Blog Archives

January 7 in San Antonio history…

1918
As a result of injuries sustained in a fall from a window of the St. Anthony Hotel yesterday morning about 4 o’clock, Henry Lee Borden, 39 years old, prominent lawyer of Houston, died this morning at a local sanitarium.  John T. Crotty, also of Houston, who shared the hotel room with Judge Borden, gave it as his belief that Borden, half awake, mistook the window opening for a door and walked out, falling before he could catch his balance.

1927don_juan
The first talking picture is shown as a press premiere at the Aztec Theater:  ”Don Juan” starring John Barrymore (right).

1970
50 years ago today, the temperature dropped to a bitter 15 degrees, only one degree higher than the all-time record for the date from 1886.

September 12 in San Antonio history…

1884
The Lone Star Brewery is opened for business.

1934
After nearly 18 months’ inactivity, San Antonio’s Commercial National Bank scheduled a reopening, as did the Bexar County National Bank.

1970
The first McDonald’s restaurant opens in San Antonio at 1330 S. Laredo St. (right).

August 23 in San Antonio history…

1946
A 30-year old Fort Sam Houston soldier from Kansas dies from polio at the Brooke General Hospital.  He is the 12th polio fatality of the year.

1952
With no rain predicted for the weekend, August is making a serious bid for a record drought. This is the longest August period without a trace of precipitation in 20 years or more, said weatherman Oren Edrington.

1970
What was billed as the first Mexican-American-sponsored fund-raising event for a Republican in Texas history was held at the Gunter Hotel last night for U.S. Senate candidate George H. W. Bush.

July 18 in San Antonio history…

1946
The polio epidemic rages on in San Antonio with 87 total victims so far this year.  R. L. Marvel, head of the sanitation department, pledges that the city will begin enforcing an ordinance requiring property owners within 200 feet of city water and sewer to make connections in order to cut down on outhouses.

1970
“The Great (Little) Train Robbery:” Passengers aboard Old No. 99 , Brackenridge Park’s miniature train, are robbed of their valuables by two soldiers from Ft. Sam Houston. Both robbers are caught and sentenced to prison terms of 20 and 10 years, respectively.

2003
Jane Barbe, the voice of hundreds of automated telephone recordings, including Frost Bank time in San Antonio, dies in Roswell, Georgia at the age of 74.

April 14 in San Antonio history…

1937
With the strawberry season at its height, more than 600 pickers are currently employed picking berries at the fields in Poteet, 28 miles south of San Antonio.

1949
Two San Antonio school district elementary schools under construction will be named for deceased teachers, it was announced today.  School No. 44, at Arizona and Barclay streets, will be named for Mrs. Esther Perez Carvajal, teacher of Spanish and supervisor in San Antonio schools for 34 years.  Miss Ollie Perry Storm will be honored in the name of school No. 45, at Brady and Calaveras streets. She was an elementary schoolteacher and supervisor here for 32 years.

1970
A special emergency City Council session at 5 p.m. Tuesday may go into executive session to discuss City Manager Henckel’s “attempts to prevent a Fiesta Week carnival from being held in the downtown area.”

April 9 in San Antonio history…

1954
Most Rev. Robert E. Lucey, Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Antonio, ends segregation in all Catholic parochial schools, saying in a letter dated April 5, “Certain un-Christian attitudes on the part of our people have been tolerated by moral theologians ‘for the time being.’ The day of racial injustice has pass.  The day of Christ-like charity has arrived. Henceforth, no Catholic child may be refused admittance to any school maintained by the archdiocese merely for reasons of color, race or poverty.”

1970
The San Antonio City Council votes to rename San Pedro Tennis Courts to McFarlin Tennis Center.

1976
President Gerald Ford visits San Antonio during his re-election campaign and infamously bites into a tamale without removing the husk. (right)  This is later humorously referred to as “The Great Tamale Incident.”

April 8 in San Antonio history…

1934
The San Antonio Light advertises a new program to promote interest in aviation for boys and girls – the Junior Birdmen of America – sponsored by the Hearst Corporation.  Children can mail in the printed coupon along with ten cents to join the organization, which begins in one week.

1950
A B-29 bomber crashes on approach to Kelly Air Force Base.  The plane is destroyed but all six crewmen survive.

1970
Superbaby.  That’s what Baptist Memorial Hospital has tagged Robert Daniel Sczepanik, two-day-old heavyweight born April 6.  Mighty Robert weighed in at 13 pounds, 6.5 ounces, to set a possible record for the hospital in baby weights.

March 16 in San Antonio history…

1956
City Council promised a delegation of 12 Negroes that action would be taken on the repeal of the “Juneteenth ordinance” from last year designating all but two city swimming pools for whites only. The repeal will come before April 14, the day that San Pedro Pool is scheduled to open.  San Pedro is one of the nine segregated pools.  The repeal ordinance drafted by City Attorney Cadena is also expected to remove any segregation in city buildings during public functions, but will not affect the Alamo Heights swimming pool, which is on city-owned property leased by that municipality.

1960
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.

1970
An ordinance which would make the city directly responsible for all aspects of the war on poverty has been forwarded to City Council by Councilman Pete Torres, Jr.

January 15 in San Antonio history…

1940 
Clarinetist Artie Shaw makes a brief stop at Stinson Field on his way from Mexico City to his home in Los Angeles.  Reporters seeking an interview found him asleep in the airplane but were allowed to take a picture.  After the photo was taken, Shaw stirred briefly and asked, “Are they gone?”

1956elvis
Elvis Presley makes his first San Antonio appearance at the Municipal Auditorium (right), playing a 3 pm matinee and an 8 pm show. He will return to San Antonio twice more in 1956.

1970
The San Antonio City Council recognized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday today with a resolution, a moment of silence and instructed the city manager to study the  possibility of re-naming a street after the slain civil rights leader.  A request that the city observe Jan. 15 as a holiday, however, fell on deaf ears and was put off without any discussion.

November 20 in San Antonio history…

1909
The Gunter Hotel is completed and opened for business. The hotel stands on the former site of the Vance House. Previous to that, it was the site of U.S. Army barracks and was the headquarters of the U.S Southern Department.

1943bordelon
Marine SSgt. William J. Bordelon (right), a graduate of Central Catholic High School,  is killed in action on the island of Tarawa in the Pacific.  Bordelon is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his “valorous and gallant conduct above and beyond the call of duty” in leading his men while seriously wounded.

1970
Ground is broken on the new $31,993,000 Veteran’s Administration hospital in the South Texas Medical Center.  It is due to be completed by March 1, 1974.  (After the death of Audie Murphy on May 28, 1971, the hospital would be named the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital in his honor.)