Blog Archives

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.

January 12 in San Antonio history…

A permit is issued for the installation of escalator at Joske’s – San Antonio’s first.

The naming of Victor Alessandro as new permanent musical director and conductor of the San Antonio Symphony was announced by Symphony President Jesse H. Oppenheimer.

1985 – SNOW!
Just after midnight, it began to snow in San Antonio.  It snowed all night and most of the next day, finally dropping a record 13 inches of the white stuff on the Alamo City.  The previous record was 4.7 inches on January 30, 1949.  The Taco Cabana at San Pedro and Hildebrand stays open, too!

July 23 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
On a recent cross-country flight from Brooks Field to Ellington Field in Houston, four pigeons were taken and released by the aviators at altitudes varing from 2,000 to 4,500 feet.  The pigeons all reached the home field safely and promptly, the messages brought by them reporting the progress of the trip and the non-arrival of one of the airplanes.

The Pontiac “glass car,” (right) with a body made from plexiglas and featured in General Motors’ “Highways and Horizons” pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair, goes on display at Mission City Pontiac located at Tenth and Broadway.

Emma Tenayuca, San Antonio labor leader, dies at age 82

July 15 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I 
Col. R. Smith-Barry, Lieut. Col. George Philippi and Major Henan, all of the Royal Air Force, who are now on a tour of the flying fields of the United States, will leave San Antonio later today after visiting Brooks and Kelly Fields.

The first general meeting of the San Antonio civil defense organization was held in the Gunter Hotel and resulted in a collection of many aluminum pots and pans.

The Jacksons, featuring lead singer Michael Jackson, play a concert in Hemisfair Arena, the fifth stop on a tour that began July 8 in Memphis, Tennessee.

June 21 in San Antonio history…

Work on the Quartermaster’s Depot and Water Tower at Ft. Sam Houston is begun by Braden & Angus. It will have a height of over 88 feet.  The United States Congress has appropriated $100,000 for work on this Depot.

1918 – World War I
One hundred and thirty-five alien women citizens of enemy countries registered in Bexar County yesterday, the largest number to register in one that since the registration period opened.  Of those who registered yesterday, eighty-one were sisters from the Santa Rosa Hospital and the convents of Our Lady of Divine Providence and Our Lady of the Lake.

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