Blog Archives

September 1 in San Antonio history…

1917
Miss Katherine Stinson’s Chicago-New York airplane flight lasted just 41 minutes today.  Miss Stinson, ambitious to break Ruth Law’s record for the flight, left the ground in Chicago at 5:09 a.m.  At Porter, Indiana, at 5:50 a.m., her engine malfunctioned and she volplaned.  She failed to see some telephone wires and her machine was damaged.  The aviatrix was unhurt.  After some repairs, she will try again next week.

1905
A deed was filed in the county clerk’s office this morning in which Clara Driscoll transferred the Alamo property to the State of Texas in consideration
of $65,000. The property is described as follows: The Hugo & Schmeltzer property, formerly a part of the old Alamo mission and adjoining the Alamo church property now owned by the state. The property Is bounded on the north by Houston street, east by the Alamo ditch, south by the Alamo
and Alamo plaza and west by Alamo plaza.

1957
Television station KONO (Channel 12) has completed all arrangements to put all the Cleveland Browns’ professional football games on the air in San Antonio this fall, according to Bob Roth, commercial manager. The first telecast of 11 Sunday afternoon games will be Sept. 29 when the Browns meet the champion New York Giants.

1980
Playland Park closes for the winter and signs are put up promising the usual St. Patrick’s Day reopening the following year.  Unfortunately, owner Jimmy Johnson decides not to reopen and a legendary San Antonio amusement park passes into history.

1986
The legal drinking age in Texas is raised from 19 to 21, resulting in the layoffs of 70 workers at the Lone Star Brewery and 25 workers at the Pearl Brewing Company.

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July 31 in San Antonio history…

1955
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce announced plans for a weeklong celebration honoring Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier.”

1971
San Antonian David Scott and fellow astronaut James Irwin, become the first people to drive a car somewhere other than earth as they take NASA’s lunar rover for a spin on the surface of the moon.

1986
Signaled by a series of blasts from the 5 p.m. whistle at the Alamo Ironworks, the 15th annual Texas Folklife Festival kicked off today on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures.  In honor of the Texas Sesquicentennial, admission will be free tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m.

April 20 in San Antonio history…

1891
President Benjamin Harrison visits San Antonio during the inaugural Fiesta San Jacinto. He is the first President to visit the Alamo City.

1974
Chet Atkins performs at Convention Center Banquet Hall.

1986
Former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver, Drew Pearson, turns in his resignation as weekend sportscaster on KENS-TV.  “He felt he couldn’t devote the time necessary to become a top-flight sports anchor,” Gary DeLaune explained after substituting for Pearson on the 5 p.m. news.

March 3 in San Antonio history…

1957
To avert the threat of a bus strike, a new fare structure goes into effect today and the sale of bus tokens is eliminated.  Outstanding tokens will continue to be honored until March 15.

1976randolph
The world-famous “Taj Mahal” at Randolph Air Force Base (right) is now an official state historical landmark.

1986
The Sears building on Romana Plaza closes.  It will be razed, rebuilt and opened in 1995 as the San Antonio Central Library.

February 18 in San Antonio history…

1916
The Marx Brothers appear at the (old) Majestic Theater as part of a vaudeville review of 27 people.

1977triumph-logo_transpo
Canadian rock trio Triumph plays their first show in the United States right here in Convention Center Arena.  Yesterday & Today and the Runaways are the opening acts.

1986
The San Antonio Spurs’ Alvin Robertson becomes the second player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals against the Phoenix Suns.  The Spurs win, 120-114.  Robertson remains the only player to set the mark with double figures in steals instead of blocks.

January 28 in San Antonio history…

1968
The new Main Library building opens at S. St. Mary’s and West Market streets.

1975
The American Basketball Association’s eighth annual All-Star game is played in Convention Center Arena.  The East team defeats the West, 151-124.  Freddie Lewis of the Spirits of St. Louis is named the Most Valuable Player with 26 points, 11 assists and two steals.  His prize is $2,000 cash or a quarter horse named “Tough Julie.”  He chose the horse.  Unfortunately, “Tough Julie” died three weeks later.

1986002
A small explosive blast, followed by a puff of brown smoke and a rousing round of applause signaled the official start of construction today of San Antonio’s new West Side Freeway.  Some 300 people gathered in Westover Hills just yards from Sea World of Texas’ Garden of Flags for the dedication of State Highway 151, its new official name.

 

December 4 in San Antonio history…

1899
The city is given the gift of present-day Brackenridge Park by George W. Brackenridge.

1972>December 4 in San Antonio history...
John Mayall headlines a concert at the Municipal Auditorium with opening acts Delbert [McClinton] & Glen [Clark] and Jim Croce. This is Jim Croce’s only appearance in San Antonio.

1986
U.S. Rep Henry B. Gonzales punches a patron at Earl Abel’s for calling him a communist.

October 29 in San Antonio history…

1929express
The Express-News dedicates its new building at the corner of Avenue E and 3rd streets (right).  The day is inauspicious due to the second day of panic selling on Wall Street.  The stock market crash reaches its crescendo today and will come to be known as “Black Tuesday.”

1953
Under new city legislation enacted this morning, it will be unlawful for a person to operate a bicycle in the period between a half-hour after sundown to one-half hour before sunrise without proper lighting (an electric headlight and an electric taillight or red reflector.)

1986
Hundred of city leaders and officials turn out for a lavish celebration atop the parking garage for the new $200 million Rivercenter Mall to inspect the construction. Mayor Henry Cisneros exclaims, “This is the greatest day for downtown San Antonio since Mayor W. W. McAllister announced… the World’s Fair in 1965.”  When completed, the mall will include a 42-story, 1,000-room Marriott Hotel, which will be the tallest building in San Antonio.

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.

May 16 in San Antonio history…

1883
The State of Texas buys the Alamo for $20,000.

1896top_gun
The San Antonio Light reports that the Bronchos baseball team, in Sherman for a game, were not affected by the terrible cyclone that devastated the town yesterday.  It is hoped that the games, scheduled for yesterday and today in Sherman, will be moved to San Antonio’s Riverside Park to be played tomorrow and Monday.

1986
The movie “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, premieres at five San Antonio theaters.  The term “maverick” comes from Samuel A. Maverick, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence who refused to brand his cattle.  Maverick died in San Antonio on September 2, 1870 and is buried in City Cemetery #1.