In a brief telegram authorized by Mr. Andrew Carnegie, directed to Mrs. D. F. Ainsworth, president of the San Antonio Public Library; Mr. Carnegie offers to give the sum of $50,000 for the establishment of a library here, provided the city will supply an isolated site for a building and $5,000 yearly for the maintenance of the institution. The formal proposition embodying the conditions usually imposed by Mr. Carnegie in such cases has been forwarded by mail and may be expected soon.
World War I – January 8, 1918:
On this day 1918, President Woodrow Wilson announced his Fourteen Points, which would serve as the basis for peace in November 1918. With the Fourteen Points, Wilson sought to break the will of the Central Powers to fight by promising a just peace that would guarantee national independence and self-determination for all peoples involved in the war.
The legendary Eastwood Country Club on San Antonio’s East Side is destroyed by fire. Eastwood hosted many legendary performers through the years, such as Etta James, the Drifters, Bo Diddley, Bobby Blue Bland, Fats Domino, Bill Doggett, Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner and, of course, Miss Wiggles. (Photo from the San Antonio Register.)
B.B. King, along with Bill Harvey & his Orchestra, entertain at the Carver Library auditorium.
“Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” airs on KENS Channel 5 at 8 p.m. after “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Crosby recorded the Christmas spccial a little over a month before his death on Oct. 14, 1977. The highlight of the show is his duet with David Bowie on “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”
Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark, better known as OMD, performs in Laurie Auditorium with the Models opening.
1917 – World War I
The new war tax went into effect at midnight overnight. These taxes include: One cent on each dime paid for amusement admissions, three percent on payments for freight transportation, eight percent on passenger fares, ten percent on payments for Pullman and similar accommodations, five percent on oil pipeline transportation, one cent for each 20 cents or fraction paid for express packages, five cents on each telegraph, telephone or radio message costing fifteen cents or more, various taxes on cigars, cigarettes, tobacco and products, ten percent on club dues, and eight cents on each $100 of new life insurance and one cent on each dollar of premiums paid on fire, marine, casualty and other insurance policies.
North Star Mall opens their new wing with Marshall Field’s and food court.
The new $190 million SBC Center opens with the Spurs defeating the Toronto Raptors, 91-72, in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,787. The Raptors score an NBA-record low six points in the fourth quarter. George Strait performs a sold-out show in the new arena the following night.
The River Beautification Project, with Robert Hugman as architect, breaks ground. This project creates the San Antonio Riverwalk as we know it today.
An early morning fire at Travis Park Methodist Church caused an estimated $75,000 damage to the downtown landmark.
The Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular is shown for the first time ever at the Woodlawn Theater.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce announced plans for a weeklong celebration honoring Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier.”
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.
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.
President Benjamin Harrison visits San Antonio during the inaugural Fiesta San Jacinto. He is the first President to visit the Alamo City.
Chet Atkins performs at Convention Center Banquet Hall.
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.
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.
The Sears building on Romana Plaza closes. It will be razed, rebuilt and opened in 1995 as the San Antonio Central Library.
The Marx Brothers appear at the (old) Majestic Theater as part of a vaudeville review of 27 people.
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.
The new Main Library building opens at S. St. Mary’s and West Market streets.
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.
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.