Blog Archives

January 5 in San Antonio history…

1837January 5 in San Antonio history...
Bexar County is created by order of the Republic of Texas Congress. It was originally much, much larger. By 1850, it went all the way to the panhandle! 128 Texas counties have been created from Bexar County.

The city has announced it will oppose the San Antonio Public Service Co. plan to charge 8-cent street car fare to zones outside a 2.8 mile radius from the downtown area.  A 5-cent fare is in effect inside the downtown zone.

Final sketches of plans for the proposed new $1,500,000 municipal airport have been drawn. Though construction is still in doubt pending outcome of the $500,000 bond election, the city is going ahead with preparations to prevent delay once a decision has been made.

December 23 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio’s Christmas this year is the most bounteous and prosperous in her history. It has been estimated that no less than $6 million has been spent for gifts, an increase of about 25 percent over previous banner years.

The San Antonio Express praises the new Christmas lights on the “newly-beautified banks of [the] San Antonio River.”

Christmas gift checks totaling approximately $6500 are being presented by the Continental Trailways Bus system to its 100 employees in San Antonio.  Amount of the checks was determined by length of service with the company.

November 26 in San Antonio history…

John James dies at the age of 56.  He became Bexar County chief surveyor, surveying and establishing the city’s boundaries in 1846. He participated in the Battle of Salado in 1842 and in 1844 he surveyed and laid out the city of Castroville. In 1853, he and Charles de Montel established the city of Bandera and set up a horse-powered lumber mill there. He also established the first lumberyard in San Antonio and introduced Merino sheep to the Bandera area. In 1854, he and 35 others headed to California with more than 1,000 head of cattle. James also surveyed Fort Davis, Boerne, D’Hanis, and Quihi. He is said to have surveyed more land in Texas than any other individual surveyor. James was also the father-in-law of well known architect Alfred Giles.

Six planes from the First Aero Squadron, in a history-making event, land in San Antonio to end a 450-mile nonstop flight from Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

The first pedestrian crossing lanes in San Antonio have been painted at the intersection of Alamo and Houston streets.

November 1 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio’s German language newspaper, the 𝕱𝖗𝖊𝖎𝖊 𝕻𝖗𝖊𝖘𝖘𝖊 𝖋𝖚̈𝖗 𝕿𝖊𝖝𝖆𝖘, reports that Boerne is soon to get electricity.  The Dubinski Electric Company has accepted the contract for the facilities.

Parachutist George Hopkins, a native San Antonian, jumps from a plane and lands on the top of Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming today.  However, his plan for getting down from the mountain goes awry and he has to wait six days in freezing temperatures for rescuers to climb up to him with rappelling equipment.

A new music-only channel appears on UA-Columbia Cablevision in San Antonio…  MTV!

October 5 in San Antonio history…

Renovations to San Fernando are completed and the cathedral is reopened.  The second tower, however, would not be finished until 1902.

The new 1942 automobiles go on sale at local dealerships.  These cars would only be produced for a few months.  Auto production ceased on January 30, 1942 and the plants converted to building jeeps, tanks, planes and other war materiel.

Jazz impresario Norman Granz brings his “Jazz at the Philharmonic” tour to the Municipal Auditorium.  Performers include:  Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, The Oscar Peterson Trio (Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown), Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Flip Phillips, Buddy DeFranco, Illinois Jacquet, Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge and Bill Harris.

September 9 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Light‘s report totally understates the effect of the massive hurricane damage to Galveston. The Daily Express gets closer but with telegraph and telephone lines down, it’s difficult to ascertain the full extent of the destruction.

Louis Armstrong plays the Carver Library Auditorium.

A three-alarm fire at the Pearl Brewery claims the 107-year old, 40,000-square-foot Bottling House with its arched doorway and windows and the mission-style arch of the Alamo. The blaze was so intense and difficult to battle that firefighters decided to allow it to burn itself out. More than 12 hours after the Pearl security guard spotted the fire at 2 a.m., a handful of firefighters remained at the 23-acre property dousing hot spots with a ladder truck.

July 28 in San Antonio history…

Earl “Fatha” Hines performs at the Library Auditorium (now the Carver Center) on Hackberry Street.

The legend of the famed Rose Window of San Jose Mission is one of the major themes being presented in the production of “San Jose Story” at the San Jose Outdoor Theater through August 17.

Rolling Oaks Mall opens at Nacogdoches and Loop 1604.

June 24 in San Antonio history…

Mayor Maverick today has obtained from Aubrey Williams, NYA director, a commitment for $100,00 of NYA funds for restoration of the Villita Street Spanish Village.

Close on the heels of a state law authorizing expenditures of $1500 for maintenance and improvements, a crew of ten men are doing clean-up work today on the 18-acre San Jose park. I. A. Hirsch, project supervisor, said the job would require about three weeks.   “It undoubtedly will take several years to complete preservation and restoration of the mission,” said Frank D. Quinn, executive secretary of the Texas State Parks Board.

Rick James performs at Convention Center Arena.

June 21 in San Antonio history…

Oscar Wilde arrives in San Antonio on the 9:00 a.m. train and stays at the Menger Hotel.  He lectures at Turner Hall in the evening.  The newspapers describe his attire as a black velvet suit with a fob and seal suspended from his vest, breeches gathered at the knee, silk stockings and low shoes with buckles.

Jimmy Johnson’s Playland comes to San Antonio and holds its grand opening in its first location at 223 N. St. Mary’s Street.

A delegation from the San Antonio Conservation Society meets with Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd in Washington D. C. to express their opposition to the north expressway [now 281] which, when constructed, is scheduled to pass through a portion of Brackenridge Park.

May 8 in San Antonio history…

The Right Reverend J.C. Neraz (right) was consecrated second bishop of San Antonio.

The deed to San Jose Mission is presented to the National Park Service during a ceremony held in the granary of the old mission.

The newspapers confirm the rumors that Germany has surrendered. Most of San Antonio’s downtown retail stores close in celebration of V-E Day.  Torn bits of newspaper cascade from the windows of the Majestic, Woolworth and Gunter Buildings when President Truman’s 8 a.m. radio address confirms the news.  Mrs. Porfiria Estrada crawls six blocks from her home to Our Lady of Guadalupe church in gratitude that her two soldier sons’ lives were spared during the war.