Korean American Day, Jan. 13

Did you know that today is Korean American Day in the United States? I didn’t until a friend posted it on Facebook first thing this morning. After a little research, I’d learned the following.

Jan. 13 was declared Korean American Day by Congress in 2003 to mark the centennial of Korean immigration to the U.S. The date was chosen because on Jan. 13, 1903, a pioneering group of 102 immigrants who arrived in Hawaii from Korea to work in the sugar cane fields.

Now Korean Americans number almost two million and the U.S. is home to the second largest Korean population outside of the Korean peninsula, after China.

So in celebration of being Korean American, can you name some famous Korean Americans? In sports? In entertainment? In government? Here’s a short list to get you started.

Anthony Kim, golfer
Toby Dawson, 2006 Olympic bronze medal skier (and a Korean adoptee)
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steeler in the NFL
Simon Cho, 2010 Olympic bronze medalist in speed skating
Michelle Wie, golfer
Hank Conger, baseball player
Richard Park, hockey player

Daniel Dae Kim, Hawaii Five-O and Lost
Grace Park, Hawaii Five-O
John Cho, The Green Hornet, Star Trek, and the Harold& Kumar films
Daniel Henney, Three Rivers and My Lovely Sam-Soon
Tim Kang, The Mentalist
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy

Other Professions
JuJu Chang, Good Morning America
Linda Sue Park, novelist
Cecilia HaeJin Lee, author
Chang-rae Lee, novelist
Paull Shin, Washington state senator (and a Korean adoptee)
Kaba Modern, dance group

And that’s just a short list! Today would be good day to check out http://iamkoreanamerican.com/; you could even submit your child to be featured. Or maybe come up with a Korean American fusion food–make a bulgogi pizza or add kimchi to your burger. How you will celebrate?


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