Blog Archives

January 11 in San Antonio history…

1954>January 11 in San Antonio history...
San Antonio today mourned the death of one of its most prominent citizens. Edgar Tobin, WWI flying ace, who with 11 other persons was killed yesterday in a Louisiana plane crash while returning from a hunting trip.

A National Weather Service forecaster says that despite snow forecasts for North Texas, San Antonio should only expect sleet or freezing rain with the arctic front tonight.  “For snow, we need cold air at the surface and cold air aloft.  Our cold air will be too shallow;  we’ll have warmer air above us,” says David Schumacher.

John Travolta comes to San Antonio to promote his new film “The Experts,” now showing at the Westlakes Theater.  He, along with co-stars Kelly Preston and Ayre Gross, put their hands and signatures in wet cement outside the theater.  Travolta and Preston will marry in 1991.

November 17 in San Antonio history…

The Liberty Bell comes to San Antonio on its way from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco to its home in Philadelphia.  It was scheduled to arrive at 11:00 but showed up two hours and forty minutes late.  An estimated 40,000 San Antonians showed up to get a look at the bell.

Lyndon B. Johnson marries Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. LBJ didn’t have a wedding band for her and had asked Dan Quill, friend and Postmaster of San Antonio, to get one. Quill bought a wedding band at the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. for $2.50.  (The Sears store was located in what is now called the Tower Life Building.) After the wedding, they had dinner at the St. Anthony Hotel and spent their wedding night at the Plaza Hotel.

Tosh Togo, a wrestler making his first appearance in San Antonio, fights to a draw in a 15-minute match with Larry Chene at Wrestlethon at Municipal Auditorium.  (Togo’s real name was Toshiyuki “Harold” Sakata, and he would find fame ten years later as the mute henchman to the titular villain in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger.”)

September 19 in San Antonio history…

The first issue of the San Antonio Daily Times is printed.

The principal of St. Mary’s School said that the new school building at 117 E. French will be opened around January 1.

A new outbreak of violence at Travis Park is under investigation after the second robbery-mugging in two nights took place last night in the downtown park.

September 17 in San Antonio history…

A Chamber of Commerce study predicts that San Antonio will have a population of 700,000 people by 1966.

The Los Angeles Rams play an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Alamo Stadium. The Eagles win (right).

North Star Mall officials unveiled the partially completed new wing that will feature 45 retail stores including Pat Magee’s, Florsheim Shoes, Foot Locker, Gadzooks, Lane Bryant, and Marshall Field’s department store.  The addition will be completed on Oct. 31 and will eventually bring the square footage of North Star Mall to 1.2 million square feet.

September 5 in San Antonio history…

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

George Strait holds his First Annual George Strait Country Music Festival in the Alamodome, featuring Brooks & Dunn, Lee Roy Parnell, Suzy Bogguss, McBride & the Ride, Delbert McClinton, Bobbie Cryner and, of course, George Strait.

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

August 20 in San Antonio history…

River Avenue between Grand and Houston streets is changed to Broadway Avenue.

A twelve-year old girl, who has fought polio valiantly for the past three months, has just spent her first 48 hours out of an iron lung.  The school days she look forward to seem a little nearer and a little more probable today.

A malfunction in the mechanism to raise and lower the new tainter gate installed in the San Antonio River at Market Street caused the gate to crash with enough force to be heard and felt for blocks this afternoon.

July 13 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Daily Herald newspaper ceases publication.

Children who are prevented from attending Sunday church schools because of the polio ban are being proveded the Sunday school lesson by radio under auspices of the Religious Education department of the San Antonio Council of Churches.  “The Sunday School of the Air” is broadcase each Sunday morning at 10:30 on radio station KTSA.

Seven local polio cases, the largest number ever recorded in one day in San Antonio, were reported by the City Health Department. None of the victims, all children, has received the Salk vaccine.

July 4 in San Antonio history…

Despite being arrested yesterday for violating the city’s polio ban, James F. “Jimmie” Johnson, owner of Playland Park, said that he would open again today.  The city’s ban prohibits children under 14 from attending public places.  Johnson said, “I told [them] that I have been and am willing to co-operate as long as the ban is enforced downtown and in other places.  But, I also told them that I was not going to be the victim of discrimination and permit myself to be the only one to stay closed.”

Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, stopping in San Antonio to visit his son, Chapman, at Lackland AFB, will deliver an address Sunday morning at Jefferson High School.

The City Planning Commission detailed plans for a traffic loop encircling the central business district of San Antonio and an outer loop encircling the county.

June 20 in San Antonio history…

USAA is founded in the Gunter Hotel.

Two new cases of polio were reported today with one new fatality.  The total has now surpassed that of the polio epidemic that swept the city from September 29 through December 31, 1942.  During that period, there were 54 cases of polio in the city limits and 10 in the county, with 22 cases reported in December 1942 alone.

San Antonio chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today voted unanimously to instruct its legal redress committee to take immediate steps to have the city’s segregated swimming pool ordinance declared unconstitutional.

June 19 in San Antonio history…

A minimum temperature of 59 degrees was recorded at 7 o’clock this morning by the government thermometer in the Hicks Bidg. This was cooler than it has been in June since 1903. (This is still the record low.)

Two more polio cases are reported in the city, bringing the total to 63.

After six Negro boys go swimming in Woodlawn Pool, the San Antonio City Council votes to ban people of color from city swimming pools, making law of a de facto segregation that had existed for 90-plus years.  To add insult to such a despicable action, the law takes effect on “Juneteenth,” the 89th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas. At the same session, however, racial barriers are dropped at city golf courses and tennis courts.  The two councilmen who voted against the segregation ordinance were Emil Sherlen and Henry B. Gonzalez.