San Antonio History Matrix

A searchable bibliography of sources on the history of San Antonio from the early eighteenth century to the late twentieth century.

1945 - 1968 Sunbelt City

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Davis presents a geographer’s perspective on the San Antonio – Austin area. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as these (and other) Texas urban areas evolved from frontier havens to modern metropolises. Monopoly capital coupled with “frontier insouciance.” San Antonio and Austin are “predator cities” that draw population and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

Fleischman, Arnold. “Sunbelt Boosterism: The Politics of Postwar Growth and Annexation in San Antonio.” in The Rise of the Sunbelt Cities. Eds. David Perry and Alfred J. Wadkins. Beverly Hills. Calif.: 1978.
Unlike many northern cities, San Antonio has been able to stave off urban decay by constantly expanding its boundaries. The policy began during World War II as the city began incorporating surrounding communities that wanted access to the city’s public services. During the late 1940's and 1950's, under the influence of the Good Government League (GGL), the city shifted its strategy to one of preventing outlying regions from developing into separate suburban cities. Between 1950 and 1970 the city added 110 square miles. The policy was supported by developers who gained access to various municipal services without paying taxes. This business dominated coalition for unrestrained growth met with opposition from environmental and neighborhood groups in the early 1970's, contributing to the collapse of the GGL.

 

Petersen, James E. “San Antonio: An Environmental Crossroads on the Texas Spring Line,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 17-40. Pittsburgh: 2001.
A broad geographical and geological analysis of San Antonio’s transitional status between the Great Plains to the north and the coastal plains to the south, situating the city between the arid west and the humid east. This geographical setting gives rise to the city’s more extreme weather patterns involving droughts and floods, and prolonged heat waves interrupted by cold “blue northers.” The spring line along the Balcones Escarpment has assured the city a steady and abundant (but not unlimited) water supply.

 

Santos, John Phillip. Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation. New York: 1999.
A memoir that discusses growing up in a Mexican American family in San Antonio. The author was born in 1957, but he interrogates his older relatives about his family’s roots in San Antonio dating back to the 1920's. He explores his family history, traveling to Mexico and around Texas, and reflects on the Mexican American experience. This volume was a finalist for the National Book Award.


Woodward, Kenneth. “In Old San Antonio, ‘Mestizaje’ Nurtures New American Way.” Smithsonian 16 (1985): 114 – 27.
This brief article celebrates San Antonio’s ethnic diversity and the amalgamation of Anglo and Hispanic culture represented by the term “mestizaje.” San Antonio’s modern ethnic mix is a product of Mexican migration that followed the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The city’s different cultures lived very much apart for most of the twentieth century, but in recent years the city’s many traditions and festivals have brought its diverse communities together. The Mexican-American population has also emerged as a potent political force.

 

Adams, Betty Hannstein. “Touched with a Sunset: The Letters of Terrell Maverick and Walter Prescott Webb: A Love Story.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 113 (July and Oct. 2009): 54 - 86 and (Oct. 2009): 206 – 236.
The two essays reprint a series of letters between the widow of San Antonio mayor Maury Maverick and the distinguished historian at the University of Texas at Austin during their courtship in 1960 – 61.  Most of the entries are from Webb, but Maverick’s letters have some brief references to developments in San Antonio where she was active in the local historical and music scenes.  They married in December of 1961.

 

Badillo, David A. Latinos and the New Immigrant Church. Baltimore, MD: 2006.
An analysis of the Catholic Church’s historic relationship with its diverse Hispanic parishioners in San Antonio, New York, Miami and Chicago beginning in the late nineteenth century. San Antonio’s barrio was created through legally enforced racial covenants that prohibited homeowners from selling to minorities. Opportunities for economic advancement were undermined by discriminatory practices that kept minorities out of expanding industries and relegated them to the shrinking sectors of the economy. Each of these cities provided only limited urban services to their Hispanic neighborhoods until Spanish-speaking residents organized as a political force. [See also David A. Badillo, “From South of the Border: Latino Experiences in Urban America.” Ph. D. diss.: City University of New York, 1988].

 

Berriozábal, María Antonietta. “Una Historia de una de Muchas Marias.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24 (2-3) 2003: 155-67.
The former city councilwoman and mayoral candidate sketches her family background beginning with her grandparents arrival in the U. S. in 1910. The family first worked in the cotton fields and her father later moved to San Antonio. Berriozábal grew up in a poor family, attended Catholic schools, and became a professional woman during the 1940's through the 1960's before entering politics. She confronted discrimination for her race and gender from several quarters.

 

Bradshaw, B. S. and W. P. Frisbie. “Mortality of Mexican Americans and Mexican Immigrants: Comparisons with Mexico,” in Demographic Dynamics of the U. S. Mexico Border. Eds. J. R. Weeks and R. Ham-Chande. 125-50. El Paso, Texas: 1992.
The study contrasts the death rates of the Anglo and Hispanic populations (divided between immigrants from Mexico versus those born in the U. S.) between 1935 and 1985. The differential in life expectancy between Anglos and Hispanics was stark in the 1930's, but closed dramatically during the 1940's. A far higher proportion of Hispanics died from preventable diseases (homicides, car accidents and infectious diseases) while Anglos suffered from chronic and degenerative diseases associated with aging. Infant mortality was also more than twice as high among Hispanics than Anglos in the 1930's, but the differential disappeared by the 1970's.

 

Bruton, Frederic A. “Desegregation in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1971.
Thanks partly to the presence of the military, the transition to desegregation was less wrenching in San Antonio than in other Southern cities. City leaders, however, pursued a gradualist strategy that would not respond directly to demands of Afro American leaders and put off passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance. Relies primarily on newspapers and a few oral histories and covers the time frame between the Brown decision and the Kennedy assassination (1954 – 1963). (129 pp).

 

Buitron, Richard Arthur, Jr. “Who Are We? The Quest for Tejano Identity in San Antonio, Texas, 1913 – the Present.” Ph. D. diss.: Florida State U., 2002.
Buitron emphasizes the role of history in shaping ethnic identity and contrasts the situation in San Antonio with that of Los Angeles. San Antonio’s Tejano population was rooted in history while that of Los Angeles was not. Consequently, the cities developed somewhat different Hispanic cultures. San Antonio’s Hispanic middle class aimed to achieve full integration into American society, meeting resistance from an Anglo population that shared an outlook on race relations similar to that of other Southerners. Other influences from the host culture shaping Tejano identity included Progressivism and feminism.

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Davis presents a geographer’s perspective on the San Antonio – Austin area. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as these (and other) Texas urban areas evolved from frontier havens to modern metropolises. Monopoly capital coupled with “frontier insouciance.” San Antonio and Austin are “predator cities” that draw population and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

Dickens, Edwin Larry. “The Political Role of Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas.” Ph. D. dissertation. Texas Tech U., 1969.
Focuses on the postwar decades when Hispanics mobilized to challenge a paternalistic Anglo American power structure represented by the Good Government League and both major parties. Mexican American voters supported liberal Democratic candidates who would bring better paying jobs, better schools, and improved health care. Dickens analyzes registration, turnout and voting patterns in selected Mexican American precincts for 1948 – 1966. He profiles several political leaders of the Mexican American community including Henry B. Gonzalez, Albert Pena Jr., John Alaniz, Peter Torres Jr., and Joe Bernal.

 

Drennon, Christine M. “Social Relations Spatially Fixed: Construction and Maintenance of School Districts in San Antonio, Texas.” Geographical Review 96 (Oct. 2006): 567-93.
Drennon examines the origins of San Antonio area school districts beginning with the formation of Alamo Heights in 1913. Initially, segregated housing enforced through covenant restrictions kept the schools racially and economically homogenous. School districts were formed between 1920 and 1950 to accomplish the same purpose. The new boundaries were deliberately drawn to allow wealthy neighborhoods to funnel their tax resources strictly to their own schools and set in place educational inequities that are still with us.

 

Dunn, Patricia A. “The Cementville School: A Study of Education, Labor and Segregation in a Company Town.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1997.
The Alamo Cement Company hired a large body of Mexican workers to process the limestone at what is today the intersection of Jones Maltsberger and Highway 281. The community was cut off by a high fence and the children attended a segregated and inferior school administered by Alamo Heights ISD between 1922 and 1952. The school promoted “Americanization” with a curriculum emphasizing English language skills. Few students remained in school beyond the 6th grade. The school was closed when state courts banned segregating Mexican students. Based partly on oral interviews. (77 pp.)

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Balcones Heights: a Crossroads of San Antonio. San Antonio: 1999.
This tiny San Antonio subdivision is located at the intersection of I-10 and Loop 410. It was incorporated in 1949, before San Antonio city limits had reached the area. The city functioned without taxes and was short on revenue and services until the commercial development of Fredericksburg Road. The book was commissioned by the City of Balcones Heights. Illustrated.

 

Flores, Lori A. “An Unladylike Strike Fashionably Clothed: Mexicana and Anglo Women Garment Workers Against Tex-Son, 1959 – 1963.” Pacific Historical Review 78 (Aug. 2009): 367 – 402.
Violence between strikers and strike breakers threatened to undermine support for the Anglo and Hispanic workforce. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union got the public back on its side by appealing to popular notions of feminity and domesticity. The strikers dressed and behaved in a manner to remind the public of their dual roles as mothers and workers in an ugly struggle. The strike was ultimately unsuccessful, the company went under, and the ILGWU pulled out of any further efforts to organize in Texas.

 

Fox, Anne A. and Marcie Renner, Robert J. Hard. (eds.) Archeology at the Alamodome: Investigations of a San Antonio Neighborhood in Transition. San Antonio, 1997.
In the early 1990's UTSA’s Center for Archeological Research undertook an extensive archeological excavation of a racially mixed neighborhood known as Denver Heights. A series of reports by different authors discuss the artifacts, physical structures and architecture. The community was first settled in the 1880's, but most of the material dates to the early twentieth century when the Alamo Iron Works took over the site. The area was soon to be demolished to make room for the Alamodome.

 

Frisbie, W. Parker. Forbes, Douglas; and Rogers, Richard G. “NeoNatal and Postneonatal mortality as Proxies for Cause of Death; Evidence from Ethnic and Longitudinal Comparisans.” Social Science Quarterly 73 (Sept. 1992): 535 – 49.
A quantitative analysis compares mortality rates for Anglo and Spanish surname infants in San Antonio between 1935 and 1985. Child deaths less than a month after birth are presumed to be “endogenous” or linked to genetic causes that preceded birth; deaths of older infants are “exogenous” or due to environmental circumstances such as a communicable diseases. While endogenous mortality rates for Anglos versus Spanish surnamed infants were very similar, the rate for “exogenous” deaths prior to World War II was four times as high for Hispanics as it was for whites. This differential reflected the impoverished conditions of Mexican Americans in San Antonio and the lack of a vigorous public health effort.

 

Goldberg, Robert A. “Racial Changes on the Southern Periphery: The Case of San Antonio, Texas, 1960-1965.” Journal of Southern History 49 (August 1983): 349-374.
Several aspects of San Antonio made desegregation easier to accomplish than in other southern cities. The Afro American population (7%) was relatively small, and the military was already integrated. The white establishment was not subjected to the same amount of mass pressure to desegregate as city’s elsewhere. The local white power establishment endeavored to deny local civil rights leaders (like the NAACP) any influence by recognizing instead other members of the minority community.

 

Griswold del Castillo, Richard. La Familia: Chicano Families in the Urban Southwest, 1848 to the Present. Notre Dame, IN: 1984.
Griswold’s study of Chicano families is based on 4 cities: Los Angeles, Tucson, Santa Fe and San Antonio (by far the largest of the four at the outset). Unlike elsewhere, San Antonio’s Hispanic elite were marginalized as Anglo domination grew during the mid to latter part of the nineteenth century. The patriarchical family structure was in decline but still evident in San Antonio in the 1920's. The census and other data explore various facets of Hispanic family life including the role of women, racial intermarriage, infant mortality, illegitimacy and the role of godparents.

