Blog Archives

December 14 in San Antonio history…

The Texas Legislature approves the incorporation of the city of San Antonio.  The city had previously been known as Presidio San Antonio de Béxar and the Villa of San Fernando de Béxar.

“The Warrens of Virginia,” a movie filmed in and around San Antonio, premieres at the Princess Theater.  Sadly, the film’s star, Martha Mansfield, died in Brackenridge Park in November of last year when a careless cigarette was tossed her way catching her dress on fire.

An estimated crowd of 5,000 people crowded the San Antonio International Airport’s terminal building, observation deck, parking lots and nearby roads to get a glimpse of Braniff 5188, in actuality the British Airways Concorde, as it landed in San Antonio.  The visit was sponsored by Braniff to highlight subsonic Concorde service between Dallas-Ft. Worth and Washington Dulles beginning on January 12, 1979.  (Despite the artwork, right, there never was a Concorde painted in Braniff livery.  Concorde service ended in May 1980 and Braniff ceased operations on May 12, 1982.)

November 24 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Water Works are incorporated.

Ground is broken for the new St. Gerard’s High School at S. New Braunfels and Nevada streets.  The Very Reverend Joseph Flanagan presides over the ceremonies.

1978Eddie Van Halen, photo by Ross Halfin
Van Halen comes to San Antonio for the first time, as the opening act for Black Sabbath.

October 19 in San Antonio history…

Baylor University defeats Villanova, 7-0, in a game played at Alamo Stadium.  Milt Merka scores the decisive touchdown midway through the final period.

Bexar County’s brand new coliseum was “open for business” with the two-day performance of the Ringling Brothers – Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The first six K-mart stores in San Antonio, located in buildings formerly occupied by Globe stores, open on the same day.  H. E. Wilcox, western regional vice-president, says, “It’s highly unusual for a chain to open six stores in one day, as we did…  Chicago opened five K-mart stores in one day and that’s as close as we’ve come.”

October 18 in San Antonio history…

At the instigation of Maury Maverick, the War Veteran’s Relief Camp is organized at Exposition Park where remnants of the Bonus Army are camping.  Maverick is designated the camp director and R. R. Rogers is Camp Commander.  The camp census lists forty-three adults and thirty-two children and is a place where veterans and transients can obtain a meal and a place to sleep.

Janis Joplin and the Kozmic Blues Band play a concert at Hemisfair Arena

The first six K-mart stores in San Antonio, located in buildings formerly occupied by Globe stores, open on the same day.  H. E. Wilcox, western regional vice-president, says, “It’s highly unusual for a chain to open six stores in one day, as we did…  Chicago opened five K-mart stores in one day and that’s as close as we’ve come.”


September 30 in San Antonio history…

The upkeep of the Alamo was placed under the jurisdiction of the city.

Alamo Plaza is decided upon as the location for the cenotaph honoring the Alamo heroes.

Professional rat exterminators are called to the Bexar County Courthouse to determine the cost of ridding the structure of marijuana-eating rats. The rodents have been seen on all five floors and were discovered eating marijuana evidence stored by the sheriff’s officers in the basement.

September 21 in San Antonio history…

City authorities declared they would strictly enforce the six-shooter ordinance, which required even law officers to obtain a permit from the mayor to carry a pistol.

Final plans and specifications for the $447,000 school athletic stadium were approved by the Works Progress Administration and the school board.

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


September 1 in San Antonio history…

The new River View amusement park holds its grand opening (right).

The first day of the Kerrville Folk Festival at Quiet Valley Ranch features 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. performances by Bluegrass Alliance, featuring a 21-year old Vince Gill.

The sprawling Garden Ridge Pottery building on Interstate 35 north of San Antonio is destroyed by fire.  Fire departments from Universal City, Bracken, Marion, Fox Country, Northcliffe and New Braunfels all respond.  Losses are set at $2 million.

July 31 in San Antonio history…

Two thousand pecan shellers walked off the job in San Antonio and threw up picket lines around all the local pecan shelling plants bringing the industry to a standstill.

Despite the lifting of the polio ban, eight children remain in the isolation ward and 15 are recuperating in the observation ward at Robert B. Green hospital. The victims range from 18 months to 18 years old.

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.

June 18 in San Antonio history…

A caravan of camels went down Main Street on their way to Camp Verde.

An unidentified man fell to his death from the twelfth floor men’s room of the Medical Arts Building this morning.  One new polio case was reported in the city also.

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.

June 7 in San Antonio history…

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.

Two tired and hungry German POWs who escaped from Dodd Field two days ago were found this morning by two cowboys riding the fence line at the R. W. Briggs ranch, 20 miles south of San Antonio on the Uvalde highway.  They said they were on their way to Argentina and would rather die there than the United States if they couldn’t get back to Germany.

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.