1918 – Word War I
The San Antonio Light reports that Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s dare-devil auto race driver and now an aviator with the American armies, has become America’s second flying ace. He was recognized as such yesterday by the French, confirming that he shot down five German airplanes between April 29 and May 20.
Heart, with opening act, Fleetwood Mac alumnus Bob Welch, entertains at Municipal Auditorium.
1918 – World War I
The forty-five “conscientious objectors,” recently convicted at Camp Travis on charges of refusing to wear the army uniform and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison, have been delivered to the federal penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth.
The San Antonio Spurs (right) cap their “Drive for Five” with a 104-87 win over the Miami Heat, avenging the previous year’s heartbreaking Finals loss and earning their fifth NBA Championship.
Emma Abbott is featured at the grand opening of the Grand Opera House on Alamo Plaza (right). The Grand Opera House (later Grand Theatre) was built in 1886 and for many years was the best theatre in San Antonio. It was located at 303 Alamo Plaza. It stayed in business until the 1930′s when it closed. The Grand was razed in 1954 to make way for H. L. Green Dept. Store.
1917 – World War I
The War Department has relented and as a result many men in the army are to get a brief furlough during the holiday. New orders have just arrived at department headquarters and also at the carious camps about San Antonio. These orders state that any organization commanders may grant passes to not to exceed 5 percent of their commands between noon December 22 and reveille of the 26th.
WOAI-TV moves from its original studio at 1031 Navarro street, where it first signed on in 1949, to the recently renovated KABB-TV building at 4335 Northwest Loop 410. It will house both news operations and will be renamed the Sinclair Broadcast Center.
The San Antonio Light begins publishing an early edition of the newspaper, available on city newsstands by 6 a.m.
Sellout, Inc. – a group headed by Red McCombs, Gary Woods and Russ Bookbinder – purchases an Arena League football franchise that will play in HemisFair Arena. The team will be called the San Antonio Force.
Paul McCartney plays a concert in the Tobin Center in front of a sold-out audience of 1,754, topping off a week of grand opening festivities and performances. Ticket prices range from $250 to $3,500.
Local television station WOAI Channel 4 begins broadcasting in color from its studios today. WOAI is the sixteenth station in the world to be equipped to telecast live local color programs. The station has invested $500,000 in new equipment and construction to facilitate color broadcasting. The WOAI-TV color system is compatible with black and white so that all viewers without color televisions will be able to view the broadcasts in monochrome.
Contractor Joe Joeris of San Antonio was the low bidder on the contract for Highlands High School with a bid of $2,159,600. The school will be built to hold 2,400 students and is scheduled to be ready by the fall of 1958.
The Eagles bring their “History of the Eagles” tour to the SBC Center. Sadly, it will be the last appearance in San Antonio for the band. Founding member Glenn Frey passed away on January 18, 2016.
The cornerstone is laid at the new [downtown] post office, designed by Paul Cret who also designed the tower and main building at the University of Texas.
The San Antonio Spurs cap their “Drive for Five” with a 104-87 win over the Miami Heat, avenging 2013’s heartbreaking Finals loss and earning their fifth NBA Championship.
1915 – World War I
The Board of Trade begins its investigation into the sinking of the Lusitania. The claim by German forces that the ship had been armed is ruled untrue at the end of the trial in mid-July. (In December 2008, an investigation into the shipwreck found four million U.S.-made .303 bullets in a cargo hold. The ship was also carrying shrapnel artillery shells without powder charges and artillery fuses.)
The San Antonio Public Library opens in the Carnegie-funded building on Market Street.
David Robinson plays his final game as the Spurs defeat the New Jersey Nets, 88-77, in game six of the NBA Finals for their second NBA title. Tim Duncan is named Finals MVP for the second time and finishes with a near-quadruple-double: 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and eight blocked shots. Robinson and Duncan share Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” honors at the end of the year.
World War I – December 25, 1914 – The Christmas Truce
Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.
At the first light of dawn, many of the German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.
The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. In 1915, the bloody conflict of World War I erupted in all its technological fury, and the concept of another Christmas Truce became unthinkable.
A three-alarm fire at the Alamodome kept firefighters busy Christmas morning as smoke poured from vents on the east side of the building. For almost an hour, firemen scoured the dome, searching for the origin of the fire which was finally traced to a storage room where the old HemisFair Arena basketball court was smoldering. Damage was estimated at $100,000 which was about the cost of a basketball court. The next day’s game against the Dallas Mavericks went on as scheduled. The Spurs lost 126-123.
Merry Christmas from the Texana/Genealogy Department and everyone at the San Antonio Public Library!