Korean Immigration Timeline


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Selected events in the Korean-American immigration time-line presented by Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program:
The Korean Americans, A Century of Experience at

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Korean Immigration Timeline

  1. 1. Korean Immigration Timeline<br />From the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program: <br />The Korean Americans, A Century of Experience<br />http://apa.si.edu/Curriculum%20Guide-Final/timeline.htm<br />
  2. 2. 1901-1910Arrival<br />January 9, 1901-The first Korean immigrant, Peter Ryu, arrives in Hawai’i on a Japanese ship, KongkongMaru.<br />January 13, 1903.The first significant group of Korean immigrants (103 men, women and children) arrive in Honolulu Harbor on the S.S. Gaelic as contract laborers in Hawai’i. <br />The S.S. Gaelic carried Korean immigrants to Hawaii in 1903.<br />
  3. 3. 1901-1910Arrival (cont.)<br />1910 - Japanese and Korean picture brides begin arriving in substantial numbers in the United States.<br /> With U.S. support, Japan officially declares Korea its colony. [Result: Korean immigrants are recognized by the U.S. government as Japanese nationals.] President Teddy Roosevelt accepts the Nobel Peace Prize in May, becoming the first American to achieve the Nobel prize in any category, which was awarded to him for helping to maintain the balance of power in the East by bringing the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) to an end. He achieves that alleged balance by “giving” the country of Korea to Japan.<br />1910 - Angel Island is set up as a detention center for non-laboring Asian immigrants. There are long waiting periods under inhumane conditions, and some even commit suicide.<br />
  4. 4. 1913-1924Barring Citizenship<br />May 19, 1913 -The California legislature passes the Alien Land Act, and it is signed into law. According to the statute, a person ineligible for U.S. citizenship is forbidden to purchase land for agricultural purposes, and may lease property for no more than three years. <br />February 5, 1917 -President Woodrow Wilson vetoes a bill passed by Congress on December 14, 1916, but Congress overrides his veto. The Asiatic Barred Zone Act establishes a zone of countries that excluded immigrants from most of Asia, the Pacific Islands, as well as parts of Russia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.<br />  <br />September 22, 1922 -Congress passes the Cable Act, which revokes the U.S. citizenship of any woman citizen marrying an alien ineligible for U.S. citizenship. The law is predominantly aimed at American-born Asian women marrying immigrant Asian men. <br /> <br />May 26, 1924 -President Calvin Coolidge signs into law the Immigration Act of 1924, also known as the Quota Immigration or National Origins Act. It excludes the immigration of all Asian laborers, except from the Philippines, which was by then a U.S. territory. <br />
  5. 5. 1942-1948 Striking Achievements<br />February 19, 1942 – The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, predominantly made up of second-generation Japanese Americans and led by a Korean American, Colonel Young Oak Kim, becomes the most decorated military unit for its size and length of service in U.S. history while fighting in WWII.<br /> <br />1948 -   Platform diver Sammy Lee, the son of Korean immigrants who had already earned his medical degree, becomes the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal. Four years later, he would become the first male diver to win back-to-back gold medals<br />Sammy Lee becomes a role model for Korean American immigrants after winning an Olympic gold medal in 1948.<br />
  6. 6. 1946-1953Immigrants of War<br />1946 - The War Brides Act of 1946 admits the alien wives and children of U.S. servicemen on a nonquota basis. This affects Korean women immigrant after the Korean War begins 4 years later.<br />1948 - The California Supreme Court declares California’s ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional.<br />June 25, 1950 -The Korean War begins. The conflict eventually brings both Korean War brides and Korean War orphans to the United States.<br />  <br />1952 - The McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act goes into effect, repealing the National Origins Act of 1924 and allowing immigration quotas to Japan and other Asian countries. This Act gives the rights of naturalization and eventual citizenship for Asians not born in the United States and sets a quota of 105 immigrants per year for each Asian country.<br />May 2, 1953 -The day is declared Korean Day in the United States, and U.S. citizens are encouraged to make donations in money and materials to assist Koreans.<br />July 27, 1953 - Korean War ends.<br />
  7. 7. 1960 - 1967Changes in Laws and Numbers<br />June 13, 1960 - McCarthyism hits the Asian American communities with Kimm vs. Rosenberg, in which the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Korean national should be deported for refusing to answer whether or not he is a Communist.<br />October 3, 1965 -President Johnson signs a new immigration law that not only repeals the National Origins Act of 1924, but also establishes a new immigration policy to enable Asian immigrants to come to the United States.<br />  <br />Rapid population growth, urbanization, and the increasingly authoritarian character of the Korean government fuels Korean immigration to the United States. By 1976, Korean immigration exceeded 30,000, leading to the emergence of “Koreatowns” in Los Angeles and Chicago. <br />June 1967 - Anti-miscegenation laws are ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court ( Loving v. Virginia ).<br />
  8. 8. 1968-1969Establishing Identity<br />  <br />1968- Students at San Francisco State University go on strike to demand establishment of an Ethnic Studies program. <br />January 11, 1969 -The University of California at Berkeley’s “Yellow Identity” conference draws 900 attendees. <br />    <br />January 19, 1969 -UC Berkeley students strike for three months to urge instituting Ethnic Studies.<br />    <br />March 4, 1969 -The UC Berkeley faculty votes 550 to 4 in favor of establishing an Ethnic Studies Department.<br />1969- Demonstrating in union with the Civil Rights Movement throughout California, which is happening concurrently with the events that take place on the campuses of SF State and UC Berkeley, “Orientals” claim their new identity as Asian Americans.<br />
  9. 9. 1992Violence in Los Angeles<br />April 29, 1992 -Riots erupt in Los Angeles after the verdict came down from the first Rodney King trial. The announcement of the police officers’ acquittal triggered rioting and looting in South Central Los Angeles, eventually spreading to Koreatown and other areas. The violence was so intense that more than 50 persons were killed, and over 14,000 were arrested; property losses were estimated to be $1 billion. When the uprising subsided four days later, about 2,300 Korean-owned businesses had been looted or burned, and Korean American businesses suffered roughly half of the estimated $1 billion loss. Known among Koreans as “Sa-I-Gu” (literally, four-two-nine, or April 29), the riots shattered the faith of Korean Americans who had slowly built their dreams in search of a better life in the United States.<br />Edward Song Lee dies during the LA riots in 1992. Lee and 3 friends were attempting to help the owner of the Korean owned Kang-SuhMyon-Oak noodle shop.<br />
  10. 10. 2000A Revealing Census<br />April, 2000 -The 2000 U.S. Census shows that the Asian Pacific American population is approximately 12.5 million, or approximately 4.5% of the total U.S. population, a growth of 7.3 million from the 1990 Census. [For highlights, check http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2003/cb03-ff05.html] Other findings include:<br />  <br />APAs had the highest median family and household incomes<br />APAs owned the most expensive homes<br />APAs are the best-educated among all groups, topping even non-Hispanic whites during the past decade.<br />  <br /> HOWEVER, what the numbers did NOT show:<br />  <br />APA per capita income lagged more than 10% behind that of non-Hispanic whites (while Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were 40% lower), also the average household size is larger among APAs<br />Higher home values are in large part because of the propensity of APAs to live in expensive urban areas in high cost-of-living states like Hawai’i, California, and New York <br />Higher education can be explained by the fact that the Asians allowed to immigrate to American under U.S. policies have been those with technical backgrounds and better education (hence one of the causes of the model-minority myth, as well).<br />  <br />Moreover, the 2000 Census data showed that many APAs remained impoverished, unemployed, and less educated than the average American.<br />
  11. 11. 2001-2002Prejudices Remain<br />  <br />April, 2001 -A landmark national survey released by a Chinese American research group showed that 25% of Americans showed very negative attitudes and stereotypes towards Asian Americans . Other significant findings include:<br />23% of Americans are uncomfortable voting for an Asian American to be President of the United States. This is in contrast to 15% for an African American candidate, 14% for a woman candidate and 11% for a Jewish candidate.<br />24% of Americans would not approve of inter-marriage with an Asian American. This number is lower than that compared to an African American (34%), but higher than a Hispanic (21%) and a Jew (16%). <br />7% of Americans would not want to work for an Asian American CEO. This is in contrast to 4% for an African American, 3% for a woman and 4% for a Jew. <br /> <br />March 11, 2002-The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC) releases “Backlash: When America Turned on Its Own,” which shows a significant spike in racial violence against Asian Americans nationwide since the events of 9-11. As a result of a zealous form of patriotism, people who might vaguely resemble the enemy – including Asian Americans, especially South Asian Americans and Sikh Americans – are being locked away without due process.<br />
  12. 12. 2003Celebrating Korean Americans<br /> 2003 - The Smithsonian Institution celebrates the Korean American Centennial with a year-long series of events every month that highlight aspects of the Korean American experience. The Korean American Centennial Commemoration is the first-ever focus on the Korean American throughout the Smithsonian complex and the first-ever sustained focus on any ethnic group throughout Smithsonian history.<br />  <br />June 27, 2003 -The U.S. Senate passes a historic resolution (S.R. 185), recognizing the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. President George W. Bush issues a proclamation recognizing the centennial on January 13, 2003, commending Korean Americans for their “important role in building, defending, and sustaining the United States of America.” <br />