Korean American Day

Korean American Day

Korean American Day is observed annually on January 13 to honor and celebrate the contributions that people of Korean descent have made on American society and culture. 

Koreans first immigrated to the United States on January 13, 1903, originally settling in Honolulu, Hawaii. Within a few years, the number of Korean Americans had increased to more than 7,500. And not surprisingly in the century that has passed, Korean Americans have had a considerable impact. Notable Korean Americans include: 

  • Ahn Chang Ho. Credited with establishing the Willows Korean Aviation Corps in the U.S., which later led to the establishment of the Korean Airforce.

  • Wendy Gramm. Served as U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

  • Judge Herbert Y.C. Choy. Was first Asian American appointed to the U.S. Federal Court (Court of Appeals Ninth District in 1974).

  • David Hyun. Architect who helped revitalize Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. 

  • Sammy Lee. Two-time Olympic gold medalist in diving.

The Senate and House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2005 that established Korean American Day. It came 13 years after Jay Kim became the first Korean American congressman when he was elected to the House of Representatives for California’s 41st District.

Several ways you can observe Korean American Day this year are to read books or watch documentaries that highlight the lives and experiences of Korean Americans. Some books you might try include:

  • Korean American Pioneer Aviators: The Willows Airmen by Edward T. Chang and Woo Sung Han

  • Korean-Americans: Past, Present, and Future by Ilpyong J. Kim

You can also support local Korean American businesses on January 13. Or look up events like concerts or restaurant nights that can help you learn more about — and celebrate Korean — culture. 
We, at TwinStar, want to recognize the impact that Korean Americans have made and continue to make on our communities and society. We wish all of our employees and members of Korean descent a wonderful Korean American Day.