Blog Archives

February 21 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
A giant service flag containing about 300 stars, representing the contribution of the Main Avenue High School’s former students to the country’s service will be presented to the school at 3 o’clock this afternoon by the high school’s Parent-Teacher Association.

1969
A railroad engineer slammed on the brakes of his 100-car freight train today, derailing two of the cars — to save the life of  Melicio Cruz, a 98-year-old San Antonio man.  Patrolman James Engel, said it appeared Cruz, who had wandered away from his family that afternoon, was making his way across the tracks on Lombrano, when he grew weak and could not go on.

1980
UTSA announces the creation of their intercollegiate athletic program.

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February 18 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
As a tribute to his American spirit, Chester Basse, for years the proprietor of the Bismarck Cafe, one of the best known of San Antonio’s eating houses, has changed the name to the Cafe Basse and the picture of the Iron Chancellor, which formerly adorned the sign, has been taken down.

1949
Health Department estimate of 11,000 privies in San Antonio last July has been revised to slightly more than 900.

1969
Homemade leaflet bombs explode about 5 p.m in Alamo Plaza and Northwest Shopping Center, shooting leaflets as high as 50 feet into the air and scattering them in the tops of nearby trees.  A right-wing political group called “The Minutemen” claimed responsibility.  No one was injured.

October 18 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Failure to familiarize themselves with the terms of the draft law applying to army desertions is leading peace officers to make many arrests where the men arrested are not really deserters, according to the announcement today at Camp Travis.  A number of men have been brought to the camp by peace officers, who were later released, as they were not deserters. Maj. E. C. McNeil, division inspector said yesterday that that the local boards in many instances were not familiar with the law and in some instances were responsible for these arrests.

1929
Construction of the first buildings for the new “West Point of the Air” at Randolph Field will begin within the next 10 days.

1969
Janis Joplin and the Kozmic Blues Band play a concert at Hemisfair Arena (right).

September 13 in San Antonio history…

1946
Eighty irate San Antonio retail grocers today were on record as condemning the OPA and approving the closing of every butcher shop in Texas until meat in abundance is obtainable.

1969
Hemisfair Arena hosts a concert with Tommy James and the Shondells, Houston-based The Clique, and local favorites The Yellow Payges.

1987
Pope John Paul II visits San Antonio and gives a Mass for an estimated 350,000 people in Westover Hills on the site of what is today Stevens High School.  He also visits Plaza Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, San Fernando Cathedral and Municipal Auditorium. (photo courtesy of the San Antonio Express-News)

July 28 in San Antonio history…

1928warming_up
The Texas Theater shows its first “talkie” motion picture and the first from Paramount Studios – “Warming Up,” featuring Richard Dix.

1931
Approval of the designation of the present Post Cemetery at Fort Sam Houston as an addition to the San Antonio National Cemetery has been granted by the War Department, according to word received at the Eighth Corps Area today. The new cemetery is on the east side of the Austin road immediately south of Dodd Field, and is on a hill overlooking the city. The section along the highway will be maintained as a park. The San Antonio National Cemetery is east of the city, adjacent to the city cemeteries.

1969
Work begins on the restoration of old Hangar 9 at Brooks Air Force Base.  Originally created as a temporary structure in 1917, the hangar is the oldest existing aircraft hangar at any U.S. Air Force Base.  The hangar will become a museum dedicated to the late astronaut Edward H. White.

1976
The F-15 Eagle makes its first appearance at Kelly AFB on a flight from Luke AFB in Arizona.   The San Antonio Air Logistics Center at Kelly welcomed the Eagle.

July 20 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The draft begins and the first five men drafted from San Antonio are:  Andres Perez, John Martinez, W. A. Shacklett, Philip Best and Lawrence Abernathy

1923
Pancho Villa is assassinated in Parral, Mexico.

1969
San Antonio, as well as the rest of the world, is awestruck watching Americans land on the moon.

June 5 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
W. P. Bishop is now in charge as chief of the San Antonio fire department. He was nominated by Commissioner Lowther at the council meeting yesterday afternoon and confirmed without opposition. Immediately after the meeting Chief Bishop made his bond and took the oath of office. He was escorted down the steps of the city hall by admiring friends and amid their cheers stepped into the front seat of the chief’s big red car and with Phil Wright, the retiring chief occupying the rear seat, drove over to the Central fire and police station .

The Royal Theater is to be re­modeled and refurnished and undergo improvements which will represent an expenditure of $40,000. The theater will close tonight and work of reconstruction will begin Wednesday, so as to be completed for the opening of next season, September 1.

1942 roadrunners
Joske’s installs the first escalators in San Antonio and begins their “Joske Days” sale two days late in order to showcase them.

1969
The University of Texas at San Antonio is established on this date.

 

March 15 in San Antonio history…

1822
Stephen F. Austin arrives in San Antonio to meet with the Governor regarding plans for colonization of Texas.  He is told to continue to Mexico City and meet with authorities there.

1969
Paseo Del Rio Association president Jim Cullum Jr. orders the river dyed green and renamed “River Shannon” in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  On hand for the ceremonies is “Viva Max!” co-star John Astin who was made an honorary admiral. The river dyeing is a first for the Alamo City.

1980fudds
Phillip J. Romano opens the first Fuddrucker’s burger restaurant at 8602 Botts Lane in San Antonio (right).  It’s still there.

February 8 in San Antonio history…

1868Feb. 8, 1868 002
Today’s edition of the San Antonio Express newspaper (right) features a photograph pasted to the front page of each copy.  The photograph, called a homeograph, is a reproduction of a line drawing entitled “Answer of the Germans to the Above”, referencing the article above the photo.  Both the line drawing and the homeograph are creations of Carl G. Von Iwonski of San Antonio.  This is arguably the first photograph to appear in a newspaper anywhere.

1968
TV’s Channel 12 is purchased by the Out Let Company of Providence, RI and changes call letters from KONO-TV to KSAT.

2001
Destiny’s Child performs at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in the Joe & Harry Freeman Coliseum.

December 24 in San Antonio history…

1874
Rt. Reverend Anthony Dominic Pelicer is installed at San Fernando Cathedral as first Bishop of  San Antonio (he was buried in this cathedral April 17, 1880.)

1893
The Mexican Pastores tonight will walk in shepherd’s costume, with gaily decorated crooks and jingling bells to visit the babe of Bethlehem at the many private oratories in the city, and will conclude their services at the midnight mass in San Fernando Cathedral. This is an old Mexican custom.

1969
Our Lady of the Lake freshman, Louise Locker, (along with Santa Claus) stays out until “two or three in the morning” delivering over 200 presents and a Christmas trees to needy San Antonio children who had written letters – and so becomes known as Elf Louise.