During the 1910s, the City of San Antonio expanded the amenities of Brackenridge Park
into the adjacent abandoned quarries. The first mention of the Japanese Tea Garden site came at the end of an article in the San Antonio Light on October 11, 1916: “…[Park] Commissioner [Ray] Lambert revealed another improvement he is planning …This is to be a lily tank which will be located in the basin of one of the old rock quarries and which will form one of the attractions of the Alpine Drive. …” Later that year, an article in the Light on December 22 provided more details: “A Japanese tea garden, modeled somewhat after one in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, will be a feature at Brackenridge Park next season. The site of the garden will be the old cement plant at the rock quarry….” On May 17, 1917 The Light reported that the lily pond was complete and that a “temple-like structure” [the pavilion] would be constructed beside the pond. However, the pavilion wasn’t constructed until the following year.
In 1919 another significant structure was added to the site: a residence for garden manager Kimi Eizo Jingu and his family. Jingu, an artist from Japan, had been working in San Antonio for the U.S. Army and had a part-time job making souvenir art at the Gunter [Hotel] Japanese Garden. The Jingu family resided in the Japanese Tea Garden until 1942, when post Pearl Harbor anti-Japanese sentiments caused city officials to evict the family. Today, their former residence houses the Jingu House Café.
Earlier this month, Special Collections displayed over 80 photographs of the Japanese Tea Garden at an event held in the Jingu House. These are a few of those images.
Special Collections is pleased to announce that the Leticia Van de Putte papers are available for research. The collection, donated in 2013, consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs and awards. This collection does not include official records from the political offices held by Leticia Van de Putte.
Leticia Van de Putte was the oldest of five children born to Daniel and Isabel San Miguel, a ninth-generation Tejano family with a ranching history from Eagle Pass. She grew up on San Antonio’s Westside neighborhood and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1973. While in the pharmacy program at the University of Houston, she married Pete Van de Putte and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated in 1979. Van de Putte returned to San Antonio and worked at her grandfather’s pharmacy before opening own pharmacy in the Loma Park area of San Antonio.
Van De Putte was a precinct chair in 1990 when state Rep. Orlando Garcia, a family friend, decided to run for the 4th Court of Appeals, leaving his seat open. Van de Putte filled the position. In 1993, she was awarded a Kellogg Fellowship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She remained in the state’s House of Representatives until 1999, when she was elected to the state senate for the 26th District in a special election. In 2003, she was appointed Chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, a position she held until 2011. Van de Putte served as co-chair of the Democratic National Convention in 2008. She is chair of the Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee, and is a member of the senate committees on Education, State Affairs and Business and Commerce. She is co-chair of the Joint Committee on Human Trafficking. In November 2013, Van de Putte announced that she would be running for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in the 2014 elections.
- A brief history of Leticia Van De Putte, Sarah Tressler, June 26, 2013. San Antonio Express-News. [http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/A-brief-history-of-Leticia-Van-De-Putte-4624083.php, retrieved February 19, 2014]
- Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor: About [http://www.leticiavandeputte.com/about/, retrieved February 19, 2014]
The first official UTSA celebration honoring African-American history and cultural contributions took place on February 14, 1977. UTSA President Flawn declared the week of February 13-19 to be a period of observance of the history and accomplishments of Black/African-Americans to American culture, contributing to “a common good for all.”
The week of February 13 featured several events organized by the Black Student Caucus under the theme “Black Achievements: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Highlights of the week included a fashion show at UTSA featuring members of the Spurs basketball team, readings of poetry selections, a fund-raising dance for the first annual G.J. Sutton Memorial Scholarship, a gallery display, and film showings. A panel discussion took place on February 16, which included UTSA faculty Dr. Richard Gambitta (then Assistant Professor of Political Science) and Dr. John Hollomon (then Associate Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education). The panelists discussed progress in areas such as education, legal matters, economics, politics, and science in the Black community.
