1917 – World War I
The division of the new national army to be mobilized and trained at Camp Wilson will have a strength of 25,000 men instead of 16,000, according to information received at department headquarters this morning. Also, to San Antonio’s advantage, it is probable the camp here will be permanent. Wooden cantonments are to be built under supervision of the quartermaster general’s department at Washington, the work to be done by contract. Roads are to be improved and new ones built, the water supply is to be increased and sewer and drainage facilities are to be supplied. In former camps latrines had no sewer connections because the troops were likely to be removed at any time. Because of the permanency of the training camp, to open in September, sewer connections will be made.
Two Texas laws banning marriage between Negroes and whites were apparently nullified today by a U. S. Supreme Court decision (Loving vs. Virginia) declaring a similar Virginia law invalid. Texas has had laws against interracial marriage since 1837. Sam Houston signed the first one into law.
The San Antonio City Council approves an $18.8 million grant agreement with the federal government for the $100 million Vista Verde South project and began making plans for another HUD grant to develop an 11-acre tract behind Joske’s into a major shopping mall “on the order of the Galleria in Houston.” This mall would be known as the “Tiendas del Rio” but renamed Rivercenter Mall before opening in 1987.
1917 – World War I
John W. Tobin and City Clerk Fred Fries have issued a joint call for a final meeting of the presiding judges who are to serve as registrars in the various places to take the military census June 5. The meeting of the registrars from the 44 country precincts will be held Saturday, June 2, at 10 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Courtroom while that of the registrars for the city precincts will be held June 4, at 10 a. m. in the council chamber at the city hall.
Tonight is the grand opening of the Roaring 20’s Teen Club (formerly Shadowlands), three miles north of Loop 410 on Blanco Road. Along with Gene Thomas, headliners will be The Missiles band and vocal group along with San Antonio’s own Denny Ezba. This will mark the first time that a Teen Nite Spot has been put into operation and we’re betting everybody will dig the idea.
Hipp’s Bubble Room at 1411 McCullough closes.
1917 – World War I
The United Kingdom offers asylum to the family of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, after his recent abdication on March 15.
The Mission Broadcasting company of San Antonio today asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to change the frequency of radio station KONO from 1400 to 860 kilocycles and to increase the power from 250 watts to 1000 watts at night and 5,000 watts during the day. (The change would not take effect until August 30, 1948)
Damian Garcia (right), along with two others, scale the walls of the Alamo and raise a red flag in defiance of the symbol of Texas revolution and the “theft of Mexican land.” They were members of the of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
Stephen F. Austin arrives in San Antonio to meet with the Governor regarding plans for colonization of Texas. He is told to continue to Mexico City and meet with authorities there.
Paseo Del Rio Association president Jim Cullum Jr. orders the river dyed green and renamed “River Shannon” in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. On hand for the ceremonies is “Viva Max!” co-star John Astin who was made an honorary admiral. The river dyeing is a first for the Alamo City.
“The Rock of Ages,” a memorial to the San Antonio boys who gave their lives in the World War, will be erected near the star in Brackenridge Park. Ray Lambert, park commissioner, is responsible for the tribute.
Hemisfair Arena holds its grand opening with a performance by the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals. Joining the two teams were Bob Hayes, “The World’s Fastest Human,” and a lineup of variety acts that performed before the game and during intermission.
Jack LaLanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger make personal appearances at the grand opening of the International Fitness Center location at 9926 San Pedro Avenue.
A plan for a “hemisfair” – a world’s fair for Latin American countries and the U.S. – was being considered today. A chamber of commerce committee decided to probe the possibility of having such a fair in 1960.
A rare copy of a Mexican newspaper containing the earliest known official announcement of the fall of the Alamo is now on display at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library next to the Alamo. The newspaper dated March 21, 1836, was acquired from Maury A. Bromsen, a rare books and manuscripts dealer in Boston.
The O’Jays, Cameo and Phyllis Hyman play a concert in Convention Center Arena.
The Bluebonnet Hotel at St. Mary’s and Pecan streets opens for business.
A large, regional shopping mall, consisting of five major department stores in a two-level enclosed structure will be built at Ingram Road and Loop 410, a Fort Worth realtor announced today. Sid Uberman, the realtor who also put together the Windsor Park Mall package, said the center will contain more than 1 million square feet of retail space. Approximately 100 stores will be in the new mall.
Seventy-five years ago today, legendary bluesman Robert Johnson records “Cross Road Blues” in the Gunter Hotel on Houston Street. The song would later be notably covered by Cream featuring the guitar prowess of Eric Clapton.
The city first begins displaying Christmas lights along the Riverwalk.
The first Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner is held in San Antonio.
Elvis Presley with his band, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana, played two shows at the Bexar County Coliseum to thousands of swooning, screaming, mainly female, fans (right).
(photo from the Oct. 15, 1956 edition of the San Antonio News)
The amendment to clear the way for the construction of San Antonio’s North Expressway died tonight when federal highway bills died in House-Senate conference in Washington. Included in the two bills were the House and Senate-approved amendments which would have removed the controversial North Expressway from the federal highway system and opened the way for the state to construct the $30 million expressway at state expense.
The Spurs kick off their season against their new division rival Kansas City Kings. With the addition of the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA, the Spurs move from the Central Division of the Eastern Conference to the Midwest Division of the Western Conference. The division also includes the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.
San Antonio women planned a mass meeting to protest the extension of Crockett Street through Alamo Plaza. By letters, telephone and personal calls the women had been demanding the park be left as it was.
After 90 years as a female college, Incarnate Word College opens the fall semester as a fully coeducational institution.
Playland Park closes for the winter and signs are put up promising the usual St. Patrick’s Day reopening the following year. Unfortunately, owner Jimmy Johnson decides not to reopen and a legendary San Antonio amusement park passes into history.