Blog Archives

November 21 in San Antonio history…

Bernice Lecompte, age 11, becomes the first San Antonio death attributed to an automobile after being struck at the corner of San Pedro and Elmira streets by a vehicle driven by W.B. Smith, the chauffeur of G.A.C. Halff.

President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy are in San Antonio to dedicate the Aerospace Medical Health Center at Brooks Air Force Base. He is assassinated in Dallas the following day.

Adela Navarro of the Texas Hispanic-American History Institute urged SADA commissioners to remove the statue of Ben Milam from Milam Park and restore the name to “El Campo Santo” and said that allowing commercial activity at the park would be a “desecration” to the people buried there.


October 20 in San Antonio history…

1899 >October 20 in San Antonio history...
The first automobile in San Antonio, an electric, arrived at Staacke Brothers today. However, the batteries did not arrive with the car so the first drive will have to wait.

1918 – World War I
Fredericksburg Road, one of the most prominent and oldest highways in the county, is to lose its German name and hereafter be called “Foch Highway.”  The county commissioners’ court yesterday afternoon, acting on a petition of property owners and residents along the road, entered an order making the change in name.

The George H. and Elizabeth Coates University Center is dedicated at Trinity University.

August 31 in San Antonio history…

The largest single piece of glass in the South is installed at Joske Bros.

1918 – World War I
John Ringling, circus owner, has proposed using African elephants in the reconstruction of France after the war due to the shortage of mules and horses.

“American Graffiti,” George Lucas’s coming-of-age film set in the summer of 1962, premieres at the Central Park Fox theater.

August 26 in San Antonio history…

It is reported in the newspapers that Sarah Maverick, daughter-in-law of Samuel Maverick and sister of Tom Frost, founder of Frost National Bank, has died at the age of 67.

Another bit of San Antonio’s romantic atmosphere – the portable chili stands on Haymarket Plaza – has vanished before the onslaught of civilization in the form of the city’s sanitation law. The matter has been kept under wraps for fear civic organizations would contest the passing of the “chili queens.”

Young San Antonians 18 to 20 years old will become adults at the stroke of midnight tonight – the legal age of majority changes from 21 to 18 years old.

March 30 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
San Antonians are preparing for the Daylight Savings time change tonight.  The San Antonio Light reports that there “will be no change in working hours, railroad train schedules or anything else.  People will rise early in the coolness of a summer morning, finish their work an hour earlier in the day, devote the remaining daylight hours to recreation or the planting of “war gardens” and save fuel and electricity by going to bed early at night.”

Four masked and armed bandits entered the San Antonio National Bank at noon today and escaped with $19,000.

The Dallas Times Herald said today that a San Antonio group has reached satisfactory terms for purchase of the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association. The newspaper said the sale price is around $1 million and is expected to be announced over the weekend if the ABA approves.

February 10 in San Antonio history…

The new traffic ordinance goes into effect in two days.  Police Chief Lancaster has directed the printing of several thousand booklets containing a synopsis of the more important regulations, such as:  “Drivers must signal to drivers behind them before stopping by raising the hand or whip” and “No intoxicated person or person under the influence of liquor shall operate a vehicle on the streets of the city.”

Sheriff’s deputies have uncovered what they believe to have been a plot to blow up historic San Jose Mission. Several sticks of explosives, the type used in blasting operations, were found within 50 feet of the mission’s rear door.

Randy’s Rodeo promises “eight hours of entertainment” with country & western singers Ferlin Husky, David Houston & the Persuaders, Craig Dillingham, Slim Roberts, Shoji Tabuchi and Generation Gap, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

February 8 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The United States Army resumes publication of the military newsletter Stars and Stripes. Begun as a newsletter for Union soldiers during the American Civil War, Stars and Stripes will be published weekly during World War I from February 8, 1918, until June 13, 1919. The newspaper is to be distributed to American soldiers dispersed across the Western Front to keep them unified and informed about the overall war effort and America’s part in it, as well as supply them with news from the home front.
The front page of the newspaper’s first World War I issue features A Message from Our Chief, a short valedictory from General John J. Pershing, commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF): The paper, written by the men in the service, should speak the thoughts of the new American army and the American people from whom the army has been drawn. It is your paper. Good luck to it.

Forcing the town night watchman to accompany them at the point of pistols, and after cutting all telephone wires leading out of the place, four heavily armed robbers today tunneled their way into the vault.of the Boerne State Bank at Boerne, Kendall County, and stole $10,000 worth of liberty bonds and $500 in small change.  Investigation of the robbery this morning by authorities at Boerne, and by a squad of police under Chief of Police Mussey. who rushed to Boerne from San Antonio as soon as the robbery was reported, shows that the looting of the bank was undoubtedly done by the same gang which on Jan. 10 last, broke into and looted the First National and the State Bank of Hondo of $20,000.

An Amtrak train derails after crashing into a flat car which had derailed from a freight train moments before.  After the crash, all three Amtrak engines derailed, plunging down an embankment and onto Austin Street. The passenger train, The Sunset Limited, was Los Angeles bound.  The lead locomotive nearly crashed into a building, damaging an automobile nearby.

January 22 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Some San Antonio businesses have been ignoring or refusing to obey the orders of the government regarding special lighting reductions on Sunday and Thursday nights.  Further failure to obey this law will be followed by prosecutions, including up to a fine of $5000 or a penitentiary sentence of one year.

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson is transported by airplane from his Johnson City ranch to Brooke Army General Hospital where he is pronounced dead on arrival.

About 100 people under five feet tall marched in the cold from HemisFair Plaza to City Hall to protest the prejudice of Randy Newman’s song “Short People.”  The “Puny People Protest Parade” was staged by radio station KTSA.

January 11 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The charges of laxity in enforcing the laws against vice made against Police Chief Lancaster in the hearing conducted before the city commission yesterday were sustained and the chief was reinstated by unanimous voted of the mayor and commissioners this morning.

1954>January 11 in San Antonio history...
San Antonio today mourned the death of one of its most prominent citizens. Edgar Tobin, WWI flying ace, who with 11 other persons was killed yesterday in a Louisiana plane crash while returning from a hunting trip.

San Antonio receives a snowfall officially measured by the National Weather Service at less than one inch but there are accumulations of two and a half inches in some areas.

December 1 in San Antonio history…

The headlines of the San Antonio newspapers describe a bus/train accident that resulted in the death of 26 children.  This accident spawned the myth of the “ghost tracks” at Shane and Villamain. Despite being the lead story in the newspaper, the accident actually took place in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A dark but colorful will be the story of this year’s city Christmas tree in Alamo Plaza. Finishing touches are being made on the 60-foot tree, which will not have any lights this year because of the energy crisis, according to city officials. The 10-ton structure is composed of more than eight truck loads of cedar limbs which cover a huge wood and metal frame.

Today Show’s Willard Scott throws the switch to light the River Walk and serves as celebrity Grand Marshall in the first Holiday River Parade.