Public History Project- The Wildest Night in Vancouver Digital Resource & Podcast

Over three nights in early September of 1907, as many as 500 white “rowdies” rallied by the Asiatic Exclusion League vandalized dozens of Asian-owned stores in Vancouver’s largely Chinese and Japanese downtown eastside, breaking windows, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage, and fatally wounding one Japanese-Canadian person in the process. Further damage and loss of life was prevented only by the armed defense of Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian store owners and residents of the neighborhoods with the support of city police.  In the days following the riots, storefronts were repaired and lives were rebuilt, but the disruptions of immigrant communities and the historical legacies of an event the Consulate-General of Japan dubbed the “wildest night ever seen Vancouver” were much more lasting.  

With the support of the UBC Department of History Public History Initiative, students in Assistant Professor without Review Dr. Tristan Grunow’s HIST 271 “Japan and Global History, 1550-1900” class collaboratively constructed a digital resource and podcast series documenting and reliving the history, trauma, and legacy of the 1907 riots.  Entitled The Wildest Night in Vancouver and included in the Meiji at 150 Digital Teaching Resource, this digital resource features a map of Japanese-owned buildings damaged in the riots along with photos of the damage and present-day views for comparison, and links to digitized materials related to Japanese-Canadian history housed in UBC Library Open Collections.  Finally there are 5 student-produced episodes of The Wildest Night in Vancouver podcast, written, produced, and performed by students in HIST 271.  Special thanks to UBC Arts ISIT for technical assistance and 101.9 FM CiTR for consulting and equipment support.

View The Wildest Night in Vancouver digital resource and listen to all 5 podcast episodes here: