Blog Archives

July 2 in San Antonio history…

The site for the Church of San Fernando is selected when Juan Antonio Pérez de Almazán, captain of the Presidio of San Antonio, lays out a central square for the villa of San Fernando de Béxar, as San Antonio was first called. The church is to be located on the west side of the square. After Almazan selected the site of the doorway of the church, the Main Plaza was laid out from the doorway.

1918 – World War I
Lieut. Chenault, Fred Walters and Bud Goodwin visited Medina Lake to plan for the swimming and diving acts to take place during the Fourth of July celebration.  Walters complained that the 65-foot drop from the dam was not enough to make high-diving interesting.  Steps were immediately taken to erect a scaffold so he can make a 110-foot dive.

The Aztec Theater promised “a new concept in entertainment” with the transformation into a multiplex, called the Aztec-3.


June 2 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that the eleven men accused of lynching Robert Praeger, an alleged pro-German, at Collinsville, IL, April 5, were acquitted by a jury yesterday after deliberating only five minutes.  Loud cheers greeted the verdict when it became known in a crowd that waited outside the courthouse.

The Westfall branch library opens at 6111 Rosedale Court.

J.B. Smith and Beverly Bush enjoyed the first two mixed drinks legally served in the Tower of the Americas.

May 21 in San Antonio history…

The cricket match between San Antonio and Kerrville was won by San Antonio today. The sun was hot.

1918 – World War I
It has now been definitely established that the plans of the War Department call for the reduction in the number of men assigned to Kelly Field and its final abandonment as a mobilization camp.  A recent memorandum states that Camp Greene in Charlotte, N.C. has been taken over by the aviation section of the Signal Corps for a mobilization camp and as rapidly as transportation can be secured, the troops at Kelly Field and Waco will be moved out.

Elton John makes his first San Antonio appearance in Muncipal Auditorium.  Mark-Almond is opening act.

February 14 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Seven planes were damaged during yesterday’s flying at Kelly Field but no serious injuries were received.  Lieutenant Hightower went into a tailspin at 6,000 feet but recovered sufficiently to land on the golf course at Brackenridge Park.

Bobby Sherman performs at Municipal Auditorium, setting teenage hearts aflutter for Valentine’s Day.

The Irish supergroup U2 (right) makes their first appearance in San Antonio, playing at Cardi’s – a briefly renamed Randy’s Rodeo, promoting their current album “October.”  Tickets are $3.

December 17 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
San Antonio Mayor Sam Bell declares December 17 “Red Cross Day” and calls “upon all loyal and patriotic people residing within said city to observe said day by raising or hoisting Red Cross flags upon all flag poles, public buildings and other prominent public places within said city on said day, that we may by this expression of our sympathy with said cause at least lend some help and encouragement to the officers and members of this great organization that is doing so much to help relieve the sufferings of those who have been maimed, wounded or made destitute by the awful conflict that is now being waged for humanity.”

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

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

October 30 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War IWar of the Worlds - 1938
The first balloon ascension from the Missouri Aeronautical School took place this morning at the corner of Trinity and Durango Streets.  The basket, which dangled below the great globe, bore Instructor E. S. Cole and six students.  Soon, they were only specks in the sky and the great balloon, taking its first course towards the northwest, and then at a height of about nine hundred feet apparently, veering southward, sailed off serenely in the direction of Kelly Field.

Radio station KTSA broadcasts “Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre” featuring a radio drama of H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” from 7 to 8 p.m (right).  Despite announcements before, during and after the program, some frightened radio listeners believe it is a real invasion of aliens from Mars.

Trinity University dedicates their new $4.8 million, 3,000-seat Laurie Auditorium, named for former president, James W. Laurie.

October 13 in San Antonio history…

The big chandelier in the rotunda of the Menger Hotel was swung into position. The 700-pound article, containing 3,000 pieces of prismatic glass, cost $300.

The City Council today passed a resolution setting a public hearing on the proposal for the city to participate in the financing of a $5.75 million “Tower of the Americas” on the HemisFair site.

A live rock concert, “Rex Foster with Don and Merrily” is broadcast from the KLRN studios and simulcast on radio stations KEXL in San Antonio and KHFI in Austin.  It is the first time that the stereo radio and television technique has been used in two cities at once.

September 28 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The issuance of marriage licenses in Bexar County has doubled in the past four months according to the County Clerk.  The increase is ascribed to war romances.  Almost without exception, the bridegroom is from the North or East and the bride is a San Antonio girl.

While investigating a domestic disturbance call, Kendall County Sheriff Douglas Kuebel is fatally wounded by the gunman holding his wife and father-in-law hostage in the house and dies a few hours later.

Neighbors awoke to barking dogs and the sound of police cars converging on the corner of La Manda Boulevard and Neer Avenue, near the Westfall Library branch,  on the North Side early this morning.  Responding to a 6 a.m. disturbance call, the officers disarmed and took into custody a neighborhood intruder – a 4-foot alligator.  They couldn’t get hold of a game warden at that hour, so they duct-taped the reptile’s jaw shut and put it in the back of a van used for transporting prisoners. No other prisoners were in the van at the time.

September 9 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The San Antonio Light relates a story about the Second Texas Field Artillery Battalion that left San Antonio two days earlier for Fort Worth by train while a photographer was taking pictures of the scenes at the depot:
“The camera was set for a photograph of the crowd alongside the train and the soldiers leaning out the windows to bid their friends good-bye, when an Inspiration struck the photographer. Pointing to a handsome young fellow in khaki leaning out of a window, he called: ‘Hey, you! Get your girl and be kissing her good-bye when I take this picture.’
‘I haven’t any girl, and I don’t know anyone here at all,’ came the rather mournful reply.
‘If that’s the case I’ll kiss him good-bye,” volunteered a pretty girl standing near. And she did, for the photographer showed her clasped in the soldier’s arms and with her lips pressed to his.”

Actor Henry Thomas (“E.T.”, “Raggedy Man”) is born in San Antonio.

The bottling house at the Pearl Brewery burns to the ground.  The three-alarm fire, well under way by the time a security guard spotted it at 2 a.m., took with it a 107-year old, 40,000-square-foot structure with an arched doorway and windows and the mission-style arch of the Alamo.  It took 85 firefighters more than 90 minutes to bring the massive fire under control. The plant’s golden-domed brew house also was damaged.


July 31 in San Antonio history…

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

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.

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.