First Korean Congress 1919

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Today, my family and I ventured into the City of Brotherly Love with our Korean school, Bucks County Korean School, for a special event. To be honest, I was not looking forward to going to the city after a day of teaching class, but I was cornered to be involved. πŸ˜† 

I am always grateful for the people in my life who push me to do things. Who knows when I'll have another chance like today to be a part of something where all traffic is stopped for you? πŸ˜†

We headed to Plays & Players Theatre on Delancey Street, Philadelphia, where you can see the plaque shown above. It was here in this spot where the First Korean Congress was assembled by Phillip Jaisohn from April 12-14, 1919. The First Korean Congress came about as a reaction to the March 1st Movement in Korea. 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The old picture above is of the delegates who created the First Korean Congress on Delancey Street, Philadelphia. The picture of my kids standing in front of the red door is the same door pictured in the 1919 picture of the First Korean Congress. Needless to say, I am happy that I thought to take a picture of my kiddos where an important event in Korean-American history happened. 

The March 1st Movement was a peaceful protest that proclaimed independence from the Imperial Japanese. There were more than 2 million Koreans who participated in over 1500 demonstrations in support of the freedom of Korea. 

Today's event in the city was a reenactment and a commemoration of the march that the First Korean Congress demonstrated on the third day of convening, marching from the Little Theatre to Independence Hall. 

I was sad to read that despite the efforts of the delegates to have the United States recognize and support Korean independence, Woodrow Wilson (the 28th president of the US) paid no attention to it. He didn't want the US to challenge or be entangled in world powers. πŸ˜– Whomp, whomp.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The picture above is the First Korean Congress marching to the Independence Hall. 

Korean American's reenacting First Korean Congress demonstration

Here is a picture of my oldest (the boy in the center of the banner) next to me during our walk to the Independence Hall.

The walk was far and my poor, weak ankle and hip went through a lot. The principal of my school joked around saying she would gladly carry me on her back. πŸ˜† 

She's been working for our Korean School for 30+ years and is well-known among Korean teachers for being the president of the National Association of Korean Schools at one point. She has been the number one person who has kept me going. Every semester, I would mention stepping down from my position and somehow she always found a way to keep me teaching. πŸ˜… She's a pretty amazing human being, and I'm so thankful she didn't give up on me. Today, she told me how proud she was of me which touched my heart. She has probably seen me grow quite a bit since I first started teaching at the school. I know for myself how much I've grown as a teacher. 

I'm so proud of my little ones! It was a long walk to and from Independence Hall to our original starting point.  

I'm sure this will be a memory they'll never forget. 

I hope my short blog post (like all my other blog posts) was informational and entertaining at the same time. Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!


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