Blog Archives

July 31 in San Antonio history…

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.

1978
Tropical Storm Amelia stalls over South Texas, beginning three days of continuous rain over the Guadalupe River basin leading to widespread flooding and evacuations. Medina receives 48″ of rain, a record not only for Texas but any tropical cyclone impacting the continental United States.

1985
College radio darlings R.E.M. play San Antonio for the first time at the Majestic Theater.  True West opens the show.

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June 18 on San Antonio history…

1955
Kids tuned into the one hour broadcast of “Disneyland” at 8:00 on KENS Channel 5 to hear about Walt Disney’s new amusement park with the same name that opened yesterday.  The grand opening was broadcast live on the ABC television network but no one in San Antonio got to see it.  There is no ABC-affiliated station in San Antonio.

1971
Southwest Airlines begins air service to San Antonio, Dallas and Houston with six roundtrips DAL-SAT and 12 roundtrips DAL-IAH with $20 one-way fares.

1978
It took a five-man team of workers eight hours to place explosives throughout the building but only nine seconds to demolish the 70-year old Elks Building on the corner of Pecan and Navarro streets this morning.  The building was immortalized on the cigar boxes for Travis Club cigars.

March 27 in San Antonio history…

1948missiondrivein
The Mission Drive-In (right) opens, showing “The Pirates of Monterey” with Maria Montez.

1971
The Jackson Five perform at the Convention Center Arena.  Former Express-News columnist Cary Clack attends the show.

1986
Contemporary Christian artists Amy Grant and Rich Mullins perform at Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium.

January 9 in San Antonio history…

1908
Temperance advocate Carrie A. Nation arrived in the city today and immediately made speeches against liquor and tobacco in the Silver King, Two Brothers and Menger Hotel bars.  One of the saloon-keepers in town stated, “If she comes in here, I will not be responsible for what happens to her.”  She did not do any damage, however.  She checked into the Bexar Hotel and gave a speech at the Market House in the evening.

1971
Arleigh Templeton, president of UTSA, announces that the hours of the new university will be from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
Saturdays “so the working kids and the housewives can go to school.”  The university is slated to open on Sept. 1, 1973 with an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 students.  Currently, San Antonio is the largest city in the nation without a state-sponsored university.

19779Jan1977
“The World of Star Trek” comes to the Convention Center Arena.  The convention features creator Gene Roddenberry, the original Star Trek pilot episode “The Cage” and the infamous Star Trek blooper reels.

December 10 in San Antonio history…

1912
The city’s first F.W. Woolworth & Co. store opens at the corner of  Houston & Alamo streets (right).

1971
Savoy Brown, Atomic Rooster and Chicken Shack play a concert in Municipal Auditorium.

1974
On the 25th anniversary of the station, WOAI-TV changes their call letters to KMOL.

October 26 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that the influenza epidemic in San Antonio is on the wane.  Health officials feel that the situation is vastly improved and the epidemic will have spent itself during the next week or ten days.

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.”

October 1 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
All soldiers at Camp Travis will be placed under quarantine this morning as a precautionary measure against influenza at the local cantonment.  Sixty new cases of influenza were reported at the Base Hospital today.

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)

 

September 19 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The Salvation Army Hut at Victor Street and Austin Road, near what is known as Parade Rest, west of Camp Travis, will be formally dedicated this evening at 8 o’clock.

1926
Two wars, the Spanish-American and the World War are to be fought at Camp Stanley and Camp Bullis within the next few days by Hollywood stars and technicians. Spectators may watch if they stay out of battles. (This was the for the filming of the movie “Wings,” which won the Academy Award.)

1971
San Francisco’s Jefferson Airplane plays Municipal Auditorium.

July 2 in San Antonio history…

1731
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.

1971
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.

1963
The Westfall branch library opens at 6111 Rosedale Court.

1971
J.B. Smith and Beverly Bush enjoyed the first two mixed drinks legally served in the Tower of the Americas.