Bill Text

WHEREAS, On January 13, 1903, the history of Korean immigration to America began when 102 courageous Korean adults and children landed in the State of Hawaii after venturing across the vast Pacific Ocean aboard the S.S. Gaelic; and

WHEREAS, The hopes of these Korean immigrants for America, the land of opportunity, were quickly hindered by social, economic, and language barriers of unforeseen magnitude; and

WHEREAS, These Korean immigrants did not falter in their pursuit of the American dream. Through perseverance and sacrifice, they established a new home in a new land and educated their children; and

WHEREAS, Between 1904 and 1907, approximately 1,000 Korean Americans entered the United States mainland from the State of Hawaii through the City of San Francisco, where the first Korean American political organizations and Korean language publications were established; and

WHEREAS, While the City of San Francisco remained the center of the Korean American community, there was a gradual migration from northern California to southern California as more employment opportunities opened up, and a new, burgeoning community of Korean Americans began to thrive in the City of Los Angeles and surrounding areas; and

WHEREAS, The City of Los Angeles is currently home to the largest population of Korean Americans in the entire United States, with more than 250,000 Korean Americans; and

WHEREAS, Korean Americans are the largest and the fastest growing citizens of Orange County, making Orange County the second largest Korean American population in any county in the nation; and

WHEREAS, While the first Korean immigrants to the United States fought and sacrificed to establish themselves, their children grew up to be patriotic citizens, many of whom went on to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II and to make other important contributions to mainstream American society; and

WHEREAS, The 1965 amendments to the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (Public Law 89-236) opened the door for a new wave of Korean immigrants to enter the United States. Since its enactment, Korean Americans have become one of the fastest growing groups of Asian Americans in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Today, the number of people of Korean ancestry living in the United States has grown to more than 1,700,000, representing more than a 67-fold increase since 1960; and

WHEREAS, In 1994, the National Association of Korean Americans (NAKA), was founded in the State of New York, becoming the first national civil and human rights organization of Korean Americans; and

WHEREAS, On June 27, 2002, NAKA was instrumental in passing the historic United States Senate resolution S.R. 185, recognizing the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States; and

WHEREAS, In accordance with S.R. 185, President George W. Bush included a proclamation recognizing January 13, 2003, as the Centennial of Korean Immigration to the United States, commending Korean Americans for their “important role in building, defending, and sustaining the United States of America”; and

WHEREAS, Korean American Day is celebrated on January 13 of each year, to not only commemorate the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States but also to honor Korean American’s immense contributions to every aspect of society; and

WHEREAS, Korean Americans have made important contributions as Californians in the fields of finance, technology, law, medicine, education, sports, media, the arts, the military, and government, as well as other areas; and

WHEREAS, Korean Americans have been at the forefront of Hallyu (Korean Wave) through K-Pop, K-Drama, and K-Foods, that have become an integral part of mainstream American society and enrich our very diverse state; and

WHEREAS, With diligence, fortitude, and an enduring belief in the American dream, Korean immigrants have helped to turn emergent areas within the state into thriving and respectable communities, while raising their children; and

WHEREAS, As the Korean American community prepares for a new era and creates new history, Korean Americans must instill in younger generations the proper appreciation for the courage and values of their forefathers, a deep sense of their roots, and pride in their own cultural heritage so that they may better contribute to the great State of California, which is rich with ethnic and cultural diversity; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby proclaims January 13, 2022, as Korean American Day; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.


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