Blog Archives

May 17 in San Antonio history…

The skating rink at Electric Park was opened to the public and the sport instantly was established as a favorite among young people.

1918 – World War I
J. B. Carrington of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, was today advised by the War Department of the complete details for the removal of the quartermaster’s supply department from Fort Sam Houston to either St. Louis or New Orleans, instead of Houston.

The Arsenal property is offered for sale by the Texas National Guard and advertised as such in the Wall Street Journal  on a sealed-bid basis.


April 15 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
A 10:30 p.m. today, the saloons of San Antonio will close by reason of the operation of the zone law, passed by the recent special session of the Legislature, prohibiting the sale of liquor within 10 miles of an army camp or shipbuilding plant.  This law as passed provides for strict prohibition for the duration of the war but under the operation of the statewide law, which will become effective on June 26 – all saloons in the state will have to close.

1976>April 15 in San Antonio history...
The Northwest Six Theatres open at IH 10 and 410, showing “Play It Again, Sam”, “The Hiding Place”, “Crime & Passion”, “Echoes of a Summer”, “Bugs Bunny Superstar” and “The Duchess & the Dirtwater Fox.”  The multiplex will later expand to ten and fourteen screens.

In a bizarre incident, Spurs forward Tim Duncan receives two technical fouls from NBA referee Joey Crawford while sitting on the bench and is ejected.  Duncan is fined $25,000 for his remarks after the game.  Crawford is suspended indefinitely by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

February 7 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio’s first “clerkless” grocery store opens on Commerce Street.  The  San Antonio Light describes the store as a “Mother Goose illustration…glistening with white paint everywhere, relieved here and there by a bright, dark blue, with vivid touches of yellow.”

The search for the killer of Florence Elder, whose body was found floating in the San Antonio River, has set off one of the most intensive hunts in the history of the city.
(The case remains unsolved.)

The announcement of the launching of a new weekly newspaper was made today by Charles O. Kilpatrick, editor and publisher of the Express-News.  The newspaper, the Northside Sun, is an extension of the Express-News longtime weekly operation, the Westside Sun.

February 5 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Camp Travis mess officers have discovered a new “war” bread, which is expected to save white flour at the cantonment.  The bread is made from a mixture of oatmeal and wheat flour and is declared to be wholesome and palatable.  It is the result of extensive experiments at the cooks’ and bakers’ school.

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter plane belonging to the late Lt. Otto Steirbacher, who was shot down over London, goes on display in a tent across from the St. Anthony Hotel.  The display is part of the national tour under the Bundles of America Committee, of which Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger, Admirals King and Nimitz are members.  The Messerschmitt will be on exhibition from 9 a. m. to midnight daily.

City Council instructed city staff today to investigate ways of removing the mini-monorail system from Hemisfair Plaza.  City Public Works Director Mel Sueltenfuss said the monorail, which has run only periodically since 1968, has received little use.

December 30 in San Antonio history…

1915 Alamo_Plaza_pre_1935
The new bandstand in Alamo Plaza has been completed (right).  It will probably be opened to the public in early January as soon as all the furniture is installed.  The bandstand contains San Antonio’s first “comfort station” (public restroom). “The basement, in which the comfort station is located, has a tile floor and ample sewer connections for the purpose to which it will be devoted. One room will be fitted up with first-aid appliances and it is proposed to have a nurse there so that persons injured or overcome while downtown can be given temporary dressings or treatment.”

KONO radio holds “The Annual KONO Radio Drunkathon.”  KONO disc jockey Michael Black drinks than a half dozen one-ounce shots of hard liquor in the presence of a San Antonio police officer to illustrate how easy it is t o become legally intoxicated. He undertook the experiment as an example of what can happen to a drunk and why who drink New Year’s Eve shouldn’t drive.  After seven drinks, he is declared legally intoxicated and pulled off the air.  He took his own advice and was chauffeured home.

The temperature drops to 9 degrees, a record low for the date.

December 12 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
San Antonio native Edgar G. Tobin is promoted to First Lieutenant.

Most San Antonio Catholics celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the 445th anniversary of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin to the Indian peasant Juan Diego.

The new headquarters of San Antonio Savings is nearing completion at Loop 410 and San Pedro Avenue.  It is due to open at the end of the month.

September 21 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The arrival of a special train bearing 300 recruits for the national army from Oklahoma enlivened the routine of Camp Travis this morning and for a while presented a problem to the army officers in charge. Somewhere en route the Oklahomans had obtained a plentiful supply of liquor and had staged a celebration as a farewell to civil life. The celebration had included a number of old-time rough and tumble alley fights, in which various members of the party had suffered lacerated scalps, sprained hands, blackened eyes and bloody noses. Some of the recruits had to be put to bed to “sleep it off” while at least four had to be sent to the hospital for first aid treatment.

San Antonio is one of several cities under consideration to receive funding for the construction of a solar powered electrical generating plant, City Public Service officials have announced.

Felix Stehling opens the first Taco Cabana restaurant at the corner of San Pedro and Hildebrand avenues (right).  It’s still there.

September 14 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Army aviators at Kelly Field will pay unique tribute to Lieutenant Floyd House of Lake Charles, La., who died last night as the result of injuries received in a motorcycle accident on the Frio City Road at 8 o’clock. Either as the funeral is held from the base hospital or as the train bearing the body  leaves the depot twenty aeroplanes will pass over in parade formation and the aviators will drop floral tributes.

San Antonians were looking forward to midnight to sample their first legal beer in 15 years.

A “hammer-like” gust of wind topples a wall of the partially-demolished Household Furniture Building at St. Mary’s and Commerce Streets, injuring six people, scattering debris over Commerce Street and shattering the doors of the Alamo Bank Building nearby.

August 27 in San Antonio history…

1917- World War I
Due to the recent riot in Houston, a petition asking withdrawal of all negro troops from Texas signed by all the members of the Texas delegation in Congress was presented at the White House today by Senator Morris Sheppard and laid before President Wilson.  White House officials did not indicate what action might be expected from the President.

A flood of mail arrived at the mayor’s office protesting the removal of two murals, alleged to depict Communist symbols, from the walls of Municipal Auditorium. The mayor said they would stay down.

Elvis Presley plays the Convention Center Arena for his final San Antonio appearance.

August 26 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Anheuser-Busch promotes “Bevo,” a near-beer, for the troops.  “After drill or march, you’re sure to see a long line of hot and dusty-throated soldier boys making a bee-line for Bevo.”

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 Runaways, featuring Joan Jett and Lita Ford, perform for the first time in San Antonio at Randy’s Rodeo.