San Antonio

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Save to active project

San Antonio

San Antonio (săn ăntō´nēō, əntōn´), city (1990 pop. 935,933), seat of Bexar co., S central Tex., at the source of the San Antonio River; inc. 1837. The third largest city in Texas, it is one of the nation's largest military centers; Fort Sam Houston and the Air Force Aerospace Medical Center are in the city, and nearby are Lackland and Randolph air force bases, both training command centers, and Brooks Air Force Base, an aerospace medical headquarters. San Antonio is also the industrial, commercial, and financial center of a large agricultural area. Its manufactures include textiles and apparel, computerized mapping equipment, processed foods, motor vehicles, air conditioners, aircraft parts, and beer. Tourism is an important industry as well. The tree-lined river meandering through the downtown, the huge Mexican quarter, the Franciscan missions, and the warm climate attract thousands of tourists annually. In the late 20th cent. San Antonio was one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities. Its outlying suburban area developed significantly in the same period.

Landmarks and Institutions

Points of interest include the Alamo; La Villita, the reconstruction of a 250-year-old Spanish-speaking settlement; the Spanish governor's palace (c.1749); the Paseo del Río, a downtown river walk; the Hertzberg Circus Collection; and numerous old homes. The Hemisfair Plaza, site of the 1968 world's fair, contains the Institute of Texan Cultures and the 750-ft (229-m) Tower of the Americas. A new central library designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta opened in 1995. Among San Antonio's educational institutions are Trinity Univ., St. Mary's Univ., Univ. of the Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake Univ., and the Univ. of Texas at San Antonio. The Southwest Research Institute is notable for its research into the technical problems of the region. The city has artists' colonies, an art institute, and numerous museums including the San Antonio Museum of Art. It is also home to the Spurs (National Basketball Association).

History

The city's site had been visited by the Spanish long before the expedition under Martín de Alarcón founded a mission (San Antonio de Valero) and a presidio (San Antonio de Béjar or Béxar) there in 1718. Other missions were opened along the river—San José (1719), Concepción (1731), San Francisco de la Espada (1731), and San Juan Capistrano (1731)—and the neighboring town of San Fernando (now the heart of San Antonio) was founded in 1731. San Antonio was the most important Texas settlement in Spanish and Mexican days. During the Texas Revolution it was captured by the Texans (Dec., 1835) and was the scene of the Mexican attack on the Alamo in Mar., 1836. Later a group of Comanche were killed (1840) in the "council house fight," and in 1842, San Antonio was taken and held briefly by Mexicans. After the Civil War and especially after the coming of the first railroad in 1877, San Antonio prospered as a roaring cow town with a Spanish flavor, which it still retains.

Bibliography

See J. L. Davis, San Antonio: A Historical Portrait (1978); D. R. Johnson, The Politics of San Antonio (1983).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

San Antonio
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?