The republican forces of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition under Gen. José Álvarez de Toledo y Dubois are crushed by a Spanish royalist army under Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo at the Battle of the Medina. The battle, the bloodiest on Texas soil, takes place at a spot between the Atascosa and Medina rivers south of San Antonio. So disastrous was la batalla del encinal de Medina that its battlefield has become lost, its “Green Flag” has remained largely unrecognized, and its participants have been generally unknown, unhonored, and unsung.
The first train into Comfort was the occasion of great rejoicing in that city and a brass band serenaded the town. The train men and citizens drank up 17 kegs of beer during the jollification.
In an incident that would dominate the headlines for months and eventually be made into a TV movie, San Antonio Policeman Farrell Tucker shoots and kills fellow patrolman-turned-vigilante, Stephen Smith.
The State of Texas buys the Alamo for $20,000.
Col. Belknap explored 40 feet of cave he found in San Pedro Park.
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.
Carol Creighton Burnett is born in San Antonio, near W. Commerce and Rosillo streets.
“Perry Kallison’s (right) Cow Country News and Trading Post” is broadcast for the last time, having been a daily program on KMAC for over 45 years. KMAC has recently been sold and the new owners want to focus exclusively on music.
Convention Center Arena features the “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion” concert with Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker, Little Anthony, the Drifters, Martha Reeves, Sam the Sham, the Chantels, the Marcels, the Chiffons, Lloyd Price, Bruce Channel, Jewel Akens and Jimmy Velvet.
Nine nurses walked out of the Physicians and Surgeons Hospital on strike. Among the nurses’ complaints is the frijol, hamburger and potatoes diet.
The San Antonio Express reports that a demolition permit is being sought to raze the art deco-style Laurel Theater at 2310 San Pedro Avenue in the Monte Vista Historical District. City staff said the owner, Barshop Enterprises, wants to clear the land and has no other site plans. The request will go to the Historic Review Board.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers,” bring their NPR “Car Talk” show to the Lila Cockrell Theater for a live broadcast.
The New York Yankees, with sluggers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, play the San Antonio Indians in an exhibition game at League Park. The Yanks won, 14-1. After the game, “Ruth was the principal speaker and drawing card at a rally of Knothole Gang members, their parents and friends in the Municipal Auditorium. Probably 2,000 youngsters heard Ruth advise clean living, obedience of parents, plenty of sleep and attention to scboolwork,” beamed the San Antonio Light. The Yanks head for Austin the next morning to play the University of Texas.
The Sears building on Romana Plaza closes. It will be razed, rebuilt and opened in 1995 as the San Antonio Central Library.
The San Antonio City Council rejects a $1 million offer from the Halo Distributing Company to name the new baseball stadium “Miller Stadium” after Miller beer. “I’ve got a check for a million bucks and nobody wants it,” says Dennis O’Malley, president of Halo.
The Jackson Five perform at the Convention Center Arena. Former Express-News columnist Cary Clack attends the show.
Contemporary Christian artists Amy Grant and Rich Mullins perform at Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium.
Maury Maverick Jr. helps to unveil the new historical marker on the east side of the Frost Bank Building on Commerce Street. The marker marks the site of the surrender of Union forces in Texas in 1861.
Townes Van Zandt plays the Beauregard on South Alamo.
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.
A resolution is passed by city council to donate 40 acres of ground to the military on the eastern portion of the city, on the site of the government corral near the present site of the post. By this grant, San Antonio won the military from Austin. The post would become Fort Sam Houston.
When Sgt. A. F. Farrar jumped from a disabled Dodd Field plane, the form-fitting, back-type parachute designed by Master Sgt. E. H. Nichols, Brooks Field, received its first emergency test and proved highly successful.
George Strait plays the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo for the first time.
Canadian rock trio Rush brings their “Power Windows Tour” to the San Antonio Convention Center Arena. The Steve Morse Band opens.
Rosa Parks is the guest of honor for San Antonio’s inaugural Martin Luther King Day Freedom March. She is chauffeured along the route in a General Motors 3102 owned by VIA and used by the transit system from 1952 to 1963.
Andre the Giant, at 7’4″ and 425 lbs., wrestles “little” Ernie Ladd, who measures 6’9″ and 275 lbs., as the main event of the Wrestlethon Inc. card at Municipal Auditorium. The second main event is Jose Lothario vs. Billy “Super Star” Graham.
The English punk band, Sex Pistols, play a notorious gig at the country & western nightclub, Randy’s Rodeo – the third stop on a seven date U.S. tour. The band starts off playing songs from “Never Mind the Bollocks,” released only three months earlier, but lead singer Johnny Rotten nearly incites a riot after insulting the C&W faction of the audience. The band is pelted by beer cans and food and one audience member is hit by Sid Vicious’s bass guitar but the show continues. The band would never tour the U.S. again.
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.)