Blog Archives

July 31 in San Antonio history…

1955
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce announced plans for a weeklong celebration honoring Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier.”

1971
San Antonian David Scott and fellow astronaut James Irwin, become the first people to drive a car somewhere other than earth as they take NASA’s lunar rover for a spin on the surface of the moon.

1986
Signaled by a series of blasts from the 5 p.m. whistle at the Alamo Ironworks, the 15th annual Texas Folklife Festival kicked off today on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures.  In honor of the Texas Sesquicentennial, admission will be free tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m.

June 25 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Katherine Stinson, the San Antonio aviatrix, completed her Red Cross flight from Buffalo to Washington D.C. when she arrived late this afternoon. Miss Stinson was received by a large crowd of Red Cross officials who escorted her to the office of Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo, to whom she presented the first check from Buffalo for the Red Cross.

1971
The Doobie Brothers make their debut in San Antonio at Joe Freeman Coliseum with Mother Earth and Giant Smiling Dog.

1997
The Spurs select Tim Duncan, a 6′ 11″ forward from Wake Forest University, with the #1 pick in the NBA Draft.

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.

1971
The Fourth Army, headquartered at Ft. Sam Houston since 1944, is abolished and absorbed into the Fifth Army and the headquarters will move from Chicago to Ft. Sam Houston.  The area covered will span from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

January 13 in San Antonio history…

1946
Traditional Mexican candy vendors were back in business alter ceasing operations during the war because of a sugar shortage.

1965wolff&marx
Joske’s buys out longtime department store rival Wolff & Marx.

1971
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson is flown by helicopter from his ranch near Johnson City to Brooke Army Medical Hospital.  He is found to be suffering from mild viral pneumonia.

December 17 in San Antonio history…

1926
The Texas Theater holds its formal grand opening.  The theater will be opened to the public on December 18.

1945ercoupe
San Antonians flocked to Joske’s to see the new Ercoupe airplane on the fourth floor of the department store.  It was hoisted through a window, minus the wings, which it cleared by only three inches (right).  Three airplanes were sold in the first thirty minutes of business today.

1971
San Antonio’s Robert E. Lee High School, with Tommy Kramer at quarterback, captures the 4A state championship, 28-27, over Wichita Falls.  This is the first high school game played at the brand new Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

December 14 in San Antonio history…

1837
The Texas Legislature approved the incorporation of the city of San Antonio.  The city had previously been known as Presidio San Antonio de Béxar and the Villa of San Fernando de Béxar.

1971
The San Antonio Light reports on the labor involved by the Parks and Recreation Department in constructing the annual Christmas tree in Alamo Plaza:  Five city trucks are employed to haul 10,000 pounds of cedar branches to the plaza. It takes 500 man-hours to cut and haul the cedar to the site, and 956 man-hours to construct the steel frame and assemble the tree.  The tree is 60 feet tall. There are 3,000 colored light bulbs; 100 8-inch papier-mache half-balls, 20 12-inch papier-mache half-balls, 50 8- inch tone bells and 10 12-inch tone bells, 400 yards of 4-inch garland, 200 yards of plain aluminum foil and 100 yards of red plastic ribbon decorating the tree.

2002
Converse Judson scores on a 76-yard pass with seven seconds left to defeat Midland High, 33-32, in the State Championship game.

November 12 in San Antonio history…

1925
A ban of hand-clapping or any other form of audible applause has been lifted in First Baptist Church. The pastor says the ban has proved embarrassing to visitors unfamiliar with the local regulation.

1942
The Harry Hertzberg Circus Room is formally opened at the San Antonio Public Library.

1971
The Municipal Auditorium features a concert by the Grateful Dead, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Bonnie Hearne

October 26 in San Antonio history…

1949
Over protests of one commissioner who wanted the new coliseum to be named for a deceased war hero, it was named in honor of Joe Freeman today.  The official name is Joe Freeman Bexar County Coliseum.

1971
Singer/songwriter James Taylor performs in San Antonio for the first time – at Municipal Auditorium – in support of his latest album, “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon.”

1991
Bob Dylan performs at Sunken Garden Theater with Creed Taylor and the Travelers.

September 1 in San Antonio history…

1925
San Antonio women planned a mass meeting to protest the extension of Crockett Street through Alamo Plaza. By letters, telephone and personal calls the women had been demanding the park be left as it was.

1971
After 90 years as a female college, Incarnate Word College opens the fall semester as a fully coeducational institution.

1980
Playland Park closes for the winter and signs are put up promising the usual St. Patrick’s Day reopening the following year.  Unfortunately, owner Jimmy Johnson decides not to reopen and a legendary San Antonio amusement park passes into history.

April 5 in San Antonio history…

1950
The first of seven panels of the Trinity University administration building on the new campus site was nearing completion today.

1956
The Bexar County [Freeman] Coliseum was desegregated on the order of the board of managers. An announcement declared that there would be no discrimination “based on race, color or creed of persons lawfully on the Coliseum premises.”

1971
The San Antonio Zoo has launched the development of a million-dollar master plan that will include the addition of “A Little Bit of Africa.”  Zoo Director Louis DiSabato said the aim is to “let visitors feel they are in the natural environment . . . not visiting a zoo.”