 

Hernández-Ehrisman, Laura. Inventing the Fiesta City: Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio. Albuquerque, NM: 2008.
A broad overview of the people, organizations and events associated with the cultural performance of Fiesta from 1891 to the present. In its early years the Battle of Flowers parade and the Order of the Alamo reflected Anglo dominance in the community and the ideological hold of the “Texas Modern.”  Local boosters used the festivities to highlight the city’s Mexican past without acknowledging the presence of its large Mexican American population.  The appearance of a Fiesta Commission, Rey Feo and Cornynation after World War II evidenced an effort at greater inclusion.  Research draws on local newspapers, manuscript collections and oral histories.

 

Janert, Edwinna Kirkpatrick. “San Pedro Springs.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
Irrigation ditches attached to the springs serviced the fields of Mission San Antonio de Valero. Janert relates the many public purposes of the surrounding park area from prehistoric times to the present. Spanish authorities designated the site a public space in 1729. The park catered to various forms of popular entertainment, which in the nineteenth century included cockfights, bullfights, picnics, rodeos and zoo. After restoration in the early twentieth century it sported a library and various sports facilities for swimming, tennis and even ice skating. (111 pages.)

 

Johnson, Charles Theodore. “Edgewood: A History of a San Antonio Suburb, 1870 – 1959.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1960.
The area began as a rural village outside San Antonio. Belgian farmers moved in around the time of World War I. Mexican Americans moved in to the neighborhood during World War II when many were displaced by the construction of the Alazan – Apache Courts and later Victoria Courts. The expansion of Kelly Air Force Base during the war also afforded low paying jobs as laborers and construction workers. The city of San Antonio annexed the area in 1942 and began providing sewers, police protection and garbage removal. Yet many homes were build without water or sewage access well in to the 1950's. Depressed property values prevented the segregated school system from building schools fast enough to keep up with population growth. Indexed with numerous appendices reporting longitudinal statistical data. Based on interviews and government documents for Bexar County and the Edgewood School District. (127 pp.)

 

Johnson, David R. and Derral Cheatwood, and Benjamin Bradshaw. “The Landscape of Death: Homicide as a Health Problem,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 99 - 120 Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
A quantitative analysis of the homicide rate in San Antonio between 1935 and 1984. San Antonio’s murder rate rose after 1960 and was appreciably higher than the national average. Murder rates were lowest among Anglos, higher among Hispanics, and highest of all among Afro-Americans. Firearms were the weapon of choice. [A version of this essay, with an additional author of Stephen Blanchard, also appeared as “A Historical Geographical Study of Lethal Violence in San Antonio.” Social Science Quarterly 79 (Dec. 1998): 863-78.]

 

Jones, Nancy Baker. “The Way We Were: Gender and the Woman’s Pavilion, HemisFair ’68.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 119 (Apr. 2016): 338 – 52.
The Woman’s Pavilion at HemisFair was designed to tell “the exciting story of the contributions of women to the Americas.” In keeping with the times, it exhibits celebrated women as homemakers and lacked any feminist agenda or perspective. Women were supposed to sponsor and design the exhibit, but they met with many challenges. Fundraising efforts among women’s groups and corporate sponsors proved largely unsuccessful. A structure originally slated to cost $2,000,000 was substantially downsized to $400,000. The abandoned structure still stands.

 

Kallison, Frances B. “100 years of Jewry in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1977.
This survey of religious and civic leaders and institutions begins with the arrival of the first adventurers during the Spanish era to the early part of the twentieth century. After 1880 many Jews originated in Eastern Europe and were more “tradition oriented.” Jews were well integrated into the San Antonio community and enjoyed a prosperous existence while they carried on their traditions. Based on oral interviews, city directories, and organization records. (136 pp.)

 

Kenyon, James B. “Spatial Associations in the Integration of the American City.” Economic Geography 52 (Oct. 1976): 287 – 303.
Kenyon focuses on racially and economically diverse neighborhoods in San Antonio, Atlanta and Honolulu. Atlanta was rigidly segregated (with few neighborhoods jointly populated by Whites and Blacks). Honolulu’s Japanese Americans, by contrast, were dispersed around the city. The settlement pattern of San Antonio’s Mexican Americans resembled something in between. The continuing arrival of immigrants to San Antonio meant its barrio on the West Side was much more an extension of the homeland than minority communities elsewhere. The language barrier perhaps made it more isolated. Unlike Atlanta, however, San Antonio’s neighborhoods became somewhat more integrated during the 1960's, especially in its outlying suburbs.

 

Lane, John Hart, Jr. Voluntary Associations Among Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas. New York: 1976.
A sociological study of the leadership, structure, goals and membership of Mexican-American ethnic organizations, primarily – though not exclusively – the League of United Latin American Citizens and the G. I. Forum. Numerous tables display characteristics and attitudes of the city’s Hispanic population and its ethnic leaders. Based on surveys conducted in the 1960s. [Originally a thesis at the University of Texas at Austin.]

 

Ledesma, Irene. “Texas Newspapers and Chicana Workers’ Activism, 1919 – 74.” Western Historical Quarterly 26 (Autumn 1995): 309-31.
Newspaper coverage of strikes involving Chicana workers in San Antonio and El Paso reflected popular notions of gender, class and ethnicity. The Red-baiting Anglo press often portrayed the Mexican Americans as the alien and unassimilable “other” – “lazy, impressionable and stupid.” The Spanish language press was more supportive (if the women behaved) but remained patronizing. The unions tended to portray the strikers as mothers and wives rather than as workers and sole breadwinners for their families. Much of the essay discusses the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike and the two year Tex-Son garment makers strike of 1959.

 

Matovina, Timothy M. “Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas,” U. S. Catholic Historian 13 (Winter 1997): 33 – 50.
Based on interviews with laity at the Church, the study seeks to understand this sacred site’s role in fostering a collective memory binding a religious community. It covers the eighteenth century to the present. As the size and influence of the Tejano population shrank, the church became the repository for Mexican culture. It lost some of its Mexican character when the church was elevated to a cathedral in 1874, but parishioners carry on many public rituals to preserve its Mexican heritage. The congregation’s biggest religious festival is still Our Lady of Guadalupe, as it was in colonial times.

 

Miller, Char and Heywood Sanders. “Parks, Politics and Patronage,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 83 – 98. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Historically, San Antonio’s elite have been indifferent to developing parks inside the city limits. The interests of private development have come before those of public space. The establishment of Commission government in 1914 elevated the profile of parks as they were the bailiwick of one of the city’s five commissioners. In the decades that followed far more was invested in developing parks mostly through bond proposals. But park placement was determined by electoral clout during the first half of the twentieth century; white and Afro-American neighborhoods sprouted parks while the Hispanic east side was largely neglected.

 

Redlinger, Lawrence John and Jerry B. Michel. “Ecological Variations in Heroin Abuse.” Sociological Quarterly 11 (Spring 1970): 219 – 29.
The study examined rates of heroin addiction for San Antonio’s 96 census tracks based on 185 addicts who enrolled at the Clinical Research Center in Fort Worth. Areas of low socio-economic status (evidenced in median income and education levels) were associated with relatively high rates of substance abuse, similar to the situation in other cities. The city’s Afro American communities evidenced no clear pattern of higher heroin usage, but the Mexican American community did. The drug trade in San Antonio was mainly run by Mexican Americans who did not trust Afro Americans sufficiently to take them on as customers.

 

Rivas-Rodriguez, Maggie. “Ignacio E. Lozano: The Mexican Exile Publisher Who Conquered San Antonio and Los Angeles.” American Journalism 21 (2004): 75 – 89.
Mexican immigrant Lozano (1886 – 1953) founded La Prensa in 1913, the city’s premier Spanish language newspaper. (He also established La Opinion in Los Angeles). The paper mostly catered to the city’s more newly arrived and relatively well-off Mexican American population displaced by the Mexican Revolution. He urged his readers to preserve their Mexican culture in preparation for the day when they would one day return to Mexico. La Prensa’s circulation extended into Mexico and across much of the Southwest. Lozano never became a U. S. citizen. La Prensa took a conservative approach to issues involving Mexico but not necessarily to political matters in the United States.

 

Santos, John Phillip. Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation. New York: 1999.
A memoir that discusses growing up in a Mexican American family in San Antonio. The author was born in 1957, but he interrogates his older relatives about his family’s roots in San Antonio dating back to the 1920's. He explores his family history, traveling to Mexico and around Texas, and reflects on the Mexican American experience. This volume was a finalist for the National Book Award.

 

Schement, Jorge Reina and Ricardo Flores. “The Origins of Spanish-Language Radio: The Case of San Antonio, Texas.” Journalism History 4 (2) (1977): 56 – 58.
Spanish language programs started to air in San Antonio in 1928. The first Spanish Language radio station was KCOR, which began broadcasting in February of 1946. The biggest challenge owner Raul Cortez confronted was in finding advertisers; many businesses did not believe there was enough of a customer base among the Mexican American community. The programming included locally produced soap operas (“novelas”) and music popular in Mexico (mariachi, polkas, cumbias and ballads). Based on interviews with the general manager of KCOR and its public relations director.

 

Skerry, Peter. Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority. New York: 1993.
The self-identification of Mexican Americans in San Antonio and Los Angeles veers between that of immigrants or a minority group. San Antonio’s Hispanics are more fully rooted in a local community practicing old style patronage or patrón politics. This political culture works well on the local level but is less effective at the state and national levels. In Los Angeles the Mexican American community exists mainly as state organizations run by an elite clique.

 

Smith, Marvin H. “A History of the San Antonio Scottish Rite Cathedral: Its Genesis, Erection and Financing,” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1959.
The Scottish rite organization established a local lodge in 1907. Membership grew considerably during World War I thanks to the military encampments. Construction was started on its new temple near the Alamo in 1921 and completed three years later. The structure cost $1.5 million to build and furnish and left the lodge heavily in debt. Membership and initiation fees fell during the 1920's. The thesis mostly focuses on various financial schemes to pay off the debt and the ensuing legal battles. During the 1940's membership rebounded and the debt was cleared by 1953. Based on organization records, interviews and legal documents. (112 pp.)

 

Weaver, Charles N. “Accidents as a Measure of the Cultural Adjustments of Mexican Americans.” Sociological Quarterly 11 (Winter 1970): 119 – 25.
The study hypothesizes that a higher incidence of accidents among the Mexican American population may be taken as evidence of a lack of adjustment to American society. It studied on-the-job accident rates for maintenance workers at the San Antonio Housing Authority and for the city’s policemen and firemen during the mid-1960's. In all cases it found the rate of accidents for Spanish surnamed individuals were not statistically different from that of the non-Spanish surnamed population. This may be taken as evidence that the Hispanic population had entered the American mainstream.

 

Weaver, Charles N. and Norval D. Glenn. “Job Performance of Mexican-Americans.” Sociology and Social Research 54 (4) (1970): 477 – 94.
Many employers in the Southwest maintained that Mexican American workers were less dependable and efficient than their Anglo counterparts. Some contended that Mexican culture and social organization hindered the group’s economic and occupational progress. This study compared the job performance of Anglo and Mexican American workers in clerical or skilled occupations during the mid-1960's at several San Antonio places of employment: the post office, a large department store, and the city’s police and fire departments. The statistical comparisons generally failed to uncover statistically significant differences in the job performance or ambition of the city’s Hispanics and Anglos. Mexican culture was not a barrier to the economic advancement of San Antonio’s Hispanic population.

