Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28 in San Antonio history...

1928
A committe urging about $400,000 for improvements in the impending bond issue appeared at City Hall today asking for San Antonio to vote in favor of the funds.  It promises to be the largest funds in the city's history.

1938
Marked temperature changes during the past few weeks have sent a number of San Antonians to bed with pneumonia.  Dr. W.A. King, city health officer, said the pneumonia wave, while not an epidemic, is spreading.

1968
HemisFair is seen as a boost to the president's "Discover America" program, according to F.J. Mullins, senior vice president at American Airlines.  He said material on the fair is being placed in the seat pocket of every American flight.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 27 in San Antonio history...

1879
The Turner Hall on Houston and St. Mary's Street (where Empire theatre now stands) is begun.

1898
It has been suggested to The Light that our churches be equipped with a slot machine.  It would save the deacons the trouble of passing around the hat and be a dead sure way of raising the preacher's salary.

1938
In a six-page opinion, Judge S. G. Taylor today refused to grant an injunction to restrain police from interfering with peaceful picketing in San Antonio's 27-day-old pecan shellers strike.

1947
"It's A Wonderful Life" debuts at the Majestic Theater, two months and six days after its national premiere.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26 in San Antonio history...

1866
The clock tower on the Ursuline Convent is erected.  There is no clock on the north side of the tower because there was no settlement north of that location at the time.

1883
The cornerstone of Paine (Travis Park) Methodist-Episcopal Church is laid.

1938
The city sanitation engineer said there is a likelihood that every dwelling in San Antonio will be provided with sewage facilities during 1938.  He revealed that 93.28% of the dwellings are now connected.

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25 in San Antonio history...

1892
The artesian well at the Santa Rosa Hospital still in running its water into W. Houston, ruining the macadam on the street. It should be stopped.

1932
One German army officer, two officers of the regular Army and 98 flying cadets will be graduated from the basic cource at Randolph Field this week, the first class to finish training at the West Point of the Air.

1942
Date-making flying cadets have made empty telephone booths scarce about town and prompted the Gunter Hotel to install a whole battery of the nickel-dialers to the basement.

1949
Jack Handey, of Deep Thoughts fame, was born in San Antonio on this day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24 in San Antonio history...

1836
The Texans in the Alamo are summoned by Santa Anna to surrender. He is answered by a cannon shot.  Colonel William Barrett Travis writes his famous letter:

Commandancy of the Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

Fellow citizens & compatriots

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.

William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.


P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

1898
San Antonio banks have run short of nickels and had to call on the mint for a new supply.  John R. Wood has received $100 worth of 1898 five-cent pieces.

1938
Carleton Adams, architect for the Cenotaph to the Alamo heroes, has released drawings of the $100,000 pylon.  The shaft will be 60 feet long and 12 feet wide.  The base will be of Texas granite.

1948
Fort Sam Houston's national cemetery has been allotted $33,000 for construction and development in a national program to honor WWII dead.  Most of the money will be spent for roads, curbs, gutters and a sprinkler system.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23 in San Antonio history...

1867
The Beethoven Maennerchor (German singing society) is organized.

1948
City Hall employees were deprived of a Washington's Birthday holiday for the first time in their recollection.  The majority of the Courthouse employees were enjoying a holiday, however.

1968
The River Walk Lodge, in the old Casino Building at 102 W. Crockett, is scheduled to open April 1 as the city's newest youth hostelry.  The six-story building will cater primarily to high school and college-age youths as a low-rent hotel.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22 in San Antonio history...

1836
Santa Anna's advance troops arrive in San Antonio.

1868
J. S. Friend advertises for two children stolen by Indians in Llano County. [Melinda Ann Caudle and Lee Temple Friend, who were abducted on Feb. 5.]

1910
Louis Paulhan, "King of the Air," flew his aeroplane over the city today.  He attained an altitude of 2,500 feet flying from Kirby to San Antonio and return, a distance of 18 miles in 21 minutes.
[This was the first airplane flight in Texas.  Benjamin Foulois made the second, and the first military flight, on March 2, 1910]

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21 in San Antonio history...

1860
Colonel Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrives at San Antonio to take charge of the Department of Texas.

1892
Travis Park Methodist Church will be dedicated on Feb. 28 by Bishop J.S. Key.

1917
Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing was formally appointed commander of the Southern Department with headquarters at Ft. Sam Houston.  He succeeds Gen. Funston who died two days ago.

1928
San Antonio triumphantly became the greatest base in the American Air Corps when President Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the establishment of a flying school on the 2,000-acre tract; 15 miles out the Seguin Road.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20 in San Antonio history...

1938
The Lasso girls, the Jefferson High School girls cheering section, was formed this week in a drum and bugle corps.  The 37-piece group will hold their first meeting at the school, which will furnish instruments.

