1917 – World War I
The second contingent of American troops arrived and disembarked this morning at an unnamed port in France. The troops landed amid the frantic cheers of the people who had gathered for hours before in anticipation of duplicating yesterday’s surprise. Enthusiasm rose to fever pitch when it was learned that the transports and convoys had successfully passed the submarine
zone. The port was speedily beflagged in honor of the occasion. Major General Pershing, the American commander, is expected tomorrow.
San Antonio moved again toward complete desegregation today after 173 restaurants, 23 motels and 9 hotels quietly opened their doors to African-Americans.
The Majestic Theater features a concert with Johnny Winter, his brother, Edgar, and Gregg Allman.
World War I – 1917
Less than two weeks after the U.S. declares war on Germany, New York’s Mayor’s Committee on National Defense began planning a national recruiting event, called “Wake Up America Day,” to be held less than two weeks later, on Thursday, April 19, the anniversary of the battle at Lexington and Concord. By April 10, six governors and 80 mayors in 36 states had signed on. Cities across the country planned parades, meetings and demonstrations, along with midnight church bells and horseback-riding messengers dressed as Paul Revere trotting through the streets. In Manhattan, Miss Jean Earl Moehle played the part of the well-known patriot. Unfortunately, the patriotism failed to spur an increase in recruiting and a draft was instituted in May.
San Antonio oilman Tom Slick was quoted from Katamandu, Nepal, as saying his exploring party had found three sets of mysterious tracks which he is convinced were made by the fabled “Abominable Snowman” of the Himalayas.
A set of twins, the first children in the world to be born as a result of the gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) method, are born in San Antonio at Methodist Hospital.
Longtime album-oriented rock station 99.5 KISS changes formats and begins simulcasting the 50’s and 60’s oldies format of 930 KOOL AM. Eight full-time and part-time disc jockeys are fired as a result. Reaction from listeners is swift and harsh.
The Hertzberg Circus Collection debuts at the San Antonio Public Library.
1985 – SNOW!
Just after midnight, it began to snow in San Antonio. It snowed all night and most of the next day, finally dropping a record 13 inches of the white stuff on the Alamo City. The previous record was 4.7 inches on January 30, 1949.
The SBC Center is officially renamed the AT&T Center.
Olivia DeHavilland, brown-haired movie star, visits patients at Brooke General Hospital.
Teen-age vandals set fire to the 55-foot municipal Christmas tree on Alamo Plaza. Only the steel frame and a charred utility pole remained.
Derrick Gervin, younger brother of George “Iceman” Gervin, scores 51 points for the UTSA Roadrunners as they defeat Baylor, 101-91, in the UTSA Convocation Center.
A Mexican sniper kills Ben Milam in the courtyard of the Verimendi Palace. Two others die in the assault.
Pearl Harbor, in the Territory of Hawaii – the main naval base in the Pacific for the U.S. fleet – is bombed in a surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese military forces. The news reaches San Antonio too late for the major papers, although Extra editions are printed.
“The Iceman” George Gervin returns to San Antonio with his new team, the Chicago Bulls, after having been traded on October 24. Gervin scores 21 and Quintin Dailey scores 24 to lead the Bulls over the Spurs, 131-123. Bulls sensation, Michael Jordan, misses the game with a broken foot.
The Witte Museum was offered and accepted a gift of $225,000 today from Mr. and Mrs. Richard Friedrich. The money will be used to expand and landscape the present facility.
Don Novello, who has appeared on TV shows Laugh-In, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Saturday Night Live as his character Father Guido Sarducci, performs at the San Antonio Comedy Club.
San Antonio’s first independent general entertainment television station, KRRT, goes on the air on UHF channel 35. IT would become a charter Fox affiliate in 1987, a UPN station in 1995, WB in 1998, MyNetwork TV in 2006 and is now The CW with the call letters KMYS.
The Catholic Ursuline Order of nuns opens the first school for girls in San Antonio.
The first bell to peal a call to Protestant worship in San Antonio at Rev. Wesley DeVilbiss’ Paine Methodist Church (now Travis Park United Methodist) was given to the Church of Strangers on Tenth St.
A Southern Pacific train derails on a trestle near Macdona and dumps 42,000 gallons of highly toxic sulfuric acid into the Medina River. The acid wipes out much of the river’s fish. Within a day of the spill, railway officials add lime to the river in a move to neutralize the acid but add too much and compound the problem. State game and fish officials estimate the monetary loss of the fish alone at $119,808.40.
Doc Severinsen, trumpeter and bandleader on NBC’s “Tonight Show” performs at “Gala España,”co-sponsored by the Women’s Committee of the San Antonio Symphony Society and Joske’s of Texas, with proceeds benefitting the Symphony Society.
Tears for Fears performs at Municipal Auditorium.
Between 4 and 6 o’clock this afternoon a representative of the San Antonio Light newspaper will walk about town from Alamo to Soledad and from Travis to Commerce streets with three new five-dollar bills. The first three persons he meets, whistling “Barney Google” will each be given a five-dollar bill. The only requirements are that the whistler must have a copy of any edition of Saturday’s Light and be willing to give this stranger his or her name and address for publication in the Light.
Laura Garcia and Karen Sheppard are the first two women to graduate from the San Antonio Police training academy.
Despondent over the drowning death of his only son nearly four years earlier, Alexander Joske fatally shoots himself. His death shocked the city and retailers state-wide. In mourning, Mayor John W. Tobin honored the merchant and community leader and ordered city flags flown at half–mast. Joske Brothers Company closed for two days, while throughout the Southwest people remembered Joske as a pioneer merchant who had played a key role in the transforming Texas retailing industry by leading the change from dry goods stores of the last century to the modern department store of the twentieth century.
Trustees of the San Antonio Independent School District were expected to authorize the drawing of plans for a new Edison High School. The school was to be on the south side of Fresno Street, east of Blanco Road, and have a capacity of 1,200 students.
San Antonio-based Kaepa changes their shoe logo from the swirled-K (right) to the two triangle “double delta.” Kaepa President Tom Adams says, “From a distance, the original logo just looked like a blob.”