1918 – World War I
The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser’s Battle), also known as the Ludendorff Offensive, begins today. The offensive is a series of German attacks along the Western Front which mark the deepest advances by either side since 1914. The Germans have realised that their only remaining chance of victory is to defeat the Allies before the overwhelming human and matériel resources of the United States can be fully deployed. They also have the temporary advantage in numbers afforded by the nearly 50 divisions freed by the Russian surrender (the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk).
Memorial Library at 3222 Culebra Ave. across from St. Mary’s University, hosts its first Star Trek Jamboree. Included is a full-costume performance by the San Antonio chapter of the Star Trek Fan Club, a display of Star Trek memorabilia from around the world and films from the Star Trek series.
The new bandstand in Alamo Plaza has been completed (right). It will probably be opened to the public in early January as soon as all the furniture is installed. The bandstand contains San Antonio’s first “comfort station” (public restroom). “The basement, in which the comfort station is located, has a tile floor and ample sewer connections for the purpose to which it will be devoted. One room will be fitted up with first-aid appliances and it is proposed to have a nurse there so that persons injured or overcome while downtown can be given temporary dressings or treatment.”
KONO radio holds “The Annual KONO Radio Drunkathon.” KONO disc jockey Michael Black drinks than a half dozen one-ounce shots of hard liquor in the presence of a San Antonio police officer to illustrate how easy it is t o become legally intoxicated. He undertook the experiment as an example of what can happen to a drunk and why who drink New Year’s Eve shouldn’t drive. After seven drinks, he is declared legally intoxicated and pulled off the air. He took his own advice and was chauffeured home.
The temperature drops to 9 degrees, a record low for the date.
The headlines of the San Antonio newspapers describe a bus/train accident that resulted in the death of 26 children. This accident spawned the myth of the “ghost tracks” at Shane and Villamain. Despite being the lead story in the newspaper, the accident actually took place in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A dark but colorful will be the story of this year’s city Christmas tree in Alamo Plaza. Finishing touches are being made on the 60-foot tree, which will not have any lights this year because of the energy crisis, according to city officials. The 10-ton structure is composed of more than eight truck loads of cedar limbs which cover a huge wood and metal frame.
Today Show’s Willard Scott throws the switch to light the River Walk and serves as celebrity Grand Marshall in the first Holiday River Parade.
George Wilkins Kendall, Mexican War correspondent, editor of the New Orleans Picayune, sheep rancher and namesake of Kendall County, dies in Boerne.
1917 – World War I
Miss Sarah Smith King, principal of Bowie School, is doing her “bit” by going out to Camp 73, Camp Travis, each Wednesday evening, and assisting the Y. M. C. A., by telling local historical stories. Next Wednesday she will tell local Indian stories and Miss Mamie De Ham will sing s ” La Golondrina.” The following Wednesday Miss King will tell the story of the Mier expedition. The following teachers of her school will sing patriotic songs: Misses Rowena Williamson, Florence Keen, Elizabeth Mason, Martha Randall, Fannie Laird, Ruth Blantan, Nathalie Gould, Alice Wimbcrley, Pearl
Wright, Stella Micheau and Mrs. Edith Ramsey. Miss King and Misses Sarah and Rowena Williamson are also teaching English at Camp Travis.
Convention Center Arena features a concert with Quiet Riot, Axe and the first San Antonio appearance of Seattle’s Queensrÿche.
Hurricane Gilbert spawns a total of 47 tornadoes in South Central Texas (and at least 13 in Bexar County), causing three fatalities in San Antonio. Local damage was estimated at $35 million with damage to vehicles, homes, apartments and businesses
The first of two great hurricanes to hit the Texas port city of Indianola come ashore. When the damage is done, only eight buildings are left undamaged and fatalities are estimated at 150 to 300 dead.
At the San Antonio Zoo, a gorilla named Mopie attacks zookeeper Rick Estrada, nearly biting off his leg.
1917 – World War I
Local authorities believe that a rash of fires recently may have been started by German spies or sympathizers. On July 10, a mysterious fire broke out in the plant of the Southern Macaroni Company, near the lower I. & G. N. Railroad yards. This concern has a contract to furnish the government with approximately 50,000 pounds of
macaroni. The night of the fire. The fire broke out in the midst of 9,500 pounds of the product which had been prepared and was scheduled to be delivered the following day. Investigation showed the lock of one of the doors had been sawed to gain an entrance to the place.
Leslie Tillett was at a reception in San Antonio speaking to the “Friends of the Tillett Tapestry” about his creation, a 100 by 3 foot tapestry he created, depicting Cortes’s conquest of Mexico. He was hoping to sell it for $200,000 as a “gift to the city.” Ultimately, it was not purchased and went on display elsewhere.
The nickel pass of the bus rider was eliminated today by a 4-to-1 votes of the City Council. Passes will be eliminated July 4, increasing fare for twice-daily riders in the first zone by 15 cents and 25 cents in the second zone.
Morris “Mo” McHone is named the sixth head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, replacing Stan Albeck, who said he could no longer work for Spurs President Angelo Drossos.
The San Antonio Bulls win their American Football Association season opener against a team the Express-News calls, “a rag-tag assemblage of football fumblers who called themselves the Oklahoma City Drillers. Perhaps the Drillees would have been more appropriate.” Final score: Bulls 76, Drillers 0. (This score was one point short of tying the AFA single season record of 77 points, also set by San Antonio, against Ft. Worth in 1977.)
Sea World of Texas holds grand opening festivities featuring television stars throughout the park, such as Bob Keeshan of “Captain Kangaroo,” Tina Yothers of “Family Ties,” and Bryce Beckham of “Mr. Belvedere.” Susan Howard of “Dallas” said, “God gave someone good sense and the powers that be for choosing San Antonio as a site for the park. This is truly a Memorial Day that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.”
Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, comes to San Antonio for an airshow and a reunion of his WWII 357th Fighter Group squadron.
1917 – World War I
The newspaper censorship provisions were stricken entirely from the administration espionage bill today in the Senate by a vote of 39 to 38 on motion of Senator Johnson of California. After the censorship clause had been stricken from the bill, Senator Kirby, Democrat, of Arkansas, introduced an amendment providing for a definite and specific press censorship under the supervision of the secretaries of war and the navy and that was defeated, 65 to 5.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band bring their Detroit sound to Convention Center Arena. The opening act is a rock singer who had recently auditioned to be lead vocalist for Black Sabbath named Michael Bolton.