Blog Archives

January 28 in San Antonio history…

The city council passes an ordinance leasing the old water board office building on W. Market from the water board at a cost of $1 for a period of 10 years.  The building will be used by the library.

The American Basketball Association’s eighth annual All-Star game is played in Convention Center Arena.  The East team defeats the West, 151-124.  Freddie Lewis of the Spirits of St. Louis is named the Most Valuable Player with 26 points, 11 assists and two steals.  His prize is $2,000 cash or a quarter horse named “Tuff Julie.”  He chose the horse.  Unfortunately, “Tuff Julie” wasn’t so tough.  She died three weeks later.

The Light goes out.  Unable to find a buyer, the San Antonio Light newspaper ceases publication after 112 years serving San Antonio (right).

December 20 in San Antonio history…

A new iron flagpole, 100 feet high and cast by Alamo Iron Works, will replace the wooden flagpole at the Upper Post at Ft. Sam Houston.  The price paid was $430.  The old wooden pole to be taken down is about seventy-five feet high and was reinforced with guy wires but it is considered dangerous.

The San Antonio Light and Gazette reprints Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter (right) that originally appeared in the New York Sun in 1897.  “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

The fire department begins purchasing all new vehicles in lime green paint instead of red.

November 27 in San Antonio history…

Firefighters answer an alarm about 1 a.m. for a fire at the Fiesta Theater at 221 W. Houston and find nine containers of gasoline.  The blaze did minimal damage to the seats and projection area.

The city first begins displaying Christmas lights along the Riverwalk.

Sister Mary Anne Holmes of the Ursuline Order announces at a somber news conference that the Ursuline School will close in May due to increasing debt and decreasing enrollment.  The sisters founded the school in 1851.

For the first time in the history of the event, heavy rain forces the cancellation of the Holiday River Parade after it begins.  Twelve floats made it down the river before the cancellation. Earlier in the evening, the 10,000 lights on the 55-foot white fir in Alamo Plaza were turned on.  The tree is decorated with silver and black ornaments as a tribute to the Spurs.

October 13 in San Antonio history…

The State Department has instructed Ambassador to Spain Willard to obtain a copy of the original charter of San Antonio granted by King Ferdinand VI in 1773.

The University of Texas defeats Oklahoma A&M, 14-6, in a game played at League Park here in San Antonio.

The Ace in the Hole band, featuring singer George Strait, plays their first concert – just up the road at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos.

September 2 in San Antonio history…

KENS Channel 5 begins broadcasting the new expanded half-hour CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite at 5:30 p.m.  The CBS news will be followed by a half-hour local newscast with Jim Abbott, Dan Cook and Jerry Zimmerman.

Classes begin for the first time at the brand new 1604 campus of UTSA.

San Antonio’s newest high school, William Howard Taft High School opens on Farm Road 471 outside 1604 with 1,050 students and no seniors.  Their mascot is the Raider with the school colors of red and white.

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 19 in San Antonio history…

The Old Lewis mill is stopped. For nearly 20 years this mill had supplied ground corn to San Antonio.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins achieved lunar orbit at 10:12 p.m. last night and are preparing to land on the moon tomorrow night.  They are 230,430 miles from Earth and traveling 2,300 mph around the moon.

The San Antonio Wings of the World Football League play their first home game at Alamo Stadium – an exhibition game against the Memphis Southmen.  The Wings win, 7-0.

June 10 in San Antonio history…

The nickel pass of the bus rider was eliminated today by a 4-to-1 votes of the City Council.  Passes will be eliminated July 4, increasing fare for twice-daily riders in the first zone by 15 cents and 25 cents in the second zone.

The Bee Gees make their only San Antonio appearance in Municipal Auditorium.  Revelation opens the show.

The Joffrey Ballet of New York performs in San Antonio for the first time.

March 20 in San Antonio history…

Bob Hope appears at a benefit for the San Antonio Bicentennial Celebration Committee and will sign copies of his book at Joske’s tomorrow.

British band Queen makes their first and only appearance in San Antonio at Municipal Auditorium.  Kansas opens the show despite the newspaper ad stating the opening acts are Brownsville Station and Al Stewart.

Shania Twain makes her first appearance in San Antonio, second on the bill with Toby Keith and John Brannen at Bluebonnet Palace.

January 8 in San Antonio history…

Andre the Giant, at 7’4″ and 425 lbs., wrestles “little” Ernie Ladd, who measures 6’9″ and 275 lbs., as the main event of the Wrestlethon Inc. card at Municipal Auditorium.  The second main event is Jose Lothario vs. Billy “Super Star” Graham.

The English punk band, Sex Pistols, play a notorious gig at the country & western nightclub, Randy’s Rodeo – the third stop on a seven date U.S. tour.  The band starts off playing songs from “Never Mind the Bollocks,” released only three months earlier, but lead singer Johnny Rotten nearly incites a riot after insulting the C&W faction of the audience.  The band is pelted by beer cans and food and one audience member is hit by Sid Vicious’s bass guitar but the show continues.  The band would never tour the U.S. again.

The legendary Eastwood Country Club on San Antonio’s East Side is destroyed by fire.  Eastwood hosted many legendary performers through the years, such as Etta James, the Drifters, Bo Diddley, Bobby Blue Bland, Fats Domino, Bill Doggett, Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner and, of course, Miss Wiggles. (Photo from the San Antonio Register.)