- Type of Place
- Independent City or Town
- Metro Area
- Politics c. 1860?
- Unions, Organized Labor?
Sundown Town Status
- Sundown Town in the Past?
- Was there an ordinance?
- Don't Know
- Don’t Know
- Year of Greatest Interest
- Still Sundown?
- Surely Not
Method of Exclusion
- Violence Towards Newcomers
- Police or Other Official Action
Main Ethnic Group(s)
In 1945, the Shorts, a black family from Los
Angeles, bought a home in Fontana. In December of
that year, the Shorts were visited by vigilantes,
possibly Klansmen, who ordered the family to move.
O’Day Short refused and reported the threats to the
FBI, the county sherriff, and the Los Angeles black
press. He and his family were not provided protection,
and were advised to move by the sherriff’s office
before any “disagreeableness” occurred. The Fontana
Chamber of Commerce offered to buy the Shorts out,
but they refused. A few days later, a fire consumed the
Short house and killed the entire family. Although the
fire was noted to be of “unusual intensity” and
witnesses came forward with evidence that it was
arson, the district attorney labeled the fire an accident.
An arson investigator hired by the NAACP invesitgated
and determined the fire was an arson, but nothing was
done. Witnesses were not allowed to testify before the
Fontana’s black population in 1970 consisted of
13 married couples and there children, among others,
suggesting that Fontana broke sometime between
1960 and 1970.