 

Weaver, Charles N. “A Comparative Study of the Job Performance of Spanish-Surname Police Officers in San Antonio, Texas.” Phylon 30 (1) (1969): 27 – 33.
The family oriented “rural-folk” background of Mexican Americans allegedly limited their opportunities to advance in an industrial society. This sociological study of the job performance of Mexican American policemen in San Antonio between 1949 and 1967 disputes this view. Hispanic officers sought promotion in rank at a higher rate than non-Hispanics. The prospects for promotion for Hispanics appear no different than that of non-Hispanics; they registered equivalent scores for efficiency and took about the same amount of sick leave. Hispanics did less well on the Probationary Patrolman Exam, but this was attributed to the poorer quality education they received in local schools

 

Abbott, Carl. “Neighborhood Militants: Big City Politics.” Southern Exposure 15 (Spring 1987): 58 – 60.
This very short essay notes the growing power of middle class neighborhoods in the nation’s Sunbelt cities. It focuses on recent developments in Atlanta and San Antonio. “Post Industrial” middle class neighborhoods have allied with their cities’ Black and Hispanic residents to challenge growth oriented, white power elites. In San Antonio the issues revolved around questions of city planning and zoning, plus the distribution of public services and taxes. Several political developments of the 1970's resulted in a fundamental shift in the San Antonio’s power structure: the demise of the Good Government League, the rise of Communities Organized for Public Service, and the elimination of at-large city elections.

 

Beasley, Wanda Edna. “Historical Development of the San Antonio River Authority.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1961.
The forerunner to the River Authority was the San Antonio Canal and Conservancy District established by the Texas legislature in 1937. The initial goal was to improve navigation along the river so as to make San Antonio a port – a project later abandoned though technically possible. Its main responsibility evolved into flood control in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad counties. Describes the various laws that have shaped the Authority’s activities over the years, its financing and expenditures, and its major projects – generally undertaken with the help of the U. S. Corps of Engineers. Mostly draws on government documents and interviews.

 

Booth, John A. and David R. Johnson. "Power and Progress in San Antonio Politics, 1836-1970," in The Politics of San Antonio. Eds. David R. Johnson, John A. Booth and Richard J. Harris. 3 – 27. Lincoln, Neb: 1983.
The essay concentrates on the role of the city’s political and economic elites in shaping the city's growth. San Antonio's leaders evidenced less cohesion, vision and initiative than city leaders elsewhere, such as Dallas and Houston. The authors broad survey covers "Boss" Bryan Callaghan II's political machine of the late nineteenth century, the implementation of commission government in the progressive era, and the later shift to the city manager form of government with the appearance of the Good Government League.

 

Cisneros, Henry G. “Regionalism: The New Geography of Opportunity, San Antonio: Mirror of Urban America.” National Civic Review 85 (Spring/Summer 1996): 35 – 48.
The former mayor of San Antonio briefly recalls growing up in the Prospect Hill neighborhood of San Antonio in the 1950's. Many of his neighbors worked at Kelly Air Base. He relates the problems modern cities confront as neighborhoods age, decay and fall into poverty. San Antonio and other cities have taken steps to combat the trend through annexation and the creation of specialized political districts.

 

Clayson, William. “’The Barrios and the Ghettos Have Organized!’ Community Action, Political Acrimony, and the War on Poverty in San Antonio.” Journal of Urban History 28 (Jan. 2002): 158-83.
President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty endeavored to empower poor people to organize their own agencies to meet their needs. The program created a turf war in San Antonio. The San Antonio Neighborhood Youth Organization was created by the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The Economic Opportunity Development Corporation was more directly under the control of the local, white power establishment represented by the mayor’s office and the Good Government League. The two groups fought intermittently for Federal funds and debated the broader goals of the War on Poverty.

 

Clayson, William Stephen. “Texas Poverty and Liberal Politics: The Office of Economic Opportunity and the War on Poverty in the Lone Star State.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas Tech U., 2001.
This overview of the War on Poverty in Texas during the 1960's has a chapter devoted to developments in San Antonio. Other chapters focus on events in Houston and El Paso. The Johnson administration pledged to seek “maximum feasible participation” in its programs, and Black and Chicano militants sought to control a variety of local federal programs: Job Core, VISTA, Headstart. Minority leaders clashed with liberals in the national government and white conservatives entrenched in the local government. These divisive local power struggles helped bring the curtain down on an era of liberal reform.

 

Dickens, Edwin Larry. “The Political Role of Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas.” Ph. D. dissertation. Texas Tech U., 1969.
Focuses on the postwar decades when Hispanics mobilized to challenge a paternalistic Anglo American power structure represented by the Good Government League and both major parties. Mexican American voters supported liberal Democratic candidates who would bring better paying jobs, better schools, and improved health care. Dickens analyzes registration, turnout and voting patterns in selected Mexican American precincts for 1948 – 1966. He profiles several political leaders of the Mexican American community including Henry B. Gonzalez, Albert Pena Jr., John Alaniz, Peter Torres Jr., and Joe Bernal.



Diehl, Kemper and Jan Jarboe. Cisneros, Portrait of a New American. San Antonio: 1985.
Two local newspaper reporters follow the early career of Henry Cisneros, San Antonio city councilman (1975 – 81) and mayor (1981 – 1993). He was raised in one of the city’s most politically prominent families and educated at Texas A&M and George Washington Universities. The book ends when Cisneros is in the middle of his political career. It covers his two terms as mayor, his role on the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America and his putative vice presidential candidacy in 1984.

 

Drennon, Christine M. “Social Relations Spatially Fixed: Construction and Maintenance of School Districts in San Antonio, Texas.” Geographical Review 96 (Oct. 2006): 567-93.
Drennon examines the origins of San Antonio area school districts beginning with the formation of Alamo Heights in 1913. Initially, segregated housing enforced through covenant restrictions kept the schools racially and economically homogenous. School districts were formed between 1920 and 1950 to accomplish the same purpose. The new boundaries were deliberately drawn to allow wealthy neighborhoods to funnel their tax resources strictly to their own schools and set in place educational inequities that are still with us.

 

Fairbanks, Robert B. “The Texas Exception: San Antonio and Urban Renewal, 1949-1965.” Journal of Planning History 1 (May 2002): 181-96.
Unlike Houston and Dallas, San Antonio elected to tap the federal monies for urban renewal during the 1950's. Its citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition in a referendum in 1957. The city had become acutely aware of the medical, social and physical dangers posed by its slums through the efforts of Father Carmelo Antonio Tranchese and Maury Maverick. The Federal program required the city to make a serious commitment to planning starting in 1951. The Good Government League and the newly installed city manager form of government also proved more open to looking for economic assistance from the Federal government.

 

Fairbanks, Robert B. “Public Housing for the City as a Whole: The Texas Experience, 1934-1955.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 103 (Jan. 2000): 403 - 24.
The development of public housing during and after the New Deal is documented for 3 Texas cities: San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. During the New Deal, urban officials in Texas defined the problem of housing as one of eradicating slums rather than improving living conditions. San Antonio had the worst housing conditions in the state (especially in the Mexican populated west side) and led the drive for federal public housing initiatives. In later years, however, anti-communism and concern over the rights of property owners slowed the growth of public housing in Texas municipalities.

 

Fleishmann, Arnold and Lana Stein. “Minority and Female Success in Municipal Runoff Elections.” Social Science Quarterly 68 (Sept. 1987): 378 – 85.
This study tests certain hypotheses on the effect of run-off elections in nonpartisan settings. (Run-off elections are held between the top two votegetters in the general election if no one wins a majority of the vote.) The conclusions are drawn from city council elections in San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth between 1951 and 1985. The supposition that women and racial minorities do less well in run-off contests is not supported in their findings. Incumbents appear more likely to lose in a run-off scenario. Slating groups like San Antonio’s Good Government League also do well in nonpartisan elections, but do less well in run-off situations.

 

Fleischman, Arnold. “Sunbelt Boosterism: The Politics of Postwar Growth and Annexation in San Antonio,” in The Rise of the Sunbelt Cities. Eds. David Perry and Alfred J. Wadkins. Beverly Hills. Calif.: 1978.
Unlike many northern cities, San Antonio has been able to stave off urban decay by constantly expanding its boundaries. The policy began during World War II as the city began incorporating surrounding communities that wanted access to the city’s public services. During the late 1940's and 1950's, under the influence of the Good Government League (GGL), the city shifted its strategy to one of preventing outlying regions from developing into separate suburban cities. Between 1950 and 1970 the city added 110 square miles. The policy was supported by developers who gained access to various municipal services without paying taxes. This business dominated coalition for unrestrained growth met with opposition from environmental and neighborhood groups in the early 1970's, contributing to the collapse of the GGL.

 

Fraga, Luis Ricardo. “Domination Through Democratic Means: Nonpartisan Slating Groups in City Electoral Politics.” Urban Affairs Quarterly 23 (June 1988): 528-55.
The Good Government League (GGL) is compared with similar contemporary organizations that functioned in Dallas (Citizen’s Charter Association) and Abilene (Citizens for Better Government) between 1955 and 1975. The GGL was formed shortly after San Antonio switched to a council-manager form of government in 1951. Candidates endorsed by the GGL had the support of the business community and won almost every race for city council seats elected citywide. Their support came largely from the wealthy, Anglo neighborhoods on the city’s north side, who largely benefited by this form of government.

 

Goldberg, Robert A. “Racial Changes on the Southern Periphery: The Case of San Antonio, Texas, 1960-1965.” Journal of Southern History 49 (August 1983): 349-374.
Several aspects of San Antonio made desegregation easier to accomplish than in other southern cities. The Afro American population (7%) was relatively small, and the military was already integrated. The white establishment was not subjected to the same amount of mass pressure to desegregate as city’s elsewhere. The local white power establishment endeavored to deny local civil rights leaders (like the NAACP) any influence by recognizing instead other members of the minority community.

 

Johnson, Charles Theodore. “Edgewood: A History of a San Antonio Suburb, 1870 – 1959.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1960.
The area began as a rural village outside San Antonio. Belgian farmers moved in around the time of World War I. Mexican Americans moved in to the neighborhood during World War II when many were displaced by the construction of the Alazan – Apache Courts and later Victoria Courts. The expansion of Kelly Air Force Base during the war also afforded low paying jobs as laborers and construction workers. The city of San Antonio annexed the area in 1942 and began providing sewers, police protection and garbage removal. Yet many homes were built without water or sewage access well in to the 1950's. Depressed property values prevented the segregated school system from building schools fast enough to keep up with population growth. Indexed with numerous appendices reporting longitudinal statistical data. Based on interviews and government documents for Bexar County and the Edgewood School District. (127 pp.)

 

Johnson, David R. “San Antonio: The Vicissitudes of Boosterism,” in Sunbelt Cities, Politics and Growth Since World War II. Richard M. Bernard and Bradley R. Rice. 235 – 54. Austin, TX: 1983.
Historically, San Antonio’s business and political elite have sought to build up the city by focusing on the Defense Department, tourists and the regional market. San Antonio adopted the city manager style government in the early 1950's. This was accompanied by a shift to at large elections for the city council men and the appearance of the Good Government League. These institutional frameworks insured that the city’s middle and upper classes exercised near total control over the city. The GGL set out to improve city services (through drainage projects and highways), promote annexation (by adding 300 square miles to the city) and by bringing the Medical Center and the University of Texas at San Antonio to the north side of town. The GGL collapsed in the 1970's as the business community divided among itself. The city also returned to the practice of electing city councilmen in separate districts. Communities Organized for Public Service emerged to agitate for more resources to go to long neglected poor and Hispanic neighborhoods.

 

Lawrence, Jennifer Suzanne. “The Long Road: The Journey to Municipal Reform in San Antonio, Texas, 1939 – 1954.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 2004.
A study of the motivations and tactics of the reformers and local businessmen who led the effort to replace a corrupt commission form of government with a more efficient council-manager framework in 1951. Municipal reform took a somewhat different path in San Antonio due to its large Hispanic population, extreme poverty, and sizeable military presence. Personal power struggles, mostly involving Mayor Jack White, disrupted the victorious reform coalition, leading to the appearance of the Good Government League in 1954. For the next twenty years the GGL governed in the interests of the business elite, promoting economic growth and annexation. Ultimately, the city exchanged one political machine with another.

