Journal Title or Book Title
The Journal of San Diego History
Permission has been granted to include this article.
In January 1914, the editorial page of The San Diego Union promised that the upcoming Panama-California Exposition would usher in a “new era” in the city’s history. San Diego would “emerge from its semi-isolation…and take on the dignity of a metropolis, a great seaport, and a commercial center.” There was a dark side, however, to this anticipated transformation as the newspaper reported that the city would soon be overwhelmed with “thousands of strangers and to these will be added thousands of immigrants who will make this port their landing place.” Among the newcomers would be many inexperienced young women who faced the threat of exploitation by criminals active in sex trafficking, known as the white-slave trade. This “army of vice” abducted women and forced them into prostitution; it was blamed for myriad disappearances at world fairs in Chicago and St. Louis. As San Diego prepared to host the Panama-California Exposition, the Union urged the city’s leading women to be aggressive in countering white slavery and safeguarding "feminine virtue."
Cimino, Eric C. Ph.D., "Safeguarding the Innocent: Traveler's Aid at the Panama-California Exposition, 1915" (2015). Faculty Works: History and Political Science. 2.