Blog Archives

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.

April 21 in San Antonio history…

Juan N. Seguin, in a letter to General Bee of this city, positively asserts that the charred bones and ashes of the Alamo defenders, burned by Santa Anna’s orders, were collected in an urn and deposited in a grave which the Seguin had dug inside of the cathedral of San Fernando, in front of the altar close to the railing.(from the April 21, 1889 San Antonio Light newspaper)

King Antonio XXIII, George Friedrich, directs his armada of more than 50 boats down the San Antonio River in the first ever Fiesta River Fête.  This replaces the previous tradition of King Antonio arriving in the city by royal coach.  The ceremony also serves as a formal dedication of the River Beautification Project.

The refurbished copper Indian is returned to his place atop the old Missouri Pacific depot downtown.  Castroville blacksmith Alan Lewis restored the Indian after it was found battered and bent in a nearby field when vandals removed it five years ago.

March 5 in San Antonio history…

Santa Anna issues orders for the assault to begin on the following day utilizing four assault columns and one reserve column. A messenger arrives at the Alamo compound with the grim news that reinforcements aren’t coming. Travis gathers his men and informs them of their options. Popular legend has it that this was the moment when Col. William Barret Travis, Commander of the Alamo forces, drew a line in the dirt with his saber and asked those men who were committed to defending the Alamo to the death to cross.

Gutzon Borglum, internationally-known sculptor who lived in San Antonio from 1923 to 1938, died today in a hospital in Chicago.  Borglum, who gained prominence for his work on Stone Mountain in Georgia, worked 15 years in his studio in Brackenridge Park.  When he left, he gave the studio to the Witte Museum and it is now used by the San Antonio Art League.  (Borglum’s obituary in the San Antonio Express makes no mention of his work on Mount Rushmore.)

The General Motors Parade of Progress goes on display at Lions’ Park, complete with Aerodome tent and a fleet of 12 Futurliners.

February 11 in San Antonio history…

For the first time in years, all the lights on Olmos Dam are burning.  The Parks Department has put 10-watt globes in the sockets.

Professional basketball comes to San Antonio for the first time with a matinee game and an evening doubleheader at Alamo Stadium gym.  The matinee game features the Harlem Globetrotters versus the New York Celtics.  The evening games are the New York Celtics against the Philadelphia Sphas and the Globetrotters against the Philadelphia Giants.

San Antonio hosts the NBA All-Star Game at the Alamodome. Michael Jordan wins the MVP award.