1942
Wooden hangars are in prospect for San Antonio's new airport, for which the name MacArthur Field has bee suggested, as the OPM has turned down a request for steel priorities.

1988
RiverCenter Mall holds its grand opening festivies.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19 in San Antonio history...

1916
The cornerstone of the Robert B. Green Hospital has been ordered.  The stone will be laid in ceremonies to take place about the middle of March.

1958
A slim, "good-looking" bandit staged a stick-up for the Oppenheimer Bank, 226 W. Commerce, and escaped down a nearby alley.  The robbery was the first in the 100-year history of the bank.

1978
More than 300 people turned out at the Hilton Palacio del Rio to wish Archbishop Francis Furey a happy 73rd birthday.  The event was the annual Archbishop Furey Charities Fund Dinner, a special fund that enables the archbishop to respond with aid when disaster strikes anywhere in the world.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18 in San Antonio...

1860
Dr. J.H. Bernard, one of Fannin’s men spared at the Goliad massacre because of his necessity to the Mexican wounded, revisits San Antonio and finds “all the old landmarks vanishing”.

1861
On this day 150 years ago, a miltia of 1,000 armed Texans, calling themselves "The Knights of the Golden Circle," surrounded Gen. David E. Twiggs's 160-man garrison at San Antonio, forcing the general to surrender. Union soldiers were allowed to leave the state carrying their arms, but $1.6 million of government property was left to be seized by the Confederacy. Texas took possession of the 20 military installations, 44 cannon, 1,900 muskets, 400 pistols, 2 magazines of ammunition, 500 wagons, and 950 horses. For his surrender of Texas, Twiggs was called a traitor to the Union. On March 1, 1861, Twiggs was dismissed from the Union Army by President Buchanan. Ten weeks later he was commissioned as a Major General in the Confederate Army and transferred to New Orleans to command the District of Louisiana. Twiggs retired shortly thereafter and died at age 72 near Augusta, Georgia on July 15, 1862.

These two articles appeared in the Galveston newspaper about the handover:

Evacuation of Texas by United States Troops

The following is the order of Gen. Twiggs for the evacuation of Texas by the U.S. Troops of the Department under his command. Col. White, the succesor of Gen. Twiggs, arrived the morning the order was given but will proceed to carry it out:

HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS

San Antonio, Feb. 18, 1861

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 5,

The State of Texas, having demanded through its commissioners, the delivery of the Military posts and public property, within the limits of this command; and the Commanding General, desiring to avoid even the possibility of a collision between the Federal and State troops, the post will be evacuated by the garrisons and these will take up, as soon as the necessary preparations can be make, the line of march out of Texas, by the way of the coast – marching out with their arms, (the light batteries with their guns,) clothing, camp and garrison equipage, Quarter-master’s stores, and such means of transportation of every kind, as may be necessary for an efficient and orderly movement of the troops, prepared for attack or defense against aggressions from any person.

The troops will carry with them provisions as far as the coast.

By order of BREVET MAJ. GEN. TWIGGS

In regard to the transfer of public property, the San Antonio Ledger says:

The commissioners on the part of the State made the demand that the public property should be transferred from the General Government to the authorities of Texas.

After several hours spend in arranging details, the transfer was made by General Twiggs.

With the corps of rangers under command of Gen. Ben McCullough [sic], numbering six hundred men and the different military companies of this city, there are not less than twelve hundred men under arms.

Galveston Daily Civilian, 22 Feb 1861

------------------------------

THE AGREEMENT. – We have already published the order of Gen. Twiggs for the removal of the United States troops from Texas. – The following purports to be the understanding on which that order was based.

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 18, 1861
The undersigned Commissioners on the part of the State of Texas, fully empowered to exercise the authority undertaken by them, have formally and solemly agreed with Brevet Major General David E. Twiggs, United States Army, commanding the Department of Texas, that the troops of the United States shall leave the soil of the State, by the way of the coast: that they shall take with them the arms of the respective corps, including the batter of the light artillery at Fort Duncan, and the battery of the same character at Fort Brown: and shall be allowed the necessary means for regular and comfortable movement, provisions, tents, etc., and transportation.
It is the desire of the Commission that there shall be no infraction of this agreement on the part of the people of the State. It is their wish, not the contrary, that every facility shall be offered to the troops. They are our friends. –
They have heretofore offered to our people all the protection in their power, and we owe them every consideration.
The public property at the various posts, other than that above recited for the use of the troops, will be turned over to agents to be appointed by the Commission, who will give due and proper receipts for the whole to the Officers of the Army, whom they relieve in the custody of the public property.

Thos. J. Devine, P. N. Lockett, S. A. Maverick

Commissioners on behalf of Committee of Public Safety

Galveston Civilian and Gazette Weekly, 5 March 1861

You can read more about the incident at "Through the Gates," the DRT Library blog, here and here.


