Blog Archives

December 30 in San Antonio history…

William Jennings Bryan visits San Antonio and stays at the Menger Hotel.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. finalizes the purchase of the San Antonio Express and News newspapers from Harte-Hanks

The Milam Diner (right), a downtown fixture, closes after 79 years.

October 30 in San Antonio history…

The Ringling Brothers’ circus comes to San Antonio for the first time, arriving on the I. & G. N. railroad.  The parade came down the streets at 9:30 this morning and the show commenced at 1:00 p.m. in the seven-pole big top tent on the fair grounds.

A tragic fire at St. John’s Orphans Home (right), on the corner of San Saba and W. Houston Street, kills six nuns and three orphans.

San Antonio river barges began full-circle tours of the Paseo del Rio loop today.  At a cost of $355,000, a Tainter gate was placed in the main channel, permitting access to the full loop.  Mayor Cockrell officiated at the ceremony opening the loop to river traffic.

October 22 in San Antonio history…

John Wayne appears at Handy-Andy in Wonderland Mall to cut an Alamo-shaped cake commemorating the San Antonio premiere of his movie, “The Alamo.”

The San Antonio Library initiates a new “after hours” reference service.  Persons who need answers to questions may call the Main Library any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.  When the library is closed, an answering service will take the question and refer it to the library reference department as soon as the library opens.  A librarian will find the answer and return the call.  (This service no longer exists.)

The Doobie Brothers perform a concert in Convention Center Arena.  The opening act is the then-unknown Huey Lewis & the News.

October 19 in San Antonio history…

Emma Tenayuca and Homer Bartchy, known as Homer Brooks, are married by a Justice of the Peace here in San Antonio.

Bexar County’s brand new coliseum was “open for business” with the two-day performance of the Ringling Brothers – Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Emmy award-winning actress Ann B. Davis (right) will help open the fifth annual Volksfest on Paseo del Rio at 5 p.m. tonight at the Commerce Street Bridge.  Currently appearing in ABC’s “The Brady Bunch,” Miss Davis will be in traditional German costume and will take a boat tour of the festival area.

October 10 in San Antonio history…

The last of San Antonio’s Transettes disappeared from San Antonio streets today. At one time during the war there were more than 30 of the green-suited transettes (right) handing out change and giving information to bus riders.

National Bank of Commerce installs the city’s first ATM, or automatic teller machine.

The Spurs play their very first regular season ABA game against the San Diego Conquistadors.  San Diego erupted for 48 points in the final quarter, storming back from a deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to claim a 121-106 victory over the Spurs. San Antonio blew a 77-73 lead coming into the final quarter.

August 26 in San Antonio history…

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.”

The White House reports that President Nixon will meet Mexican President Diaz Ordez for the dedication of the Lake Amistad dam on Sept. 8.

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.

August 16 in San Antonio history…

A complete change in the admistration and personnel of Robert B. Green hospital was recommended today by a seven-doctor committee from the Bexar County Medical Association. The group said the decline of the hospital from one of the best to an unaccredited status is due to neglect, indifference and incompetence.

The San Antonio Light reports that many “with-it” San Antonians are anxiously awaiting the opening of Jim Hasslocher’s newest $1 million restaurant, The Magic Time Machine, on the former site of the Golden Derrick, off 410 near Nacogdoches road.  The restaurant “will feature discotheque music with an ‘in-person’ dee-jay at console, magic arts at tables performed by lovely Frances Willard, daughter of  the great Willard the Wizard. Piece-de-resistance items will also include prime steaks and drinks.”

The San Antonio Express-News reports that the alligator gardens at Brackenridge Park will be closing within the next two weeks.  George Kimbrell, who captured the alligators himself and has operated the garden for the last 23 years, will donate the alligators to the Alligator Gardens of Hot Springs, Arkansas.


July 29 in San Antonio history…

Church officials were preparing today to direct the removal of the altar of San Fernando Cathedral in the hope that excavation beneath the floor of the church might produce the bones of the Alamo heroes.

A supergroup made of of guitarist Jeff Beck, Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice play Municipal Auditorium.  The opening act is Spooky Tooth, featuring lead singer Gary “Dream Weaver” Wright and future Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones.

An estimated 100,000 people turned out today for the grand opening of Windsor Park Mall, San Antonio’s largest enclosed regional shopping center.

July 27 in San Antonio history…

The Corpus Christi Times newspaper announces that local car salesman, Billy J. “Red” McCombs, 29, has been appointed by the sales manager of the Houston district of the Ford Motor Company to be the local Edsel dealer in that city.   The new Edsel automobiles will arrive on September 4 at his dealership located at 334 South Chaparral Street.

Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Johnny Bush, Sammi Smith, El Curro and Gino Scorza entertain at the Menudo World Championship held at Raymond Russell Park.

Anita Ward brings her recent #1 song “Ring My Bell” to the Convention Center Arena, opening for Con-Funk-Shun.

July 8 in San Antonio history…

The gradual elimination of horses and their replacement by motors in all city departments where feasible, is the aim of Mayor Bell. Under this plan no more fire horses will be purchased, but instead motor-driven apparatus will be provided as soon as the horses now in use die or become incapacitated. “It is not our intention to motorize the department at once,” said Mayor Bell, “but instead of buying m ore horses we will purchase tractors or small motor trucks as they may be needed. I believe this will materially increase the efficiency of the department and the cost, in the long run, will be less. In other departments I hope to see motors replace horses, where this is feasible.”

Details for a proposed commercial super airport for the San Antonio area were revealed today by John Gatti, representing the Research and Planning Council (RPC) at a meeting of the Alamo Area Council of Governments.  “Unless we act now,” Gatti said, “Bexar County will be left by the wayside.”

Frost Bros. introduces a charge card and a computerized billing system.