Blog Archives

December 25 in San Antonio history…

1872
Honore Grenet places this ad critical of the poor drainage around his store next door to the Alamo:  “H. Grenet is closing out his stock of toys and Christmas goods at a little above nothing.  Any one disposed to run the risk of drowning in the mud holes to reach his store will be amply repaid for his efforts, if successful.”

1874
The roof and central dome of San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo Mission collapse during a midnight Mass.  Fortunately, the mass is being held in an adjoining room instead of the nave.

1955
San Antonio reaches the hottest ever December temperature – 90 degrees.  It is still the record and the only day that ever reached the ninety degree mark in December in San Antonio.

 

October 15 in San Antonio history…

1930
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.

1954
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.

1955
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 6 in San Antonio history…

1919
Due to heavy rains, the highly anticipated performance of the newly combined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus has been cancelled.  The tents had been set up but due to the water and mud, the decision was announced at 9:30 this morning to cancel the shows.  The circus will pack up and move on to Austin.

1955
The “Jazz at the Philharmonic” show (featuring jazz heavyweights such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Gene Krupa and Oscar Peterson) at Municipal Auditorium is spoiled by antics of two young men who try to beat up an off-duty policeman during the concert.  Promoter Norman Granz has to plead with the audience three times, twice to ask them to refrain from smoking and once to ask the crowd not to yell or whistle during Ella Fitzgerald’s performance.  One of the songs is facetiously introduced as “The Last Time We Played San Antonio Blues.”  Along with the unruly behavior, poor ticket sales (a reported 200 people) move Granz to not bring the series to San Antonio again.

1978
The Majestic Theater re-opens as the Majestic Music Hall with performances from Arthur Godfrey, Henny Youngman, Alvino Rey and the King Family

1992
The Hearst Corp. announces it will purchase the Express-News for $185 million in cash and the Light will be sold.

 

September 29 in San Antonio history…

1952vance_house
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)

1955
San Antonio’s largest building, the Transit Tower, was sold to the Citizen’s Republic Insurance Company for $1 million.

1960
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.

August 29 in San Antonio history…

1909
Work has begun on the new building of the Wells-Fargo Express Co. at the Sunset Station which will be used as a depot office of the company.  The building will cost approximately $12,000.

1929
A plan to remodel the Travis Street bridge, recently condemned as a flood menace, rather than replace it with a new one, was announced by Street Commissioner Paul Steffler.

1955
The first black students in San Antonio’s history to be accepted for classes in public high schools with white students have been enrolled in Edgewood High School.

August 28 in San Antonio history…

1874
Pope Pius IX creates the San Antonio Catholic diocese as part of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

1936
The first day of the parking meters appeared to be a success in so far as preventing double parking is concerned. Delivery trucks were pulled flush to the curb while their drivers conducted business.

1955
San Antonio School Superintendent Thomas Portwood said he was “going ahead with plans” to integrate white and Negro students during the approaching school term. Edgewood and Alamo Heights school districts decide to integrate on this day also, the same day that Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi.

August 21 in San Antonio history…

1928
Notification of the acceptance by the Secretary of War of the site offered by San Antonio as the future home of the Air Corps Training Center, was received here today.  Land for the “West Point of the Air” was donated by the city.

1948
Thirty-one days out of the past three months have recorded temperatures of 100 degrees or more, the highest number on record in the weather bureau.  The previous record of 18 days was in 1911.  (The record is now 58 days, set in 2009.)

1955
All new police cars are being equipped with beacon-ray emergency red lights that flash revolving red beams as a warning to all.  Sixteen lights have been installed and are in operation now, said Capt. Frank Mosel.  They are replacing the old blinker lights which were much smaller and flashed only forward.

 

August 17 in San Antonio history…

1872
Scientific American magazine features Andrew Mühl’s improved ice making machine, which had been patented the previous November.  He first built an ice-making machine in San Antonio in 1867.

1955
World War II war hero Audie Murphy is in San Antonio for the world premiere of his autobiographical movie, “To Hell and Back,” at the Majestic today.

1956
The Edwards Aquifer reaches its all-time low of 612.5 feet.

August 17 in San Antonio history…

1955
More than 30 youngsters who share Davy Crockett’s August 17 birthday date gathered to whoop it up at a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored party in Brackenridge Park today.  Sporting coonskin caps and Davy Crockett t-shirts, they gathered around TV star Johnny Lane who led them in singing “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” and “Home on the Range.”

1960
When Jesse Garcia parked his car at 2 p.m. in the 100 block of Casino, the sidewalk was bare as a bone.  When he returned at 3:15 p.m., he found the city had dug a hole in the sidewalk, planted a meter by his car and left a ticket on his windshield.  Corporation Court Judge Mike Machado was bemused and found Garcia not guilty.

1969
The San Antonio Light reports that officials of the “floundering” Woodstock Music and Art Fair issued a frantic appeal yesterday for everyone not already on the muddy, overcrowded site to turn around and go home.  Sullivan County leaders asked Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to declare the festival site a disaster area.

 

August 5 in San Antonio history…

1922
San Antonio’s first radio station (WJAE) begins broadcasting, but lasts only a few months.

1929
San Antonio’s annexation ordinance extending the city limits three miles in each direction, was passed on first reading by the city commission today.

1955
The 21st annual North-South All-Star high school football game is held in Alamo Stadium as the culminating event of the week-long Texas High School Coaches’ Association meeting held in the Alamo City.  The North team is coached by Mississippi State head coach, Darrell Royal, and the South is coached by Baylor University’s George Sauer.  The game ends in a 25-25 tie.