Blog Archives

April 17 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
At 3:45 this afternoon, a parade in which khaki clad men will be the prime attraction is planned as part of the Fiesta week festivities.  Today is Military Day.

1968
The restaurant in the Tower of the Americas opens to the public serving themed dishes, such as: “Our Original Tower Salad”, “Fruit Plate Rio Grande” and “Coupe of the Americas.”

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.

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February 24 in San Antonio history…

1836
Colonel William Barrett Travis writes his famous letter:
Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

Fellow citizens & compatriots

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat.Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.

 William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

1918 – World War I
In order to safeguard the health of Camp Travis soldiers against introduction of infectious diseases, recruits are to be put in quarantine for a period of two weeks after their arrival at the cantonment.  The plan was adopted yesterday morning when the first men of the last contingent of the draft reported for duty.

1981
Master Sergeant Roy P. Benevidez is presented with the Medal of Honor by President Ronald Reagan.

 

July 26 in San Antonio history…

1901
Firemen who saved the Maverick Bank Building from flames recently were treated to a Mexican supper last night by P. H. Swearingen, who has a drugstore on the first floor of the building.

1917 – World War I
A Camp Kelly soldier was sentenced to seven year’s hard labor for saying “I don’t like that damned fellow, Wilson.”

1981
The first jazz mass ever celebrated at a Catholic church in this area – and possibly in the entire Southwest – is held in San Fernando Cathedral.  Jim Cullum and the Happy Jazz Band provided their interpretations of hymns and spirituals to a 7:30 p.m. service conducted by Father Louis White.

July 23 in San Antonio history…

1917 – World War I
By executive order issued today President Wilson prohibited the existence of disorderly resorts or saloons within five miles of any military camp. Any town within such radius licensing saloon would not be affected but no saloon may be within a half mile of camps. Private persons living within five miles of such a camp may have liquors in their possession for personal use but may not give them to any soldier.

1978
Sanitation workers in San Antonio go on strike.  Tensions are inflamed when City Manager Tom Huebner states that, “Those positions are easily filled.”

1981Kens0583
KENS-TV Channel 5 breaks ground on new headquarters and studios at 5400 Fredericksburg Road.

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.