The concept of a Black Heritage Week was celebrated as early as February 1925, when historian Carter G. Woodson announced “Negro History Week” to be the week in which both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had been born.¹ In years to come Negro History Week, later referred to as Black Heritage Week, was celebrated across America in municipalities, organizations, and universities. During the 1976 United States Bicentennial celebrations, President Gerald Ford declared the month of February to be Black History Month, a time to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every endeavor throughout our history.”
Celebrations for both Black Heritage Week and Black History Month have since taken place at UTSA annually, with many different people and organizations coming together to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black/African Americans as part of the American experience.
- MS 421 Grohe Family papers, 5 linear feet of assorted family papers including correspondence and photographs
- MS 422 Pals Social Club records, 1 box (1 foot) of photographs, news clippings, programs and assorted materials documenting Pals Club social events and presentations
- MS 005 League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area records, 5.25 feet comprised of administrative records, including subject files, planning materials and meeting minutes
- MS 154 Carl Lahser papers, 8GB (2 thumbdrives) containing images, short stories, and poetry from travel trips
- UA 19.03.01 UTSA. Admissions Office, .5 linear feet of 4 VHS casettes of recruitment videos, 1 unlabeled Zip disk
Rare Books: 34 Titles [January Title List]
Book of homes 1923 / compiled with the assistance of J. Sarsfield Kennedy, H. Silverstein, R. C. Hunter & Bro., including specimens by the American Home Builders Corpor’n.
25 floor plans with cost and info including the architect of the design, illustrations, photos of exteriors with several interior shots, and articles by various authors that include: Beautifying and protecting homes – new development in the treatment of building exteriors; How to buy or build a home; Waterproofing protects investment value; The importance of rust-proofing your house; Beautiful homes built of ashes; Finding the means to own a home; and The development of wall paper.
Cuisine at the Hacienda de los Morales / collaborators, Diana Kennedy … [et al. ; translation, Carole Castelli].
English-language edition of a profusely-illustrated cookbook derived from the cuisine of the noted restaurant established in the hacienda in 1967. With much on actual preparation. [booksellers description]
Each year over 3,000 participants, on horseback or in wagons, travel from various locations and make their way to the annual San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. The tradition began in February 1955 when about 150 people traveled from Altair, in Colorado County, to San Antonio in order to publicize the sixth annual stock show and to help preserve the ways of the Old West. The 135 mile journey was sponsored by the Old Spanish Trail Riders Association, with Colorado County residents Ed Johnson and Elbert Tait serving as co-chairman of the event.
Zintgraff Studio, the official photographers of the stock show, took numerous publicity photos before and during the trail ride. Several of these images were published in the two San Antonio newspapers, neither of which sent photographers to the rural areas to record the event. Zintgraff continued to photograph the trail rides through the 1960s. These photographs are also housed in Special Collections.
These are some of the photographs taken during the Old Spanish Trail Ride in 1955.
Bill Sinkin was many things: banker, civil rights advocate, political and civic activist, community and World’s Fair organizer, philanthropist, promoter of alternative energy, and bow-tie aficionado. Above all, Bill Sinkin was a champion of San Antonio.
Throughout his life, Mr. Sinkin has worked to improve the community by opening opportunities for those traditionally denied. In 1946, he co-founded Goodwill Industries in San Antonio to help those with physical and mental challenges find work. He was involved in public housing issues and chaired the board of the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) from 1949-1953. He also conscientiously worked to increase the participation of minorities in local governmental agencies. He hired the first woman executive director of SAHA. He is known for his role as an advocate and catalyst for minority business development. When Mr. Sinkin bought control of Texas State Bank in the late 1960s, the bank started an aggressive program of minority representation and small business lending. -Solar San Antonio website
Sinkin’s love for his hometown can also be seen in the work he did to ensure that the World’s Fair took place in San Antonio. HemisFair ’68, the first World’s Fair to be held in Texas, was the vision of a handful of San Antonio businessmen. In 1962, they formed San Antonio, Fair, Inc. as the corporate body of HemisFair ’68 with Bill Sinkin as the organization’s first president. As recently as 2005 Sinkin claimed to “regard HemisFair ’68 as my greatest contribution to the community.” He made several donations of archival material to UTSA Libraries Special Collections San Antonio Fair, Inc. records collection over the years. Most recently, in 2010, he donated several original HemisFair ’68 posters and a small reception was held in his honor.
After retiring from banking in 1987, Sinkin became a business consultant. He eventually founded Solar San Antonio in 1999, a nonprofit organization committed to making solar energy a major contributor to the creation of the new energy economy. Bill Sinkin passed away on Monday February 2 at home and surrounded by family. The funeral and memorial services were held Friday February 7 at Temple Beth-El.
Related archival sources at UTSA:
- William and Fay Sinkin papers: The William and Fay Sinkin Papers document the Sinkin’s longstanding commitment to civic issues and include correspondence, clippings, articles, scrapbooks, photographs, videotapes, and datebooks.
- San Antonio Fair, Inc. records. Executive Officers: The records of the San Antonio Fair, Inc. span the years 1962 through 1995 and document the planning, lobbying, financing and construction that resulted in HemisFair ’68. This series consists of correspondence of executive officers, general administrative papers, minutes of meetings, and oral history transcripts.
- Oral history interviews:
- William Sinkin, 1980 - William Sinkin describes the political and economic history of Hemisfair from the first proposal in 1957, the impetus from Congresssman Henry B. Gonzalez in 1962, through its completion.
- William Sinkin, 1995 - Describing Hemisfair as “a watershed for San Antonio’s growth and development”, Sinkin explains the role of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, political and business leaders that shows the effect of their efforts on civil rights, culture, tourism, the economy and politics in San Antonio.
- William Sinkin, 2005 - A series of interviews with William “Bill” Sinkin, son of Russian immigrants, concerning his family, personal, and professional history also includes his observations on the politics and economy of San Antonio, which was edited by Sterlin Holmesly for a newspaper article.
- The Life of William R. Sinkin [Special to the San Antonio Express-News, September 2005], William and Fay Sinkin papers, MS 64, UTSA Libraries Special Collections
- Bill Sinkin: Founder and Chairman, Solar San Antonio website, retried February 6, 2014
- San Antonio Loses a Pioneer and Friend: Bill Sinkin 1913 – 2014, Iris Dimmick, February 4, 2013, The Rivard Report
As we begin Black History Month, today’s post highlights some of the published sources on African American history in Texas that are available in UTSA Libraries Special Collections. For more resources, try an advanced search in UCAT, the Libraries’ catalog, for subject “African Americans” and location “Special Collections.”
General Texas History
- Historical and pictorial souvenir of the Negro in Texas history, in celebration of the Texas Centennial, 1836-1936, Central Exposition Center, Dallas, June-December, 1936 : one hundred years of Negro progress in Texas – J. Mason Br (1935)
- Negro legislators of Texas and their descendants; a history of the Negro in Texas politics from reconstruction to disfranchisement – J. Mason Brewer.
- African Texans – Alwyn Barr. (2004)
Military and Law Enforcement
- History of the negro troops in the war of the rebellion, 1861-1865, preceded by a review of the military services of negroes in ancient and modern times – George W. Williams. (1888)
- Brief history of the Seminole-Negro Indian scouts / Thomas A. Britten. (1999)
- Black badge : deputy United States marshal Bass Reeves from slave to heroic lawman – Paul L. Brady. (2005)
- The Bell Rings at Four: A Black Teacher’s Chronicle of Change – Robinson, Dorothy Redus. (1978)
- The Gracious Gift: The Negro Fine Arts School, 1946-66: Easing the Transition From Segregation to Integration – Allen, Martha Mitten (1998)
- Advancing Democracy: African Americans and the Struggle for Access and Equity in Higher Education in Texas – Shabazz, Amilcar (2004)