 

Miller, Char. “Streetscape Environmentalism: Floods, Social Justice, and Political Power in San Antonio, 1921 – 1974.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 118 (Oct. 2014): 158 – 77.
Reviews the response to major floods in the city’s history. After the deadly and devastating flood of Sept. 10, 1921 the city built the Olmos Dam and took other initiatives to protect downtown. The needs of the city’s Hispanic population on the west side were ignored by the Anglo dominated political structure. Consequently when another major flood hit the city in 1974 the west side suffered the bulk of the damage. In its aftermath Communities Organized for Public Service put pressure on city officials to build infrastructure to curb chronic flooding in minority communities.



Miller, Char and Heywood Sanders. “Parks, Politics and Patronage,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 83 – 98. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Historically, San Antonio’s elite have been indifferent to developing parks inside the city limits. The interests of private development have come before those of public space. The establishment of Commission government in 1914 elevated the profile of parks as they were the bailiwick of one of the city’s five commissioners. In the decades that followed far more was invested in developing parks mostly through bond proposals. But park placement was determined by electoral clout during the first half of the twentieth century; white and Afro-American neighborhoods sprouted parks while the Hispanic east side was largely neglected.

 

Miller, Margaret. “A Survey of the Civil Government of San Antonio, Texas, 1731 – 1948.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s University, 1948.
There is no historical analysis here, only outlines of the structure of the government under different regimes based on government documents. It begins with a description of the local political establishment under Spanish rule. Little changed locally when Mexico achieved its independence. The governor appointed a “political chief” to run the city. Miller devotes a mere 8 pages to the aldermanic form of government in place between 1837 and 1915, mostly listing the city’s major offices and their duties. Most of the analysis is given over to an outline of the commission form of government established in 1915. Includes several diagrams outlining the structure of government under the commission format. (91 pp.)

 

Quesada, J. Gilbert. “Towards a Working Definition of Social Justice, Father Carmelo A. Tranchese, S. J. and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1932 – 1953.” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 4 (1993): 44 – 64.
Italian born Tranchese (1880 – 1956) took over the parish in July of 1932. In the midst of the Great Depression, Father Tranchese attacked the widespread poverty that afflicted his parish in the heart of the city’s west side, or in its Mexican American enclave. He came to the support of the Pecan Shellers in their strike, lobbied hard to improve health care services, and battled tuberculosis ravaging the community. Most importantly, he pushed a lukewarm local government to open the first federally funded public housing in the city, the Alazan-Apache Courts. Tranchese was closely associated with Congressman Maury Maverick, and corresponded with President Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt made it a point to drop by the parish when she visited the city in April of 1939. Ill health forced the priest into retirement in 1953. [See also J. Gilberto Quezada, “Father Carmelo Antonio Tranchese, S. J.: A Pioneer Social Worker in San Antonio, Texas, 1932 – 1953.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1972. (96 pp.)]

 

Rosales, Rodolfo. The Illusion of Inclusion, The Untold Political Story of San Antonio. Austin: 2000.
During the 1960's a closed political system was opened up to allow for more input from mostly middle class Hispanics. More Mexican Americans held public office as a result of the demise of at large city elections. Rosales questions how broadly this form of political inclusion has benefited the city’s largely poor and working class Hispanics. While the needs of the working class and poor were sometimes addressed, they were largely excluded from power. A fragmented and parochial minded Hispanic community cannot counter the private power wielded by the business community. [Based on the author’s 1991 Ph. D. dissertation at the University of Michigan, “The Rise of Chicano Middle Class Politics in San Antonio, 1951-85.”]

 

Sanders, Heywood T. “Empty Taps, Missing Pipes,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 141 – 68. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Unlike other Sunbelt cities, San Antonio has not aggressively pursued water rights to assure the city’s continued growth in a semi-arid environment. During much of the twentieth century the city government was preoccupied with upgrading a long neglected sewage system. The latter posed a serious health hazard, especially in the city’s poorer neighborhoods on the Mexican west side. Historically, San Antonio did not provide infrastructure support (sewers or sidewalks) unless the affected residents would pay for it themselves. The City Water Board endeavored to keep rates low to attract business, even if this meant it never acquired the financial resources to tap other sources of water. Thus, San Antonio’s water system is tied solely to the Edwards Aquifer.

 

Sanders, Heywood T. “Building a New Urban Infrastructure: The Creation of Postwar San Antonio,” in Urban Texas: Politics and Development. Eds. Char Miller and Heywood T. Sanders. College Station, Texas: 1990.
During the 1920's, when San Antonio was enjoying exceptional prosperity, it successfully issued several bonds to build libraries, sewers, paved streets and parks. The Commission form of government relied on the city’s Hispanic and Afro-American voters and saw that these groups enjoyed their share of city improvements. A taxpayer’s revolt against the local political machine broke out during the Great Depression and succeeded in putting a stop to many bond supported improvements. The mobilization of relatively well-off Anglo voters on the city’s North Side eventually led to the formation of the Good Government League (GGL) that dominated local government beginning in 1954. The GGL organized a series of bond drives thereafter that passed with the support of voters on the North side, but mostly went to promote “growth” for the city as a whole and neglected the city’s poorer neighborhoods and residents until the GGL was disbanded in the 1970's.

 

Scudder, Jack H. and Neil Spitzer. “Politics in America: San Antonio’s Battle Over Fluoridation.” Wilson Quarterly 11 (Summer 1987): 162 – 71.
San Antonians twice went to the polls to vote down a proposal to put fluoride in the water supply. In 1966 the proposition was overwhelmingly voted down – 68% voting in the negative. This article mostly covers the 1985 episode. Mayor Henry Cisneros launched the latter campaign that was also voted down on by 52% to 48%. Much of the opposition came from the Hispanic and working class neighborhoods. Opponents to fluoridation mainly charged that it was a threat to the public’s health.

 

Woods, Sister Francine Jerome. The Model Cities Program in Perspective: The San Antonio, Texas Experience. Washington D.C.: 1982.
San Antonio was one of the first cities to benefit by Lyndon Johnson’s Model Cities initiative in 1965. The funds mostly went to impoverished, Mexican American neighborhoods on the west side. Projects aimed to bring improvements to the Edgewood District, control flooding, pave and clean the streets. Another goal was to empower the local citizenry, which would later lead to the formation of Communities Organized for Public Service. The Great Society program was discontinued in 1970.

 

Beasley, Wanda Edna. “Historical Development of the San Antonio River Authority.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1961.
The forerunner to the River Authority was the San Antonio Canal and Conservancy District established by the Texas legislature in 1937. The initial goal was to improve navigation along the river so as to make San Antonio a port – a project later abandoned though technically possible. Its main responsibility evolved into flood control in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad counties. Describes the various laws that have shaped the Authority’s activities over the years, its financing and expenditures, and its major projects – generally undertaken with the help of the U. S. Corps of Engineers. Mostly draws on government documents and interviews.



Claude Aniol & Associates. San Antonio and Your First National Bank Through the Years, 1866-1953. San Antonio: 1953.
Cotton trader George W. Brackenridge founded the city’s first national bank in 1866. Most of the booklet is devoted to a chronology of San Antonio history, preceded by a 2 page history of the bank. Illustrated, with color postcards of the bank circa 1953.

 

Colten, Craig E. “Battlefields: The Military and the Environment,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 121 - 40 Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
The area’s many military installations have had a major environmental impact on San Antonio. Most the major facilities (Lackland, Brooks, Randolph and especially Kelly) have groundwater contamination. Fueling and maintenance operations at Kelly inflicted the most damage by releasing contaminants into the soil. It was only in the 1990's that the military ceased some of its most damaging practices and began to clean up its facilities. The bases sit atop either the Edwards Aquifer Artesian Zone (the city’s sole source for drinking water) or, in the case of Camp Bullis, over the even more vulnerable recharge zone.

 

Davies, Christopher S. “Life at the Edge: Urban and Industrial Evolution of Texas, Frontier Wilderness – Frontier Space, 1836 – 1986.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89 (July 1985): 443-554.
Davis presents a geographer’s perspective on the San Antonio – Austin area. Numerous maps, charts and tables focus on economic and demographic changes as these (and other) Texas urban areas evolved from frontier havens to modern metropolises. Monopoly capital coupled with “frontier insouciance.” San Antonio and Austin are “predator cities” that draw population and capital from Houston and elsewhere.

 

Davis, Howard W. “A Case Study in Industrial Location.” Land Economics 45 (Nov. 1969): 444 – 52.
Davis warns that San Antonio’s “intemperate reliance” on military expenditures puts its future at risk should the Federal government decide to scale back on its military spending. The city needed to develop its manufacturing base. The total payroll of the city’s manufacturing sector was only one-third that of the military sector. The city’s prospects for attracting manufacturing plants were complicated by the dearth of natural resources in the area (especially oil) and the region’s relatively high transportation costs (only 3 railroads serviced the city). The low per capita income limited the size of any local consumer goods market. San Antonio did hold the advantage of relatively low labor costs. Its best prospects would be labor intensive industries with relatively minor transportation costs, such as electrical and non-electrical machinery, glass and optical products and apparel.

 

Denver, Tom. “Folk Culture and Urban Political Economy: The Ice Houses of San Antonio.” Social Science Journal 28 (4) (1991): 425 – 50.
Denver does homage to a Texas institution that emerged during the 1920's. “Beer” county has carried on a long love affair with ice cold beer from the mid nineteenth century to the present. The prototypical ice house served as a local gathering place for a mostly working class clientele. San Antonio had a reputation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a city of drinking and gambling. The popularity of ice houses peaked in the 1950's, and now they seem to be on the way out as the city becomes more impersonal and metropolitan.

 

Dodd, Doris MacDonald. “The History of the Menger Hotel, From 1877 to 1968.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
Drawing primarily from newspapers and guide books, Dodd juxtaposes the development of the hotel along with the development of the city. Much of the hotel’s hospitality went to local business and military groups. The study also covers the buildings many renovations. Appendix includes sample menus of prominent banquets. (136 pp.)

 

Fisher, Lewis F. C. H. Guenther & Son at 150 Years: The Legacy of a Texas Milling Pioneer. San Antonio: 2001.
A richly illustrated business history of the family and firm associated with the Pioneer Flour Mills located near the King William district. German immigrant and miller Carl Hilmar Guenther (1826 – 1902) arrived in San Antonio in 1859 after first setting up business in the Hill country. The family owned business has weathered a century and a half of economic change and remains one of the city’s larger industrial establishments.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. River Walk: The Epic Story of San Antonio’s River. San Antonio: 2006.
The San Antonio River has played a vital role in the community’s past – both good and bad. It has been the source of irrigation, floods and tourist dollars. Fisher especially looks at various technological innovations to control or exploit the river with dams, channels, businesses and beautified walkways.

 

Flores, Lori A. “An Unladylike Strike Fashionably Clothed: Mexicana and Anglo Women Garment Workers Against Tex-Son, 1959 – 1963.” Pacific Historical Review 78 (Aug. 2009): 367 – 402.
Violence between strikers and strike breakers threatened to undermine support for the Anglo and Hispanic workforce. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union got the public back on its side by appealing to popular notions of feminity and domesticity. The strikers dressed and behaved in a manner to remind the public of their dual roles as mothers and workers in an ugly struggle. The strike was ultimately unsuccessful, the company went under, and the ILGWU pulled out of any further efforts to organize in Texas.



Guerra, Mary Ann Noonan. The Gunter Hotel in San Antonio’s History. San Antonio: 1985.
This short booklet was prepared to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the hotel’s founding in 1909. It discusses the various structures that preceded it at the corner of St. Mary’s and Houston Streets dating back to the Frontier Inn (1837), the military headquarters (1851), Vance House (1872) and Mahncke Hotel (1886). Illustrated.

