record high of 90 degrees in the Alamo City. Still a record high for the date.

A huge mountain of mulch in Helotes catches fire and burns for over two months.  The mulch pile gets its own MySpace page and is nicknamed “Mulchie.”

December 17 in San Antonio history…

Workmen begin conversion of the Princess Theater on Houston Street into Blum’s Department Store.  It was purchased in 1931 by Frost Brothers.  The building still stands at 217 E. Houston Street.

The newly reconstructed Olmos Dam is dedicated.

Bexar County commissioners re-enact the cornerstone laying ceremony of Dec. 17, 1892 at the site of the new County Justice Center.  The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. with a short parade which includes horse-drawn carriages carrying members of Commissioner’s Court and their wives, Sheriff Harlon Copeland, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, County Clerk Bob Green, a color guard and the Theodore Roosevelt High School Rough Rider Band.  A time capsule will be buried during the ceremony.

November 15 in San Antonio history…

Gene Meador Packard moves into their new building at Main and Poplar streets.

D. A. “Jelly” Bryce, in charge of the San Antonio office of the FBI, is featured in a LIFE magazine pictorial demonstrating his quick-draw technique.  Bryce can drop a silver dollar from shoulder height with his right hand, draw his pistol with the same hand and shoot the dollar before it hits the ground.  Bryce took over as FBI chief here one year ago.

Municipal Auditorium features “The Biggest ‘In Person’ Show of ’56” with Bill Haley & His Comets, The Platters, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Clyde McPhatter, The Clovers, Chuck Berry, Ella Johnson, Shirley & Lee, Shirley Gunther, The Flairs and  Buddy Johnson & His Big Band.

October 29 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
One hundred recovered pneumonia patients were issued twenty day furloughs this morning at the Base Hospital, Ft. Sam Houston.  That shows the conditions at the Ft. Sam Houston hospital are steadily improving.

The Express-News dedicates its new building at the corner of Avenue E and 3rd streets (right).  The day is inauspicious due to the second day of panic selling on Wall Street.  The stock market crash reaches its crescendo today and will come to be known as “Black Tuesday.”

Arthur “Hap” Veltman, an active developer of food and drink establishments and assorted commercial properties in San Antonio, says he has found a buyer for his holdings in a large downtown nightclub, the Bonham Exchange at 411 Bonham.  However, the San Antonio developer did not reveal who the buyer is.

October 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
An order is issued this morning that, beginning tomorrow, married men at Camp Travis who show no symptoms of influenza will be issued passes twice a week to come into San Antonio and see their families.  The rumor that the quarantine is lifted is declared to be “absolutely without formulation” by Major Van Meter, acting division surgeon.

The City Central Bank today will join the ranks of the very few buildings in San Antonio which are equipped with new dial telephones. By 1931, the entire city is expected to be using dial phones.

San Antonio is plunged into darkness at 7:08 p.m. when the city suffers a blackout due to a succession of errors by City Public Service.  The diesel generators installed after the last city blackout in 1949 fail to kick in. The area affected is larger than Rhode Island.  Ironically, after New York City had suffered a blackout earlier in the year on July 14, CPS spokesman Ben Scholl said, “The chances of San Antonio having an earthquake are greater than the chance the city will have a blackout similar to the one in New York.”

October 8 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Ending with his sensational “Slide to Death” from the eight-story Alamo National Bank building, Johnny Reynolds, the “human fly,” will put on the most spectacular free show of the week tonight at 8 o’clock in the interest of the Liberty Loan.

“It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!”
Richter’s Bakery begins advertising sliced Butter Krust bread along with the traditionally unsliced loaves.

Janet Jackson brings her “Velvet Rope Tour” to the Alamodome, featuring an up-and-coming star in Usher Raymond.

October 6 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The funeral of David B. Sarran, the first San Antonio boy cited for bravery by Secretary Daniels of the U.S. Navy, who died of pneumonia last Monday at the Navy Hospital in Chicago, will be held with military honors at 10:00 a.m. this morning.  Burial will be at the National Cemetery.

The San Antonio Express announces that a new $1,000,000 theater building, to adjoin the Texas Theater, will be built on Travis Street near the San Antonio River.  Plans for the building have been completed by Robert Boller of Kansas City, architect of the Texas Theater.  Construction work will be underway in 60 to 75 days.  (Due to the stock market crash that began on Oct. 24 and the Great Depression that followed, this theater was never built.)

HemisFair ’68 comes to a close with a final total of 6,384,482 attendees.