Blog Archives

May 12 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
National Park, advertised as “Wholesome Fun for Wholesome People” holds its grand opening tonight at the corner of West Houston and Laredo streets.  The park will feature “The Largest Hawaiian Village in the South” with native singers and dancers.

The Hearst Corporation buys the San Antonio Light newspaper.

The $100,000, 3.2 mile “Brackenridge Eagle” railroad track began carrying its first passengers around Brackenridge Park.


April 23 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The Quadrangle building at Fort Sam Houston occupied by department heads and various officers of the army has been closed to the public at night.  Department officers may enter at any hour but any other person who enters, including officers and enlisted men and clerks must have a pass to do so.

For the first time, “Night in Old San Antonio” moves from a one-day event to a three-day event, beginning tonight in La Villita.

Archbishop Francis Furey dies and is succeeded by Archbishop Patrick Flores.

April 11 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Russia’s national flag will be red from now on with the inscription “Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика” or “Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic” written in white.

The impending visit of the famed Hilton Siamese twins, Violet and Daisy, to their former home city of San Antonio, revives memories of perhaps the most bizarre civil trial in Bexar County history.

The “Brackenridge Eagle” miniature train begins operation in Brackenridge Park.  This is a “soft opening.”  35,000 passengers will ride the train before the grand opening is held on June 14.

March 13 in San Antonio history…

The first telephone line in San Antonio is installed, from the City Water Works to the pump house at the headwaters of the San Antonio River.

The Main Avenue High School Building was accepted by the San Antonio Board of Education at a meeting held last evening in the school board offices.  The new building cost $78,883 and is complete in every detail for the standpoint of the latest school needs.  Peititons for the use of the Main Avenue High School auditorium for a suffrage talk and for a concert for which admission is to charged were refused on the grounds that one was a political purpose and and the other financial and so barred by the school board rules.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” first airs on San Antonio television at 10:20 p.m. on KONO-TV Channel 12.

February 27 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Training in cross country flying by night is contemplated by the flying department at Kelly Field.  While the night flying has been confined to the field so far, it has served the purpose of training the aviators in landing, which is the most difficult and dangerous part of flying at night.  It is now planning to extend this training by cross country flights to be made at night.

An all-girl vocal group called “The Wailers” makes their debut performance in the “Frolic of Fun” at Phillis Wheatley High School.  The members include Kay Byers, Gloria Himes, Lois Tonsall and 14 year-old Darlene Wright.  Wright would later move to Los Angeles and is today known as Darlene Love.  She was named to Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Singers.

Jimmy Dorsey performs at the Municipal Auditorium, two days before his 53rd birthday and less than four months before his death from cancer on June 12.  At the time of his death, his final recording, “So Rare,” was #5 on the Billboard charts.  It would reach #2 and be named the #5 song for all of 1957.

October 4 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I>October 4 in San Antonio history...
Camp Travis is to supplant Camp Funston, Leon Springs, as a training school for officers of the reserve corps, and the camp at Leon Springs is to be utilized for other military purposes.  Just what use will be made of the reservation has not been made public.

The new Twin Screen Suburban Outdoor Theater opens at Loop 13 and Highway 90 East.

Buddy Holly & the Crickets make their only San Antonio appearance at the Municipal Auditorium with “The Biggest Show of Stars for ’57.” Along with the Crickets, the bill includes: Fats Domino, LaVern Baker, The Drifters, Frankie Lymon, Chuck Berry, Clyde McPhatter, Eddie Cochran, The Diamonds, Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen and Paul Anka (right). The concert of many rock and roll stars was probably overshadowed with the news that the Soviet Union had launched an artificial “star” that day – Sputnik.

September 22 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Work on the construction of a garbage incinerator for San Antonio which will consume a total of more than 100 tons of refuse during each 24-hour period, will start as soon as final arrangements can be made. Unless unforeseen difficulties should interfere, Mayor Bell and Commissioner Lambert hope to have the new system in operation by January 1, 1918.
The site for the new incinerator already has been selected. It is located just east of the Salado Creek and south of the Seguin Road.

The San Antonio Commissioners pass an ordinance “prohibiting any person, firm or corporation, excepting regularly licensed druggists and practicing, licensed physicians, to have in his or their possession, or to smoke, or in any manner use marihuana, Indian hemp, loco weed or Cannibis Indica.  Anyone found with any of the above named substances, in any form, except those indicated, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $10 dollars and not more than $200 dollars.”

T.Texas Tyler, hillbilly singer who found fame with his 1948 hit “Deck of Cards,” was singing the San Antonio blues from the city jail, charged with possession of marijuana.  Tyler, 41, Nashville, whose real name is David Luke Myrick, was arrested in the White Plaza Hotel by Lt. Charles Doerr and other narcotics officers.  Doerr said that 45 marijuana cigarettes were found in his suitcase.  T. Texas was nabbed shortly before he was to have appeared at the Municipal Auditorium tonight with the Grand Old Opry show. He didn’t make the night appearance as result of his arrest but had made the Sunday matinee.

September 1 in San Antonio history…

Miss Katherine Stinson’s Chicago-New York airplane flight lasted just 41 minutes today.  Miss Stinson, ambitious to break Ruth Law’s record for the flight, left the ground in Chicago at 5:09 a.m.  At Porter, Indiana, at 5:50 a.m., her engine malfunctioned and she volplaned.  She failed to see some telephone wires and her machine was damaged.  The aviatrix was unhurt.  After some repairs, she will try again next week.

A deed was filed in the county clerk’s office this morning in which Clara Driscoll transferred the Alamo property to the State of Texas in consideration
of $65,000. The property is described as follows: The Hugo & Schmeltzer property, formerly a part of the old Alamo mission and adjoining the Alamo church property now owned by the state. The property Is bounded on the north by Houston street, east by the Alamo ditch, south by the Alamo
and Alamo plaza and west by Alamo plaza.

Television station KONO (Channel 12) has completed all arrangements to put all the Cleveland Browns’ professional football games on the air in San Antonio this fall, according to Bob Roth, commercial manager. The first telecast of 11 Sunday afternoon games will be Sept. 29 when the Browns meet the champion New York Giants.

Playland Park closes for the winter and signs are put up promising the usual St. Patrick’s Day reopening the following year.  Unfortunately, owner Jimmy Johnson decides not to reopen and a legendary San Antonio amusement park passes into history.

The legal drinking age in Texas is raised from 19 to 21, resulting in the layoffs of 70 workers at the Lone Star Brewery and 25 workers at the Pearl Brewing Company.

August 24 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Joske’s places this ad listing all the items that officers will need in the Army Training Camps.

A drastic Army economy program today consigned Camp Stanley ammunition storage installation to mothballs. Camp Stanley, originally known as Camp Funston and located north of Leon Springs was established in 1917 for infantry training.

Queen Latifah plays La Villita Assembly Hall

July 25 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Adjutant General Hutchings at noon today announced the list of divisions and the quota of men that must be furnished by each county or division under the draft act. The total quota for the state of Texas is 30,545 which is split up among the various divisions. Under the allotment as announced, San Antonio must furnish 151 men to the new army while Bexar county, outside of San Antonio, will be called upon for 238 men.

Gasoline prices dropped today to 18 cents a gallon in the recent gas war. Drivers are cheering but station owners wear long faces.

James Taylor plays a concert at Sea World of Texas.