Blog Archives

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.

September 13 in San Antonio history…

1963
The Robert C. Cole Golden Cougars win their inaugural football game, 8-0, over the Comfort Bobcats.

1969
Hemisfair Arena hosts a concert with Tommy James and the Shondells, Houston-based The Clique, 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)

August 22 in San Antonio history…

1918
Military police have been ordered to keep soldiers out of close to a score of eating and drinking places in the carnival district of W. Houston because their women employees lack certificates attesting to their moral character.

1969
Three Dog Night comes to San Antonio for the first time and plays Municipal Auditorium.  Courtship opens the show.

 

July 9 in San Antonio history…

1943
A new employee at the San Antonio National Bank, 213 W. Commerce, stepped on the burglar alarm button, causing 10 police cars to dash to the bank.

1969
The fire sprinkler system mysteriously activated at 6:45 a.m. in the Dillard’s department store in Central Park Mall this morning.  Water spilled along floors and was several inches deep in some places. There was some seepage in the stockroom area.  “It will be several hours before we can assess the damage,” store president Huber Hughes said. “Thanks to the the fire department help, we will be open for business as usual.”

1982
Spontaneous combustion caused by towels soaked in linseed oil was believed to be the cause of a $250,000 blaze at the Thousand Oaks Racquet Club on the city’s northwest side.  The towels were left by an employee applying preservative to the floor.  ”Nobody told him about how combustible linseed oil can become when combined with a fiber material and that’s what happened in this case,” said arson detective Larry Foraker.

June 5 in San Antonio history

World War I – June 5, 1916kitchener_poster_small
British field marshal Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener,  famous for his iron rule as a British imperialist and colonial administrator in Africa, India, the Sudan and Egypt, is killed when a German mine explodes the warship he was on while he was headed to negotiations with Czarist Russian military leaders.  Posters featuring Kitchener inspired James Montgomery Flagg’s famous poster of Uncle Sam.

1926
Insterstate Amusement Company has purchased property on Houston between St. Mary’s and Navarro and intends to build the largest theater in the South. (This will be the Majestic Theater.)

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

May 1 in San Antonio history…

1718
Mission San Antonio de Valero is established on the west bank of the San Antonio River after the removal of the Mission San Jose del Alamo is ordered by the Marquis Valero, viceroy of New Spain, from the Rio Grande to San Antonio.

1927
San Francesco di Paola Catholic Church is dedicated by Archbishop Arthur J. Drossaerts with a 10 a.m. high mass. Other festivities include music by the Knights of Columbus band, a ravioli supper, a bazaar, dancing and singing.

1969
Walter W. McAllister is re-elected for his fifth term as mayor.  Lila Cockrell is selected mayor pro-tempore, the first woman to hold the office.

March 17 in San Antonio history…

1899
In making excavation for the brick  foundation of the new Westminster Presbyterian church on Garden St, Contractor Finney struck the old underground passage supposed to have existed between the first mission and the Alamo. The ditch was 20 feet deep and Mr. Finley was compelled to go to the bottom of it to start his foundations. This Passage has been discovered twice previously: three years ago at the corner of Alamo and Garden st. and again on E. Commerce at the intersection of St. Joseph’s street.

1935
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas dedicates the park on the Alamo grounds.

1968
Little Rock, Ark.-based Dillard’s opens its first San Antonio store, a 150,000-square-foot location in Central Park Mall.

1969
The city first dyes the San Antonio River green for St. Patrick’s Day.

October 1 in San Antonio history…

1969
The Century South theater holds its grand opening.

1971bexar_hotel
Demolition begins on the Jefferson Hotel (right) at the corner of E. Houston and Jefferson streets. The property will become a surface parking lot which will be leased to Allright Parking, Inc.  The Jefferson Hotel was constructed in 1879 as the Bexar Hotel, which was considered one of the finest in the city at the turn of the century.  All but the street level of the hotel has been condemned since 1946.  The demolition will force five businesses to find new locations:  Parisian Ladies’ Shop, Kay’s Fine Linens, Allen Shoes, the Jefferson Café and Russell Stover Candies. (photo from the UTSA Photo Archives)