Blog Archives

November 17 in San Antonio history…

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.

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.”

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


November 16 in San Antonio history…

The cornerstone for the Paine Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Protestant church in San Antonio, is laid on Soledad street.

A benefit football game will be held at League Park today between the Camp Mabry and Camp Travis gridders.  All proceeds will go to the United War Work Fund.  An airplane will drop the football onto the field before the game.  As far as it is known, this is the first time an airplane will be used to begin a football game.

The $1,500,00 Nix Professional Building opens with great fanfare.  The Gothic 23-story building, “the first of its kind in the world,” features a basement with a cafeteria, tailor shop and barbershop; eight floors of car storage space, ten floors of office space and a 200-bed hospital on the top six floors.  There is also a private bathroom, a radio receiving set and a telephone in every room.

The character actor, Victor Sen Yung, who played Hop Sing in “Bonanza” and “No. 2 Son” in the Charlie Chan movies, was in San Antonio today selling woks.  He regaled shoppers at two Joske’s stores during demonstrations of cooking with a Farberware wok.

October 18 in San Antonio history…

No less than 50,000 people packed Alamo Plaza today on the occasion of President Taft’s first public speech in this city. Other thousands lined the streets to get a glimpse of the distinguished visitor.

1918 – World War I
Mrs. Dorothy Delfraisse McCurdy, died last night at the home of her father, 615 Cherry Street, after a brief illness of pneumonia, the result of Influenza contracted while on duty as a special Red Cross nurse at the base hospital, Camp Travis.

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 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.

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.

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

July 5 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Kelly Field sent its baseball team to Corpus Christi to play the Fifth Engineers yesterday in the same manner Brooks Field did two weeks ago.  “If a man had an automobile he would not ride in an ox cart,” they say.  “So, why should men from the aviation section of the Signal Corps use a train?”

The city swimming pools are back in operation today after a “sick-in” by 85 of the city’s 95 lifeguards closed 17 of the 19 city swimming pools.  The “sick-in” was staged to protest the low wages lifeguards are now being paid by the City of San Antonio.  They want their hourly wages increased from $2.65 to $3.50.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers make their first appearance in San Antonio at the Convention Center Arena with Lone Justice opening.

June 18 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
The San Antonio School Board of Trustees votes to abolish all instruction in the German language in San Antonio schools.  The decision was reached after the reading of resolutions from the Salesmanship and Rotary Clubs, denouncing the teaching of German as one of the most effectual mediums of the spread of German “Kultur” and propaganda in this country.

Thousands gathered at Alamo Stadium to watch ceremonies posthumously awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to S. Sgt. William J. Bordelon, Jr. The Marine sergeant’s mother received the medal on behalf of her late son.

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 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – Word War I
The San Antonio Light reports that Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s dare-devil auto race driver and now an aviator with the American armies, has become America’s second flying ace.  He was recognized as such yesterday by the French, confirming that he shot down five German airplanes between April 29 and May 20.

Heart, with opening act, Fleetwood Mac alumnus Bob Welch, entertains at Municipal Auditorium.

San Antonio celebrates the Spurs’ fifth championship!  The Silver & Black defeated the Miami Heat four games to one to avenge last year’s loss.

June 12 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Effective immediately, all merchants of Texas are asked to restrict the sale of sugar at one time to two pounds to the city trade and five pounds to the country trade, according to announcement received here from State Food Administrator Peden.

Col. Charles A. Lindbergh will not visit San Antonio this month for the dedication ceremonies at Randolph Field, “The West Point of the Air,” it was reported today by Jack Beretta, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce dedication committee.  Col. Lindbergh thanked San Antonio for the invitation, saying, “Engagements which I am unable to break will make it impossible for me to be present.”

After a decade of construction, the Sunken Garden Theater, one of San Antonio’s beauty spots, today stood completed.  The project was started in 1928 with erection of a 30×40 foot stage.


June 1 in San Antonio history…

The San Antonio Library begins bookmobile service (right) to rural locations in Bexar County.

K-Mart announces that they will be opening their first San Antonio stores in the former Globe Department Store locations with three additional stores in the city by the end of the year.

Def Leppard makes their first appearance in San Antonio, opening for Judas Priest at Convention Center Arena.

April 16 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Margaret Wilson, daughter of the President, gives a concert at Camp Stanley tomorrow night as part of a series of concerts under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A.  She gave two concerts at Kelly Field last night to capacity crowds.

San Antonio’s answer to Evel Knievel, “Even Steven” Baker, jumps six new Ford Thunderbirds in the parking lot of Deja Vu nightclub.

Officials from Opryland USA and USAA officially announce that the name of the planned $100 million, 201-acre musical theme park to be located in northwest San Antonio will be called Fiesta Texas.