San Bruno in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center
In 1942, Tanforan became a temporary assembly center for over 4000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were to be interned for the duration of World War II. (Marker Number 934.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian Americans • Civil Rights • War, World II. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks series list.
Location. 37° 38.175′ N, 122° 25.151′ W. Marker is in San Bruno, California, in San Mateo County. Marker can be reached from El Camino Real. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1150 El Camino Real, San Bruno CA 94066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Shipboard Landing (here, next to this marker); Seabiscuit (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tanforan Assembly Center Commemorative Garden (about 300 feet away); Molloy’s Springs (approx. 2.9 miles away); Joe Cavalli – Historical SiteFirst Camp After Discovery of San Francisco Bay (approx. 3.3 miles away); Colma City Hall (approx. 3½ miles away); Old Colma Railroad Station (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Bruno.
More about this marker. Marker is located at the entrance to the Tanforan Shopping Center.
Regarding Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center. This is one of twelve Assembly Centers designated California Historical Landmark No.934.
Statement of significance:
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.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. - Additional California Assembly Centers
Also see . . . Tanforan Assembly Center. Click on Tanforan Assembly Center Link for a Powerpoint slide show. (Submitted on April 28, 2009.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 3,109 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on January 25, 2021, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.