“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Bruno in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center

Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, April 24, 2009
1. Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center Marker
Inscription.  Racetrack opened in 1899 and had racing seasons until it burned down in 1964. Many famous horses raced and won here.

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 AmericansCivil RightsWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1899.
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 2 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); Transportation Evolution (approx.
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0.7 miles away); Development of Industry in the Area (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cut Stone Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away); State Theater/State Room (approx. 1.3 miles away); Martin Building (approx. 1.4 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
Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, April 24, 2009
2. Tanforan Racetrack Japanese Assembly Center Marker
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 3,470 times since then and 84 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.

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Jul. 16, 2024