 

Hipp, Joe. “Will the Oldest Ranch in Texas Survive the Millenium?” Journal of South Texas History 13 (Fall 2000): 266 – 80.
The Walsh Ranch has been in Juan Ignacio Pérez’s family since 1794. They acquired the land when mission San Jose was secularized. Seven generations have lived on the property raising horses and cattle. It is situated just 9 miles south of the Alamo. Its survival is threatened by water rights issues involving the Medina River.

 

Landolt, Robert Garland. The Mexican American Workers of San Antonio, Texas. New York: 1976.
This is a reprint of a Ph. D. dissertation prepared at the U. of Texas at Austin in 1965. The study investigates Mexican American employment patterns in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors and at the Military bases. Landolt also examines the impact of occupational status on housing, health, education and politics. The research is based mostly on conditions obtaining in the early 1960's, with some historical background. [See also Robert G. Landholdt, “The Mexican-American Workers in San Antonio, Texas.” Ph. D. dissertation. University of Texas at Austin, 1965.]

 

Ledesma, Irene. “Texas Newspapers and Chicana Workers’ Activism, 1919 – 74.” Western Historical Quarterly 26 (Autumn 1995): 309-31.
Newspaper coverage of strikes involving Chicana workers in San Antonio and El Paso reflected popular notions of gender, class and ethnicity. The Red-baiting Anglo press often portrayed the Mexican Americans as the alien and unassimilated “other” – “lazy, impressionable and stupid.” The Spanish language press was more supportive (if the women behaved) but remained patronizing. The unions tended to portray the strikers as mothers and wives rather than as workers and sole breadwinners for their families. Much of the essay discusses the 1938 Pecan Shellers Strike and the two year Tex-Son garment makers strike of 1959.

 

Malayney, Norman. “The Jack Ammann Mosquitoes.” American Aviation Historical Society Journal 39 (Winter 1994): 286-93.
Ammann’s San Antonio engineering firm specialized in aerial mapping using the DH98 Mosquito aircraft, converted to civilian use. Ammann had earlier worked for Edgar Tobin Aerial Surveys, another San Antonio firm that pioneered aerial photography following World War I. The essay focuses on the time period of 1956 to 1961.

 

McBride, Donald B. “U. S. Military – Civil Relations, Part II, The Military in American Life.” Airpower Historian 10 (July 1963): 74 – 81.
McBride characterizes the military’s influence in San Antonio as “primarily economic and indirect” with no evidence of military pressure groups or cliques. San Antonio during the early stages of the Cold War enjoyed “one of the richest and most mutually satisfactory military-civilian relationships” in the nation. Defense spending constituted the most important sector of the local economy, and military personnel and their families participated in various civic functions. The San Antonio experience could stand as a model for cities elsewhere.

 

McGill, Allan Cleveland. “100 Years with a Newspaper, The San Antonio Express, 1865 – 1965.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1965.
A journalism student follows the major personalities involved with the Express, the business dealings and evolving technology, editorial styles and daily coverage. Based on the James P. Newcomb papers, oral interviews and the newspaper itself. (140 pp.)

 

Miller, Char. “Streetscape Environmentalism: Floods, Social Justice, and Political Power in San Antonio, 1921 – 1974.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 118 (Oct. 2014): 158 – 77.
Reviews the response to major floods in the city’s history. After the deadly and devastating flood of Sept. 10, 1921 the city built the Olmos Dam and took other initiatives to protect downtown. The needs of the city’s Hispanic population on the west side were ignored by the Anglo dominated political structure. Consequently when another major flood hit the city in 1974 the west side suffered the bulk of the damage. In its aftermath Communities Organized for Public Service put pressure on city officials to build infrastructure to curb chronic flooding in minority communities.

 

Petersen, James E. “San Antonio: An Environmental Crossroads on the Texas Spring Line,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 17-40. Pittsburgh: 2001.
A broad geographical and geological analysis of San Antonio’s transitional status between the Great Plains to the north and the coastal plains to the south, situating the city between the arid west and the humid east. This geographical setting gives rise to the city’s more extreme weather patterns involving droughts and floods, and prolonged heat waves interrupted by cold “blue northers.” The spring line along the Balcones Escarpment has assured the city a steady and abundant (but not unlimited) water supply.

 

Rivera, José A. “Restoring the Oldest Water Right in Texas: The Mission San Juan Acequia of San Antonio.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 106 (Jan. 2003): 366 – 395.
This legal and environmental history follows the issue of water rights leading up to the reopening of an irrigation canal (acequia) from the San Antonio River in 2001. The concept of water rights dates back to the 1720's, but this essay mainly examines the subject in the context of the 1950's. The restoration of the acequia and its adjoining missions posed problems for local farmers and the San Antonio River Authority.

 

Sanders, Heywood T. “Empty Taps, Missing Pipes,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 141 – 68. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Unlike other Sunbelt cities, San Antonio has not aggressively pursued water rights to assure the city’s continued growth in a semi-arid environment. During much of the twentieth century the city government was preoccupied with upgrading a long neglected sewage system. The latter posed a serious health hazard, especially in the city’s poorer neighborhoods on the Mexican west side. Historically, San Antonio did not provide infrastructure support (sewers or sidewalks) unless the affected residents would pay for it themselves. The City Water Board endeavored to keep rates low to attract business, even if this meant it never acquired the financial resources to tap other sources of water. Thus, San Antonio’s water system is tied solely to the Edwards Aquifer.

 

Savage, V. Howard. “The Interdependence of the San Antonio Economic Structure and the Defense Establishment.” Land Economics 50 (Nov. 1974): 374 – 79.
During the 1960's the defense related component of total personal income in San Antonio rose slightly from 23% to 25%, reflecting the prime importance of the military to the city’s economy. The article assesses the impact of a 50% reduction in military spending in the near future. San Antonio mostly relied on military payrolls – to soldiers, civilians and retirees – rather than defense related industries. Unless the affected households found alternative sources of income, the projected drop in military spending would have reduced employment in the area by 19% and total income by 15%.

 

Smith, Charles. “San Antonio Chamber of Commerce: A History of Its Organization for Community Development and Service, 1910 – 1960.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1965.
The Chamber evolved from a membership based organization to a professionally managed one by the 1960's. It played a significant role in nurturing two of the city’s major assets – its historic sites and its military installations. The Chamber also promoted various projects to foster economic growth. Smith consulted the records of the Chamber, newspapers and oral interviews. (133 pp.)

 

Smith, Marvin H. “A History of the San Antonio Scottish Rite Cathedral: Its Genesis, Erection and Financing.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1959.
The Scottish rite organization established a local lodge in 1907. Membership grew considerably during World War I thanks to the military encampments. Construction was started on its new temple near the Alamo in 1921 and completed three years later. The structure cost $1.5 million to build and furnish and left the lodge heavily in debt. Membership and initiation fees fell during the 1920's. The thesis mostly focuses on various financial schemes to pay off the debt and the ensuing legal battles. During the 1940's membership rebounded and the debt was cleared by 1953. Based on organization records, interviews and legal documents. (112 pp.)

 

Swaney, Eugene L. “The Cattle Industry in San Antonio, Texas, 1718 – 1961.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1961.
This extensive survey covers the introduction of cattle under the Spanish, local ranches and dairies, the nineteenth century trail drives, the impact of the railroad, the opening of the Union stockyards in 1889, and, in the twentieth century, the establishment of the Stock Show and Rodeo and the consolidation of the cattle industry. Numerous profiles of prominent cattlemen and cowboys. Sources mostly published records and accounts. (287 pp.)

 

Wimberley, Laura Anne. “The ‘Sole Source:’ A History of San Antonio, South Central Texas, and the Edwards Aquifer, 1890's – 1990's.” Ph. D. diss.: Texas A & M U., 2001.
San Antonio has been slow to properly regulate its only source of drinking water. Most of the nineteenth century settlers to San Antonio came from regions where water was abundant and failed to appreciate the need for proper management of the Edwards Aquifer. Only the severe drought of the 1950's forced residents in South Central Texas to begin to cooperate by forming the Edwards Underground Water District. Farmers, environmentalists, developers and suburbanites squabbled over a water supply that is in ever greater demand due to population increase and modern conveniences. In recent years only the prodding of the federal government has forced users to confront a variety of water management issues.

 

Anonymous. Sculpture, Murals and Fountains at HemisFair ’68. San Antonio: 1968.
Illustrations of many artworks at the fair, identifying only the title, artist, material and size.

 

Arreola, Daniel D. “The Mexican American Cultural Capital.” Geographical Review 77 (Jan. 1987): 17 – 34.
San Antonio historically has served as the Mexican American cultural capital of the United States. Railroad linkages to Monterrey in the late nineteenth century ensured that Mexican influences would continue to flow into the Alamo city. It helped make San Antonio function as the center of the migrant workforce in the early years of the twentieth century. Mexican communities established themselves on the west side of San Pedro Creek. They established a number of important institutions: La Prensa, the Order of the Sons of America, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, and Communities Organized for Public Service. Arreola also considers the origins of Mexican cuisine and conjunto music. Even if Los Angeles has a larger Mexican American population, San Antonio has a much heavier concentration (or percentage) of the population hailing from Mexico and remains the nation’s Mexican-American cultural capital.

 

Badillo, David A. Latinos and the New Immigrant Church. Baltimore, MD: 2006.
An analysis of the Catholic Church’s historic relationship with its diverse Hispanic parishioners in San Antonio, New York, Miami and Chicago beginning in the late nineteenth century. San Antonio’s barrio was created through legally enforced racial covenants that prohibited homeowners from selling to minorities. Opportunities for economic advancement were undermined by discriminatory practices that kept minorities out of expanding industries and relegated them to the shrinking sectors of the economy. Each of these cities provided only limited urban services to their Hispanic neighborhoods until Spanish-speaking residents organized as a political force. [See also David A. Badillo, “From South of the Border: Latino Experiences in Urban America.” Ph. D. diss.: City University of New York, 1988].

 

Brear, Holly Gail Beachley. “Steel Women, Stone Womb: Social Reproduction at the Alamo.” Ph. D. diss.: U. of Virginia, 1993.
A sociological study that examines the events surrounding the famous battle as recounted in textbooks, ceremonies at the site, and in nearby museums. All these narratives and associated rituals represent an effort to preserve and vindicate the reigning social order. These acts of social reproduction are indicative of the power of the Anglo establishment, represented by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Texas Cavaliers. The Alamo narrative plays on ethnic stereotypes that are increasingly challenged by Mexican Americans and others.

 

Bremer, Thomas S. Blessed with Tourists. Chapel Hill, N. C.: 2004.
Bremer considers the impact of tourism on religious practices in San Antonio. Local religious leaders, Roman Catholic for the most part, and parishioners sought to satisfy the tourist’s hunger for authenticity and an aesthetic experience. Catering to the tourist trade, however, has often resulted in commercialization or belittling of their religious beliefs and experience. Much of the study considers the history of the missions as historic and religious sites. Bremer also touches on the quasi-religious atmosphere of the Alamo, Hemisfair’s “flying Indians,” the mariachi mass and “Aztec performers” at mission San Jose, and the Holy Week rituals at San Fernando Cathedral. [See also Thomas S. Bremer, “Religion on Display: Tourists, Sacred Place, and Identity at the San Antonio Missions.” Ph. D. diss.: Princeton U., 2001.]

 

Brewster, Olive Nesbitt. St. Mark's Church, 1943-1973. N.P.: 1973.
This book offers an overview of the ministers and other officials associated with the Episcopal Church located near Travis Park. Brewster also reports on the activities of many of its clubs. It is a follow up to Harriet Brown Moore’s St. Marks Church: A Parish with Personality that covers the story from the Church’s founding in 1859.

 

Bronder, Saul Edmund. “Robert E. Lucey: A Texas Paradox.” Ph. D. diss.: Columbia U., 1979.
Lucey was appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio in 1941 and served until 1969. He was a tireless advocate for social justice for minorities and the poor: defending unions, promoting racial integration and reaching out to migrant workers. Paradoxically, Lucey practiced an ecclesiastical authoritarianism that would not tolerate dissent within the church’s ranks. His paternalistic attitude was out of step with the egalitarianism associated with Vatican II, and eventually Lucey was forced to step down.

