[Congressional Record: September 24, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
RECOGNIZING HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF 100 YEARS OF KOREAN IMMIGRATION
TO UNITED STATES
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules
and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 297) recognizing
the historical significance of 100 years of Korean immigration to the
The Clerk read as follows:
H. Con. Res. 297
Whereas missionaries from the United States played a
central role in nurturing the political and religious
evolution of modern Korea;
Whereas in December 1902, 56 men, 21 women and 25 children
left Korea and traveled across the Pacific Ocean on the S.S.
Gaelic and landed in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 13, 1903;
Whereas the early Korean-American community was united
around the common goal of obtaining independence from their
colonized mother country;
Whereas members of the Korean-American community have
served with distinction in the Armed Forces of the United
States during World War I, World War II, and the Korean
Whereas on June 25, 1950, Communist North Korea invaded
South Korea with approximately 135,000 troops, thereby
initiating the involvement of approximately 5,720,000
personnel, both military and civilian from South Korea and
the United States, who worked to stem the spread of communism
Whereas casualties in the United States Armed Forces
included 54,260 dead, of whom 33,665 were battle deaths,
92,134 wounded, and 8,176 listed as missing in action or
prisoners of war;
Whereas in the early 1950s, thousands of Koreans, fleeing
from war, poverty, and desolation, came to the United States
Whereas Korean-Americans, like waves of immigrants that
came to the United States before them, have taken root and
thrived in the United States through strong family ties,
community support, and hard work;
Whereas Korean immigration has invigorated businesses,
churches, and academic communities in the United States;
Whereas according to the 2000 United States Census, Korean-
Americans own and operate 135,571 businesses across the
United States that have gross sales of $46,000,000,000
annually, and employ 333,649 individuals;
Whereas the contributions of Korean-Americans to the United
States include the development of the first beating heart
operation for coronary artery disease, the development of
several varieties of the nectarine, and achievements in
engineering, architecture, medicine, acting, singing,
sculpture, and writing;
Whereas Korean-Americans play a crucial role in maintaining
the strength and vitality of the United States-Korean
Whereas the partnership of the United States and South
Korea helps maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific
region and provides economic benefits to the people of both
nations and to the rest of the world; and
Whereas beginning in 2003, more than 100 communities
throughout the United States will celebrate the 100th
anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States: Now,
therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate
concurring), That the Congress--
(1) recognizes the achievements and contributions of
Korean-Americans to the United States over the past 100
(2) requests that the President issue a proclamation
calling on the people of the United States and interested
organizations to observe the anniversary with appropriate
programs, ceremonies, and activities.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from
Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis)
each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis).
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that
all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and
extend their remarks on H. Con. Res. 297.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from Virginia?
There was no objection.
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I
Mr. Speaker, House Concurrent Resolution 297 recognizes the
contributions of Korean Americans during the past 100 years, and it
asks the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the
United States and interested organizations to observe this anniversary.
I commend the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Hoekstra) for introducing
this important resolution.
January 2003 will mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of 56
men, 21 women and 25 children from the Korean Peninsula to Honolulu,
Hawaii. These brave people left Korea and traveled across the Pacific
Ocean on the SS Gaelic on January 13, 1903. This trip initiated a
century of Korean immigration to the United States, and America has
benefited tremendously from the hard work and loyalty of Korean
immigrants and their sons and daughters.
Korean Americans have served in the United States Armed Forces with
distinction during World War I, World War II, and the Korean conflict
in the early 1950s. In particular, the U.S. and South Korea worked
together to keep communism from covering the Korean peninsula during
those difficult times.
Korean Americans have made many contributions to the United States
and have had a lasting impact on their communities. Hard work, strong
families and cultural influence are just a few of the qualities that
Korean Americans are known for and continue to thrive today. Korean
Americans have played a crucial role in advancing the United States-
Korea partnership, which helps provide peace and stability in the Asia
Among the many contributions of Korean Americans are the first
beating heart operation for coronary artery disease, the development of
several varieties of the nectarine, and achievements in engineering,
architecture, medicine, acting, singing, sculpture and writing.
According to the 2000 census, over 135,000 American businesses are
owned and operated by Korean Americans across the country, with gross
sales and receipts of $46 billion. These businesses employ over 330,000
Mr. Speaker, the Korean community is alive and well in my
Congressional District out in Northern Virginia, at Bailey's
Crossroads, Annandale, Fairfax and Woodbridge.
These immigrants have chosen America for the freedom and opportunity
this country offers, and they are making lasting contributions to our
community and communities across the country.
Mr. Speaker, I ask for adoption of the resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join with the
gentleman from Virginia in consideration of this resolution honoring
the significance of Korean immigration.
Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the
distinguished gentlewoman from California (Ms. Watson).
(Ms. WATSON of California asked and was given permission to revise
and extend her remarks.)
Ms. WATSON of California. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to join my
colleagues today in honoring the contributions of Korean Americans to
our national heritage.
On January 13, 1903, the S.S. Gaelic arrived in Honolulu, marking the
beginning of the documented history of the Korean-American experience.
