Blog Archives

June 29 in San Antonio history…

The 70th polio case reported in the city ties the count from the 1942 epidemic in San Antonio.  In that year a total of 70 cases occurred and that number has been matched in just the last two months.

Rock and roll records were removed from juke boxes at city swimming pools because of, according to the assistant parks director, “undesirable incidents” which allegedly were caused by the music.

San Antonio’s new Water Park U.S.A., located off Interstate 35 between Binz-Engleman and Coliseum Road, holds its grand opening. (It is now known as Splashtown U.S.A.)

May 17 in San Antonio history…

In an emergency meeting of the Bexar County Medical society last night, the city health board was given a vote of confidence after some members had challenged the polio outbreak as being a “political epidemic.”  Meanwhile, three additional cases of the disease were reported, bringing the total to 19, excluding two suspected cases.

“The Biggest Rock and Roll Show of 1956 comes to Municipal Auditorium, featuring Bill Haley & His Comets, The Platters, Joe Turner, The Teen-agers, The Colts, The Teen Queens, Bo Diddley, Clyde McPhatter, The Drifters, The Flamingos, LaVern Baker, and Red Prysock & his Rock and Roll Orchestra.

The Arsenal property is offered for sale by the Texas National Guard and advertised as such in the Wall Street Journal  on a sealed-bid basis.

May 16 in San Antonio history…

Two new cases of polio were reported at Brooke General Hospital as airplanes sprayed hundreds of pounds of DDT over a broad area of San Antonio and crews sprayed buildings and contaminated areas in a continuing effort to halt the spread of the disease.

The Pigeon Hole Parking Garage went into operation today at 212 Soledad Street.  The 10-story building has a maximum capacity of 180 cars.  Two manually-operated elevators lift incoming cars to one of the nine floors where they are parked.  The whole operator is handled by only five employees.  Rates are five cents for ten minutes with a maximum charge of $1.50 per day.

For the second time in three months, thieves have struck the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, this time stealing four paintings by Picasso valued at over $75,000, including “Guitar and Wine Glass” from 1912 (right).  Tighter security measures will undoubtedly be forthcoming from museum directors.

May 4 in San Antonio history…

President McKinley is the first President to visit to San Antonio.  He delivers a speech in front of the Alamo.

The city health board will distribute 10,000 pamphlets instructing parents how to care for infants during the hot summer months.

The San Antonio Register reports on the recent removal of segregation signs from buses of the San Antonio Transit Company, saying, “Actually, although the signs had been in place until Wednesday, last week, segregation had not been enforced on city buses in a number of years.”

May 3 in San Antonio history…

Henry B. Gonzalez announced he was resigning from the city council to run for state senator from San Antonio.

Members of the Chamber of Commerce have been invited to groundbreaking ceremonies for the new School of Aviation Medicine at 10 a. m. Friday at Brooks AFB. Reservations also are available for members for a reception and dinner at 6:30 p.m. May 9 at the Gunter Hotel. The two events mark ten years of effort on the part of the Chamber of Commerce, government officials and leaders in medical research and the Air Force. Dr. James P. Hollers, Chamber of Commerce president, said work will begin immediately on contracts totaling more than $8,000,000 to provide the first two units of what will be the most modern aviation medicine school in the world.

Dr. Wendell Stanley, Nobel prize-winning director of the virus laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. Sidney Farber (right), director of the Children’s Cancer Research foundation in Boston, are in San Antonio for the annual trustees’ meeting of the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education.

April 27 in San Antonio history…

The Texas Theater begins showing the sci-fi double feature of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “The Atomic Man (right).”

A 22-year old streaker jumped on a float in the Fiesta Flambeau parade.  He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, pled guilty and assessed a $200 fine in Municipal Court.  He was not released, however.  He was held in custody as he was wanted by Armed Forces Police for being AWOL from the Air Force since last December.

During the Battle of Flowers parade, Ira Attebury sprays the crowd with shotgun and semiautomatic rifle fire from a parked motorhome. Two die, 55 are wounded. Attebury commits suicide as SWAT teams close in.

April 6 in San Antonio history…

The San Pedro Outdoor Theatre [Drive-In] opens, featuring “Daisy Kenyon” with Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda and San Antonio’s own Joan Crawford.

The grand opening of Woodlake Terrace features Charles Brown and Etta James.

After years of planning and a cost of $156 million, HemisFair ’68 opens to the public.  The World’s Fair will last for 184 days.

April 5 in San Antonio history…

The St. Louis Browns play the Chicago Cubs at Tech Field at 2:30 p.m.

The city reorganizes from a board of  aldermen  to a council-manager form of government.
The Good Government League wins control of City Hall.

The Bexar County [Freeman] Coliseum was desegregated on the order of the board of managers. An announcement declared that there would be no discrimination “based on race, color or creed of persons lawfully on the Coliseum premises.”

March 22 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Conservation Society is organized to save the old Market House and the San Antonio River.

In advance of a May 12 Federal Court hearing, the City Council repeals the June 19, 1954 ordinance (No. 20307) prohibiting people of color from city swimming pools.

The Space Shuttle Columbia lands at Kelly AFB on its way from El Paso to Cape Canaveral.  This is the first appearance of a space shuttle in San Antonio.  The first launch takes place in April 1981.  The landing is witnessed by a crowd of over 10,000 curious San Antonians.  (photo by Tom Phillip)

March 16 in San Antonio history…

City Council promised a delegation of 12 Negroes that action would be taken on the repeal of the “Juneteenth ordinance” from last year designating all but two city swimming pools for whites only. The repeal will come before April 14, the day that San Pedro Pool is scheduled to open.  San Pedro is one of the nine segregated pools.  The repeal ordinance drafted by City Attorney Cadena is also expected to remove any segregation in city buildings during public functions, but will not affect the Alamo Heights swimming pool, which is on city-owned property leased by that municipality.

Six downtown stores and a city-wide drugstore integrate lunch counters and cafeterias. The stores were: Woolworth’s, Kress, Neisner’s, Grant’s, Green’s, McCrory’s Variety Store and Sommer’s Drug Stores.

An ordinance which would make the city directly responsible for all aspects of the war on poverty has been forwarded to City Council by Councilman Pete Torres, Jr.