Blog Archives

August 16 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
“So far as this office is concerned, saloons within half a mile of the Arsenal are closed and will remain closed for the duration of the war.” This was the comment made Wednesday at the office of the United States district attorney on efforts being made to reopen these saloons since the company of guardsmen at the Arsenal has been replaced with regulars.

1975
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.

1977
San Antonians mourned the death of singer Elvis Presley, who died at age 42 at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee.

July 11 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
A joint proclamation by Mayor Sam C. Bell and County Judge James R. Davis was issued Wednesday morning calling on all business houses and manufacturing establishments to permit young men in their employ wino have enlisted in the National Guard to have Thursday afternoon off to do recruiting duty. A request also is made that young men not members but wishing to enlist in one of the San Antonio companies, “be granted special hours during the day, in which they may go to the recruiting offices for the purpose of enlisting and offering their services to our country.”

1977
Katherine Stinson Otero dies at the age of 86 at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2016tim-duncan-5-championships
After 19 seasons and five championships with the San Antonio Spurs, forward Tim Duncan announces his retirement.

July 10 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The government is spending about $30,000 installing a new telephone system for Fort Sam Houston and for the cantonment quarters for the National Army at Camp Wilson. Work has been started on the installation of the new switchboard and exchange for Fort Sam Houston, which will supply 750 lines in addition to the trunk lines of the Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone
Company connecting with its main exchange in the city.

1976
The Light reports that President Ford has decided to continue the mass swine flu immunization campaign this fall.

1977
Two security guards prevented a man from jumping to his death from the Tower of the Americas. The elevator operator notified the guards because the man “acted suspiciously.”

May 27 in San Antonio history…

1966
Comprehensive plans for a $10 million federal pavilion at HemisFair 1968 in San Antonio have been approved by President Johnson and legislation has been introduced in Congress for an appropriation.

1977
Smokey and the Bandit premiered in San Antonio at the North Star and South Park Mall theaters.

1988
B.J. “Red” McCombs buys the San Antonio Spurs from Angelo Drossos for $47 million.  “I’m ecstatic,” says Mayor Henry Cisneros.  “The Spurs are in the hands of a San Antonian and that’s the most important thing.”

March 17 in San Antonio history…

1972
Sonny & Cher Bono, stars of the variety TV show “The Sonny & Cher Show (right),” appear at Municipal Auditorium.  The concert is presented by Joske’s and produced by Southwest Concerts, Inc.

1975
With a dream and an initial investment of $35,000, former priest Tom Adams begins making split-vamp, double-tie athletic shoes.  He names them Kaepa after his two daughters, Mikaela (nicknamed “Kae”) and (Pa)ula.

1977
Radio station KEXL goes off the air.

February 18 in San Antonio history…

1916
The Marx Brothers appear at the (old) Majestic Theater as part of a vaudeville review of 27 people.

1977triumph-logo_transpo
Canadian rock trio Triumph plays their first show in the United States right here in Convention Center Arena.  Yesterday & Today and the Runaways are the opening acts.

1986
The San Antonio Spurs’ Alvin Robertson becomes the second player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals against the Phoenix Suns.  The Spurs win, 120-114.  Robertson remains the only player to set the mark with double figures in steals instead of blocks.

January 14 in San Antonio history…

1974
San Antonio drivers are dismayed as the speed limit drops to the federally-mandated 55 mph at one minute after midnight.  The limit will remain at the “double-nickel” until Congress lifts all federal speed limit controls in the November 28, 1995, National Highway Designation Act, returning all speed limit determination authority to the states effective December 8, 1995.

1977
The pilot episode of “Fantasy Island” premieres as a made-for-TV movie on KSAT 12. Guest starts include Bill Bixby, Hugh O’Brien, Sandra Dee, Tina Sinatra and a then-unknown Victoria Principal.

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

January 9 in San Antonio history…

1900
San Antonio has at last been placed on the list of Andrew Carnegie and will get $50,000 for a new library.

1950
An emergency contract for $35,575 to relieve fire-trap conditions at the San Antonio State Hospital, a situation considered too urgent to wait for legislative action, was let today at a meeting of the Board for State Hospitals and Special Schools. Gov. Allan Shivers earlier had pointed out that the recent disastrous mental hospital fire at Davenport, Iowa, costing 40 lives, might easily have happened at any one of our Texas institutions, the state hospitals at San Antonio, Abilene, Austin or Terrell.

19779Jan1977
“The World of Star Trek” comes to the Convention Center Arena.  The convention features creator Gene Roddenberry, the original Star Trek pilot episode “The Cage” and the infamous Star Trek blooper reels.

January 6 in San Antonio history…

1916
Traffic officers said pedestrians standing directly in front of movie theaters or large office buildings would be arrested to prevent congestion in the event of fire.

1977
F. R. Kirkpatrick, president of National Bank Ft. Sam Houston and chairman of the Ft. Sam Houston Gateway Project, implores the city to clean up the four-block long area of “porno joints, adult book stores, peek shows and nudie bars” that arc along New Braunfels Avenue betwecn Ft. Sam Houston and IH-35.  He says that in contrast to the gateways to Lackland, Kelly and Brooks Air Force Bases, the four-block entrance into Ft. Sam Houston is such a slum that sightseeing buses taking tourists to the historic Quadrangle take a roundabout route to avoid the area.

1979
The 52-year-old Municipal Auditorium is gutted by fire. The cause of the blaze is attributed to a discarded cigarette.

December 28 in San Antonio history…

1945
Army officials have declared the river walk, the beautified section of the river downtown, off limits to all military personnel between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.

1977
Nationally syndicated columnist Heloise (real name Katherine Eloise Bowles) passes away at the downtown Baptist Hospital at age 58.  Her daughter, Ponce Heloise Cruse will take over her “Hints from Heloise” column.

2000
Montgomery Ward announced today that they are filing for bankruptcy and closing their doors after 128 years.  The company was founded in Chicago in 1872 and was the first mail-order catalog business.  The catalog was discontinued in 1985, but the stores remained. The shutdowns will leave large vacancies at four San Antonio malls:  McCreless, Windsor Park, Crossroads (Wonderland) and Westlakes.  [Those mall stores would all close in March 2001.]