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16 facts you didn’t know about San Antonio

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Did you know San Antonio is home to the Alamo?

Nah, just kidding. If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky + unconventional, we put together a list of San Antonio’s history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.

Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.

  1. San Antonio is home to the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico. El Mercado shopping district at the Historic Market Square boasts an impressive collection of 100+ restaurants, artisanal shops, and fresh produce stands. We can easily spend hours exploring the three-block outdoor plaza. Editor Ivan can’t leave the market without paying a visit to Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia for some pan dulce to-go.
  2. San Antonio has been a pioneer of many things — one of which was establishing the first all-digital library in the US. The Bexar County BiblioTech was the first library in the US to offer an exclusively digital collection. While the library’s literary works are fully-digital, you can still visit its physical locations to access resources like computer labs + study rooms.
  3. Church’s Chicken was born across the street from the Alamo. The fried chicken chain was first opened its doors in 1952 under the name “Church’s Fried Chicken To Go” and quickly became a hit among San Antonians — so much so that it has since expanded to 30 countries around the world.
  4. Before the San Antonio Spurs came to the Alamo City for the 1973–74 season, they played for six seasons as the Dallas Chaparrals.
  5. The San Antonio Missions are one of 24 World Heritage Sites located in the United States.
  6. SeaWorld San Antonio recently added the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in the state — the Texas Stingray.
  7. In 2011, Lanier High School put on a tamalada like no one has ever seen — literally. A record-breaking 17,132 tamales landed the school in the Guinness World Records.
  8. SA world records don’t stop at tamales — The Alamo City also boasts the tallest cowboy boots sculpture in the world standing at 35 ft + 3 in created.
  9. It is technically illegal for people to flirt or respond to flirtation using the hands or eyes in San Antonio — talk about a buzzkill.
  10. The San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest church in Texasand one of the oldest in the US — dating back to 1738.
  11. Then Army Lieutenant and now former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower served as the St. Louis College — now St. Mary’s Universityhead football coach in 1916.
  12. The San Antonio Stockshow and Rodeo reuses the same 2,160 tons of dirt every year.
  13. 5-time NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal went to Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio and graduated in 1989.
  14. Gatorade was invented by a San Antonio native, Robert Cade.
  15. Oh, and Fritos and Frito pie — yeah, you can thank us for that, too.
  16. The King William neighborhood shares a nickname with a sweet fruit, the kiwi.

Your turn. Think you can get one over on us? Let us know your favorite local trivia tidbit and you just might make it into the newsletter.

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