Ten things you didn’t know about San Antonio

Friday, November 30, 2007 | 1:22 a.m. CST; updated 11:28 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

10. San Antonio was named for the Italian Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day occurred when a Spanish expedition stopped in the area in 1691.

9. With just under 1.3 million residents, San Antonio is the second-largest city in the state of Texas and seventh largest in America. Located in the northern part of South Texas, it is considered the cultural gateway to the Southwest.

8. The Alamodome, where the Tigers will play Saturday, opened on May 15, 1993, at a cost of $186 million. It was home to the San Antonio Spurs from 1993 to 2002, and annually hosts the Alamo Bowl football game. It will host its third NCAA Final Four in April and was the site of the 1997 and 1999 Big 12 Championship football games.

7. Many famous people have called San Antonio home, including Emmy Award-winning entertainer Carol Burnett, Academy Award-winning actress Joan Crawford, and recently retired Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, who played football at John Marshall High School.

6. Coonskin caps and “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” were all the rage in the mid-1950s, but Crockett’s four-stanza song might have been longer if he hadn’t died at age 49 in the Battle of the Alamo, which took place in San Antonio during a 13-day siege in 1836. Crockett, an American folk hero, fought for the rebel Texian forces, which were handily defeated by the Republic of Mexico.

5. If you’re traveling to San Antonio on Saturday, there’s no better time to check out the River Walk, a popular tourist attraction that runs through downtown. Lined with numerous shops, bars and restaurants, the River Walk is illuminated by festive lights during the holiday season.

4. Fore! The youngest golfer recorded to have shot a hole-in-one is 5-year-old Coby Orr, of Littleton, Colo. Orr nailed the shot on the 103-yard fifth hole at the Riverside Golf Course in San Antonio in 1975.

3. The Fairmont Hotel was built in 1906 and is in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the heaviest buildings ever moved intact.

It was placed in its new location, three blocks south of the Alamo in 1985. It took four days and $650,000 to move.

2. San Antonio is home to the first museum of modern art in Texas, the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum. The museum opened five decades ago and showcases a collection of 19th- and 20th-century European and American paintings and sculptures by artists like Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

1. Though MU is playing in its first Big 12 Championship game, there’s a bit of history on the Tigers’ side. The Big 12 North is 2-0 in title games played in San Antonio. Nebraska beat Texas A&M 54-15 in 1997 and came back two years later to upend Texas 22-6.

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