Santa Anita Pacemaker Newspapers Collection

Japanese American National Museum
Visit partner


The Santa Anita Pacemaker was a newspaper published for approximately 19,000 Japanese Americans who were relocated to the Santa Anita racetrack turned assembly center for the temporary internment of Japanese Americans. The newspaper ran for six months in 1942 and was the longest running newspaper out of all the Japanese American assembly centers. It was published twice a week first on Tuesdays and Fridays and then on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Pacemaker read like a typical small town newspaper, covering every day activities and events that occurred throughout the assembly center. The newspaper was led by editor Eddie Shimano and only ever had nine staff members and writers. In the first issue of the newspaper, the editorial staff asked its readers to submit names for what it should be called, and "The Pacemaker" was selected. "Pacemaker" is a term used in horse racing and refers to the horse that leads the way, therefore setting the pace for the other horses up until a certain point. Like all assembly centers, and internment camp newspapers, the newspaper operated under strict regulations and censorship. The staff and writers were prohibited from using the Japanese language and each newspaper edition had to go through multiple approvals by camp administrators before being published. The collection starts from the very first Pacemaker (April 21, 1942) up through newspaper number fifty (October 7, 1942) and a final book-like Pacemaker with no specific date.

April 21, 1942 - October 7, 1942

c. 1942

Four-paged, six-paged, and eight-paged 8.5W x 14H newspapers; 0.25 linear feet.

Japanese American National Museum

Courtesy of the Japanese American National Museum (86.14)

Copyright restricted
Copyright restricted

50 Objects

Final/farewell issue of the Santa Anita Pacemaker (c. 1942) (ddr-janm-5-1)
doc Final/farewell issue of the Santa Anita Pacemaker (c. 1942) (ddr-janm-5-1)
The final/farewell issue of the Santa Anita Pacemaker newspaper (c. 1942). This issue included a short message from Center Manager, Gene W. Wilbur, a short message from author, Carey McWilliams, along with final columns from editor, Eddie Shimano, women's editor, Asami Kawachi, and sports editor, Hiroshi Ito.

See all objects