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[COMMUNITY] Burning Down of Santa Ana's Chinatown

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  • madchinaman q=cache:eWH6BdvCTusJ:www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/03/13/sections/news/ news/article_441198.php+santa+ana,+chinatown,+burning&hl=en
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2005
      The local demographics weren't all happenstance. Though the county
      was less than 100 years old in 1970, it had a long reputation as a
      place where many white people did what they could to push back
      against non-white cultures.

      In 1906, officials in Santa Ana ordered the evacuation and burning
      of the city's Chinatown. There were "white only" school districts
      throughout the county prior to World War II. And, for years after
      there were property rules that kept non-whites from buying houses.


      One of the more sensational chapters in the history of the SAFD
      concerned the burning of Chinatown. A leper was discovered living in
      one of the shacks near Third and Bush Street. The area was covered
      with small, closely built wooden structures, many of which were
      connected by a maze of underground tunnels and inhabited by people
      of Chinese ancestry. After the leper was found, a secret meeting of
      the Board of Trustees was held. It was decided that the SAFD would
      raze the area by fire, thereby sparing the remainder of the City
      from the dreaded disease. On May 25, 1906, the SAFD arrived to
      surprisingly discover a crowd of several hundred people gathered to
      watch the spectacle, since this plan was a closely guarded secret.
      The fire was started with hose lines used to protect the exposures.
      These lines, along with a light rain that was falling, prevented the
      fire from spreading beyond the intended area.
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