Blog Archives

January 18 in San Antonio history…

1886
Leopold Wolfson buys the White Elephant Saloon to expand his dry goods business.   The building is destroyed on Oct. 1, 2011 in a fire.

1918
The Battle of Flowers Association appropriated $600 to endow a bed in the first American hospital in France.

1960
Ray Charles and the Raelets play a concert in Municipal Auditorium (right).

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November 19 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The “dare devil” riders of Motorcycle Company 303 are now stationed at Ft. Sam Houston.  This company is one of three that has been organized for the carrying of dispatches and the execution of daring and dangerous work between battle lines.

1926
San Antonio may have a professional football season of six weeks starting Dec. 15.  Officials of the Buffalo, N.Y. Bisons are reportedly in contact with the owners of League Park in efforts to use the space as a field.

1960
Joske’s debuts their Christmas “Fantasy Land” on the fourth floor of their main store downtown. (Photo courtesy of the Institute of Texan Cultures.)

October 24 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Today is a state and federal holiday.  It’s “Liberty Loan Day” to encourage people to buy war bonds as part of the Second Liberty Loan program.

1960
The epic John Wayne movie The Alamo has its world premiere at the Woodlawn Theater on Fredricksburg Road in San Antonio.

2013
After decades of delivering books to underserved areas, the San Antonio Public Library’s Bookmobile makes its last run along San Antonio’s streets.

October 12 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The men at Camp Travis are to carry wooden rifles, due to the inability to obtain real rifles for bayonet and other practice, resulting in a decision to equip the infantry brigades with wooden guns. An order has been placed for many thousands.of these make-believe weapons and before many days pass the men will be engaged in fencing, and bayonet practice using the wooden guns.
They will also be provided long round sticks on one end of which is a small rope tied into a knot. This is used as a defense stick in connection with bayonet practice.

1939
Restoration on La Villita is begun with O’Neil Ford as architect.

1960
Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy makes a campaign stop in San Antonio. Kennedy told the crowd gathered in front of the Alamo, “In 1960, the cause of all mankind is the cause of all Americans.”

September 23 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Men from every section of Texas and Oklahoma slept at Camp Travis last night. Special trains have poured their thousands into the great training cantonment for four days, and by nightfall approximately 17,270 men of the second draft call had responded.

1960
North Star Mall opens at the corner of San Pedro and Loop 410. (above)
(photo courtesy of the San Antonio Express-News “From the Vault” blog)

1972
President Nixon and the First Lady make a brief appearance in San Antonio at the airport before flying back to Washington today.  President Nixon made appearances in several South Texas cities on a two-day campaign tour.

September 8 in San Antonio history…

1936
Demetrio Jose “Joe” Esquivel (right) dies in San Antonio.  In 1882, Esquivel, along with his brother Tony, drove cattle from Texas to Wyoming, where their skills with horses caught the attention of William F. Cody, who was assembling his troupe for the first season of the Wild West exhibition. Joe was hired as “chief of cowboys,” and Tony was hired as a bucking-horse rider and trick rider. The brothers, whose father was Hispanic and mother was Polish, were born in Panna Maria.

1960
Sears on Romana Plaza opens their new three-level “ultra-modern” parking garage. (The downtown Central Library still uses this garage.)

1963
Archbishop Lucey dedicates new Catholic Chancery building at 9123 Lorene Lane on city’s North Side.

August 13 in San Antonio history…

1923
Police Chief A. O. Van Riper and Traffic Capt. T. O. Miller supervised the inauguration of San Antonio’s new traffic light system, installed on Houston Street.

1947tv1947
For a full hour, three times daily and uninterrupted except for 15 minutes of cowboy music, the commercial use of television is being demonstrated on the fourth floor of Joske’s – the first display of television in the state of Texas (right).  Some of the spectators have made inquiries about the cost of the television machines and if they are for sale.  They can be purchased for about $350 ($3,793.95 in 2016 dollars!) and stored in the attic until television is here to stay.

1960
The Dallas Cowboys play their first game in the state of Texas right here in San Antonio – an exhibition game in Alamo Stadium against the newly relocated (from Chicago) St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals, featuring Texas Aggies John David Crow &  Bobby Joe Conrad, win, 20-13.

June 30 in San Antonio history…

1905
The Annie Cotter Sullivan Memorial Library for children, located in the home of the Oblate Fathers on St. Mary’s Street, opens to patrons.  The library was established by John and William Sullivan in honor of their mother who passed away last November.

1917 – World War I
The use of Temple Beth-El has again been tendered the Jewish troops as an educational and social center. Rabbi Samuel Marks, whose religious and social welfare work, among the Jewish troops has been extensive, visited Camp Wilson Thursday and extended a cordial invitation to Jewish soldiers to attend services at Temple Beth-El, and, through the courtesy of the commanding officer, a notice to that effect was posted on the camp bulletin
boards.

1960
J. H. Morse, executive vice president and general manager of Joske’s of Texas, sends a letter to Joseph Luter, the president of the San Antonio chapter of the NAACP which states: “[I] just thought you would like to know what we have done and what we hope to do in connection with desegregation at Joske’s.  On Thursday, June 23, we desegregated our Chuck Wagon luncheonette.  Since then, operation has been going alone without any incidents of any kind.  Meanwhile, our Camellia Room is still closed, except for private parties, also on a desegregated basis, but by arrangement so that we can properly schedule such parties.  It is our hope that over the near term we can reactivate our Camellia Room, also on a desegregated basis.”

May 4 in San Antonio history…

1917
Adams & Adams were elected architects for the San Antonio School Board at an adjourned meeting of that body held today at noon in the school board offices. While Ralph D. Cameron, employed by the former board during the past year of intensive construction, and architect of the new Main Avenue High School, was highly recommended by the former board for the excellent work he had done, the present board chose to select a new name.

1956
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.”

1960
Due to segregation protests for the sixth consecutive business day, Joske’s closes all three of their cafeterias to the public.  The Camellia Room and Chuck Wagon, which are for whites only, and the integrated basement cafeteria which will now be for Joske’s employees only.  Joske’s issues this statement:  “For 88 years Joske’s has, as a matter of basic policy, conformed to the established and accepted customs of this community. When those customs and practices change, Joske’s will change with them. Because of the continuing demonstrations involving the Camellia room and because Joske’s wishes its customers to shop in an atmosphere of harmony, all Joske restaurant service will be temporarily discontinued. In the meantime, Joske’s will continue to participate, as it has during the past several months, in all civic efforts to bring about a solution to the community problem affecting restaurant facilities.” 

April 30 in San Antonio history…

City Brewery - 1884

1884
The City Brewery (Pearl) holds its grand opening.

1960
A number of African-Americans boycott Joske’s to protest the segregation of the store’s restaurants, the Chuck Wagon and Camelia Room.