Blog Archives

August 20 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The 94th Aero Squadron is organized at Kelly Field.  The squadron was one of the first American pursuit squadrons to reach the Western Front and see combat, becoming one of the most famous. The 94th was highly publicized in the American print media of the time, and its exploits “over there” were widely reported on the home front. Its squadron emblem, the “Hat in the Ring” became a symbol in the minds of the American Public of the American Air Service of World War I. Three notable air aces served with the squadron, Eddie Rickenbacker, who was awarded almost every decoration attainable, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

The rock in the old post office, quarried from the hills of Texas prior to 1888, will go into a $1 million Catholic shrine, to be built during the centennial.  The shrine, to be dedicated to St. Anthony, will be one of the finest in the United States. Entrance to the structure will be a replica of the Alamo, which was the first shrine to St. Anthony in the Unitet States. The new national shrine will be known as the New Alamo.

A malfunction in the mechanism to raise and lower the new tainter gate installed in the San Antonio River at Market Street caused the gate to crash with enough force to be heard and felt for blocks this afternoon.

August 19 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
As a testimonial of their confidence in his ability and the ultimate success of the expedition he has led to France, the San Antonio Rotary club will send a signed message to General John J. Pershing, in command of the American forces Europe. General Pershing is an honorary member of the San Antonio organization.  Part of the message follows:
“Your selection as commander of the American army in France is a  matter of great pride to all Rotarians, especially to those of the club in San Antonio. We rejoice in every honor which comes to you. We eagerly follow your actions in the great war and await your achievements in absolute confidence. We are keeping the choicest place at our table and in our hearts for your happy return.
Respectfully and sincerely,

Mayor C. K. Quin today ordered a series of mural paintings taken from the walls of the foyer of the Municipal Auditorium, after their presence was protested by the American Legion Central Council of Bexar County. The paintings by Xavier Gonzales, were criticized for containing hidden Communist symbols.

City Council passes a smoking ordinance that closes exemptions that have allowed smoking in bars, pool and bingo halls, comedy clubs and restaurants with enclosed smoking areas. The ordinance goes into effect on August 19, 2011.

March 22 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Conservation Society is organized to save the old Market House and the San Antonio River.

“West Point of the Air,” a new movie with scenes filmed at Randolph Field and starring Wallace Beery, Robert Young, Maureen O’Sullivan and Rosalind Russell, holds its world premiere at the Majestic Theater.

In advance of a May 12 Federal Court hearing, the City Council repeals the June 19, 1954 ordinance (No. 20307) prohibiting people of color from city swimming pools.

August 27 in San Antonio history…

Since the passing of the ordinance on August 4, there are now 16 licensed “bawdy houses” or brothels in the city.

A flood of mail arrived at the mayor’s office protesting the removal of two murals, alleged to depict Communist symbols, from the walls of Municipal Auditorium. The mayor said they would stay down.

The city begins installing signs at intersections that are exceptions to the new state law permitting right turns on red lights that went into effect at midnight.  Right turns on red will be allowed at 642 intersections involving 2,300 approaches in San Antonio.


August 19 in San Antonio history…

Mayor C. K. Quin Monday ordered a series of mural paintings taken from the walls of the foyer of the Municipal Auditorium, after their presence was protested by the American Legion Central Council of Bexar County. The paintings by Xavier Gonzales, were criticized for containing hidden Communist symbols.

Local builders today claimed San Antonio needs 10,000 new homes “just to catch up” with present demand. Noting new homes are sold before they are even completed, they said 15,000 suitable sites exist on the north side.

Garth Brooks makes his first ever concert appearance in the area at the Bluebonnet Palace in Schertz.

July 25 in San Antonio history…

Postmaster Dan Quill spurned pleas from a veterans organization that oak trees planted in front of the old post office by Teddy Roosevelt not be chopped down.

Aerosmith, promoting their “Toys In the Attic” album, opens for ZZ Top in Convention Center Arena.

San Antonio Water System begins adding fluoride to San Antonio’s drinking water after a decades-long debate.

April 28 in San Antonio history…

A carnival ride in Milam Square collapsed, injuring eight people.

1958San Antonio Express, 29 April 1953
Two tornadoes (later rated F3 and F4) strike Bexar County in the area of Helotes, killing two people and injuring twenty.

A developer has announced plans for a 28- acre Islamic-oriented condominium and retail center to be constructed on the northwest side of the city. Insha Development Co. announced that the $26 million project would be called Safa City and would contain 300 housing units, a mosque, school, shops, gardens, picnic areas and fountains. The land for the project was purchased a year ago for $1.8 million in an area two miles southwest of Ingram Park Mall.

April 7 in San Antonio history…

Gen. Robert E. Lee, who with other pioneer churchmen and patriots established St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, will be honored by unveiling of marker at church by Daughters of Confederacy today at 8 p. m.

A nationwide telephone strike begins at 6 a.m.  1,300 members of the telephone workers union are off the job in San Antonio. Local phone service on the dial system will not be affected until the lack of maintenance work causes breakdowns, it was pointed out by Paul West, district manager of the Southwestern Bell Company. How long this will be is anybody’s guess. A supervisory force is manning switchboards, West said, and is prepared to handle a limited number of long-distance and other calls requiring an operator. He urged telephone users to avoid all such as far as possible.

The Federal Courthouse on Durango Street is renamed the John H. Wood, Jr. U. S. Courthouse in honor of slain U. S. District Judge John H. Wood who was assassinated in May 29, 1979.  U. S. Senator John Tower and U. S. Representative Tom Loeffler speak at the dedication ceremony in the courthouse rotunda.

March 17 in San Antonio history…

In making excavation for the brick  foundation of the new Westminster Presbyterian church on Garden St, Contractor Finney struck the old underground passage supposed to have existed between the first mission and the Alamo. The ditch was 20 feet deep and Mr. Finley was compelled to go to the bottom of it to start his foundations. This Passage has been discovered twice previously: three years ago at the corner of Alamo and Garden st. and again on E. Commerce at the intersection of St. Joseph’s street.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas dedicates the park on the Alamo grounds.

Little Rock, Ark.-based Dillard’s opens its first San Antonio store, a 150,000-square-foot location in Central Park Mall.

The city first dyes the San Antonio River green for St. Patrick’s Day.

October 26 in San Antonio history…

The Army’s largest non-rigid dirigible, the TC-13, was lodged in a huge Brooks Field hangar before continuing a journey to Sunnyvale, California.

Over protests of one commissioner who wanted the new coliseum to be named for a deceased war hero, it was named in honor of Joe Freeman today.  The official name is Joe Freeman Bexar County Coliseum.

James Taylor comes to San Antonio for the first time in support of his “Sweet Baby James” album.  He plays Municipal Auditorium.