Blog Archives

January 10 in San Antonio history…

The old waterworks building at the corner of San Pedro and Main is to be converted into a grocery store.

San Antonio’s second television station, KEYL, goes on the air with its first test pattern (right) , broadcasting on Channel 5, at noon today. Regular programming began on February 1. The station is operated by the San Antonio Television Company.   (KEYL will later change its call letters to KENS.)

The staffs of the San Antonio Express (morning) and San Antonio News (afternoon) publish their first combined paper, the San Antonio Express & News Sunday Edition.  The two newspapers will officially merge 30 years later, in 1984.

January 6 in San Antonio history…

The Tuesday Musical Club is organized.

Police Sgt. Bob Benfer said today he saw a car weaving in and out of traffic with a very young driver at the wheel.  On questioning, the driver admitted he was only nine years old.

The 52-year-old Municipal Auditorium (now the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts) is gutted by fire. The cause of the blaze is attributed to a discarded cigarette.

October 15 in San Antonio history…

Following a 10-minute christening and inaugural ceremony, the first airmail plane flying out of San Antonio on the new Southern Transcontinental air route took off from Winburn Field for Los Angeles.

A $1.95 ticket buys admission to a blues show at the Carver Library Auditorium featuring T-Bone Walker, Faye Adams, Lowell Fulson, Memphis Slim and his House Rockers and a 24 year-old Ray Charles.

Local television station WOAI Channel 4 begins broadcasting in color from its studios today.  WOAI is the sixteenth station in the world to be equipped to telecast live local color programs.  The station has invested $500,000 in new equipment and construction to facilitate color broadcasting.  The WOAI-TV color system is compatible with black and white so that all viewers without color televisions will be able to view the broadcasts in monochrome.


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 26 in San Antonio history…

More than six inches of rain falls in twelve hours in San Antonio, causing major flooding.  Water reached the fifty-foot level at Olmos Dam, only ten feet from the top.  Six people are killed and property damage is estimated at $8 million. ($100 million in 20190 dollars.)

San Antonians are suffering through one of the driest years in city history. Only 9.02 inches of rain has fallen thus far – and 1954 is three-quarters past.

Rampaging rivers, fed by torrential downpours are threatening to go out of their banks today in the area near San Antonio.  Mainly, the Colorado and Guadalupe rivers are of concern to area residents.

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.

August 7 in San Antonio history…

Mayor Maury Maverick issues a proclamation today refusing to cancel a permit allowing a Communist meeting in Municipal Auditorium on August 24.  Maverick said, “There is no way under the law that Emma Tenayuca can be denied use of any public property for public meetings.  I respect very deeply the opinion of those who oppose Emma Tenayuca.  I oppose her myself.  I oppose Communism myself.”

The San Antonio Express and Light newspapers both report that a bomb, larger than any previously known, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima causing great damage and loss of life.  However, back on July 16, the San Antonio newspapers did not pick up a little-publicized story printed in the Gallup, NM;  Santa Fe, NM and El Paso newspapers that mentioned a huge explosion at a munitions dump near the Alamogordo Army Air Base.  This was actually the first nuclear test and would have been quite a scoop.  News of the July 16 test was finally printed today along with the news of the Hiroshima bombing.

1954>August 7 in San Antonio history...
Johnny Cash marries Vivian Liberto at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in San Antonio (right).

July 13 in San Antonio history…

Staacke Brothers warned San Antonians to “beware of quacks” and buy nothing but Studebaker wagons for fine transportation.

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.

San Antonio Independent School District votes to integrate beginning in the fall.

June 3 in San Antonio history…

The cornerstone is laid and dedicated for the new Confederate monument in Travis Park.  The monument was removed from the park in September 2017.

Color television arrived in San Antonio today but it will be some time before the average person will be able to afford and enjoy it in his home.  The first color TV programs were broadcast by WOAI – the “Today” show from 6 to 8 a.m. and “Home” from 9 to 10 a.m.  For the present time, no color programs in color will originate locally.  The programs were available for viewing in color at the Wolff & Marx department store on a handmade television with a 14-inch screen.

San Antonian Ed White becomes the first astronaut to “walk” in space when he opens the hatch of his Gemini 4 capsule and floats outside.

May 31 in San Antonio history…

The Board of Trustees of the Public Library passes the motion that “The San Antonio Public Library shall be open to all people equally, irrespective of race or creed.”

Frank Huntress, publisher of the San Antonio Express newspaper, announces that the Express Publishing Company has applied to the Federal Communications Commission to purchase KGBS television station channel 5.  (The sale would be completed in November 1954 and the call letters would be changed to KENS for Express-News Station.)

Sean Elliott hits the “Memorial Day Miracle” 3-point shot with 9.9 seconds remaining to lift the Spurs over the Portland Trailblazers, 86-85, in game two of the second-round playoff series.