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.”
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.
1917 – World War I
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Doobie Brothers make their debut in San Antonio at Joe Freeman Coliseum with Mother Earth and Giant Smiling Dog.
The Spurs select Tim Duncan, a 6′ 11″ forward from Wake Forest University, with the #1 pick in the NBA Draft.
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.
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.
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.
Traditional Mexican candy vendors were back in business alter ceasing operations during the war because of a sugar shortage.
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.
The Texas Theater holds its formal grand opening. The theater will be opened to the public on December 18.
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.
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.