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Go For Broke National Education Center

Location Information

355 E. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
USA

We are in the heart of Los Angeles' historic Little Tokyo district, a vibrant community steeped in history. Visit our Monument and honor the brave men and women who fought for our freedom. Then take a short walk to our new interpretive center to see an exhibition unlike any other, opening in spring 2016.

In 1986 World War II Japanese American veterans decided to create an organization committed to telling their story. A story shaped by the Nisei’s character, that of courage, honor, determination, and loyalty. It is also a story of a group of patriotic men who served their country with the utmost pride, despite being treated unjustly because of their government’s prejudice.

The Go For Broke National Education Center was born out of the foresight of these brave men that through a lasting monument, the Nisei veterans’ legacy could persevere. Through education, it could be taught. Through understanding, there would be no ignorance or civil injustice. 

The history of the Nisei World War II veterans the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service and others deserves to be told and passed on to future generations. This story, however, has been shamefully absent from the classroom. In recent years, with the Go For Broke National Education Center’s programs, this history has been making its way into classrooms and teachers’ lesson plans, as well as into the general public’s purview of understanding.

To trace the steps the veterans took to establish the organization, the following brief timeline is provided. This journey for the veterans is still continuing through the younger generation who comprise the Go For Broke National Education Center Board of Directors and staff. With the veterans’ determination as inspiration, there’s so much more the Go For Broke National Education Center will achieve.

1989 - 100th/442nd/MIS WWII Memorial Foundation was established. Comprised of Nisei veterans from World War II, its purpose was to raise enough capital to build the first of its kind on the U.S. mainland, the Go For Broke Monument, which would include the names of those from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service (MIS), and other units who served overseas during World War II. 

1989 - 1999 Veterans spend 10 years fundraising, securing a location in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district, garnering the support of veteran groups and the community nationally, and creating a comprehensive list of all the World War II Japanese American veterans who served overseas. 

1990 - 1991 Design competition held and architect Roger Yanagita’s concept selected for the Go For Broke Monument design.

1995 Go For Broke Monument ground dedication ceremony held at Central Avenue north of 1st Street.

1996 New site location for Go For Broke Monument selected on northern end of Central Avenue (current location) where it would link the Los Angeles Civic Center via a pedestrian walkway. 

1998 Ground breaking ceremony held for the Go For Broke Monument. The Hanashi Oral History Program is formed and first teacher training workshops held.

June 5, 1999 After much hard work, the Go For Broke Monument, a black, 40-feet-wide granite circle reaching nine feet high, engraved with the names of 16,000+ Nisei soldiers who served overseas during World War II, was dedicated to a crowd of more than 1,500 veterans, family members, dignitaries, friends, and media. On the monument, in addition to the 100th, 442nd, and MIS, include the insignias of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 232nd Combat Engineer Company, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.

2000 100th/442nd/MIS WWII Memorial Foundation establishes the Go For Broke Educational Foundation and passes the torch to the younger generation who focus on implementing educational programming, including the Hanashi Oral History Program, An American Story Teacher Training Program and select media projects.

2001 The organization's Hanashi Oral History Program reaches 200 interviews, and vows to capture 500 WWII Nisei veteran interviews by the end of 2004.

2002 The organization debuts its first comprehensive documentary on the 100th, 442nd and MIS, “A Tradition of Honor” utilizing 40 Hanashi oral history interviews. 

2003 Joint project with the Museum of Tolerance is launched - the story of the 522nd FAB is incorporated onto the MOT’s Website and its Multimedia Learning Center. The organization hosts its first set of teacher training workshops in Hawaii using the newly created “A Tradition of Honor” curriculum guide.

2004 The organization celebrates its 15-year anniversary and Go For Broke Monument’s 5th birthday. Re-launch of www.GoForBroke.org and opening of its Torrance, Calif.-based Resource Center. The Hanashi program vows to reach its goal of 500 interviews for the oral history video archive.

2005 A Little Tokyo office on historic First Street is opened to expand presence and assist visitors to the Go For Broke Monument. Hanashi continues its oral history gathering and reaches more than 650 interviews with 275 accessible online at www.GoForBroke.org.

2006 Organization changes its name to the Go For Broke National Education Center to focus on its new vision and mission and to build its future national headquarters and education center adjacent to the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo. Go For Broke plans to open Hawaii regional office in fall 2006.

We must never forget.

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