1908
The 1908 edition of the city directory shows there are 6,254 more people in the city than there were at the start of 1907.  The directory reveals a total population for San Antonio of 95,868, excluding the military.

1978
Police using metal detectors found three more explosive missiles in far West San Antonio.  Children earlier found numerous bright yellow missiles which are being detonated by a special police bomb squad.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 17 in San Antonio history...

1928
Street extensions and improvments which would mean an increase of close to $20,000 in the proposed $4 million bond issue were requested of Mayor C. M. Chambers by a committee of businessmen.  One of the major aims of the committee was the extension of Losoya from East Commerce through South Alamo.

1958
Airman Donald Farrell was recuperating - back from the closest thing to flight through space any man has ever tried.  He stepped out of his sealed space chamber at Randolph AFB, one week after he entered.

1978
Entries are being accepted by the Comite Paseo de Marzo for the sixth annual March Parade through downtown San Antonio.  Coordinator Yolanda Santos said the parade, organized in 1972, will commemorate and pay homage to the men and women of Mexican lineage who fought and died defending the United States.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16 in San Antonio history...

1897
The artistic and elegant lamps for the Mutual Electric Company have arrived and they have thus far been put up.  They are a substantial improvement over the old style of arc burners.

1958
Police were questioning members of two gangs regarding a disturbance at a high school dance.  Five boys were interrogated by Juvenile Sgt. Leonard Salas, including members of the Dot and Circle gangs.

1968
A 41-man contingent of San Antonio policemen have filed applications for jobs on the undermanned Houston police force.  The San Antonians, who went to the Southeast Texas metropolis in two chartered buses, took their inital steps toward joining the Houston police force.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15 in San Antonio history...

1921
The organization of the Southwest Texas Baptist Conference as a permanent institution was effected at the opening session of the two-day conference which opened this morning at the First Baptist Church.

1931
A national and state offical of the United Daughters of the Confederacy were present Saturday to witness unveiling of a bronze tablet to the memory of Sidney Lanier, who made his home at the Menger in 1872.

1951
More than 2,600 cattle, hogs and sheep were at the Coliseum today for the San Antonio Livestock Exposition opening. No cancellations had been received from entrants due to ice-blocked highways, but some were delayed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14 in San Antonio history...

1901
Col. George Brackenridge brought from Mexico three specimens of that rare Mexican fowl, the tehakalaka, to be placed in the deer enclosure at Brackenridge Park.

1941
The architecture of La Villita has only one mistake - tin roofs.  That's the opinion of noted historian and professor at the University of Buenos Aires.  He said early Spanish homes were never covered with tin, but with shingles or "wood tiles."

1951
An ice and sleet storm tightened its grip on San Antonio today with indications the city might be locked in another deep freeze during the night.  High temperature yesterday was 71 and the low this morning was 26.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13 in San Antonio history...

1911
A change which augurs well for the comfort of weary travelers between San Antonio and Corpus Christi will be made when 16 section standard sleepers are installed on the Davy Crockett night trains on the SA & AP.

1916
In an effort to reduce accidents, all slow-moving traffic will be compelled to keep to the right-hand curb on downtown streets.  Buggies and wagons can't compete with fast-moving autos.

1952
Hotelman Nicky Hilton, in San Antonio for the Texas Open, wasn't saying much about his headlined romance with starlet Betsy Von Furstenberg.  [Hilton is the granduncle of celebutantes, Paris & Nicky Hilton.]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12 in San Antonio history...

1901
G. Bedell Moore announced he will erect a fine new building on the northeast corner of Avenue C and Houston St. for the tenant desiring it.

1961
Negro and white college students Sunday staged a peaceful but unsuccessful demonstration in an effort to force integration of the Majestic Theater.

1967
A fire swept through Ursuline Academy, gutting a portion of the school that had been built in 1913.  By the time firemen brought the fire under control, only the walls were standing and water pressure knocked down several unstable portions.

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11 in San Antonio history...

1911
A statue of George Washington, by Pompeo Coppini, the famous sculptor who makes his home in San Antonio, is to be presented by the American colony in Mexico City to the government of Mexico.

1921
More than $1 million in gold, silver, currency and securities were hauled from the streets of the downtown district when the Texas State Bank moved from W. Commerce and Soledad to the first floor of the Grayburg Bldg.

1941
For the first time in years, all the lights on Olmos Dam are burning.  The Parks Department has put 10-watt globes in the sockets.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10 in San Antonio history...

1892
The Bicycle Club will pay a visit to Boerne next Sunday if the roads are good and the weather good.

1914
Grocers said they would meet with housewives at Carnegie Library to compare San Antonio prices with those in Dallas and Fort Worth.  The wives have organized to protest high prices at credit grocers.

1947
Youthful soldiers at San Antonio Army stations were finding it difficult to buy drinks in local bars after tavern operators were warned the law applied to any one under 21.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9 in San Antonio history...

