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Friday, October 13, 2006

The History of Chinatown in San Diego

The Chinese Mission had its beginning in 1885 when San Diego's Chinese population numbered several hundred, almost entirely male and huddled together in Chinatown, a part of the Stingaree or red light district. Alien Chinese kept strictly to themselves, seldom mixing with Caucasians. Since they were ineligible for citizenship, they had little incentive to become Americanized, either in thought or way of life. Most had every intention of returning to China and the families they had left behind as soon as they had made their fortune.

The Chinese Mission School offered them an opportunity to learn the English language, a necessity if they were to work or carry on business with the Americans. The dedicated Caucasian teachers at the Mission were the first to extend the hand of friendship to the lonely and isolated Chinese. For 75 years the Mission would be a place where Chinese could live, learn English, receive religious instruction and enjoy social activities among themselves and with their Caucasian friends.

The above is an excerpt from the site linked in the title. Please visit the link to read more.

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