Blog Archives

July 31 in San Antonio history…

1971
San Antonian David Scott and fellow astronaut James Irwin, become the first people to drive a car somewhere other than earth as they take NASA’s lunar rover for a spin on the surface of the moon.

1978
Tropical Storm Amelia stalls over South Texas, beginning three days of continuous rain over the Guadalupe River basin leading to widespread flooding and evacuations. Medina receives 48″ of rain, a record not only for Texas but any tropical cyclone impacting the continental United States.

1985
College radio darlings R.E.M. play San Antonio for the first time at the Majestic Theater.  True West opens the show.

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July 2 in San Antonio history…

1731
The site for the Church of San Fernando is selected when Juan Antonio Pérez de Almazán, captain of the Presidio of San Antonio, lays out a central square for the villa of San Fernando de Béxar, as San Antonio was first called. The church is to be located on the west side of the square. After Almazan selected the site of the doorway of the church, the Main Plaza was laid out from the doorway.

1838
A note in the minutes of the City Records this day reads as follows: “In consequence of the Council and Citizens generally being engaged in making preparations to repel the aggressions of the Indians there was no meeting of the Corporation this day. Signed, W. P. Delmour Secretary, July 2.”

1978
Van Halen makes their first appearance in San Antonio at Municipal Auditorium.  Head East opens the show.  No brown M&Ms are harmed before or after the concert.

 

June 18 on San Antonio history…

1955
Kids tuned into the one hour broadcast of “Disneyland” at 8:00 on KENS Channel 5 to hear about Walt Disney’s new amusement park with the same name that opened yesterday.  The grand opening was broadcast live on the ABC television network but no one in San Antonio got to see it.  There is no ABC-affiliated station in San Antonio.

1971
Southwest Airlines begins air service to San Antonio, Dallas and Houston with six roundtrips DAL-SAT and 12 roundtrips DAL-IAH with $20 one-way fares.

1978
It took a five-man team of workers eight hours to place explosives throughout the building but only nine seconds to demolish the 70-year old Elks Building on the corner of Pecan and Navarro streets this morning.  The building was immortalized on the cigar boxes for Travis Club cigars.

May 18 in San Antonio history…

1979
Spurs fans are devastated when Bobby Dandridge hits a 12-foot jumper from the right baseline with eight seconds to play to cap a furious comeback that carries the Washington Bullets from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to a 107-105 National Basketball Association victory over the Spurs in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals.  The Spurs lose the series 4-3 becoming only the third team to lose a series in which they were up 3-1.  The boys in silver and black would have to wait another 20 years to make it to the NBA Finals.

1987
The San Antonio Spurs draw the #1 pick today for the June 22 draft lottery.  The Spurs plan to draft Navy’s David Robinson, who will not be available until 1989 after a two-year hitch in the Navy.  A jubilant Bob Bass, General Manager, exclaims, “We waited 14 years for a No. 1 pick, so what’s two more years?”

1997
Ten years to the day after winning the lottery that provided them with Robinson, the Spurs hit the jackpot again on the lottery that would provide them with Tim Duncan.

April 9 in San Antonio history…

1900
A bicyclist narrowly avoided a collision with the Staacke automobile at the corner of Commerce and Alamo streets last night. The auto was going around Bull Bros. corner at 8 o’clock from Alamo Plaza and the cyclist was going around the same corner towards Alamo Plaza.  The cyclist managed to turn out of the way but he turned so short that he received a terrible fall on the pavement.

1976
President Gerald Ford visits San Antonio during his re-election campaign and infamously bites into a tamale without removing the husk. (right)  This is later humorously referred to as “The Great Tamale Incident.”

1978
George Gervin wins the NBA scoring title over David Thompson with a 63-point performance over the New Orleans Jazz.  “The Iceman” knew he had to score 58 points to win the title and, despite being double- and triple-teamed, managed to set a new franchise record.  He also set an NBA record for most points in a quarter with 33 in the second period.

February 13 in San Antonio history…

1913
On this day in 1913, Ignacio E. Lozano founded La Prensa, a Spanish-language daily newspaper published in San Antonio to address the needs of Mexicans residing temporarily in the United States who wished to follow events in Mexico, which was engulfed in the Mexican Revolution.

1916
In an effort to reduce accidents, all slow-moving traffic will be compelled to keep to the right-hand curb on downtown streets.  Buggies and wagons can’t compete with fast-moving autos.

1978
Mel Tillis performs at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

January 28 in San Antonio history…

1968scan0018
The new Main Library (right) building opens at S. St. Mary’s and West Market streets.

1978
Canadian power trio, Triumph, brings their “Rock and Roll Machine” tour to San Antonio.

1993
The Light goes out.  After 112 years, the San Antonio Light newspaper ceases publication.

January 8 in San Antonio history…

1975
Andre the Giant, at 7’4″ and 425 lbs., wrestles “little” Ernie Ladd, who measures 6’9″ and 275 lbs., as the main event of the Wrestlethon Inc. card at Municipal Auditorium.  The second main event is Jose Lothario vs. Billy “Super Star” Graham.

1978
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.

1986
The legendary Eastwood Country Club on San Antonio’s East Side is destroyed by fire.  Eastwood hosted many legendary performers through the years, such as Etta James, the Drifters, Bo Diddley, Bobby Blue Bland, Fats Domino, Bill Doggett, Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner and, of course, Miss Wiggles. (Photo from the San Antonio Register.)

December 24 in San Antonio history…

1969
Trinity University junior, Louise Locker, (along with Santa Claus) stays out until “two or three in the morning” delivering over 200 presents and a Christmas trees to needy San Antonio children who had written letters – and so becomes known as Elf Louise.

1978pastorini
The Houston Oilers defeat the Miami Dolphins, 17-9, for their first playoff win since 1961.  Houston quarterback Dan Pastorini is 20 of 29 for 306 yards and a touchdown.  In the game, Pastorini is the first quarterback to wear a “flak jacket” to protect his cracked ribs.  The jacket was invented by inventor Byron Donzis (right) who was born in San Antonio.

1983
The Great Plains Cold Wave reaches San Antonio, setting a new record low temperature for the date at 15 degrees.  Six more record low temperatures would be set over the next week due to the cold snap.

November 17 in San Antonio history…

1934
Lyndon B. Johnson marries Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. LBJ didn’t have a wedding band for her and had asked Dan Quill, friend and Postmaster of San Antonio, to get one. Quill bought a wedding band at the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. for $2.50.  (The Sears store was located in what is now called the Tower Life Building.) After the wedding, they had dinner at the St. Anthony Hotel and spent their wedding night at the Plaza Hotel.

1978
The now-infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special” airs on KENS Channel 5 from 7-9 p.m.  The TV guide description:  “The cast of ‘Star Wars’ and an array of guest stars join together to help the Wookie [sic] Chewbacca reach his home planet in time for Life Day.”

2006
The first Tundra rolls off the assembly line in San Antonio’s new Toyota plant.