1917 – World War I
Two officers and 150 enlisted men of the 94th Aero Squadron leave Texas for France and are sent to seven different aircraft factories for maintenance and repair training.
Alamo Plaza is decided upon as the location for the cenotaph honoring the Alamo heroes.
Demetrio Jose “Joe” Esquivel (right) dies in San Antonio. In 1882, Esquivel, along with his brother Tony, drove cattle from Texas to Wyoming, where their skills with horses caught the attention of William F. Cody, who was assembling his troupe for the first season of the Wild West exhibition. Joe was hired as “chief of cowboys,” and Tony was hired as a bucking-horse rider and trick rider. The brothers, whose father was Hispanic and mother was Polish, were born in Panna Maria.
Sears on Romana Plaza opens their new three-level “ultra-modern” parking garage. (The downtown Central Library still uses this garage.)
Archbishop Lucey dedicates new Catholic Chancery building at 9123 Lorene Lane on city’s North Side.
Every telephone number in San Antonio will be changed at midnight tonight as special crews switch 127,000 lines to the new metropolitan numbering plan that requires dialing two letters and five digits (right).
An old San Antonio custom, serenading by troubadours in Haymarket Plaza, has been revived today. The practice was discontinued about 10 years ago. Singing by troubadours and señoritas will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. each Saturday at the plaza, said acting City Market Manager Thomas Melchor.
The cornerstone of Paine (Travis Park) Methodist-Episcopal Church is laid.
Amelia Earhart, famed woman flyer, in San Antonio for a visit, spiked rumors that she is planning another around-the-world flight.
(Despite her denial, she was in fact planning an around the world flight. She left Oakland on May 21, 1937 and disappeared on July 2.)
Rodney Allen Rippy, child star of commercials for Jack In The Box restaurants, comes to San Antonio on a promotional tour. He is whisked by limousine from the airport to the Jack In The Box at Vance Jackson and Loop 410 for supper.
Arturo Trevino, a local grocer, paid $3 for an airplane flight over the city and jumped to his death 3,500 feet above his grocery store. He missed the store and his body crashed through the residence of Frank Padalecki next door. Trevino’s body went through the tin roof, ceiling and floor, breaking a gas main under the house.
Eastwood Country Club features “The Fabulous Ike and Tina Turner Revue (right).”
Santikos opens the Embassy 14 Theatres on Bitters Road and Crossroads 6 Theatres at Loop 410 and Fredericksburg Rd.
Seventy-five years ago today, legendary bluesman Robert Johnson records “Cross Road Blues” in the Gunter Hotel on Houston Street. The song would later be notably covered by Cream featuring the guitar prowess of Eric Clapton.
The city first begins displaying Christmas lights along the Riverwalk.
The first Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner is held in San Antonio.
Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson records eight songs during the first of three recording sessions in San Antonio. The songs include “Sweet Home Chicago”, “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” and “Terraplane Blues.”
For the first time in at least six years, snow fell on San Antonio today for several hours, leaving the city under a beautiful blanket of white.
The San Antonio Light reports that a giant horse named Dr. LeGear is attracting much attention at the fair. Dr. LeGear is a dapple seal brown Percheron gelding, 21 hands tall, takes a 32 inch collar, is 16 feet from tip to tip, and is eight years old.
The $1,500,00 Nix Professional Building opens with great fanfare. The Gothic 23-story building, “the first of its kind in the world,” features a basement with a cafeteria, tailor shop and barbershop; eight floors of car storage space, ten floors of office space and a 200-bed hospital on the top six floors.
Westmoorland College becomes the University of San Antonio.
Harry Houdini escapes from a locked crate on the stage of the (old) Majestic Theater.
With science predicting that half of America will be living in trailers within the next 15 years, San Antonio was at the start of a record-breaking tourist season and the title “Highway gypsy capital of the U.S.”
Waylon Jennings brings his Country & Western All-Star Show to Convention Center Arena, featuring his wife Jessi Colter, Tompall (Glaser) and the Outlaw Band, and Rusty Weir. These performers, with Willie Nelson replacing Rusty Weir, would be featured on the album “Wanted! The Outlaws” the following year. This was the first country & western album to be certified platinum with sales of one million copies.
August Siemering and H. Pollmar begin publishing the San Antonio Express (right) as a weekly with a subscription price of $6 a year. It’s printed on the press of Siemering’s other paper, the German-language Freie Presse für Texas, in offices at 138 E. Commerce St. The paper is tabloid-size with five-column pages and advertising on the front. The first editor is Judge William E. “Fiery” Jones.
The cornerstone of the newly renovated San Fernando Cathedral is laid.
Stinson Field is dedicated.