Today, January 13, we celebrate Korean American Day, first proclaimed by President George W. Bush on this day in 2003, which marked the 100th anniversary of the first arrival of Koreans to the United States. In 2005, U.S. Congress made the observance official and the day has been an annual celebration since.
Korean American day is a commemoration of the community’s contribution to culture and society in the United States. As of 2022, there are approximately 1.8 million people of Korean descent living in the United States, making up the fifth largest Asian-American population group in the country. Korean Americans are indispensable to America, holding roles in society as religious leaders, business owners, artists, doctors, military servicemen, government officials and many others.
Some notable Korean Americans include Sammy Lee, a two-time gold medalist in Olympic diving. Wendy Gramm served as chair to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Ronald Reagan. Korean American Architect David Hyun revitalized Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, and Hines Ward, Jr. played football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Judge Herbert Y.C. Choy was the first Asian American appointed to the U.S. Federal Court. In 1992, Jay Kim was the first Korean American to be elected to the United States House of Representatives, representing California. Sang Hyun Lee served as the first Asian American tenured professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.
This evening at 5pm, the Korean American Foundation of Greater Washington is hosting a celebration via Eventbrite. The program will feature members of Congress, artists and other distinguished guests. The event is remote and free.