Thursday, April 17, 2008

California Historical Landmark #934

Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center
California State Historical Landmark #934

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This landmark is located in the Tanforan Park Shopping Center at 1150 El Camino Real, San Bruno, California. There are 33 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 38.133 W 122° 25.158.

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Racetrack opened in 1899 and had racing sessions until it burned down in 1964. Many famous horses raced and won here.

In 1942, Tanforan became a temporary assembly center for over 4,000 persons of Japanese Ancestry who were to be interned for the duration of World War II.

The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps. These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country. Beginning on March 30, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention.


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