Spurred by members of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the city actively lobbied the Navy and the federal government to make San Diego a major location for naval, marine, and air bases. Its 'culture of accommodation' determined the way the city would grow and created a military-urban complex rather than a tourist and health resort. With the reduction in naval spending after 1990, the Chamber turned to tourism and conventions.
The Chinese settled in San Diego beginning in the 1870s and found work in the fishing industry, railroad construction, service industry, general construction work, food industry, and merchandising. They were forced into a Chinatown but otherwise received less violent attention than suffered by Chinese elsewhere in the West.
They soon formed district associations, family and clan associations, secret societies, and business guilds, including the Chee Kung Tong (est. 1885), the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (est. 1907), the Bing Kung Tong (est. 1922), and the Ying On Tong (est. 1945). In the 1870s and 1880s, two Chinese Christian missions were organized to help the Chinese with housing, employment, recreational activities, and English language instruction.
The Chinese population increased dramatically, especially after the 1965 Immigration Act allowed large numbers of businessmen and professionals to migrate from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. Many Chinese Americans achieved prominent community status, including Tom Hom, a city councilman and state assemblyman.
The late-20th century San Diego Chinese community is made up of a heterogeneous population that includes Cantonese-speaking, Mandarin-speaking, and Hokkien-speaking members, as well as those from a variety of places of origin, including Southeast Asia. Many in the San Diego community have joined together to determine and further their Chinese-American identity.
Its only professional team is the San Diego Padres (Baseball).
Previously it was the home of the San Diego Chargers (Football) until 2017 when the team relocated to Los Angeles (where it originated and played for one season in the early days of the AFL), and the San Diego Clippers (previously the Buffalo Braves; the team later relocated to Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Abraham J. Shragge, "'I like the Cut of Your Jib': Cultures of Accommodation Between the U.S. Navy and Citizens of San Diego, California, 1900-1951," Journal of San Diego History 2002 48(3): 230-255
- Zeng Ying, "Development of the San Diego Chinese American Community" Chinese America: History And Perspectives 1998: 67-73. 1051-7642