On January 13 we celebrate Korean American Day to honor and highlight our friends of Korean descent who have made immeasurable contributions as small business owners, military service members, faith leaders, doctors, artists, and elected officials for over a century. Ever since the first immigration wave happened way back in 1903.
History of Korean American Day
It was in 1903 that just over 100 Koreans first arrived in the United States. That number quickly grew and within two years a further 7,500 Korean immigrants had made the same journey. In the years that have passed, Korean-Americans have made a valuable contribution towards society, and it’s on Korean American day that we honor and celebrate their contribution.
There has been a lot to celebrate for Korean Americans over the past century or so. Sammy Lee was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in diving, Wendy Gramm served as U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair under Presidents Reagan and Bush, David Hyun was the architect who revitalized Little Tokyo in LA, and Hines Ward Jr played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As well as the impact of individuals, Korean culture, in general, has left a sizable footprint in the U.S. Korean food has become incredibly popular, and going for bibimbap with a side of kimchi is now commonplace, as is listening to a few K-Pop tunes on the drive home. Among the more Korean Americans
In 2005, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the resolution to consent for what Korean American Day stands for and its aspirations. Korean American Day is now enjoyed each year on January 13, which is the perfect excuse to snack on some kimchi.
Korean American Day timeline
Korean American Day is established by President George W. Bush.
First Korean American Congressman
Jay Kim is elected as the for the U.S. House of Representatives for California's 41st district
- June 27, 1952
The Act is passed
The McCarran and Walter Act is passed, eliminating the Asian immigration ban and making Asian immigrants eligible for citizenship.
- January 13, 1903
The first Korean immigrants to the US arrive and permanently settle in Hawaii.
Korean American Day FAQs
When is Korean American Day?
What can I do to celebrate Korean American Day?
You can order takeout from your local Korean food joints, listen to some K-Pop, or watch a Korean movie.
What are some Korean American achievements?
There have been plenty of success stories from Korean Americans: The invention of the first beating heart operation for coronary artery heart disease, development of the nectarine, a 4-time Olympic gold medalist, and achievements in engineering, architecture, medicine, acting, singing, sculpture, and writing.
Korean American Day Activities
Learn about notable Korean Americans
Learn more about Korean Americans then and now. Read books about their experiences or watch documentaries available all around the Internet.
Look up their history
You can visit Korean American Story to hear their stories or document your own. Find out more or share your experience by using #KoreanAmericanDay on social media.
Enjoy their culture
Look up concerts, music, restaurants, events, and plenty more cultural hotspots organized to honor Korean Americans.
5 Facts About Korea
The world leader in Internet
92 percent of South Korea’s population are internet users and they boast the world’s fastest average connection speed.
Taekwondo was created in Korea
It’s believed to have been invented approximately 2,000 years ago.
It has the world’s first astronomical lab
Cheomseongdae Observatory, in South Korea, was built in the mid-600s.
A special browser for banks
It is law in South Korea that online banking must be done through Internet Explorer.
South Korea had the biggest economic turnaround
South Korea was one of the poorest countries on earth in the 50s but within the space of 20 years they turned into one of the richest nations on earth.
Why We Love Korean American Day
It’s good to enjoy different cultures
Experiencing new cultures opens your mind and is great fun. Korean culture is rich, and there is plenty for you to explore. Go deep, learn, and have fun.
Korean food is great
If you’ve not yet realized how good Korean food is then you have some catching up to do. Our advice is to visit your local Korean restaurant and try a selection of items from the menu.
It helps us reconnect with our Korean friends
If you know any Korean Americans, make an extra effort to connect with them today. Go grab a bite to eat with them or send them a message.
Korean American Day dates