Blog Archives

April 28 in San Antonio history…

The City Council declined to re-establish the chili stands on Alamo Plaza despite petitions from citizens.  Also, the council awarded the contract for putting a roof on the Alamo to D. Lehr for $285.  This does not include the replacing of dirt roofs on parts of the building.

1918 – World War I
More than 3,000 draftees from Texas and Oklahoma, vanguard of a force of 10,000 which is to be mobilized at Camp Travis within the next five days, passed through the receiving station yesterday.  The number is the greatest to report to the camp on a single day since its establishment more than seven months ago.

Joske’s closes the Chuckwagon and Camelia Room restaurants when African-American customers ask for service there.


March 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Daylight saving now awaits only President Wilson’s approval.  House amendments to the daylight saving bill requiring all time-pieces to be advanced one hour, beginning the last Sunday in March were accepted by the Senate.

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.

Tommy Tutone, with their new song “867-5309/Jenny” just breaking into the Billboard Top 40, plays Rock Saloon.

March 12 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Lieut. Orion L. Mitchell, a flying instructor at Kelly Field, and Cadet Raymond Wakefield were killed late yesterday in a flying accident.  The plane in which Lt. Mitchell and Cadet Wakefield were flying collided with a plane piloted by Cadet J. W. Templeton and the two planes, fastened together by the wings, fell 300 feet to the ground.  Templeton was painfully injured and remains in the Kelly Field Hospital.

The San Antonio Youth Council of the NAACP sends out letters to six local businesses requesting that they desegregate their lunch counters.  Harry V. Burns, state youth director for the NAACP, says the plan is to work out a desegregation plan that everyone could observe at once, thus putting no one in the position of being first.  Burns indicated that unless Negroes are seated and served generally, they will plan at this Thursday’s meeting a series of sitdown campaigns in the manner of those conducted recently in other southern cities.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush terminates the 110-year custodianship of the Alamo by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

January 18 in San Antonio history…

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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)

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…

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.

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

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

August 13 in San Antonio history…

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.

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.

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.