Blog Archives

August 7 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
A board of aviation officers, including Major Henry H. Arnold and Captain Edgar, from Washington, arrived in San Antonio this morning and reported to department headquarters before beginning an inspection of Camp Kelly and the auxiliary flying field. The two officers were taken to Camp Kelly by Captain Paul Ferron, aeronautical officer of the department, and probably will remain until Wednesday night.

The first contribution to the newly constructed Alamo museum, comprising valued documents of early Texas, has been received by Mrs. Leita Small, Alamo custodian. The documents were presented by Mrs. Susan Miller, 115 Humphrey street, and her kinswoman, Mrs. James Sandusky Clarke, of Baltimore. Mrs. Clarke is a guest at the Miller home. Among the relics is the diary of James McKnight, who fought in the Texas revolution. The diary is dated 1838. McKnight was an ancestor of he donors. Still another of the documents is a letter dated 1842 and signed by T. Borden Jr., as collector of customs at Galveston.

The San Antonio Express and Light newspapers both report that a bomb, larger than any previously known, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima causing great damage and loss of life.  However, back on July 16, the San Antonio newspapers did not pick up a little-publicized story printed in the Gallup, NM;  Santa Fe, NM and El Paso newspapers that mentioned a huge explosion at a munitions dump near the Alamogordo Army Air Base.  This was actually the first nuclear test and would have been quite a scoop.  News of the July 16 test was finally printed today along with the news of the Hiroshima bombing.

1954>August 7 in San Antonio history...
Johnny Cash marries Vivian Liberto (right) at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in San Antonio.

December 19 in San Antonio history…

This morning workmen began construction of the immense stage in Travis Park on which nearly 1,200 musicians will participate in the military concert and Handel’s “Messiah” on Friday evening in connection with the great open-air Christmas musical observance and Christmas tree to be given under the auspices of the Rotary Club.

If snow falls in San Antonio on Christmas or New Year’s it will indeed be a miracle.  In the 52 years the weather bureau has kept records, snow has never fallen on those days.  (Still true. – Ed.)

The City Council agreed today to offer a part of the HemisFair site for the proposed four-year state university, The approval came on an 8-1 vote, the lone dissenter being Councilman Dr. Herbert Calderon, who called the proposal “most unrealistic.” Calderon said the amount of land available at the fair site is “totally inadequate and unrealistic.”

September 11 in San Antonio history…

Porter Loring purchases an iron lung for the city to be placed at a location agreed upon by the city’s physicians.  “The only rule that I, as its donor, will insist upon,”  he said, “is that it shall be available to anyone who needs it, regardless of race, color or situation of life, without cost.”  Mr. Loring receives a bronze plaque and is named by the Elks as “the most outstanding citizen of 1937” for his generous gift.

Historic Leonard Wood stadium, scene of many great football games between service teams, is no more. Condemned by government inspectors and declared unsafe to use, the Fort Sam Houston athletic field stands have been torn down and sold as salvage wood. Post officials said there are no plans to rebuild the field immediately. Tentative plans now call for erection of a N.C.O. club on that site.

San Antonians, shocked by the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., unite to pray, donate blood and help out in this time of crisis.

August 26 in San Antonio history…

The city’s first parking meters arrive and are installed.

Another bit of San Antonio’s romantic atmosphere – the portable chili stands on Haymarket Plaza – has vanished before the onslaught of civilization in the form of the city’s sanitation law. The matter has been kept under wraps for fear civic organizations would contest the passing of the “chili queens.”

Young San Antonians 18 to 20 years old will become adults at the stroke of midnight tonight – the legal age of majority changes from 21 to 18 years old.

July 4 in San Antonio history…

An immense U.S. flag was draped from the balcony of San Antonio’s City Hall to mark the Fourth of July because it was too big to be raised on the city’s flagpole.

Convinced her husband was cheating on her, an Austin woman leaps to her death from the eighth floor of the Bluebonnet Hotel.  Her suicide note ends with, “So long, Casanova.”

The Express and the News newspapers are combined for the day.

February 4 in San Antonio history…

World War I -1916
Austrian forces occupy Kroja, 25 miles north of Durazzo in modern-day Albania.

Work on the state park to surround the Alamo will start immediately.  Included in the $82,000 project is preservation work on the shrine, erection of a museum, landscaping, sprinklers and plaques.

Final plans and specifications for initial buildings, site development and utility distribution system at the new University of Texas at San Antonio were approved by UT regents today.  Plans cover seven buildings encompassing 7000,000 gross square feet of floor space at an estimated cost of $36,522,000.

August 26 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1915
German Imperial Chancellor  Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg stated today that the sinking of the Arabic, if caused by a German submarine, was not a “deliberately unfriendly” attack but – if the version of the incident published is true – the arbitrary act of a submarine commander and not only not sanctioned but decidedly condemned by the German government.  He also stated that Germany is most desirous of maintaining peace and friendly relations with the United States.

The San Antonio public schools are placed under city control.

Another bit of San Antonio’s romantic atmosphere – the portable chili stands on Haymarket Plaza – has vanished before the onslaught of civilization in the form of the city’s sanitation law. The matter has been kept under wraps for fear civic organizations would contest the passing of the “chili queens.”

The movie theater at McCreeless Mall closes.

August 13 in San Antonio history…

Mary, a 26-year-old spider monkey known to thousands of San Antonians, died in the Brackenridge Park zoo hospital this morning. She was the first animal to be placed in the zoo and the first spider monkey born in the U.S.

The Dallas Cowboys play their first game in the state of Texas right here in San Antonio – an exhibition game in Alamo Stadium against the newly relocated (from Chicago) St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals, featuring Texas Aggies John David Crow &  Bobby Joe Conrad, win, 20-13.

Northside School District opens three new elementary schools – Monroe May , Virginia Myers and Henry Steubing – thanks to a $98 million bond package approved by voters in 1995.

July 17 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1915
The San Antonio Light reports that the British liner Orduna with 227 passengers aboard, twenty-one of whom were Americans, was attacked without warning by a German submarine at 6 a.m. July 9, sixteen hours out of Liverpool, on her way to New York. Announcement of the attack was made by the ship’s captain. Thomas McComb Tnylor, and passengers. when the Orduna reached new York today.

San Antonio’s city limits are set as one square league with the dome of San Fernando Cathedral as center, divided into four wards.

Police Chief Owen Kilday said he is considering the installation of two-way radio sets in police scout cars so officers may confer with headquarters without having to stop to telephone.

Clara Driscoll, known as the “Savior of the Alamo” dies in her penthouse at the Driscoll Hotel in Corpus Christi. She is the fourth person to lie in state at the Alamo and is buried at Alamo Masonic Cemetery.

December 22 in San Antonio history…

Bexar County is officially organized.

“The Crimson Tide Special” train containing the Alabama eleven, stops in San Antonio for a brief workout before continuing on their way to the Rose Bowl. Alabama player Bill Young is stricken with appendicitis and will listen to the Rose Bowl from a Del Rio hospital room.  The 1934 Alabama team featured star end Don Hutson and the other lesser-known end, nicknamed “Bear” – Paul Bryant.

Three years later, again on their way to California for the Rose Bowl, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team stops in San Antonio for a workout.  This time Captain Leroy Monsky suffers a gash requiring stitches during the workout at Eagle Field.  He plays in the Rose Bowl anyway.