Blog Archives

June 11 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., Battle Creek, Mich., and San Antonio, Tex., have been approved by the War Department as additional cantonment sites for the army. The camp at Fort Sam Houston will be the only wooden cantonment in the Southern Department. The camps at Fort Worth, Waco, Houston and Fort Sill will all be under canvas. It is believed the canvas camps will house as many men as the wooden cantonment, although they will not represent as large a financial investmet in construction. The War Department plans to begin immediate construction of these camps, as it is the intention to have them in readiness for the new army by September 1.

1918
The City Council is considering purchase of several lots for the creation of Romana Plaza at the junction of Soledad, Romana, Camden, Main and San Pedro. The triangular plaza would also include property of the Main Avenue fire station.

1981
George Jones plays Randy’s Rodeo.

April 23 in San Antonio history…

1883
The Alamo church building is bought by the State under an Act of April 23, for $20,000, from the Catholic church authorities.

1917
The citizens of Boerne witnessed the first aeroplane flying over this town today when John Frost of San Antonio flew over Boerne about 5 o ’clock, making a detour of the city twice, going almost out of sight and then coming down to about 250 feet near the main street.  He continued on toward Comfort and then turned to head back to his home in San Antonio.

1981
Brooke Shields comes to Dillard’s in Ingram Park Mall to promote her new collection of jeanswear.

April 17 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
The San Antonio Light reports that German spies are at work in San Antonio and have been carrying on their activities for an undetermined period, compiling all the data obtainable which might be of use or advantage to alien enemies. Federal officers have asked the aid of Chief of Police Lancaster and his men in running down these German agents, some of whom are said to be reservists of the German army and all in the employ of the imperial German government.

1920penneys_1920
J.C. Penney opens their first San Antonio store at 305 W. Commerce Street downtown (right).

1981
Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., father of the slain civil rights leader, speaks in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel here.  The event also features singer Jessy Dixon and is a fundraiser for United Ministries.

April 3 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I – Loyalty Day
Fifteen thousand people paraded through the streets of San Antonio to demonstrate their loyalty to flag and country today.  The parade started just after 2:00 p.m. and continued until nearly 5:00 p.m.  An estimated crowd of 75,000 people lined the streets to watch and cheer.

1883 
The weekly San Antonio Evening Light is discontinued and, under new management, the first issue of the San Antonio Daily Light newspaper rolls off the printing press.

1950academy
To celebrate their 11 years in business, Academy Army Surplus Company, with stores at 117 Soledad and 1301 S. Flores St., is holding a big anniversary sale.   The company began in 1939 as Academy Tire Shop on S. Flores and is named for nearby St. Henry’s Academy.  (It is known today as Academy Sports and Outdoors.)

1981
Ingram Square Cinema IV opens today with four first-run movies.  The multi-screen complex seats 1,400 and is managed by Pat Clark.  She comes to San Antonio from managing a theater in Waco.

April 2 in San Antonio history…

1840
San Antonio City Council records show a man named Valdez asked to buy stones from the walls of the Alamo and the council approved his request, saying, “The corporation resolved to sell him all the stones he may want at 50 cents a cartload.”

1917 – World War I
President Wilson, who was re-elected in 1916 under the slogan “He kept us out of war,” asks for a declaration of war against Germany in an address to Congress:
“With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it, and that it take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough state of defense but also to exert all its power and employ all its resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end the war. ”

1981
Over the protests of Councilman Van Archer, the city council approved the recommendation to increase pedal boat charges to $2.50 per hour and adult boat taxi fares to $1.25 per person.  The rates had been $2 hourly and $1.15 per person.

January 31 in San Antonio history…

1903sunset-depot-san-antonio-texas
The Sunset railroad depot opens in downtown San Antonio (right).

1949
The lowest temperature ever in San Antonio is recorded on this day.  The mercury plunges to a brutally cold 0 degrees Fahrenheit and the city shivers under a 4.7 inch snowfall.

1981
Rick Nelson entertains at the car show at Convention Center Arena.

November 30 in San Antonio history…

1923mansfield
Former Ziegfeld Girl, Martha Mansfield (right), as Agatha Warren, is burned severely while filming the movie The Warrens of Virginia in Brackenridge Park. She is rushed to Physicians and Surgeons Hospital where she dies.  It is determined that a match, carelessly tossed by a cast member, ignited her costume.

1942
Determined to prevent a fire in San Antonio like the deadly fire that killed 477 people at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston two days earlier, Mayor C.K. Quin, Fire Commissioner P. J. Anderson and Fire Chief C. A. Hart met to discuss inspection of local night spots and the abolition of revolving doors in those establishments.
The daughter of Ft. Sam Houston commander, C. K. Nulsen, was killed in the Cocoanut Grove inferno.

1981
The University of Arkansas plays UTSA in an early season game at Convention Center Arena.  The defending SWC champion Razorbacks prevail, 71-42.

October 27 in San Antonio history…

1938
Sears, Roebuck & Co. moves from the Transit Tower location to their new downtown headquarters at Romana Plaza. In 1995, this location would become the San Antonio Central Library.

1981
A citizen’s committee today decided to recommend to Commissioner’s Court Nov. 10 a new jail to be built at a cost of $47 million to alleviate the county jail population problems.Preferably, the committee said, it would be best to construct a new jail on the parking lot along South Main Avenue across from the Bexar County Courthouse on county-owned land.  The jail should be built on the south end, near Nueva Street, so it would not overlook San Fernando Cathedral.

1986goldbeck
E.O. Goldbeck, famous San Antonio photographer known as “the unofficial photographer of America’s military” (right) for his panoramic photos, passes away at the age of 92.

July 23 in San Antonio history…

1939-Pontiac-plexiglass-ghost-car-18

1885
The first shipment of rails for the San Antonio and Aransas Pass railway arrived in San Antonio.

1941
The Pontiac “glass car,” (right) with a body made from plexiglas and featured in General Motors’ “Highways and Horizons” pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair, goes on display at Mission City Pontiac located at Tenth and Broadway.

1981
Foley’s opens their first store in San Antonio, located in North Star Mall.

July 22 in San Antonio history…

1932
Qualified Negro voters in Bexar County will be permitted to vote in the Democratic primary election tomorrow under terms of a mandatory injunction.  Attorney Carl Wright Johnson argued that the courts have granted relief to white voters deprived of the privilege of voting and that the same relief should be open to negro voters deprived of such privilege.

1942
A photostatic copy of the original floor plan of an old Spanish fort in San Antonio, drawn in 1805 by Francisco Adam, was brought to San Antonio recently by Bascom Giles, commissioner of the general land office. Situated on the present site of city hall, the fort was more than 300 feet long.

1981
The San Antonio Light says that the body of a San Antonio woman missing since June 10 was located yesterday in Sutherland Springs with the help of a Dallas psychic.