1917 – World War I
By executive order issued today President Wilson prohibited the existence of disorderly resorts or saloons within five miles of any military camp. Any town within such radius licensing saloon would not be affected but no saloon may be within a half mile of camps. Private persons living within five miles of such a camp may have liquors in their possession for personal use but may not give them to any soldier.
Sanitation workers in San Antonio go on strike. Tensions are inflamed when City Manager Tom Huebner states that, “Those positions are easily filled.”
A caravan of camels went down Main Street on their way to Camp Verde.
Less than an hour after a Texas League game that saw the San Antonio Indians lose, 5-3, to the Dallas Steers, a fire is reported in the stands at League Field located at Josephine and Isleta streets. Less than three minutes after he flames were first seen in the northwest section of the grandstand, they had spread over the entire structure, which was built to seat 7,500 people. Firemen believed a cigarette stub may have caused the fire. Homer H. Hammond, president of the San Antonio Baseball Club, estimated the loss to the club at $58,000, including equipment for night games.
The 66-year-old Elks Building at Navarro and Pecan streets (right) becomes the first building to be imploded in San Antonio. The building was the former home of the Travis Club and was immortalized on the boxes for Travis Club cigars.
1917 – World War I
Dallas leads all other cities of Texas in registrations under the selective draft law, according to complete figures from nine of the largest cities today. San Antonio was second and Houston third.
The San Antonio Light reports that a “well-known Major General” has been demoted to Lt. Colonel for stating at a cocktail party in London, “On my honor, the invasion will begin no later than June 15.” This former General, Henry J. F. Miller, had commanded the San Antonio Air Depot at Duncan Field until 1941. He was demoted by General Eisenhower, a former classmate at West Point.
Joske’s and KZ-100 radio sponsor a party at the Arneson River Theater for the new movie “Grease.” Producer Alan Carr and actor Jeff Conaway appear at the event. Olivia Newton-John (right) is scheduled to appear but is forced to cancel due to a 102-degree fever.
Santa Anna issues orders for the assault to begin on the following day utilizing four assault columns and one reserve column. A messenger arrives at the Alamo compound with the grim news that reinforcements aren’t coming. Travis gathers his men and informs them of their options. Popular legend has it that this was the moment when Col. William Barret Travis, Commander of the Alamo forces, drew a line in the dirt with his saber and asked those men who were committed to defending the Alamo to the death to cross.
The General Motors Parade of Progress goes on display at Lions’ Park, complete with Aerodome tent and a fleet of 12 Futurliners.
The Beatles make their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, broadcast on KENS Channel 5 at 7:00 p.m. 45.3% of U.S. TV households tune in, representing 73 million people — a record for an entertainment program up to that time.
City Council passed a resolution today urging Penner’s Inc. to rebuild its downtown men’s clothing store recently destroyed by fire. It is intended as a signal to the San Antonio Development Agency to make land just behind the Penner’s site at 311 E. Commerce St. available for reconstruction of the store.
Bernard Harris, Jr., a 1974 graduate of San Antonio’s Sam Houston High School, becomes the first African-American to perform an EVA (spacewalk) during the second of his two flights aboard the Space Shuttle.
After being holed up at the Hilton Palacio del Rio for nearly a month waiting on a judge to rule on his trade from the Virginia Squires, George Gervin plays his first game as a San Antonio Spur at HemisFair Arena against the Utah Stars. Gervin started slowly, scoring only 12 points on 5-for-16 shooting from the field in San Antonio’s 86-83 loss to Stars in his first game.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority begins using new RTS-II buses (right) on various routes in the city. San Antonio is the second city in the US to obtain this type of bus. 121 buses are purchased and will be fully operational by March.
Selena Gomez performs at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in the AT&T Center.
In a brief telegram authorized by Mr. Andrew Carnegie, directed to Mrs. D. F. Ainsworth, president of the San Antonio Public Library; Mr. Carnegie offers to give the sum of $50,000 for the establishment of a library here, provided the city will supply an isolated site for a building and $5,000 yearly for the maintenance of the institution. The formal proposition embodying the conditions usually imposed by Mr. Carnegie in such cases has been forwarded by mail and may be expected soon.
Construction begins on San Antonio’s first mall, North Star Mall, the fifth shopping mall in the nation.
The English punk band, Sex Pistols, play a notorious gig at the country & western nightclub, Randy’s Rodeo – the third stop on a seven date U.S. tour. The band starts off playing songs from “Never Mind the Bollocks,” released only three months earlier, but lead singer Johnny Rotten nearly incites a riot after insulting the C&W faction of the audience. The band is pelted by beer cans and food and one audience member is hit by Sid Vicious’s bass guitar but the show continues. The band would never tour the U.S. again.
H.C Moore, Southern Pacific railroad engineer, escaped serious injury today when switch engine no. 131 exploded at the Southern Pacific roundhouse. The engineer was hurled about thirty feet and was showered with oil and sand. After receiving first aid treatment, he was sent home where he is under the care of physicians.
A messenger for the W. T. Grant store was held up by a lone gunman in the heart of the downtown district this morning and robbed of $3500 in Christmas receipts he was taking to the Frost National Bank. Tlie robbery occurred on the St. Mary’s street bridge across from the Public Service building.
The J.C. Penney Company opens their sixth San Antonio store today at Ingram Park Mall. The new store is the company’s 149th store in Texas and 2,090th in the J. C. Penney chain. It has almost 180,000 square feet of floor space, 42 merchandise departments and 325 employees.
Installation of a traffic signal light at Broadway and Pershing avenue to provide a safe crossing place for pedestrians to the north entrance of Brackenridge Park is being delayed by lack of cable, Commissioner P. L. Anderson stated today. As soon as the cable can be obtained the light will be installed and a concrete safety island for pedestrians will be plated in the street, he said. Some cable is being purchased in Houston and some in Corpus Christi.
Monday Night Football debuts on the ABC network on KSAT Channel 12 at 8:00 p.m. The game features the New York Jets with quarterback Joe Namath vs. the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. This is the first of 13 prime-time Monday games on the network this season. The Browns win, 31-21.
Plans for a convention hall and civic center at La Villita were unveiled today by V. H. Braunig, City Public Service Board manager.
Reba McEntire performs in San Antonio for the first time in San Antonio at the Alzafar Shrine Temple on Loop 1604 and Huebner Road.
John Mayer makes his first appearance in the Alamo City, opening for Counting Crows at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.