Matt Hormann: The Darkest Night

Apr 27, 2016

Chinese workers picking grapes on a ranch in Altadena, circa 1885On April 28, Matt Hormann, who has written so many wonderful history articles for Hometown Pasadena over the years—including “A Love that Dared Not Speak Its Name,” “Courage and Cowardice in San Marino,” and “When South Pasadena Was for Whites Only“—comes to South Pas. Library for a History Night presentation entitled “The Darkest Night—The Destruction and Rebirth of Pasadena’s Chinatown.”

The program focuses on Pasadena’s Chinatown and the events on the evening of November 6, 1885 that caused the displacement of the Chinese residents of Pasadena—”a pivotal incident in the city’s early history, leading to the creation of Pasadena’s first fire department and ushering in an era of racial separation lasting for decades.”


Comparison of the ruins of Chinatown, 1885 & 2016_aa

Comparison of the ruins of Chinatown, 1885 and 2016

Comparison of the ruins of Chinatown, 1885 & 2016


Matt Hormann is a Pasadena-based freelance writer and historian who graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and California State University. He has been writing about local history for the past seven years. During that span, his work has appeared in Pasadena Weekly, the Argonaut newspaper, Westways, American Bungalow, Hometown Pasadena, and the Sierra Madre Historical Society Newsletter. His articles have focused on such topics as the real-life detective who tracked Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, the suffragist who went undercover to investigate a lynching in a Texas town, and the rise and fall of Pasadena’s most famous rock and roll venue.

“The Darkest Night” program features a slide show of historical photos and newspaper articles, followed by Q&A with Mr. Hormann.


The Darkest Night—The Destruction and Rebirth of Pasadena’s Chinatown
Thursday, April 28th, 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The Community Room, 1115 El Centro St., South Pasadena 91030
No tickets or reservations are necessary
Refreshments will be served


Matthew Hormann

Matthew Hormann


Special thanks to the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and the Pasadena Weekly. Read Matt’s article about the destruction of Pasadena’s Chinatown: “Night of Terror,” Pasadena Weekly.





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