From the Annals of Higher Education – In 1925, University Junior College (now San Antonio College) opened in San Antonio with an enrollment of 200 students. SAC is the oldest public junior college in Texas still in operation. The first classes met in the Main High School building. The school was initially under the administration of the University of Texas, but the state attorney general ruled in December 1925 that operation of a junior college by the University of Texas violated the state constitution. The college was renamed San Antonio Junior College and control was given over to the San Antonio board of education for the second year of operation. The school was given its current name in 1948, and relocated to a thirty-seven-acre campus on San Pedro Avenue in the Tobin Hill district. SAC is now operated by the Alamo Community College District. The college has an average semester enrollment of 22,028 credit students and an average annual enrollment of 16,000 other-than-credit students. San Antonio College is the largest single-campus community college in Texas.
Image of the Gnome Ranger – official mascot of SAC.
From the Annals of Spanish Texas – In 1813, the Battle of Rosillo Creek was fought near present day San Antonio. The fight was between the Republican Army of the North led by José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara and Samuel Kemper and a Spanish royalist force under Texas governor Manuel María de Salcedo and Nuevo León governor Simón de Herrera. The battle was for control of the far northern province and the Republicans were seeking a break from New Spain and an independent republic in Texas. The battle involved remarkably large numbers as the Republican army was comprised of between 600 to 900 men and the Royalist forces may have numbered as much as 1500 men. The Republicans were advancing along the road from La Bahía to San Antonio when they were engaged by the Royalists. The Republicans inflicted heavy losses on the Royalists in the one-hour battle. The Royalists lost somewhere between 100 and 300 men as wells most of their arms and ammunition, six cannons, and 1,500 horses and mules. The republicans lost only six men. The battle of Rosillo resulted in the capture of San Antonio and the establishment of a first “Republic of Texas.” The Republic was short-lived as the Republican forces were soundly defeated five months later at the Battle of Medina.
From the Annals of the Revolution – In 1836, former Mexican soldier Nepomuceno Navarro joined forces with the Texas Revolution when he enlisted in Juan N. Seguín’s company of Tejanos. Navarro had been a private serving in the Mexican Army at Bexar and later at Fort Tenoxtitlan on the Brazos River. He left the Army in 1832 and settled in San Antonio. Seguin’s company served as the rear guard for the main body of Sam Houston’s army. Navarro also served with Seguín at the battle of San Jacinto. For his participation in the Texas Revolution he received land grants and a pension. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association until his death, in San Antonio in 1877.
From the Annals of Remonstrances – In 1832, San Antonio de Bexar presented a list of grievances to the legislature of Coahuila y Tejas. The document known as the Bexar Remonstrance was signed by José Ángel Navarro, alcalde of San Antonio. It sought repeal of that part of the Law of April 6, 1830, banning immigration from the United States. It also sought the separation of Texas from Coahuila.
From the Annals of the Festivals – In 1972, the first Texas Folklife Festival was held at the at the Institute of Texan Cultures on the former Hemisfair site in San Antonio. The Texas festival was modeled after the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival. On behalf of the Institute of Texan Cultures, O.T. Baker attended the first Smithsonian Folklife Festival and decided to replicate the event in San Antonio. The inaugural Texas Folklife Festival was held from September 7-10, 1972. Baker deserves full credit as the founder and initial director of the TFF which is world renown and has received numerous international, regional and local awards.
Red has only been to the TFF once, but was very impressed by the fact that no one was there trying sell you something.
Researchers working to restore the Alamo have unearthed Spanish colonial adobe bricks at a dig site in Alamo Plaza. What is not yet known is whether those bricks may have comprised part of the historic shrine’s original western wall. More analysis may reveal the architectural function of the colonial-era bricks.
According to archaeologist Nesta Anderson, there is a possibility that the bricks uncovered only two feet below the surface are part of the original mission because they clearly form part of a larger wall structure . “Because we’ve got something from the Spanish colonial period, we know we are digging in the right place. Now we know we can get information from the ground over here that will support the master plan and the reinterpretation.”
