Blog Archives

January 13 in San Antonio history…

1958
Prompt action by railroad employees was credited today with saving more than $1,000,000 in rolling stock as a two-alarm fire gutted the Katy roundhouse. Employees drove two locomotives and several rail cars from the sheet iron building after a steam generator exploded, hurling burning oil on the walls.

1972
The Milwaukee Brewers take over the local Texas League baseball franchise and change the name from the San Antonio Missions to the San Antonio Brewers.  They have also signed a lease with V. J. Keefe field, which the Texas Leaguers have used since Mission Stadium was abandoned.

1977
City councilman Henry Cisneros, 29, is sworn in as mayor pro-tempore.  He is the youngest mayor in the city’s history.

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January 9 in San Antonio history…

1908
Temperance advocate Carrie A. Nation arrived in the city today and immediately made speeches against liquor and tobacco in the Silver King, Two Brothers and Menger Hotel bars.  One of the saloon-keepers in town stated, “If she comes in here, I will not be responsible for what happens to her.”  She did not do any damage, however.  She checked into the Bexar Hotel and gave a speech at the Market House in the evening.

1971
Arleigh Templeton, president of UTSA, announces that the hours of the new university will be from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
Saturdays “so the working kids and the housewives can go to school.”  The university is slated to open on Sept. 1, 1973 with an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 students.  Currently, San Antonio is the largest city in the nation without a state-sponsored university.

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.

December 28 in San Antonio history…

1940
Four of the “Our Gang” kids, Alfalfa (Carl Switzer), Waldo (Darwood Kayne), Muggsy (Shirley Coates) and Darleena (Anita Gordon) arrive in San Antonio for a four-day appearance at the Texas Theater.

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.

1983
Heart plays Municipal Auditorium with opening act, The Romantics.

November 30 in San Antonio history…

1923
Former Ziegfeld Girl, Martha Mansfield), as Agatha Warren, is burned severely while filming the movie The Warrens of Virginia in Brackenridge Park. She is rushed to Physicians and Surgeons Hospital where she dies.  It is determined that a match, carelessly tossed by a cast member, ignited her costume.

1977
“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 special 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.”

1981
UTSA make its intercollegiate basketball debut against the defending SWC Champion Arkansas Razorbacks in Convention Center Arena.  The Razorbacks crush the Roadrunners, 71-42.  “It wasn’t something we can be proud of but it’s a start,” says UTSA coach Don Eddy after the game.

November 8 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The German armistice delegation has received the surrender terms from Marshal Foch and they have been given 72 hours to decide whether the terms should be accepted or rejected, expiring at 11:00 am French time, Monday, November 11.

1966
Texas finally votes to abolish the poll tax for state and local elections. The poll tax had been abolished for federal elections in 1964.

1977
San Antonio voters establish the creation of a Metropolitan Transit Authority (VIA) in San Antonio.

October 24 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
President Wilson has stated to the German government that there will be no armistice without complete and total surrender.

1960
The epic John Wayne movie The Alamo has its world premiere at the Woodlawn Theater on Fredricksburg Road in San Antonio.

1977
San Antonio’s FM1604 is now officially designated Loop 1604.  Previously, the route designated as FM1604 extended from north of IH10 east of San Antonio around the city to Highway 16 in south Bexar County.  The balance of the loop had been designated FM1589.  Bexar County Commissioners Court named a portion of the loop as Charles W. Anderson Loop after the late Bexar County Judge.

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.

1929
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.

1977
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.

1969
The Century South theater holds its grand opening.

1971bexar_hotel
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.

1977
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.

1978tc
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…

1918
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.

1934
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.”

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