Blog Archives

April 30 in San Antonio history…

The operator of a gun and saddle shop on S. Flores admitted he had sold machine guns and other weapons to George “Baby Face” Nelson and John Dillinger, America’s public enemies No. 1 and No. 2.

The contract to build a 650-foot tower at the HemisFair site was awarded today to D.J. Rheiner Construction Company.  Architectural details for the unnamed tower will be released within 60 days.

The former Mission Drive-In Theater (right) opens as the 16,400 square foot Mission Branch Library.

April 8 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Light advertises a new program to promote interest in aviation for boys and girls – the Junior Birdmen of America – sponsored by the Hearst Corporation.  Children can mail in the printed coupon along with ten cents to join the organization, which begins in one week.

A B-29 bomber crashes on approach to Kelly Air Force Base.  The plane is destroyed but all six crewmen survive.

Superbaby.  That’s what Baptist Memorial Hospital has tagged Robert Daniel Sczepanik, two-day-old heavyweight born April 6.  Mighty Robert weighed in at 13 pounds, 6.5 ounces, to set a possible record for the hospital in baby weights.

October 9 in San Antonio history…

Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean, former hurler in San Antonio’s Business Baseball League, is scheduled to pitch in the seventh game of the St. Louis – Detroit World Series. (Dean gets the win as the “Gashouse Gang” Cards rout the Tigers, 11-0.)

Presidential candidate Richard Nixon makes campaign speech in San Antonio and places a wreath at the Alamo.
San Antonians interested in politics went to the Alamo to hear him speak.  Sports fans were too busy talking about Don Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series the night before.

Two city councilmen are arrested and charged with bribery, bid-rigging and corruption.

September 28 in San Antonio history…

The City Central Bank and Trust, one of the larger banks in the city, closes by order of the State Banking Commission.  This sparks a “run” on another large bank in town – Frost Bank.  The president of NBC Bank instructs employees to accept no new accounts from those who had withdrawn their funds from Frost.  “That’s a sound bank,” said president J. K. Baretta.  “If they’ll withdraw from Frost, they’ll do the same thing to us later.”

Cab Calloway and his New York Cotton Club entertainers opened a week’s engagement at the Majestic Theater (right).

Complaints of nude terrorists in Brackenridge Park had been made to police today and conditions have become so bad in the park that women and girls have been advised not to ride through the bridle paths unescorted, no matter what the hour.

July 16 in San Antonio history…

Mrs. L. M. Lyon of 717 East Euclid Avenue wins the $50 prize for writing the city creed in 100 words:
“I believe in San Antonio, my home; that whatsoever I I give unto her shall be returned to me tenfold.
I believe in her unique and picturesque setting, the romance and mystery of her historic mission; her riches on the earth, under the earth and in the air.
I believe in the efficiency of her institutions, her healthgiving climate, the dignity of her men and women and her genial western hospitality.
I believe in her business enterprises, the present and its opportunities, the future and its wonderful promises, and in the divine joy of living in San Antonio for you – and me.”

Thirty San Antonio pecan shellers were working under police protection after a group of 50 labor agitators had tried unsuccessfully to make them strike.

At 7:32 a.m. San Antonio time, Apollo 11 blasts off from Cape Kennedy, Florida heading for the moon.  The launch is broadcast live all three networks beginning at 6 a.m. on KSAT Channel 12.

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.

March 13 in San Antonio history…

The Vaudeville Theater, closed by police after the shooting of Ben Thompson and King Fisher two days ago, was reopened. Few people attended, however.

After reading how John Dillinger escaped from an Illinois jail, a San Antonio prisoner changed clothers with a cellmate and tried to bluff his way out as a visitor. Guards recognized him.

The space shuttle Discovery flight STS-29, the third flight since the Challenger disaster, lifts off from Cape Canaveral with San Antonio native Col. John E. Blaha (right) as the pilot.  Blaha would also pilot STS-33 later that same year.

November 17 in San Antonio history…

Lyndon B. Johnson marries Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. LBJ didn’t have a wedding band for her and had asked Dan Quill, friend and Postmaster of San Antonio, to get one. Quill bought a wedding band at the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. for $2.50.  (The Sears store was located in what is now called the Tower Life Building.) After the wedding, they had dinner at the St. Anthony Hotel and spent their wedding night at the Plaza Hotel.

The now-infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special” airs on KENS Channel 5 from 7-9 p.m.  The TV guide description:  “The cast of ‘Star Wars’ and an array of guest stars join together to help the Wookie [sic] Chewbacca reach his home planet in time for Life Day.”

The first Tundra rolls off the assembly line in San Antonio’s new Toyota plant.

September 28 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1918
The Fourth Liberty War Bond drive begins, offering $6 million in bonds at 4.25 percent.  The maturity date was Oct. 15, 1938.

Cab Calloway and his New York Cotton Club entertainers open a week’s engagement at the Majestic Theater.

Joe Alston, right, who played “Captain Gus” from 1953 to 1979 on the long-running KENS-TV kid’s show, passes away at his home in Pipe Creek at the age of 71.  Ba-ding bing!

August 16 in San Antonio history…

A man arrested yesterday for the burglary of a little West Commerce grocery store three weeks ago will have to stand trial before a jury in the Thirty-seventh District Court based on a single fingerprint on a broken window pane. It is the first case based upon a fingerprint, without any other evidence, recorded in Bexar County and the third of its kind in Texas.

Donald “Donnie” Roan Dunagan is born in San Antonio.  Mr. Dunagan served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was promoted 13 times in 21 years, retiring with the rank of Major.  He was the Marine Corp’s youngest drill instructor.  He also served three tours in Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart three times and the Bronze Star. However, you may know him as the voice of Walt Disney’s “Bambi.”

San Antonians mourned the death of singer Elvis Presley, who died at age 42 at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee.