The International Exposition and Livestock Show of 1928
It was advertised as the third largest livestock show ever held in the United States when it opened in San Antonio on March 3, 1928. There had been numerous agricultural expositions in San Antonio, but none very big due to inadequate facilities. The show was the brainchild of W. A. Wurzbach and his Exposition Association. The group planned the event and prepared the site in less than five months. Their primary accomplishment was the construction of the International Exposition Building, described as a “mammoth covered stadium.”
The show lasted for six days. It opened with a Western parade that passed through downtown and on to the site at the end of E. Houston Street. The exhibits, housed in 12 large tents, included every thoroughbred class of livestock. Adjoining the exhibition areas was the large Rice-Dorman Carnival. There were two daily rodeos, each with a different program. Among the stars were Oklahoma Curly Roberts, Ruth Hoag, and Idaho resident Walter Heacock, who finally conquered the defiant black stallion named “King Tut.” Each day of the event was dedicated to different regions of the State and one day for Mexico.
The Exposition Association planned the International Exposition as an annual event that would place San Antonio on the national circuit of fat stock shows. But the final attendance figures were disappointing. There was no show the following March, and the Stock Market crashed later that year. The next large stock show was over 20 years later, in 1950, the beginning of the current San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.