Blog Archives

August 13 in San Antonio history…

1923
Police Chief A. O. Van Riper and Traffic Capt. T. O. Miller supervised the inauguration of San Antonio’s new traffic light system, installed on Houston Street.

1947tv1947
For a full hour, three times daily and uninterrupted except for 15 minutes of cowboy music, the commercial use of television is being demonstrated on the fourth floor of Joske’s – the first display of television in the state of Texas (right).  Some of the spectators have made inquiries about the cost of the television machines and if they are for sale.  They can be purchased for about $350 ($3,793.95 in 2016 dollars!) and stored in the attic until television is here to stay.

1960
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.

May 21 in San Antonio history…

1947
The San Antonio Public Library has obtained four films that are now available for viewing by all patrons with library cards.  The films are: “The House I Live In,” Frank Sinatra’s film on racial tolerance (below); “Public Opinion,” a film showing how public opinion develops; “The Diary of a Sergeant,” a film showing rehabilitation of a veteran without hands; and “The Story of Texas – Her Natural Resources.”

1958
Chuck Jefferson, Woodridge School third grader, was homeward bound with $32,000 he won on the “$64,000 Question” TV show.  “I wanted to go on (for $64,000), but my parents decided I should quit.  It’s too big of a risk.  Sometimes I think parents are too nervous.”

1991
Robert E. Lee high school votes to ban the Confederate flag from uniforms and activities sponsored by the school beginning in the fall.   “We are not going to suspend students if they have it on a T-shirt or backpack; that’s an individual choice,” said Lee Principal Bill Fish. “But as an institution, we are not going to use it.  We’ve been trying to do this gradually over time,” he said, adding that new football uniforms have been ordered without the flag to replace old ones.

April 18 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
“Judging from the splendor of the opening events San Antonio’s Fiesta San Jacinto deserves far greater fame than it has yet achieved.’’ said Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the Southern Department, this morning. “It is a revelation to me for I never dreamed It was such a magnificent affair. It deserves to rank with the Mardi Gras at New Orleans and will surpass it when it becomes better known. If the climax to the Fiesta is as wonderful as the opening events seem to justify, and I hear it is, people should come many miles to see it.”

1927
Archbishop Robert J. Drossaerts rededicates San Jose Mission as a sacred edifice. Restored to its original lines of 160 years ago, the mission will be reblessed to compensate for the time it lay in ruins.

1947
Mission Stadium and Ballpark opened and the first Texas league game was played there.

April 1 in San Antonio history…

1945
The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League, battle Charlie “Cholly” Engle’s All-Star team in a 14-inning thriller that ends up being called as a 4-4 tie.  The Monarchs had to catch a bus for Houston.  The Monarchs have a new shortstop by the name of Jackie Robinson who, unfortunately, has a double error in the seventh inning, allowing the All-Stars to score the tying run.

1947air-conditioned buses
The San Antonio Transit Company begins putting into service their new fleet of 50 air-conditioned city buses.  The Alamo city is the first city in the world to have air-conditioned metropolitan buses.  They even offer free rides on a downtown loop between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

1952
The name of the producers of Pearl beer has been officially changed from San Antonio Brewing Association to Pearl Brewing Company, according to Datus E. Proper, vice-president and general manager.

1996
Longtime San Antonio grocers Centeno Supermarkets files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

February 27 in San Antonio history…

1795
Jose Antonio Navarro is born on this day in San Antonio.

1887225px-Edwin_Booth_Hamlet_1870
Edwin Booth, brother to John Wilkes, performs Richelieu and Hamlet at the Grand Opera House.  (Booth, dressed as Hamlet, right)

1947
“It’s A Wonderful Life” debuts at the Majestic Theater, two months and six days after its national premiere.

January 22 in San Antonio history…

1925
The State Legislature prepared to end Bexar County’s “five-minute divorce” system.

1933
Only in chasing criminals or in answering emergency calls will radio patrol cars be allowed to exceed a speed limit of 25 miles per hour in the future, according to an order issued today by Chief of Police Owen Kilday.

1947
“It’s A Joke, Son!,” the new film featuring Kenny Delmar as Senator Claghorn (the inspiration for the animated character Foghorn Leghorn) premieres at the Aztec Theater with in-person appearances from cast members Una Merkel and June Lockhart (later a star on TV shows “Lassie” and “Lost in Space.”)

1973
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson is transported by airplane from his Johnson City ranch to Brooke Army General Hospital where he is pronounced dead on arrival.

January 19 in San Antonio history…

1947
The long and bitter days and nights in Japanese prison camps were the subject for good-humored retrospect at a party honoring ex-prisoners of war of Bataan, held tonight by General Jonathan Wainwright, Fourth Army commander at his Fort Sam Houston headquarters.  Piece de resistance of the meal was “rice a la prison camp” – a rice soup served in tin pails and cups, reminiscent of the slim daily fare in the Japanese POW camps.

1958
San Antonio oilman-scientist Tom Slick said today it is “entirely possible” a Russian scientist’s claim he spotted two “Abominable Snowmen” is true.  Last year Slick led an expedition in which he photographed tracks believed to have been made by the elusive Himalayan creatures.

1982
Debbie Reynolds performs at the Majestic Theater for the Performing Arts.

January 4 in San Antonio history…

1833
San Antonian William Tobin equaled William Tell’s achievement by shooting an apple off the cranium of Thomson Green of New York – a close friend.  The distance was thirty feet.

1892
The large advertising board on the bank of the river in Bowen’s Central Garden has fallen into the river and is obstructing the channel.

1947alamo_bowl
After a three-day delay due to icy conditions, the Alamo Bowl (right) is played in Alamo Stadium:  Hardin Simmons 20, Denver 0. Game only draws a crowd of 3,730 spectators. The temperature never gets above 26 degrees.

 

January 3 in San Antonio history…

1947rigby
The San Antonio Junior College has announced plans for a 14-building campus if it obtains the arsenal site from government officials in July. Plans submitted show many of the buildings now being used by the government can be transferred to school use in one week.

1964
A month before their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, the Beatles are shown on American television for the first time – on the Jack Paar Show at 9 p.m. on WOAI Channel 4.

1974
Gymnast Cathy Rigby debuts as Peter Pan in a World Premiere engagement at Convention Center Arena.

December 28 in San Antonio history…

1945
Army officials have declared the river walk, the beautified section of the river downtown, off limits to all military personnel between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.

1977
Nationally syndicated columnist Heloise (real name Katherine Eloise Bowles) passes away at the downtown Baptist Hospital at age 58.  Her daughter, Ponce Heloise Cruse will take over her “Hints from Heloise” column.

2000
Montgomery Ward announced today that they are filing for bankruptcy and closing their doors after 128 years.  The company was founded in Chicago in 1872 and was the first mail-order catalog business.  The catalog was discontinued in 1985, but the stores remained. The shutdowns will leave large vacancies at four San Antonio malls:  McCreless, Windsor Park, Crossroads (Wonderland) and Westlakes.  [Those mall stores would all close in March 2001.]