 

Bryant, Keith L. Jr. “Railway Stations of Texas: A Disappearing Architectural Heritage.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 79 (April 1976): 417-40.
Two San Antonio stations get special attention in this piece: the Southern Pacific’s Sunset Station and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (the “M-K-T” or “Katy”) station. The latter is praised for its Spanish Colonial Revival motif. This “truly outstanding railway architecture” was constructed to resemble Mission Concepción. It was demolished in 1968. Illustrated.

 

Carroll, H. Bailey. “Texas Collection.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 55 (April 1950): 283-86.
The Texas Historical and Landmarks Association, headed by Adina De Zavala, reports on the historical markers it erected in San Antonio.

 

Chapin, Jessica. “From IRCA to ORCA: Apprehending the Other in ‘Your San Antonio Experience.’” Journal of Historical Sociology 7 (Mar. 1994): 103 – 12.
Chapin presents a sociological take on the tourist experience in San Antonio in the early 1990's. Discusses El Mercado, the Riverwalk, Seaworld, the Alamo and its surrounding tourist traps, and the film “The Price of Freedom” at the IMAX. Like the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) the Mexican is portrayed as “the other.”

 

Clark, Jay B. “The Odyssey of a University Library, 1869 – 1968.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 5 (Apr. 1970): 119 – 32.
The library of Trinity University had its origins as the personal collection of its first president, the Reverend William E. Beeson. It was then located some 80 miles south of Dallas. A college library only came together in 1902 when the school combined the collections of its affiliated literary and scholarly societies. The Methodist affiliated university faced many challenges as it sought to expand its holdings and provide a professional staff. The university relocated to San Antonio where the George Storch Memorial Library opened in 1952.

 

Clemons, Leigh. “Your Mission, If You Accept It: ‘Texan’ Culture and the Performance of the Alamo.” Theatre Survey 41 (May 2000): 23-46.
The Alamo has been commemorated in various forms of popular culture as a repository of Texan memory. This essay looks not only at the original site but its counterpart in Brackettville, featured in such films as Wayne’s “Alamo,” “Alamo: The Price of Freedom,” and “Viva Max.” Clemons contrasts the documented facts of the struggle with the continuing hold of a rich lore of legend and myth. The role assigned Tejanos in the narrative has shifted over time from antagonists to protagonists of the Texas Republic.

 

Crook, Cornelia E. San Pedro Springs Park: Texas' Oldest Recreation Area. San Antonio: 1967.
The second oldest public park in the nation has served as a public commons, military encampment and recreational area. It was first set aside as a public space in 1729. This volume includes extensive documentation of the various structures on park grounds.

 

De la Teja, Jesús. “Mary Generosa Callahan, C. D. P.” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 6 (1995): 9 – 10.
An obituary for the archivist at Our Lady of the Lake University who was responsible for the city’s early church records, most notably those of the missions.

 

Dorsey, John R. “Texas Military Institute, Its History and Heritage.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
TMI was organized in 1926 as a Christian, military school for boys. It merged two rival educational institutions: the San Antonio Academy (established in 1886) with the West Texas Military Academy (founded by the Episcopalians in 1893). TMI and SAA divided again in 1952, when the Episcopal Church again took TMI under its wings. This study mainly concerns itself with curriculum and institutional developments. (158 pp.).

 

Dunn, Patricia A. “The Cementville School: A Study of Education, Labor and Segregation in a Company Town.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1997.
The Alamo Cement Company hired a large body of Mexican workers to process the limestone at what is today the intersection of Jones Maltsberger and Highway 281. The community was cut off by a high fence and the children attended a segregated and inferior school administered by Alamo Heights ISD between 1922 and 1952. The school promoted “Americanization” with a curriculum emphasizing English language skills. Few students remained in school beyond the 6th grade. The school was closed when state courts banned segregating Mexican students. Based partly on oral interviews. (77 pp.)

 

Esquivel, Albert Cuellar. “Superstitious Beliefs in the Spanish Mexican Culture of San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1961.
A chapter considers some a few of the major folk traditions mostly dealing with or explaining illnesses, specifically: the evil eye (ojo) that inflicts pain or discomfort on its victims; susto, a demonic possession that can take place after a fright or traumatic experience; empacho, stomach disorders thought to be due to decaying food in the digestive tract; mollera caida, dehydration and diarrhea in infants; and brujeria, a form of witchcraft or spiritualism. Also considers cures for these conditions using herbs, soap or white magic. Based in part on undocumented interviews with some 50 Mexican American residents. (91 pp.)

 

Evans, Derro. “Texas with a Twist.” Historic Preservation 41 (Jan.-Feb. 1989): 46 – 53.
The community of Castroville was settled in the mid-1840's by French and German immigrants from the Rhine Valley. The town is a “restorationist’s dream”; ninety-seven structures built by the original founders still stand. Evans discusses some of the changes overtaking the community as more well-to do outsiders (many from nearby San Antonio) buy up and restore its many historic structures. The article details some of the efforts the newcomers have made in repairing structures and finding appropriate furnishings. Castroville still has the feel of a small town and the “clannish” locals do not readily mix with their newer neighbors.

 

Fenstermaker, Anne Leslie. “Conversation with Miss Emily Edwards, San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1978.
This is a transcript of a conversation between Edwards (1888-1980) and the author mostly discussing the local art scene and Edwards’s efforts at historic preservation. Edwards was born in San Antonio and had deep roots in the city. She was co-founder and first president of the San Antonio Conservation Society (1924-26) and very active in the local art scene. Mexican muralists attracted her attention and she eventually worked with Diego Rivera. Edwards was an art teacher at Brackenridge high school and traveled widely around the country mastering her craft. (25 pp.)

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Christ Episcopal Church: the First Seventy-Five Years, 1911-1986. San Antonio: 1986.
A local journalist offers this extensive historical treatment of the largest Episcopal Church in West Texas. The church became more socially aware and active over time through the impact of wars, depressions, urban decay and its relations with the national body. It is located a few blocks north of San Antonio College. Based partially on oral interviews. Illustrated.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage. Lubbock, Texas: 1996.
Fisher’s study is primarily a history of the San Antonio Conservation Society founded by Emily Edwards and Mary Rowena Maverick Green in 1924. Early chapters trace the historic preservation struggle over the Alamo beginning in the 1880's. The Anglo women associated with the Society mostly shared artistic backgrounds. They wielded considerable clout through their energy, social status and political connections. Chapters discuss the restoration of the missions, NIOSA, the Riverwalk, and the moving of the Fairmount Hotel.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. “Preservation of San Antonio’s Built Environment,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 199 – 221. Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
Historic preservation in the Alamo City dates back to the state’s purchase of the Alamo chapel in 1883. Various groups and disparate preservation initiatives in the years that followed were “long on inspiration and short on research.” The city began to beautify the river – especially the bend in the river known today as the Riverwalk – as early as 1913. The formation of the San Antonio Conservation Society in 1924, mostly by members of the artistic community, brought some coordination to the effort. Fisher outlines the contributions of Adina De Zavala, Clara Driscoll, Robert Hugman and the Works Progress Administration to restore the missions, La Villita, and the King William District.

 

Fisher, Lewis F. The Spanish Missions of San Antonio. San Antonio: 1998.
This richly illustrated volume comes with a short chapter devoted to each mission. It offers an overview on the workings of the mission system and another on the restoration of the missions during the twentieth century.

 

Flores, Richard R. Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity and the Master Symbol. Austin: 2002.
The way the story of the Alamo is remembered in public and popular culture is a product of memory and modernity. The Alamo is a “master symbol of modernity” that has defined the social status of Anglos and Mexicans in modern day Texas. Among the figures and forces shaping historical memory Flores discusses Adina De Zavala, Davy Crockett, and the iconic 1960 John Wayne film.

 

Flores, Richard R. “The Alamo: Myth, Public History, and the Politics of Inclusion.” Radical History Review 77 (Spring 2000): 91 – 103.
The Alamo has emerged as a master symbol for Anglo domination that took hold at the end of the nineteenth century. The short film on the battle presented for visitors at the Alamo perpetuates the mythic version of the struggle as “a racialized binary of brave and freedom loving Texans and tyrannous Mexicans.” The military units on neither side functioned with a strict racial boundary. Recent accounts of the battle have sought to replace the “race war” theme with a more inclusive one emphasizing Tejano support for the uprising and noting the site’s other historical role as an early mission.

 

Green, William E. “Postscripts to History: Remembering the Alamo.” American Heritage 37 (June/July 1986): 102 – 05.
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas have long relied on the sale of souvenirs to defray the costs of administering the site. A curator at the Witte Museum discusses a variety of souvenirs of the Alamo that recently were put on display. The first mass produced mementos were German made ceramics that appeared around 1890. Silver spoons were also very popular at the turn of the century. The Alamo’s status as a sacred space has diminished over time as evidenced by the tasteless and mostly plastic items that proliferated in the 1950's.

 

Gutierrez, Efrain. “Rosita Fernandez: Tejano Music’s First International Super Start to Achieve Crossover Success.” Journal of South Texas History 17 (Fall 2004): 104 - 113.
Fernandez was born in Monterrey, Mexico and grew up in Laredo. Her family moved to San Antonio in 1927, and performed in the local carpas. In 1932 she began singing over the radio on WOAI, and later appeared on its television station. She toured the U. S. and Mexico, but made San Antonio her home, and often appeared at the Anson River Theater. Her rise in the musical world reflected the emergence of a musical style labeled música norteña. It developed between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico and employed dueto singing and the accordion. Her boleros and rancheras appealed to both Mexican Americans and Anglos. “La Rosa de San Antonio” achieved more national attention as a popular guest artist performing at President Lyndon Johnson’s ranch. She also appeared in films, including John Wayne’s version of “The Alamo.” She retired in 1982.

 

Haynes, Michaele Thurgood. Dressing up Debutantes, Pageantry and Glitz in Texas. New York: 1998.
This scholarly treatment of the rituals and artifacts associated with Fiesta and its coronation festivals takes an anthropological perspective. Attitudes bearing on gender and social class shape the ceremonies associated with the city’s upper crust. Haynes also offers extensive commentary of the royal robes designed for the occasions that are under her care at the Witte.

 

Hernández-Ehrisman, Laura. Inventing the Fiesta City: Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio. Albuquerque, NM: 2008.
A broad overview of the people, organizations and events associated with the cultural performance of Fiesta from 1891 to the present. In its early years the Battle of Flowers parade and the Order of the Alamo reflected Anglo dominance in the community and the ideological hold of the “Texas Modern.”  Local boosters used the festivities to highlight the city’s Mexican past without acknowledging the presence of its large Mexican American population.  The appearance of a Fiesta Commission, Rey Feo and Cornynation after World War II evidenced an effort at greater inclusion.  Research draws on local newspapers, manuscript collections and oral histories.

 

Holliman, Marcia Pelton. “The Development of the San Antonio Symphony, 1939 – 1966.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
A symphony, mostly composed of local amateurs, was finally established in June of 1939 through the efforts of Pauline Washer Goldsmith. Max Reiter, a European trained conductor escaping persecution in his native Italy, served as its first conductor until his death in 1950. He was succeeded by Victor Alessandro. The symphony expanded with ambitious offerings of opera and children’s concerts, and by hosting major musical talents, yet it constantly flirted with insolvency. Based heavily on oral interviews. (191 pp).

 

Holmesly, Sterlin. HemisFair ’68 and the Transformation of San Antonio. San Antonio: 2003.
Organized as a series of oral interviews with various participants, Holmesly inquires into the origins and economic and political impact of HemisFair. He also considers its impact on the Riverwalk and the King William district. The book also touches on major developments in the city after 1968.

