San Antonio

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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 HoustonFort Sam Houston,
U.S. army base, 3,300 acres (1,335 hectares), S Tex., in San Antonio; headquarters of the Fifth Army. San Antonio, long a military center, donated land in 1870 for the site of a permanent military post that was constructed from 1876 to 1890 and named for Gen.
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 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).


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 AlamoAlamo, the
[Span.,=cottonwood], building in San Antonio, Tex., "the cradle of Texas liberty." Built as a chapel after 1744, it is all that remains of the mission of San Antonio de Valero, which was founded in 1718 by Franciscans and later converted into a fortress.
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 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.


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

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

San Antonio


a city in the southern USA, in Texas. Population, 738,000 (1974; including suburbs, 950,000).

San Antonio is located in the San Antonio Valley, in the center of a major agricultural area within an oil and gas region. It is an important transportation junction on the route to Mexico and to the southern USA. As of 1973, 36,000 persons were employed in the processing industry. Industry in San Antonio includes food-processing (meat-packing, flour-milling, processing pecans, and brewing), metalworking, and oil refining. There is also chemical and garment industry. The city is a center of trade with Mexico (buying of cattle, wool, cotton, and fruit). San Antonio is a climatic health resort with mineral springs; there is also tourism. The city has a university. San Antonio was founded by the Spanish in 1718.

San Antonio


a city in central Chile, in Santiago Province. Population, 36,000 (1970). San Antonio is a port on the Pacific Ocean through which copper, fruit, and grain are shipped out and coal is received. The city has chemical and food industries.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

San Antonio

a city in S Texas: site of the Alamo; the leading town in Texas until about 1930. Pop.: 1 214 725 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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The San Antonio Airport has been reporting record numbers of travelers for the last three years.
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"What we have here is a robbery gone really, really bad," San Antonio police ( Chief William McManus told reporters .
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