Blog Archives

September 29 in San Antonio history…

Workmen begin razing the Vance House at Nueva and Dwyer, despite protests from the Conservation Society.  The Vance House, a Greek Revival mansion,  was built between 1857 and 1859 by James Vance, a local banker. Col. Robert E. Lee, walking under the grape arbors on its grounds, was said to have decided to resign a colonelcy in the United States (Union) Army and join the Confederacy, though he was fundamentally opposed to rebellion.  Having made up his mind, he announced at a dinner in the Vance House’s great dining room:  “If Virginia secedes, I shall stand with her.”  Virginia seceded and Lee became the Commander of the Confederate armies.  The Federal Reserve Bank currently stands on the site. (photo from the UTSA Archives)

San Antonio’s largest building, the Transit Tower, was sold to the Citizen’s Republic Insurance Company for $1 million.

A C-47 with four airmen aboard made a crash landing near the number 5 hole on the Randolph AFB golf course during the World Wide Air Force Tournament shortly after 9 a.m. today.  No golfers were in the area at the time of the crash, a public information officer said.


September 5 in San Antonio history…

The NFL’s newest franchise – the Dallas Texans – play the Washington Redskins in Alamo Stadium.  The Texans, a renamed and a relocated franchise formerly known as the New York Yanks, defeat Sammy Baugh’s Redskins, 27-14, but fold at the end of the season.  For 1953, the NFL relocates the team to Baltimore and they are renamed the Colts.

San Antonio telephone exchanges change again to: CApitol, LEhigh, PErshing, TAylor & WAlnut followed by five numerals (right).

The mercury reaches 111 degrees – the hottest day in San Antonio history.

March 19 in San Antonio history

The Council House Fight takes place in the building across from San Fernando Cathedral. The meeting took place under a truce with the purpose of negotiating peace after two years of war between the Comanche Indians and the Republic of Texas. The Comanches sought to obtain recognition of the boundaries of the Comancheria, their homeland. The Texans wanted the release of Texan and Mexican captives held by the Comanches. The event ended with 12 Comanche leaders shot to death in the Council House, 23 shot in the streets of San Antonio, and 30 taken captive. The incident ended the chance for peace and led to years of hostility and war.

Thomas Jefferson High School is dedicated.

City Council today passed an ordinance regulating the use of water in San Antonio.  The prolonged drought, growth of the city,  greater use of water by military installations and increased air-conditioning were given as reasons for the step.

December 27 in San Antonio history…

A candle burning at the altar of the Chapel of Miracles, 113 Ruiz street, set fire to the interior of the little church this morning and caused considerable damage before firemen extinguished the blaze.

A mechanized version of the old west’s pony express was inaugurated this morning to provide hourly mail service to a southwest Texas route extending over 2,500 miles – a fleet of four multi-ton “portable bus postoffices” – 35 feet long with 12-cylinder engines.  Many San Antonians braved rainy weather to attend a pre-inaugural ceremony held locally at Alamo Plaza.

Radio stations KONO and KITY are sold by Mission Broadcasting Co. to Dallas-based Duffy Broadcasting Co., ending 60 years of continuous ownership by the Roth family.

November 28 in San Antonio history…

A change of location for tomorrow’s ground-breaking program for the Congregation Agudas Achim’s new synagogue and school building was announced by Rabbi Sidney Guthman.  The new synagogue will be located near Jefferson High School at Donaldson & St. Cloud streets.

The 13,000 sq. ft. Handy Andy store #29 in the Colonies North Shopping Center holds its grand opening.  (This store would later be San Antonio’s first Whole Foods grocery store and is now Big Lots.)

Karen Teresa Daidone is believed to be the first test tube baby born in San Antonio.


February 7 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio’s first “clerkless” grocery store opens on Commerce Street.  The  San Antonio Light describes the store as a “Mother Goose illustration…glistening with white paint everywhere, relieved here and there by a bright, dark blue, with vivid touches of yellow.”

The search for the killer of Florence Elder, whose body was found floating in the San Antonio River, has set off one of the most intensive hunts in the history of the city.
(The case remains unsolved.)

The announcement of the launching of a new weekly newspaper was made today by Charles O. Kilpatrick, editor and publisher of the Express-News.  The newspaper, the Northside Sun, is an extension of the Express-News longtime weekly operation, the Westside Sun.

June 14 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio’s garbage workers went back to their jobs this morning after a sit-down strike that lasted two hours and 27 minutes but it appears that the controversy is still red hot. Sixty-one drivers and 122 pickup men refused to go out on their routes this morning because they want Ed Marceau, superintendent, who had handed in his letter of resignation, to come back, and they want changes in the truck maintenance setup.

1956>May 11 in San Antonio history...
City philatelists flocked to the post offices today to be first in line when the new Alamo postage stamps (right) went on sale at 7 a.m.

Due to a very rainy winter and spring, the water in the J-17 Edwards Aquifer monitoring well reaches an all-time high of 703.3 feet.

May 13 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
City National Bank offers loans to purchase war bonds for those unable to purchase with cash.  The loan is to be paid off in 12 monthly installments at 3.5% interest.

More than 500 Trinity University stalwarts packed up everything but their Bunsen burners today and headed from the old campus at 3115 W. Ashby Place, where the university had been located since 1912, eastward to the new campus on Stadium Drive.

In Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, Derek Fisher of the Lakers gets the ball with 0.4 seconds on the clock and nails a jump shot to defeat the Spurs, 74-73. The Spurs had rallied from 16 points down with 3:59 left in the third quarter. They had seemingly escaped with an improbable victory after Tim Duncan sank an 18-footer with 0.4 seconds left.

April 1 in San Antonio history…

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.

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.

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

March 21 in San Antonio history…

Actor Al Freeman, Jr. is born in San Antonio.  In 1979, he became the first African-American actor to win a daytime Emmy award for his portrayal of Police Captain Ed Hall in the soap opera “One Life to Live.”  He also appeared in movies such as “Lillies of the Field” with Sidney Poitier and Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X.”

San Antonio will be attached to the family of cities served by network television July 1, it was revealed today.  The announcement came from the long-line department of American Telephone and Telegraph Co.

Central Park Mall holds its grand opening.