 

Igo, John N. Jr. “’Lost Pastores:’ A Triple-Tradition.” Journal of Popular Culture 19 (3) (1985): 131-38.
Igo reviews the local history of performances of this religious play. The plot features shepherds who go to visit the Christ child and are harassed by demons along the way. The play’s author is anonymous; Franciscan priests are thought to have popularized the play around 1800 to explain the Christmas story to the indigenous population. Since then the play has been a Christmas season staple that has been performed at the Witte Museum, at Mission San Jose, and in local Roman Catholic parishes. The author considers the various texts and versions of the play (all very similar), contemporary performances, and the folklore it has spawned. The play needs to be appreciated as a religious exercise more than as a theatrical performance.

 

Jacobson, David. “Temple in the Sun: On the Eve of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Temple Beth-El of San Antonio, Texas, 1949.” Western States Jewish History 45 (Spring 2013): 276 – 84.
Rabbi Jacobson of Temple Beth El praises the religious tolerance that permeates San Antonio.  Religious leaders and their parishioners attend one another’s services and Jewish and Christian denominations have shared their places of worship. The essay mostly identifies some of the city’s more prominent Jews involved in social and civic organizations. About 700 Jewish families constitute the reform congregation of Temple Beth El, whose synagogue was built in 1927. He estimates the city’s Jewish population at 6,000.

 

Jennings, Frank W. “Henry Guerra (1919-2001).” Catholic Southwest 13 (2003): 11-12.
Guerra was raised in San Antonio and was one of the first Hispanics to become a local media figure. He started out as an announcer on WOAI in 1939. He wrote extensively on local history while becoming a local radio and television celebrity.

 

Johnson, Charles Theodore. “Edgewood: A History of a San Antonio Suburb, 1870 – 1959.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1960.
The area began as a rural village outside San Antonio. Belgian farmers moved in around the time of World War I. Mexican Americans moved in to the neighborhood during World War II when many were displaced by the construction of the Alazan – Apache Courts and later Victoria Courts. The expansion of Kelly Air Force Base during the war also afforded low paying jobs as laborers and construction workers. The city of San Antonio annexed the area in 1942 and began providing sewers, police protection and garbage removal. Yet many homes were built without water or sewage access well in to the 1950's. Depressed property values prevented the segregated school system from building schools fast enough to keep up with population growth. Indexed with numerous appendices reporting longitudinal statistical data. Based on interviews and government documents for Bexar County and the Edgewood School District. (127 pp.)

 

Jones, Nancy Baker. “The Way We Were: Gender and the Woman’s Pavilion, HemisFair ’68.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 119 (Apr. 2016): 338 – 52.
The Woman’s Pavilion at HemisFair was designed to tell “the exciting story of the contributions of women to the Americas.” In keeping with the times, it exhibits celebrated women as homemakers and lacked any feminist agenda or perspective. Women were supposed to sponsor and design the exhibit, but they met with many challenges. Fundraising efforts among women’s groups and corporate sponsors proved largely unsuccessful. A structure originally slated to cost $2,000,000 was substantially downsized to $400,000. The abandoned structure still stands.

 

Laurence, Dianne Susan Duffner, “A Symbiotic Relationship Between Mid Century Modern Masters: The Collaborative Works of Arthur and Marie Berger, Landscape Architects, and O’Neil Ford, Architect.” M. La diss.: U. of Texas at Arlington, 2007.
The Bergers worked well with Ford because they shared a “common language” of architecture. The study from the discipline of landscape architecture identifies and photographs the projects Berger/Ford team undertook in San Antonio and Dallas between 1945 and 1960. In San Antonio their creations included the campus of Trinity University and a half dozen private residences. The author interviews former Berger associates to flesh out their biographical details, and conducts a literature review where their work was discussed in such places as House and Garden.

 

Linenthal, Edward Tabor. “’A Reservoir of Spiritual Power:’ Patriotic Faith at the Alamo in the Twentieth Century.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91 (Apr. 1988): 509-531.
The essay considers the “symbolic interpretation” of the Alamo from the time the Daughters of the Republic of Texas assumed management in 1905. Veneration of the site takes on religious aspects and raises questions as to who is authorized to speak to its symbolic meaning. Over time commemorations at the Alamo have evolved from “archaic notions of heroic sacrifice” to rituals of reconciliation.

 

Lowman, Al. “The Life and Death of a Bookstore.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91 (Oct. 1987): 173 – 184.
Lowman reminiscences about Florence and Frank H. Rosengren’s bookstore. It occupied various locations in San Antonio between 1935 and 1987. The Rosengrens relocated from Chicago. Their shop attracted local literati as well as prominent visitor, including Robert Frost, J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb.

 

Maguire, Jack. A Century of Fiesta in San Antonio. Austin, Texas: 1990.
This richly illustrated coffee table book commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Fiesta tradition. Chapters are devoted mostly to the individuals, organizations and events associated with the week long festival such as the Order of the Alamo, the Texas Cavaliers, and NIOSA.

 

Marchbanks, Lois Terry. The Pan American Roundtable. San Antonio: 1983.
Mostly a set of documents bearing on the San Antonio women’s organization organized by Florence Terry Griswold to promote better ties between the United States and Latin America. The organization was formed in 1916 when tensions with Mexico ran at their highest. Numerous other chapters were formed in an out of Texas.

 

Margolies, Daniel S. “Voz de Pueblo Chicano: Sustainability, Teaching and Intangible Cultural Transfer in Conjunto Music” Journal of American Culture 34 (Mar. 2011): 36 – 48.
Conjunto music combines the accordion with the 12 string Mexican bass (bajo sexton). While it mostly addresses the contemporary music scene in San Antonio, this article touches on the early history of this musical genre as it emerged in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley early in the twentieth century. Mexican musicians absorbed the musical instruments and styles (polka) of recent European immigrants. It represents a variety of Tejano music and preserves cultural identity.

 

Matovina, Timothy M. “Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas,” U. S. Catholic Historian 13 (Winter 1997): 33 – 50.
Based on interviews with laity at the Church, the study seeks to understand this sacred site’s role in fostering a collective memory binding a religious community. It covers the eighteenth century to the present. As the size and influence of the Tejano population shrank, the church became the repository for Mexican culture. It lost some of its Mexican character when the church was elevated to a cathedral in 1874, but parishioners carry on many public rituals to preserve its Mexican heritage. The congregation’s biggest religious festival is still Our Lady of Guadalupe, as it was in colonial times.

 

Mauricio-Esparaza, Guerrina. “The Music in the City of San Antonio from 1920 – 1949 Through the Professional Life of Estevan Cantu Sanchez.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1992.
Sanchez (1878 – 1947) was a self-taught violinist who worked with many of the important musical organizations in the city including the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Orchestra and the San Antonio Symphony. He was also a long standing member of the Musicians Union (Local No. 23). Mauricio-Esparaza examines Sanchez’s life in the context of musical developments in the city, especially the on and off again efforts to establish a local symphony. (87 pp.)

 

Mayer, Vicki. “From Segmented to Fragmented: Latino Media in San Antonio, Texas.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 78 (Summer 2001): 291-306.
The development of Mexican American mass media outlets in San Antonio began with the publication of La Prensa in 1913. This was followed by Spanish language radio broadcasts during the 1930's, when Latino entrepreneurs purchased air time on some local radio frequencies. Record labels cooperated with radio and television to promote conjunto music. In the 1960's local media outlets aligned with national and international business conglomerates to produce a more standardized fare for a international Mexican audience.

 

Naujok, Richard. “A History of Frank G. Sturchio and the University of St. Mary’s R. O. T. C. Band.” M. A. Thesis, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1992.
“Pop” Sturchio (1894 – 1971) was an Italian immigrant who arrived in San Antonio in 1943 while stationed at Randolph Air Force Base. He was a musical entrepreneur who began his career promoting and leading professional and military bands. He later took his skills into the field of education, eventually heading the St. Mary’s University Music Department. Naujok concentrates on Sturchio’s musical techniques as band leader and teacher. (89 pp.)

 

Nixon, Harry W. “The Development of Dramatic and Cultural Criticism in the San Antonio Light from 1900 to 1949.” M. A. Thesis, St. Mary’s U., 1949.
Nixon surveys the newspaper’s coverage and commentary on the city’s cultural events during January through March at ten year intervals. Prior to its acquisition by the Hearst Corporation in 1924, the reporters assigned to cover cultural events did not exhibit much artistic sensibility. The quantity and especially the quality of cultural criticism in the Light greatly improved over time. Numerous lengthy quotes reveal the paper’s reaction to various productions and performers. As motion pictures reduced the demand for drama and vaudeville by the 1930's, there was a compensating rise in interest in symphonies, operas and other musical venues. The thesis also describes the changing layout of the paper itself over the decades. (106 pp.)

 

Oliver, Miguel de. “Historical Preservation and Identity: The Alamo and the Production of a Consumer Landscape.” Antipode 28 (Jan. 1996): 1 – 23.
The Alamo is a twentieth century creation that reflects an Anglo agenda of historic preservation glorifying Anglo culture and hegemony. The reconstruction of the site highlights the chapel, because it as an appropriate symbol for the “martyrdom” of the mostly Anglo Alamo defenders even if it was of marginal importance during the battle. The Latino presence at the site emphasized by Adina De Zavala has been lost or downplayed. More recently the site has merged with the Riverwalk and nearby mall to continue its socialization mission through a commodity culture.

 

Oliver, Miguel de. “Multicultural Consumerism and Racial Hierarchy: A Case Study of Market Culture and the Structural Harmonization of Contradictory Doctrines.” Antipode 33 (March 2001): 228 – 59.
The author explores how the multiculturalism celebrated on the Riverwalk coexists with longstanding practices conveying racial hierarchy. Most tourists do not interact with San Antonio’s nearby and impoverished, Hispanic population. The city has isolated its downtown tourist center by building highways as barriers, curtailing public transportation service in the area, and limiting access to the Paseo del Rio. The visitor’s only encounter with Hispanic culture comes as an object of consumption: a meal or a souvenir. Yet, the Anglo population is drawn to San Antonio to experience Hispanic aesthetics that represent a “spiritual antidote” to a modernity that is sterile and inauthentic.

 

Oliver, Miguel de. “’Democratizing’ Consumerism? Coalescing Constructions of Subjugation in the Consumer Landscape.” Gender, Place and Culture 4 (July 1997): 211 – 33.
The notion that our emerging consumer culture has had a democratizing impact on American society is put to the test by analyzing the Riverwalk. The design and promotion of San Antonio’s most popular tourist attraction has served to reinforce gender and racial hierarchies, especially as they apply to Hispanics. Illustrations in the essay suggest how the Paseo del Rio has come to represent nature and female subjugation; the site appeals to tourists as an escape from an alienating modern culture. The Alamo, by contrast, stands as a masculine and civilized representation of high culture.

 

Paschal, Olive Adelaide Hill. “The First One Hundred Years of the First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, Texas.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1979.
The first protestant church established in Texas appeared immediately after annexation. Paschal profiles the numerous individuals who served as ministers and their efforts in fields of education and social services. The thesis mainly documents the physical and institutional development of the church. Draws primarily from church records and newspapers. (109 pp.)

 

Pastier, John. “After the Alamo.” Historic Preservation 35 (May/June 1983): 40 – 42.
A brief narrative on the development of the historic preservation movement in San Antonio. Pastier credits the 3,000 member San Antonio Conservation Society with the development of the Riverwalk and the preservation of some historic landmarks. San Antonio’s eclectic architecture is a product of “benign neglect.” Prosperity passed the city by for much of the century, leaving many old buildings untouched. A recent boom in downtown construction (and destruction) has spurred the city and its Office of Historic Preservation to encourage the business community to be more sensitive to the city’s architectural heritage.

 

Pope, Wilbur Alton. “A Study of the Growth and Development of the San Antonio College.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity U., 1952.
The school opened in 1925 (with 201 students) but this thesis picks up in 1933. The study devotes much space to the curriculum, extracurricular activities, administration, instructional staff and study body as it existed in 1950. (74 pp.)