The dig is part of a plan by the state and local officials to restore and refurbish the Alamo. According to the officials in charge of the Alamo project, their work will hopefully unearth the original western and southern walls. In December, the state purchased three buildings on Alamo Plaza that housed tourist traps such as Guiness World Records Musuem and a Ripley’s Odditorium. The purchase was the first step by the Alamo Endowment Board and the city of San Antonio to move forward with plans to de-campify the area around the historic mission. Last October, the endowment, city and Texas signed an agreement to develop a master plan for the district with a focus on historic preservation and a dignified treatment for the site.
Discovery of the bricks on Friday marked a major step toward uncovering the construction history of the world-famous Texas landmark.
From the Annals of the Tejanos – In 1842, Juan Seguín resigned as Mayor of San Antonio due to threats on his life. He was falsely accused of aiding the Mexican army and discrimination against Texans of Mexican origin – even those who served in the revolution – became too oppressive. He fled to Mexico to “seek refuge amongst my enemies,” where he was captured, arrested and coerced to enlist in the Mexican army as a staff officer. He returned to San Antonio with the opposition army of Adrian Woll in September 1842 and in a cruel twist of fate later served under Santa Anna in the Mexican-American War of 1846–1848.
In February 1848, Seguín requested permission to return to Texas and eventually established a home adjacent to his father’s house and began ranching in Floresville. He also returned to political life and was elected to two terms as Justice of the Peace of Bexar County and later County Judge of Wilson County. In 1883 he settled in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas to be near his son Santiago, who was mayor. He died there on August 27, 1890. His remains were returned to Texas in 1974 and as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration were reinterred in Seguin during ceremonies on July 4, 1976.
From the Annals of San Antonio – In 1981 Henry Cisneros became the second Mexican-American mayor of a major U.S. city. Cisneros was elected as an independent to be mayor of San Antonio with over 62% of the vote. Only 33 at the time, Cisneros seemed to have a bright future and was overwhelmingly elected mayor for another two terms. Throughout his mayorship, Cisneros lived in the small house that once belonged to his grandfather in the city’s west side. His administration spent more than $200 million to the city’s long neglected Hispanic west side for streets, gutters, libraries, and parks. These improvements helped alleviate long standing flooding and drainage problems. Cisneros also worked to establish an education partnership that brought together the city, the local colleges and universities, local business, and various community organizations to provide financial aid for college to young people in the poorest school districts of San Antonio.
Cisneros also served as Secretary of HUD in the Clinton Administration and as President of Univision. He and his wife live in San Antonio and he continues to work on housing issues today.
From the Annals of the Colonists – In 1731, colonists from the Canary Islands established Villa de San Fernando. Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the presidio of San Antonio de Bexar. The party had increased by marriages on the way to fifteen families with a total of fifty-six persons. They joined a military community that had been in existence since 1718. The group ultimately became part of the Villa of San Fernando de Bexar, the first regularly organized civil government in Texas. Several of the old families of San Antonio trace their descent from the Canary Island colonists. María Rosa Padrón was the first baby born of Canary Islander descent in San Antonio.
Red was a little too busy yesterday to comment on the much anticipated game between the Spurs and Warriors on Monday night. The game featured the teams with the two best combined records ever to meet this late in the season. The Warriors and Spurs had combined to win over 88% of their games. However, the defending NBA champion Warriors put a brutal butt-whipping on the Spurs last night in a 120-90 victory proving that they are the best team in the NBA right now. The NBA’s best offense overpowered the NBA’s best defense – albeit playing without Tim Duncan. Red is almost thankful that he did not get to watch the Warriors dismember the Spurs on live TV.
Even with all-world defender Kawhi Leonard on him, Steph Curry still managed to torch the Spurs with 37 points on 12 of 20 shooting. It was as if the Warriors still believe they have something to prove despite being defending champion and having tied an NBA record for best start after 45 games at 41-4. Meanwhile, the Spurs will have more than a month to regroup and get ready for the Warriors when they come to SA in March.