Blog Archives

September 7 in San Antonio history…

There have been complaints that boys have been trespassing on the grounds of the High School on Main Avenue.  There have been reports that they have also been climbing to the top of the structure and throwing rocks at pedestrians.  Police have been instructed to keep close watch and make arrests if necessary.

The first Folklife Festival opens on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. 7,546 people attend on opening day.

After existing as two separate newspapers for 66 years, the first issue of the San Antonio Express-News hits the newsstands.


August 11 in San Antonio history…

The second radio station in San Antonio, WCAR, begins broadcasting from 324 N. Navarro St.  It is later renamed KTSA (which stands for Kum TSan Antonio). (License date 5/9/22)

Station Officer Levi Stowe reported to headquarters that a cross, 16 feet high and with a cross arm of 10 feet, was burned at the foot of Fairview Avenue, four blocks east of S. Presa.

Mother and daughter duo Naomi and Wynonna Judd make their first San Antonio appearance at Texas Dance Hall.

March 15 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
According to information received from Washington, Col. Herbert O. Williams, who arrived at Southern Department headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, yesterday morning, is to be placed in command of the Southern District of Aviation, to be created with headquarters at San Antonio.

The Who make their first appearance in San Antonio, performing at the Municipal Auditorium.

After almost 20 years of showing movies, the North Star Cinema closes.  The triple-screen theater owned and operated by Boston-based GCC Theaters, Inc. showed its final movie today.  Steve Colson, GCC regional vice president said “It was determined that based on our receipts from box office attendance at the theater, it would be better if we were not at the North Star Mall location.”  (The final movies shown at the theater were: “Sahara” starring Brooke Shields, “Lassiter” starring Tom Selleck and “Blame It On Rio” starring Michael Caine.)

February 17 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
1,212 soldiers who cannot read or write English are now studying the language at Camp Travis every night, supervised by 63 soldier-teachers.

The 70-year old exhibit hall at the Kendall County Fairgrounds in Boerne is destroyed by fire.  The cause is later determined to be arson.

The Finck Cigar Company building, built in 1882,  is illegally demolished at 7:45 on a Sunday morning.  A construction company crew discovered at the debris-covered site of the designated city landmark was cited for allegedly violating the city code by not having a demolition permit.  Just weeks after the demolition, State Sen. Frank Tejeda filed a bill requiring responsible parties to rebuild historic buildings that are damaged or destroyed, or pay an amount equal to the estimated replacement cost to be used for preservation projects. But since the bill was not retroactive, it could not be used to make anyone pay the estimated $200,000 it would have cost to replace the Finck Building. In the end, the joint venture paid a $25,000 fine to the city for the demolition.

February 1 in San Antonio history…

The Menger Hotel(right) holds its grand opening.

1918 – World War I
A campaign has been launched throughout Texas for the sale of Smileage books and 50,000 are expected to be sold in the state, 10,000 of which are alotted to San Antonio.  The Smileage book is a passport into theater designated as the army theater in all towns where there are soldiers.  In San Antonio, the camp theater known as the Camp Travis Majestic, is now in operation.

The agent for former Oklahoma and Southern Mississippi running back Marcus Dupree says that Dupree “would certainly entertain an offer by all means” to play for the San Antonio Gunslingers this season.  Gunslingers owner Clinton Manges said that he is still “very interested” in signing Dupree, who quit the football team at USM yesterday and dropped out of the Hattiesburg school.  (Dupree instead signed with the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers.)

January 21 in San Antonio history…

1918 – World War I
Cadet Frank L. Seery of Evanston, Ill. was instantly killed and Cadet V. C. Dunham of Rochester, N. Y., received injuries from which he died an hour and a half later, in a collision of airplanes at Kelly Field at 10 a.m. this morning.

USAA dedicates their new Federal Savings Bank under construction. It is due to open Summer 1985.

Sixty-three years after Isadore Brenner opened the store as “Brenner’s” on Soledad Street, longtime San Antonio discount store Solo Serve files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

October 11 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio’s new federal building and post office opens on Alamo Plaza.  Ralph Cameron, a San Antonian, was architect and A. W Kutsch and Sons of Detroit were general contractors. The contract price was $1,768.510.93 but with extras which included features of the building cut out of the original plans and replaced, total cost of the building when entirely completed will aggregate approximately $2,225,000.

Dillards opens a new 180,000 square-foot store at Ingram Mall.

The Go-Go’s play Convention Center Arena.  A Flock of Seagulls opens the show.


October 2 in San Antonio history…

From 7 p.m. last night to 7 a.m. this morning 4.15 inches of rain has fallen on San Antonio, causing the San Antonio River and most other rivers in the county to overflow their banks.  The flood waters have claimed the life of a mother and her three small children near San Jose Mission.  Most of downtown San Antonio is also flooded.

1917 – World War I
Victor Keller, chairman of the exemption board for city district No. 3, said today that no white men would be sent from his district for the increment that must report at Camp Travis this week.  The reason is that to obtain enough white men, it would be necessary to go beyond the numbers wanted in the second 20 per cent that must go this week.  Negro men will be called, he said.  The number will be small as the total quota of men for the district is only thirty-four men.

Burger King announces plans to enter the San Antonio market with 40 stores following the purchase of 20 Whopper-Burger locations from the Bates family.  The purchases ends an 11-year period during which Burger King agreed not to sell hamburgers under the name “Whopper” in a three-county (Bexar, Comal & Guadalupe) area.  Whopper Burger was founded in 1955 by Frank Bates, a graduate of Edison High School and Trinity University.  Their first location was the intersection of Edison Drive and West Avenue.

August 15 in San Antonio history…

Despite a wire report saying that his decapitated body had been found in El Paso, kidnapped Deputy Sheriff Joe Johns of Carlsbad, New Mexico was found to be alive and well when he walked into the sheriff’s office here today.  His kidnappers, two men and an 18 year-old girl referred to as “Honey,”  abducted him yesterday and drove about 1,000 miles in 13 hours, zig-zagging through Wink, Kermit, Big Lake, Piote, San Angelo and finally San Antonio.  They dropped him off on the old Vance-Jackson road where a farmer, Mr. C. J. Webster brought him to town.  Johns said he would start back to New Mexico after sharing a visit and a meal with his nephew, Sam Johns, of 321 Barnett Place.  (The kidnappers were Raymond Hamilton, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.)

While people took to the streets to celebrate Japan’s acceptance of surrender terms, effectively ending World War II, burglars ransacked houses and apartments left vacant by celebrants. A total of $425 in cash and numerous articles were reported missing.

The San Pedro Drive-In closes.
(photo by Jim Miller)

January 29 in San Antonio history…

Robert B. Green opens to the public as the county hospital (right).

Little Richard performs at the Tiffany nightclub.

The new Catholic Chancery opens and is dedicated at 2718 Woodlawn.