Blog Archives

May 22 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio now has 24 known cases of polio, five suspected cases and three deaths as the epidemic rages on.

The Rodriguez Brothers, known since 1920 for their beautiful and original memorial art, have just erected marble reproductions of Michaelangelo’s statues of Lorenzo De Medici and Giuliano De Medici.  These statues were imported from Carrara, Italy and are now on display at the South Entrance of Central Park Mall Shopping Center.

Fiesta Texas amusement park opens in northwest San Antonio.

May 9 in San Antonio history…

A tornado sweeps Stinson Field doing $75,000 damage to planes and hangars.

Stinson Field & Cemetery, Harlandale, Olmos Terrace, Spanish Acres, West Woodlawn and Hot Wells are all incorporated into the city.

Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 entertain at Hemisfair along with Pete Fountain.

April 11 in San Antonio history…

Mayor Chambers announces that he has received word that Gov. Moody has filed the “Alamo bill” appropriating $150,000 in state funds to create a state park around the Alamo.  Mayor Chambers said that the city stands ready to donate the site of the fire station in the Alamo block as soon as the committee purchases other property in the block.

The “Brackenridge Eagle” miniature train begins operation in Brackenridge Park.  This is a “soft opening.”  35,000 passengers will ride the train before the grand opening is held on June 14.

The recently-completed upper decks of I-10 near downtown open today.  The project is part of the $270 million “Downtown Y” expansion project that is widening 10 miles of I-10 and I-35 from four to ten lanes and modernizing the I-10 and I-35 interchange.

December 21 in San Antonio history…

The first Fair of the Agricultural and Industrial Association of Western Texas is opened.

The annual report from the library board states that “a children’s department has been created and has found much favor and it is the intention of the board to make the feature a permanent one and to add to it from time to time.”

Construction crews ripped down the first chunks of a concrete wall today to begin the restoration of Milam Park.  When the three-phase, $700,000  restoration of the park is complete, it will contain a wrought-iron and copper pavilion donated by the residents of the Mexican state of Jalisco and the city of Guadalajara, along with a children’s playground, a jogging path, picnic areas, landscaping and lighting.

December 15 in San Antonio history…

Social Reformer  Sidney Maurice Levyson, known by his pseudonym of Stanley Stein, dies in San Antonio. He was a blind Jewish leper, involuntarily incarcerated in the camp for victims of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) in Carville, Louisiana. Levyson refused to retreat into the living death of the disease, instead founding and editing the crusading “Star 66” Newspaper that brought hope to tens of thousands of leprosy sufferers. His epitaph read: “Instead of bemoaning the things that I have lost, I try to make the most of what I have left.”

City officials broke ground today on a new pavilion at O. P. Schnabel Park, funded by $300,000 raised through recycling programs and donations.  At dedication ceremonies marking the construction of the Saide Ray and H. Waldo Graff Pavilion at O.P. Schnabel Park, Mayor Nelson Wolff and City Councilman Bill Thornton shoveled play money into bags held by Beautify San Antonio Association board members.

The Wolff family sells the Sun Harvest grocery chain for $21.5 million.

October 6 in San Antonio history…

Due to heavy rains, the highly anticipated performance of the newly combined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus has been cancelled.  The tents had been set up but due to the water and mud, the decision was announced at 9:30 this morning to cancel the shows.  The circus will pack up and move on to Austin.

The “Jazz at the Philharmonic” show (featuring jazz heavyweights such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Gene Krupa and Oscar Peterson) at Municipal Auditorium is spoiled by antics of two young men who try to beat up an off-duty policeman during the concert.  Promoter Norman Granz has to plead with the audience three times, twice to ask them to refrain from smoking and once to ask the crowd not to yell or whistle during Ella Fitzgerald’s performance.  One of the songs is facetiously introduced as “The Last Time We Played San Antonio Blues.”  Along with the unruly behavior, poor ticket sales (a reported 200 people) move Granz to not bring the series to San Antonio again.

The Majestic Theater re-opens as the Majestic Music Hall with performances from Arthur Godfrey, Henny Youngman, Alvino Rey and the King Family

The Hearst Corp. announces it will purchase the Express-News for $185 million in cash and the Light will be sold.


July 30 in San Antonio history…

Sunday opening of stores in San Antonio must stop, according to a precedent set in Judge Umscheid’s court.  A West Commerce drygoods merchant was fined $50 for opening his store on Sunday.

An Olmos Park resident writes to the San Antonio Light that it’s “a dirty shame” that there is no stoplight at intersection of El Prado, Olmos Drive and McCullough Avenue.

Foley’s department store opens in Rolling Oaks Mall.

May 22 in San Antonio history…

The first U.S. Post Office is established in San Antonio, with James Truehart as postmaster.

Led Zeppelin plays the Convention Center Arena (right).

Fiesta Texas amusement park opens in northwest San Antonio.

May 9 in San Antonio history…

The USS Akron, mightiest of the dirigibles, passed over the Smith-Young Tower at dusk today. Harold O. Rosendahl, 1934 W. Magnolia, sent a message to his brother Charles E. Rosendahl, commanding the ship. (The Akron would be involved in an accident two days later in San Diego leading to the deaths of two Navy sailors.)

KBER’s Grand Old Opry Show plays Municipal Auditorium with performances by Rusty & Doug (Kershaw), Connie Smith, David Houston, Willie Nelson, George Jones and headliner Roger Miller (who married San Antonian Leah Kendrick in 1964.)

Graduating students at St. Mary’s University left their Saturday commencement with a sheepskin and $1 ahead after receiving a souvenir dollar bill autographed by keynote speaker U.S. Treasurer Catalina Vasquez Villalpando.

April 16 in San Antonio history…

Lila Cockrell, the first woman mayor of the nation’s 10th largest city, swept to a second term yesterday, turning back the challenge of wealthy beer distributorJohn Monfrey by a hefty 19,000 vote margin.  It was 62,447 to 43,039.

Jerry Tarkanian, percentage-wise the winningest coach in NCAA history, signed a three-year deal for a reported $600,000 per season to coach the San Antonio Spurs.  Red McCombs calls him “Tarkington” six times during the press conference – including the introduction.  His tenure as head coach would only last 20 games.  He was fired after starting with a 9-11 record.

Ventriloquist Willie Tyler and Lester perform at Comedy Tonight.