Blog Archives

November 25 in San Antonio history

John James, chief surveyor of Bexar County, dies in San Antonio.  James was the father-in-law of Architect Alfred Giles and platted out the communities of Bandera, Castroville, Boerne, Quihi and D’Hanis.  Also, he was one of the three bondsmen who underwrote for the City of San Antonio the payment of $300,000 to the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway Company on completion of the first railroad into San Antonio February 19, 1877.

1917 – World War I
The San Antonio Light prints a feature on “Making Kelly Field the Finest Aviation School in the World.”

The City Council gave brief consideration to a resolution that would urge merchants to stay closed on Sundays.  The resolution died when Mayor McAllister failed to ask for a seconding. Jack Martin, president of the San Antonio Building Trades Council, predicted San Antonio’s economy “will fall” if it is based on a seven-day week. “There is something wrong with the moral fiber of this community if we must work seven days a week,” he said.


November 14 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that the funeral for Sidney Brooks (right), cadet aviator at Kelly Field No. 2, will be held at the home of his parents, Judge and Mrs. S. J. Brooks, 225 Crofton Avenue, tomorrow at 3 o’clock.  At that time, the flag at Kelly Field will be placed at half-mast in honor of the young aviator.  A military band will be provided and the coffin, draped in an American flag, will be carried to the cemetery on a caisson.

Harry Houdini escapes from a locked crate on the stage of (old) Majestic Theater.

The Brackenridge Park skyride was opened to the public.


July 3 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
A contract has been let for the erection of two Army Y.M.C.A. buildings at Camp Funston to cost, equipped, about $6000 each.  This will give the Y.M.C.A. there three recreation homes of what is known as the brigade type of building.  Work will be started tomorrow with orders to hasten construction.

Formal announcement of a 130-acre downtown site for the proposed HemisFair was made by James M. Gaines, chairman of the site selection committee.

Natural Bridge Caverns opens to the public.

May 16 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
According to W. A. Davis, state registrar of vital statistics in Austin, based on the 1910 Census, San Antonio has more men eligible for the national army than any other city in Texas (right).

The Beach Boys make their first San Antonio appearance with a concert in Municipal Auditorium.  Other acts on the bill are:  Barbara Lynn, Little Johnny Taylor, Bob Hayden and the Marksmen and Dawn Six and the Rel-Yeas.

Anti-fluoride forces today presented stacks of petitions to the city clerk’s office calling for an election on whether or not fluoride should be added to the city’s water supply. Stephen Harvasty, chairman of the Committee to Protect the Public Health, said the petitions contain 21,950 signatures. Ten city employees will work overtime from 5 to 8 p.m. nightly checking the petitions. If they are certified as effective by the clerk, the council then has 30 days in which to repeal the fluoridation ordinance or call a referendum on the issue.

February 9 in San Antonio history…

The Beatles make their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, broadcast on KENS Channel 5 at 7:00 p.m.  45.3% of U.S. TV households tune in, representing 73 million people — a record for an entertainment program up to that time.

City Council passed a resolution today urging Penner’s Inc. to rebuild its downtown men’s clothing store recently destroyed by fire. It is intended as a signal to the San Antonio Development Agency to make land just behind the Penner’s site at 311 E. Commerce St. available for reconstruction of the store.

Bernard Harris, Jr., a 1974 graduate of San Antonio’s Sam Houston High School, becomes the first African-American to perform an EVA (spacewalk) during the second of his two flights aboard the Space Shuttle.

January 23 in San Antonio history…

Parks Commissioner Henry Hein banned Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings from San Antonio parks.

The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and abolished the poll tax for federal elections.  The State of Texas did not ratify the amendment.  It was one of five states (Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia & Alabama) to still charge a poll tax for local and state elections.

The tophouse of the Tower of the Americas is lifted into place (right).

January 3 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Junior College has announced plans for a 14-building campus if it obtains the arsenal site from government officials in July. Plans submitted show many of the buildings now being used by the government can be transferred to school use in one week.

A month before their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, the Beatles are shown on American television for the first time – on the Jack Paar Show at 9 p.m. on WOAI Channel 4.

Gymnast Cathy Rigby debuts as Peter Pan in a World Premiere engagement at Convention Center Arena.

December 8 in San Antonio history…

Travis Cotton, 28, of 206 Weaver Street, was waiting when the recruiting office opened this morning and is the first San Antonian to volunteer after the Pearl Harbor attack yesterday.

Mayor White asked San Antonians to observe a moment of daily prayer in respect for the Korean crisis.

The Dave Clark Five made their first San Antonio appearance at the Bexar County Coliseum. San Antonio teenagers were feeling glad all over.

November 15 in San Antonio history…

Justice McAllister is holding an inquest in the death of Billy Ellis at the Silver King saloon yesterday morning. There are 15 witnesses to examine and it will take practically all day.

D. A. “Jelly” Bryce, in charge of the San Antonio office of the FBI, is featured in a LIFE magazine pictorial demonstrating his quick-draw technique.  Bryce can drop a silver dollar from shoulder height with his right hand, draw his pistol with the same hand and shoot the dollar before it hits the ground.  Bryce took over as FBI chief here one year ago.

The Express-News has acquired a new FCC-approved radio system to allow their reporters to communicate stories on-scene back to the news office.  “The Handie-Talkie is strapped to his belt and weighs no more than a photographer’s strobe light battery,” the article gushed.  “No other San Antonio newspaper, radio or TV station has a portable system like it.”

July 3 in San Antonio history…

The old front of San Fernando Cathedral is torn down for renovations.

The Nat “King” Cole Trio plays a concert in the Municipal Auditorium (right).

Natural Bridge Caverns opens to the public.