1917
A semi-circular excavation in the solid white rock west of Brackenridge Park has been held ideal for the construction of a Greek theater.  No better site exists for open air pageants, concerts and plays.

1941
The new Salvation Army citadel, an emergency lodge for needy women and children, will be dedicated Sunday. The building is at Elm and Fifth.

1958
Airman Donald Farrell is sealed in a cramped steel chamber at the School of Aviation Medicine, Randolph AFB, to simulate a space flight. The air pressure is half of what it is at sea level and Airman Farrell cannot stand up nor lie down. His test lasts for seven days.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8 in San Antonio history...

1909
The Order of the Alamo is the title of an organization of young men which is being formed for the purpose of handling affairs incident to the Battle of Flowers.

1919
Steps have been taken to organize a Kiwanis club in San Antonio by local businessmen.

1929
The best paved highway in Texas will connect San Antonio and Austin if the right-of-way can be obtained, the highway department disclosed Monday.


Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7 in San Antonio history...

1901
In the window of the Katy office on Alamo Plaza can be seen a hatchet and a piece of plate-glass suspended from the ceiling.  The name of Carrie Nation will readily explain the significance.

1917
Drivers and operators of jitneys are passing petitions in preparation for a fight against a proposed city ordinance that would serve to prevent them from operating in the business district of San Antonio.

1956
A by-product of the jet age rocked the Highland Park area.  What happened was that an F-100 Super Sabre pilot cut in his afterburner and the explosive sound echoed off low-lying clouds, rattled windows, shook houses and jangled nerves.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 6 in San Antonio history...

1899
Last night's freezing weather was terrible on the street car men and ice formed over their clothing in almost a solid cake.

1939
Work was started this morning on repaving and widening McCullough from Woodlawn to the city limits.

1949
Clyde Crews is elected mayor of newly-incorporated Balcones Heights. John Casper is elected city marshal.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5 in San Antonio history...

1941
Most Rev. Robert E. Lucey, archbishop of San Antonio, will be installed March 27 at San Fernando Cathedral.

1946
San Antonians looked forward to making change with the newly designed Roosevelt dime which entered circulation today.

1970
Roger Martinez, a sophomore at St. Mary's University, sets a world record by swallowing 225 live goldfish in 41 minutes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4 in San Antonio history...

1906
San Antonio's police force now takes on the appearance of a big city force.  Members appeared for the first time today in their new baby-blue suits.

1921
On exhibition in the highway department of the Chamber of Commerce are several sample road markers in three colors bearing the initials "OST" for the Old Spanish Trail, the proposed coast-to-coast highway.

1937
Work on the state park to surround the Alamo will start immediately.  Included in the $82,000 project is preservation work on the shrine, erection of a museum, landscaping, sprinklers and plaques.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3 in San Antonio history...

1901
A man with a hand organ and a monkey has struck town and is raking in a lot of nickels.

1931
Possibility of the proposed new post office for San Antonio being built on the present site was voiced by Postmaster P. G. Lucas and Dr. F. L. Thompson, Republican leader.

1959
San Antonio teenagers and rock 'n' roll fans mourned the loss of Texas's own Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with Ritchie Valens, in an Iowa plane crash.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 2 in San Antonio history...

1921
"The Rock of Ages," a memorial to the San Antonio boys who gave their lives in the World War, will be erected near the star in Brackenridge Park. Ray Lambert, park commissioner, is responsible for the tribute.

1931
Civil service in the fire and police and fire alarm departments was a reality Monday with the adoption by city ordinance of the amendment to the city charter passed at the city election last week.

1961
The 6,000 students of Alamo Heights Independent School District face diphtheria immunization shots.  After a student living on Patterson contracted the disease, school officials sent each child home with a note suggesting parents take their child to a physician to check the state of the child's diphtheria immunization.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1 in San Antonio history...

1903
A loaf of bread  weighing nearly 30 pounds and 3 feet in length is posted up in a saloon on the east side of Military Plaza with the label:  "We'll all eat bread when W. L. Richter is elected." 
[W.L. Richter was the owner of Richter's Steam Bakery at the corner of S. Laredo and Santa Rosa streets, and would later produce Butter Krust Bread. He was running for Alderman.]

1915
Temporary buildings were set up at Main Avenue High School to accomodate a record enrollment of 900 students.

1928
The Milam Cafeteria opened for business on the ground floor of the Milam Building, advertising "Home is our only competitor."  It closed on January 4, 2011.

1937
Students of the San Antonio Junior College went out on strike because tuition fees had been hiked.  The school board, temporarily set back, is retrenching.

1977
A special committee has been established to push for a special three-digit telephone number - referred to as the "911" system -for emergency calls in the San Antonio area.
[911 service began in Haleyville, Alabama on February 16, 1968]