Blog Archives

February 16 in San Antonio history…

1861
On this day 156 years ago, a militia of 1,000 armed Texans, calling themselves “The Knights of the Golden Circle,” surrounded U.S. Gen. David E. Twiggs’s 160-man garrison at San Antonio, forcing the general to surrender. Union soldiers were allowed to leave the state carrying their arms, but $1.6 million of government property was left to be seized by the Confederacy. Texas took possession of the 20 military installations, 44 cannon, 1,900 muskets, 400 pistols, 2 magazines of ammunition, 500 wagons, and 950 horses. Twiggs’s unwillingness to fire upon Texans in the streets of their own cities was not appreciated in the North. What he viewed as an attempt to avoid bloodshed, most Unionists saw as a part of a Southern conspiracy for which Twiggs was mercilessly vilified. On March 1, 1861, Twiggs was dismissed from the Union Army by President Buchanan. Ten weeks later he was commissioned as a Major General in the Confederate Army and transferred to New Orleans to command the District of Louisiana. Twiggs retired shortly thereafter and died at age 72 near Augusta, Georgia on July 15, 1862.

1927
A. J. Drossaerts becomes the first archbishop of San Antonio at noon today.  In San Fernando Cathedral, crowded to the doors by the thousands, the wool band with four crosses was placed on his shoulders by Archbishop John W. Shaw of New Orleans.

1966
Final plans and specifications for the city’s proposed $1.7 million new main library were approved unanimously during a special meeting of the Library Board.  Advertisement for bids is expected to go out Monday.

November 8 in San Antonio history….

1966
Texas finally votes to abolish the poll tax for state and local elections. The poll tax had been abolished for federal elections in 1964.

1979
German rock group Scorpions make their first appearance in San Antonio, as the opening act for Sammy Hagar and Pat Travers at Convention Center Arena.

1983
Don Novello, better known to fans of Saturday Night Live as Father Guido Sarducci, performs at San Antonio Comedy Club.

October 7 in San Antonio history…

1966
HemisFair President Marshall Steves today hailed congressional passage of the $7.5 million fair bill as “unquestionably, the most significant single development in our history to date.”

1982
Noise to Go, featuring ex-Ace and Squeeze lead singer, Paul Carrack, and Nick Lowe plays the Bonham Exchange in support of Carrack’s newest album “Suburban Voodoo.”

1983
The two Confederate cannons that guarded Travis Park since 1899 are trucked away to be placed in storage until park renovations are completed.

May 11 in San Antonio history…

1738
The cornerstone of San Fernando Cathedral is laid.

1918
The governor today issued a proclamation officially designating next Sunday, May 13, as “Mother’s Day” in Texas.  The people are urged to observe this day in a proper manner.  “May I not suggest that an acute, tangible reminder of our remembrance of our mothers be given to her upon this happy day, in the form of a gift, or a visit or a long letter?” says the governor in his proclamation.  A pure white flower should be worn on this day.

1966
“Tower of the Americas”, the name suggested by Rosa Gonzalez of Corpus Christi, is chosen as the official name of the 622-foot tall HemisFair tower. Ms. Gonzalez won a three-day expenses-paid stay at the Menger Hotel for herself and her immediate family, a $100 savings bond and a season pass to HemisFair. The names chosen as runners-up were: Hemispire, Hemistower, Astroshaft, Astrospire, Astrotower, Stratospire, Spire of the Americas and Tower of Peace.

April 1 in San Antonio history…

1936
Texas drivers, for the first time in history today, were required to have a license for operating a motor vehicle.

1945
The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League, battle Charlie “Cholly” Engle’s All-Star team in a 14-inning thriller that ends up being called as a 4-4 tie.  The Monarchs had to catch a bus for Houston.  The Monarchs have a new shortstop by the name of Jackie Robinson who, unfortunately, has a double error in the seventh inning, allowing the All-Stars to score the tying run.

1966
First Lady Mrs. Lyndon Johnson is the special guest for the Fiesta de las Luminarias river parade and flips the switch on a new $11,000 aesthetic lighting system along the route.  She also plants an elm tree seedling behind the Villita Assembly Building.  It is from the elm planted on the White House grounds by John Quincy Adams in 1826.

March 24 in San Antonio history…

1924
City Council granted the I.&G.N. Railroad permission to erect a roundhouse on propety abutting on W. Commerce.

1966
The groundbreaking is held for the South Texas Medical School and Bexar County Teaching Hospital (later renamed The University of Texas Health Science Center and University Hospital.)

2011
Arlo Guthrie performs at Floore’s Country Store in Helotes.

February 18 in San Antonio history…

1966
Maury Maverick Jr. helps to unveil the new historical marker on the east side of the Frost Bank Building on Commerce Street.  The marker marks the site of the surrender of Union forces in Texas in 1861.

1983
Townes Van Zandt plays the Beauregard on South Alamo.

1986
The San Antonio Spurs’ Alvin Robertson becomes the second player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals against the Phoenix Suns.  The Spurs win, 120-114.  Robertson remains the only player to set the mark with double figures in steals instead of blocks.

December 22 in San Antonio history…

1896
Queen Liliuokalani, of the Hawaiian Islands, passes through San Antonio on her way to Boston.

1966
The City Council today approved a contract for the construction of a 622-foot tower for HemisFair 1968 and sold $5.5 million in bonds to pay for the structure.

1967
The final pre-cast and furnished room (of 496) is flown into place on the 20th floor of the Palacio Del Rio Hotel.  Placement of the last room was scheduled for January 5, but H. B. Zachry’s crews became so adept at hoising the 35-ton concrete rooms the “last flight” was moved up.

November 8 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The German armistice delegation has received the surrender terms from Marshal Foch and they have been given 72 hours to decide whether the terms should be accepted or rejected, expiring at 11:00 am French time, Monday, November 11.

1966
Texas finally votes to abolish the poll tax for state and local elections. The poll tax had been abolished for federal elections in 1964.

1977
San Antonio voters establish the creation of a Metropolitan Transit Authority (VIA) in San Antonio.

July 12 in San Antonio history…

1911
Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois, Signal Corps, has been ordered from San Antonio to Washington for work in connection with the aero squadron. It is his opinion that the aeroplane will be left here and another army aviator will be ordered here.

1918 – World War I
Second Lieutenant John J. Ryan, National Guard, formerly on duty with the 305th Cavalry Regiment at Camp Stanley, has been sentenced to a dishonorable discharge and five years in prison, following his conviction before a court-martial, of unlawfully marrying.  The officer was married in Chicago, October 12, 1915 and without procuring a divorce and while his first wife was living, married another woman at Waco, April 1, 1918.  He pleaded guilty to the charge.

1966
Architects unveiled before the HemisFair executive committee completed designs and scale-model photographs of the proposed Institute of Texan Cultures.