 

Quesada, J. Gilbert. “Towards a Working Definition of Social Justice, Father Carmelo A. Tranchese, S. J. and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1932 – 1953.” Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture 4 (1993): 44 – 64.
Italian born Tranchese (1880 – 1956) took over the parish in July of 1932. In the midst of the Great Depression, Father Tranchese attacked the widespread poverty that afflicted his parish in the heart of the city’s west side – or in its Mexican American enclave. He came to the support of the Pecan Shellers in their strike, lobbied hard to improve health care services, and battled tuberculosis ravaging the community. Most importantly, he pushed a lukewarm local government to open the first federally funded public housing in the city, the Alazan-Apache Courts. Tranchese was closely associated with Congressman Maury Maverick, and corresponded with President Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt made it a point to drop by the parish when she visited the city in April of 1939. Ill health forced the priest into retirement in 1953. [See also J. Gilberto Quezada, “Father Carmelo Antonio Tranchese, S. J.: A Pioneer Social Worker in San Antonio, Texas, 1932 – 1953.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1972. (96 pp.)]

 

Roberts, Randy and James N. Olsen. A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory. New York: 2001.
Half of the book is devoted to examining the battle and the other to how it has been popularly interpreted. The Alamo defenders are described as uncertain and uninformed. The preservation efforts and many films that followed are related in turn.

 

Schement, Jorge Reina and Ricardo Flores. “The Origins of Spanish-Language Radio: The Case of San Antonio, Texas.” Journalism History 4 (2) (1977): 56 – 58.
Spanish language programs started to air in San Antonio in 1928. The first Spanish language radio station was KCOR, which began broadcasting in February of 1946. The biggest challenge owner Raul Cortez confronted was in finding advertisers; many businesses did not believe there was enough of a customer base among the Mexican American community. The programming included locally produced soap operas (“novelas”) and music popular in Mexico (mariachi, polkas, cumbias and ballads). Based on interviews with the general manager of KCOR and its public relations director.

 

Smith, Horace R “History of Alamo Plaza from its Beginning to the Present.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1966.
Smith documents the changing appearance and function of the public space in front of the Alamo Mission. It first served as the courtyard of the original mission. After the mission was secularized the grounds were used by Spanish troops. It suffered many years of neglect after the battle. The area’s revival as a commercial center began with the opening of the Menger Hotel in 1859 and later appearance of the streetcar. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas eventually laid claim to much of the space to better preserve the Alamo shrine. The study utilizes newspapers, directories and city records. (90 pages).

 

Speiser, Adel. “The Story of the Theater in San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis: St. Mary’s U., 1948.
An overview of a wide range of theatrical entertainment beginning with Los Pastores in Spanish times. Speiser describes fandangos, medicine shows in Military Plaza, the dance hall in the Harris Theater, minstrel shows and grand opera. The Germans played a major role in promoting musical and theatrical productions at their Casino Hall and through the Turn Verein. Many of the most successful theaters in the city, like the Grand Opera House that opened in 1886, were managed by Ernest Rische. The decline of the national theater industry with the introduction of movies opened the way for the “little theater movement” in the twentieth century. The city built San Pedro playhouse in 1930 to house locally produced plays with local talent. The local government also built the Sunken Garden in 1937 as a setting for civic opera. Draws mostly on published sources and the newspapers. (112 pp.)

 

Swartz, Mimi. “Standing Up for King William Street.” Historic Preservation 36 (5) (1984): 22 – 31.
This essay presents a set of profiles of longtime residents, like Walter Mathis, who helped revive the neighborhood and restore its historic buildings. The city’s affluent German citizens built fine residences in the area in the 1850's, but after World War I the neighborhood went into a state of decline. Many of the grand homes were subdivided into apartments. It was designated the city’s first historic district in 1967. Diversity is key to the area’s charm and has made King William “one of the loveliest and liveliest streets in America.”

 

Tinney, Ed. “I’ll Keep My Children: The Life of Pioneer Educator Noe Lara Camunez.” West Texas Historical Association Yearbook 75 (1999): 23 – 31.
The San Antonio educator was the principal of the city’s largest elementary school, J. T. Breckenridge, in the 1960's. Camúñez’s rise among the ranks of the state’s educators paralleled the efforts of Mexican Americans to secure better schooling for their children. Camúñez grew up in San Angelo’s “Santa Fe” barrio. His parents ran small businesses in the area and encouraged him and his sister to go to the all Anglo high school and on to higher education. He became a teacher and eventually a school administrator in his hometown before moving to San Antonio in 1953 where he died there some 23 years later.

 

Van Osdol, Scott and Dan W. Dickey, “La Musica Norteña: A Photographic Essay.” Southern Exposure 11 (1) (1983): 38 – 41.
A photographic essay that documents an evening at “Jimmy’s Restaurant and Cantina” on the city’s west side where Hispanic customers came to celebrate the owner’s birthday. Local musicians played polkas and rancheras on button accordions while the customers danced. The Jimenez family, Flaco and his father Santiago, developed a Musica Norteña style that reflects a blending of local German and Latin American musical traditions.

 

Vargas, Deborah R. “Rosita Fernández.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 24 (2-3) 2003: 155-67.
Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1918, Fernández came to the U.S. with her family as a child. Her musical career commenced in the late 1920’s when she began singing Mexican ballads in tents (carpas) catering to the large migrant worker population in South Texas. After she married, she based her musical career in San Antonio so she could be with her children. Fernández carefully negotiated her status as a pioneering Mexican American performer in an Anglo dominated culture. Radio made her popular with Anglo audiences, and she later became the city’s cultural ambassador. Based partially on oral interviews between Fernández and the author.

 

Woodward, Kenneth. “In Old San Antonio, ‘Mestizaje’ Nurtures New American Way.” Smithsonian 16 (1985): 114 – 27.
This brief article celebrates San Antonio’s ethnic diversity and the amalgamation of Anglo and Hispanic culture represented by the term “mestizaje.” San Antonio’s modern ethnic mix is a product of Mexican migration that followed the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The city’s different cultures lived very much apart for most of the twentieth century, but in recent years the city’s many traditions and festivals have brought its diverse communities together. The Mexican-American population has also emerged as a potent political force.

 

Woodward, Scott. “The Archdiocese of San Antonio and Archbishop Lucey: Preparing for Vatican II.” Catholic Southwest 23 (2012): 62 – 68.
Based in part on oral interviews conducted by the author, Woodward profiles the Archbishop and his church in the early 1960's.  Lucey (1891 – 1977) expressed firm liberal commitments in his support for organized labor, and his efforts at combating poverty and promoting racial integration especially as these issues affected the local Hispanic population. He even sought to have issues of social justice addressed by Vatican II. Yet, he also had an authoritarian streak, and there is little evidence that he tried to engage the laity or even the local clergy in a discussion about pending changes in church practices and teachings.

 

Batz, Richard Charles. “The Development of Fort Sam Houston and its Impact on San Antonio.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1972.
Although the military has a prominent place in San Antonio history, the first permanent post for the U. S. army was not established until 1876. The appearance of the railroad was vital to the establishment of a major military post. The city donated the 40 acres that now comprise the Fort’s Quadrangle. Later troubles with Mexico led the government to expand its Texas facilities. By 1890 the military was contributing about one million dollars a year to the city economy. Batz takes the outpost’s story to about the mid-1950's. The work draws largely on Army records. An extensive body of statistics can be found in the Appendix. (133 pp.)

 

Benson, Larry. “The USAF’s Korean War Recruiting Rush … and the Great Tent City at Lackland Air Force Base.” Aerospace Historian 25 (2) (1978): 61 – 73.
With the outbreak of the Korean War in June of 1950 the U. S. Air Force experienced a deluge of volunteers. The surve in recruitment put a considerable strain on the basic training regime offered by the 3700th Air Force Indoctrination Wing at Lackland Air Force Base. The 65 day orientation was scaled back to 30 days running 24 hours a day so more airmen could be processed. The flood of recruits peaked in January of 1951 when about 70,000 new soldiers were stationed there, many of them living in one of 4,000 tents. Benson describes the privations the new recruits encountered as the military scrambled to assemble the food, uniforms, blankets and other supplies needed to keep the base in operation. Overcrowded conditions prompted several investigations by congress and the Department of Defense which generally found satisfactory living conditions and high morale.

 

Browning, Robert et al. A History of Military Aviation in San Antonio. San Antonio: 1996.
Separate chapters chronicle pilot training and aircraft maintenance and supply at each of the city’s major military airfields. Kelly (1917) provides large maintenance facilities; Brooks (1918) handles advanced training for instructors and added medical facilities and research centers; Randolph offers pilot training (1930) and Lackland (1942) functions as the entry level training post for all new air force recruits. The entries were prepared by the historians assigned to each base.

 

Colten, Craig E. “Battlefields: The Military and the Environment,” in On the Border, An Environmental History of San Antonio. Ed. by Char Miller. 121 - 40 Pittsburgh, Penn.: 2001.
The area’s many military installations have had a major environmental impact on San Antonio. Most the major facilities (Lackland, Brooks, Randolph and especially Kelly) have groundwater contamination. Fueling and maintenance operations at Kelly inflicted the most damage by releasing contaminants into the soil. It was only in the 1990's that the military ceased some of its most damaging practices and began to clean up its facilities. The bases sit atop either the Edwards Aquifer Artesian Zone (the city’s sole source for drinking water) or, in the case of Camp Bullis, over the even more vulnerable recharge zone.

 

Dorsey, John R. “Texas Military Institute, Its History and Heritage.” M. A. Thesis, Trinity University, 1968.
TMI was organized in 1926 as a Christian, military school for boys. It merged two rival educational institutions: the San Antonio Academy (established in 1886) with the West Texas Military Academy (founded by the Episcopalians in 1893). TMI and SAA divided again in 1952, when the Episcopal Church again took TMI under its wings. This study mainly concerns itself with curriculum and institutional developments. (158 pp.).

 

Hussey, Ann Krueger. A Heritage of Service: Seventy-Five Years of Military Aviation at Kelly Air Force Base, 1916 – 1991. San Antonio: n. d.
The Office of History at Kelly’s San Antonio Air Logistics Center prepared this chronologically organized report. Kelly played a key role in pilot training, aircraft maintenance and logistics. Extensively illustrated.

 

McBride, Donald B. “U. S. Military – Civil Relations, Part II, The Military in American Life.” Airpower Historian 10 (July 1963): 74 – 81.
McBride characterizes the military’s influence in San Antonio as “primarily economic and indirect” with no evidence of military pressure groups or cliques. San Antonio during the early stages of the Cold War enjoyed “one of the richest and most mutually satisfactory military-civilian relationships” in the nation.. Defense spending constituted the most important sector of the local economy, and military personnel and their families participated in various civic functions. The San Antonio experience could stand as a model for cities elsewhere.

 

Neal, Barton D. Jr. “Kelly Field Historical Panorama … in Honor of Lt. George E. M. Kelly.” Aerospace Historian 24 (Mar. 1977): 30 – 33.
The short essay describes a mural (23 feet long and seven feet high) at Kelly Air Force Base composed of over 100 images with text. The base commander directed that the staff prepare the exhibit to generate pride in the base’s role in national defense. The photographs were culled from the national archives and local private collections. Illustrated.

 

Savage, V. Howard. “The Interdependence of the San Antonio Economic Structure and the Defense Establishment.” Land Economics 50 (Nov. 1974): 374 – 79.
During the 1960's the defense related component of total personal income in San Antonio rose slightly from 23% to 25%, reflecting the prime importance of the military to the city’s economy. The article assesses the impact of a 50% reduction in military spending in the near future. San Antonio mostly relied on military payrolls – to soldiers, civilians and retirees – rather than defense related industries. Unless the affected households found alternative sources of income, the projected drop in military spending would have reduced employment in the area by 19% and total income by 15%.

 

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