Blog Archives

February 11 in San Antonio history…

1902
The second floor of the Heusinger Hardware Company, on the south side of Military Plaza, collapses just after noon.  The six occupants of the store are uninjured.

1960
About 1000 weary horsemen, members of the Texas Trail Riders Association, reached the end of the trail today to be greeted by eight poster girl lovelies and an official “howdy” from the Chamber of Commerce.  Every year they make the 135 mile trek from Altair to San Antonio for the Stock Show and Rodeo.

1976
The American Freedom Train arrives in San Antonio for a four-day visit to celebrate the Bicentennial.

February 5 in San Antonio history…

1877
The first passenger train leaves San Antonio bound for New York.  Military officers are aboard the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio train, nicknamed the “Sunset Route.”

1967
“The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premieres on KENS Channel 5 at 8 p.m, featuring Tom and Dick Smothers.  Their primary competition is “Bonanza” on WOAI Channel 4 – America’s longest running and most popular western.

1976
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.
Also today, the City Council unanimously declared the Robt. E. Lee Hotel a public nuisance.  The declaration started in motion proceedings which could have the hotel at 111 W. Travis closed within three to four weeks.

January 18 in San Antonio history…

1920
Dr. Louis Albert Banks, a noted Methodist preacher from Oregon, speaks at Travis Park Methodist and Calvert Baptist churches under the direction of the Anti-Saloon League of Texas. The title of his speech is “Worldwide Prohibition and America Leads the Way.”

1920
The Kampmann property at Fourth Street and Avenue E has been deeded to the Scottish Rite Masons of San Antonio for $65,000.

1976
The votes have been counted in yesterday’s election and San Antonio voters have rejected, by a four-to-one margin,  a 129-acre “supermall” to be located over the Edwards Aquifer at Loop 1604. Owners of the shopping mall site said they will file suit Monday contesting the legality of the election.

January 14 in San Antonio history…

1888
Herman Kampmann is putting in a fine $4,000 hydraulic elevator at the Menger Hotel. It will be completed in a few days. The Menger is “getting there” very fast under his management.

1976
Joe Gomez is featured in the San Antonio Express with the Volkswagen he built at his ornamental iron works business at 1449 Culebra Road.  He spent almost three months on the  VW body that features over 1,000 leaves, stems and flowers and weighs 208 pounds. Gomez says he will use the Bug (right) for a rolling advertisement for his business.

2010
The Balcones Heights shopping mall built as Wonderland Shopping City in 1960 and renamed Crossroads Mall in 1987, changes its name again to “Wonderland of the Americas.”

December 12 in San Antonio history…

1924
Emma Koehler, the widow of brewer Otto Koehler, sells land to the Congregation of Temple Beth-El for the construction of their new synagogue for the sum of $10,000.

1946
Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie perform in the Library Auditorium on the East Side (now the Carver Center).

1976
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.

October 8 in San Antonio history…

1926
San Antonio is destined to become the center of study and research for this entire section of the state as the result of the establishment of the Witte Memorial Museum in Brackenridge Park, according to Professor J.A. Pearce of the University of Texas.  Professor Pearce was the featured speaker at the formal opening of the museum today.

1942
As gallant under tractor guidance as when horses pranced at its head, San Antonio’s famous horse-drawn pumper said farewell to the city fire department and landed on the scrap pile at Auditorium Plaza yesterday.

1974
Elvis Presley makes his fifth San Antonio appearance and first since 1972, playing a concert in Hemisfair Arena.

 

September 14 in San Antonio history…

1866
The cornerstone for the Ursuline Convent Dormitory was laid and blessed.

1976
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.

2017
The Missions lose to Tulsa, 5-2, in the Texas League Championship Series.  After 100 years in Texas League, this is the Missions’ final game as a member.  The AA team moves to Amarillo and the San Antonio Missions begin a new chapter as members of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and a farm team of the Milwaukee Brewers.

August 31 in San Antonio history…

1731
First recorded baptism in the parish of San Fernando, Ignacia Agustina Munoz y Morillo.

1917
The 103d Aero Squadron is organized at Kelly Field.  Its original complement included pilots from the disbanded Lafayette Escadrille and Lafayette Flying Corps.  San Antonian Edgar Tobin had six aerial victories as part of this unit during World War I.

1976
After 17 years of planning, battling and waiting, the end is in sight for completion of the North Freeway, now officially named the W.W. McAllister Freeway. The last section extends from Sandau Road on the south to north of Bitters Road on the north, a distance of some two or three miles. Construction on this final section should begin in five to six months and should be completed in about 18 months, according to Mal Steinberg, highway department consultant.

August 27 in San Antonio history…

1883
Hugo & Schmeltzer’s store at Commerce and Navarro streets is destroyed by fire when two young men in the basement were transferring alcohol from a barrel to other containers while standing too near an open flame.  The barrel exploded and burned them severely.  The firemen managed to save Groos Bank and Hannig & Standen’s furniture store.

1958
The imported fire ant relentlessly continues a spreading invasion on San Antonio. During the past four months the ants have infested an additional 1,600 acres since they were discovered covering a 3,500 acre tracer in the southern part of the city.

1976
Elvis Presley plays the Convention Center Arena for his final San Antonio appearance.  He will die less than a year later on August 16, 1977.

July 29 in San Antonio history…

1936
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.

1973
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.

1976
An estimated 100,000 people turned out today for the grand opening of Windsor Park Mall, San Antonio’s largest enclosed regional shopping center.