Blog Archives

October 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
An order is issued this morning that, beginning tomorrow, married men at Camp Travis who show no symptoms of influenza will be issued passes twice a week to come into San Antonio and see their families.  The rumor that the quarantine is lifted is declared to be “absolutely without formulation” by Major Van Meter, acting division surgeon.

The City Central Bank today will join the ranks of the very few buildings in San Antonio which are equipped with new dial telephones. By 1931, the entire city is expected to be using dial phones.

San Antonio is plunged into darkness at 7:08 p.m. when the city suffers a blackout due to a succession of errors by City Public Service.  The diesel generators installed after the last city blackout in 1949 fail to kick in. The area affected is larger than Rhode Island.  Ironically, after New York City had suffered a blackout earlier in the year on July 14, CPS spokesman Ben Scholl said, “The chances of San Antonio having an earthquake are greater than the chance the city will have a blackout similar to the one in New York.”


October 1 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
All soldiers at Camp Travis will be placed under quarantine this morning as a precautionary measure against influenza at the local cantonment.  Sixty new cases of influenza were reported at the Base Hospital today.

The Century South theater holds its grand opening.

Demolition begins on the Jefferson Hotel (right) at the corner of E. Houston and Jefferson streets. The property will become a surface parking lot which will be leased to Allright Parking, Inc.  The Jefferson Hotel was constructed in 1879 as the Bexar Hotel, which was considered one of the finest in the city at the turn of the century.  All but the street level of the hotel has been condemned since 1946.  The demolition will force five businesses to find new locations:  Parisian Ladies’ Shop, Kay’s Fine Linens, Allen Shoes, the Jefferson Café and Russell Stover Candies. (photo from the UTSA Photo Archives)


September 21 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that Sgt. Thomas D. Applewhite, son of Mrs. Fannie W. Applewhite, custodian of the Alamo, was killed in action on the Western Front in France on August 17.  Mr. Applewhite was 41 years old.

All ten First Mate seafood restaurants have gone out of business because they were not making enough money, a spokesman for the owners said today.  The corporation has not gone bankrupt but all stores were closed Aug. 22, according to Jack Willome, vice-president at Ray Ellison Industries.  Ellison was the principal owner of the San Antonio restaurants.

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

August 16 in San Antonio history…

A man arrested yesterday for the burglary of a little West Commerce grocery store three weeks ago will have to stand trial before a jury in the Thirty-seventh District Court based on a single fingerprint on a broken window pane. It is the first case based upon a fingerprint, without any other evidence, recorded in Bexar County and the third of its kind in Texas.

Donald “Donnie” Roan Dunagan is born in San Antonio.  Mr. Dunagan served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was promoted 13 times in 21 years, retiring with the rank of Major.  He was the Marine Corp’s youngest drill instructor.  He also served three tours in Vietnam and earned the Purple Heart three times and the Bronze Star. However, you may know him as the voice of Walt Disney’s “Bambi.”

San Antonians mourned the death of singer Elvis Presley, who died at age 42 at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee.

July 1 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The Fort Sam Houston Y.M.C.A., the first of its kind at the post, is dedicated.

Virgil T. Blossom, former superintendent of the embattled Little Rock School District in Arkansas, becomes superintendent of North East School District.

Star Wars debuts in San Antonio at the Wonder Theater (ABC Interstate) and the Century South 6 (Santikos).

May 27 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
An attempt wil be made at Kelly Field during Decoration Day proceedings to catch a baseball thrown from an airplane and thus set a height record for catching dropped balls.  The record is now 555 feet.

James V Allred, 34-year-old candidate for governor of Texas, visits San Antonio today to confer with campaign workers.

Ray Charles plays Randy’s Rodeo.

April 2 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Former Senator J. C. Pritchard and Miss Marie Van Gastel (of Belgium) speak at Beethoven Hall about the U.S. Government and the war in Europe.

Country singer Roger Miller (“King of the Road”,”Dang Me”) weds San Antonio native Leah Kendrick in a civil ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Computers are used for the first time to tabulate the results of the city election.

March 17 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Speed has been the object most desired at Camp Travis since the first nail was driven toward construction of the camp.  One morning, Lt. W. G. Hollingsworth, in charge of construction at the camp, telephoned A. J. McKenzie, vice president and general manager of the McKenzie Company, a rush job for the hospital.  He asked when six buildings 16×40 feet, needed to house convalescent patients, could be completed.  He was told “today.”  The order went out at 10 o’clock to get them done “today.”  The six buildings were completed in 270 minutes.

With a dream and an initial investment of $35,000, former priest Tom Adams (right) begins making split-vamp, double-tie athletic shoes.  He names them Kaepa after his two daughters, Mikaela (nicknamed “Kae”) and (Pa)ula.

Radio station KEXL goes off the air.

December 9 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Long flannel bandages, double the length of those previously made, comforters, gloves, plenty of socks and smoking tobacco are the main requisites of the soldiers in the trenches, according to Lt. P. Sellier at Camp Travis, one of the French officers sent to this country to instruct the American troops in modern warfare.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is first broadcast, at 6:30 on CBS (KENS Channel 5).

The roadrunner wins the runoff election over the armadillo (right) and becomes the mascot of the University of Texas at San Antonio.

November 30 in San Antonio history…

B.B. King, along with Bill Harvey & his Orchestra, entertain at the Carver Library auditorium.

“Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” airs on KENS Channel 5 at 8 p.m. after “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Crosby recorded the Christmas spccial a little over a month before his death on Oct. 14, 1977.  The highlight of the show is his duet with David Bowie on “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”

Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark, better known as OMD, performs in Laurie Auditorium with the Models opening.