- 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
- Violent Expulsion
Main Ethnic Group(s)
“In May of 1906 the city council of my hometown
of Santa Ana, CA voted to burn down Chinatown, and
it went to the torch shortly thereafter. My mother who
grew up in Santa Ana during the 1930s remembers
that there was only one Chinese American family in
“No event in Santa Ana caused more excitement
during the period around the turn of the century than
the burning of Chinatown on May 25, 1906.”
-historian and author Charles Swanner
In 1906, a local doctor found a Chinese man with
leprosy, who lived in a single room in the city’s
Chinatown. Santa Ana’s Board of Health decided to
burn the entire Chinatown, ostensibly to prevent the
spread of leprosy. It”was one of the worst kept secrets
in town. ‘Fifteen or 20 people were called in to assist
in keeping it form the public with the result that
several hundred spectators were on hand before 7
o’clock.’ The crowd swelled rapidly to approximately
1,000 persons of all ages and both sexes.”
As over 1,000 Chinese American headed
households currently reside in Santa Ana, the city is no