Mr. Speaker, 102 Korean immigrants walked off that ship almost 100
years ago. Many of them probably expected that they would spend a few
years in Hawaii and then return home. In the 100 years since then, the
Korean-American population has grown to over 1 million and has become a
vital and dynamic part of our American family.
No account of Korean-American heritage would be complete without
listing the accomplishments of several American heroes of Korean
descent, like Colonel Young Oak Kim, the first Asian American to
command a combat battalion. To date, Colonel Kim is also the most
decorated Asian-American soldier, earning two Purple Hearts, a Silver
Star, and the Distinguished Service Cross. Or Dora Yum Kim, a pioneer
in developing social services for California's poor and disadvantaged
citizens. And Dr. Sammy Lee, Olympic diver and swimming coach,
physician and veteran. Dr. Lee was not only the first Asian-American to
win an Olympic gold medal, but also the first American to win two
Olympic gold diving medals, the oldest person to win a gold in diving,
and the first male to win back-to-back gold medals in diving as well.
I am proud to represent a congressional district with a vibrant
Korean-American community. My congressional district is also home to a
number of institutions that stand as a testament both to the
determination and success of Korean-Americans, but also to the richness
of Korean-American heritage.
The Korean-American Museum presents exhibitions that serve to bring
the role of Korean-Americans in our history to the public at large. The
Korean Heritage Library at the University of Southern California holds
a wealth of history of Korean-American life. And one cannot forget the
many churches, community groups, and businesses that make up the fabric
of everyday life in the Korean-American community.
The Korean-American story is above all an American story, a story of
our country, our communities, and our neighborhoods. I urge my
colleagues to support this resolution to celebrate 100 years of Korean-
American contributions to our Nation.
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may
consume to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Hoekstra).
Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his helping in
moving this bill to the floor and getting it up for a vote today.
Mr. Speaker, H. Con. Resolution 297 recognizes the contributions of
Korean-Americans and the contributions that they have made over the
last 100 years. Since that first day when Korean-Americans immigrated
and landed in Honolulu, they have become an integral part of the
diverse fabric that makes up American society. They have contributed
economically; but beyond economic contributions, they have eagerly
embraced our commonly held American ideals.
The first Korean-Americans were united in the cause of achieving
freedom for their annexed homeland and for her people. And in this
present day, Korean-Americans remain united in their hopes for the
reunification of their ancestral homeland and the reunification of
families torn apart by war and for an end to the dictatorial oppression
of their fellow Koreans in North Korea.
By organizing through churches, associations, and other groups,
Korean-Americans have built strong mutual-support networks and strong
communities. Perhaps most importantly, at the center of Korean-American
life are strong family ties and hard work. This has allowed Korean-
Americans to prosper and make innumerable contributions to American
life and society.
In January of 2003, there will be more than 100 communities across
America celebrating the 100th anniversary of Korean-American
immigration. It is
both deserving and important that Congress recognize the significance
of this fact, and encourage schools, civic groups, and all levels of
government to take part in planning activities and events surrounding
this major milestone.
Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
Mr. Speaker, the pioneers of the Korean community in the United
States were a small group of political and social reformers, expelled
from Korea following an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the
government, who arrived as exiles in San Francisco. Among them was Suh
Jae-pil, who later adopted the American name Philip Jaisohn. Mr.
Jaisohn became the first Korean to become an American citizen and the
first Korean-American to receive an American medical degree.
In 1886, 4 years after getting his medical degree, Mr. Jaisohn
established the first Korean newspaper. He became involved in the fight
to keep Korea independent of China and, after 1910, to liberate it from
Japan. Dr. Jaisohn devoted the majority of his life to the cause of
Korean independence. His work in medical research and pathology and for
Korean causes gained respect in both his homeland and in the United
Mr. Jaisohn, like thousands of other Koreans who immigrated to the
United States, played a central role in nurturing the political and
religious evolution of modern Korea.
Members of the Korean-American community have served with distinction
in the Armed Forces, have helped the development of the first beating
heart operation for coronary artery disease, and own and operate more
than 135 businesses in the United States with gross sales of $46
Korean-Americans play a vital role in maintaining the strength and
vitality of United States-Korean relationships. The partnership between
the United States and South Korea has helped to maintain peace and
stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year, 100 communities throughout the United States will
celebrate the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United
States, including a large Korean community on the north side of the
city of Chicago and in other areas spread throughout the city.
Mr. Speaker, my former legislative director is Korean. Her name is
Courtni Pugh. She and her twin sister were featured on the cover of a
Korean magazine about 3 years ago as premier young Korean or Asian
activists in the United States. So I take this opportunity to convey
greetings to them and all of my Korean friends throughout the
metropolitan area of Chicago. Again, I commend the gentleman for
introducing this resolution, and I am pleased to share its movement
with my colleague, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis).
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I
Mr. Speaker, this resolution appropriately recognizes Korean-
Americans and their contributions to this country. It seeks to
celebrate 100 years of immigration by supporting events and ceremonies
by marking this important date in 2003, and I am proud to support this
Mr. WU. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor support House Resolution 297
recognizing the historical significance of 100 years of Korean
immigration to the United States. In 1902, 102 Koreans arrived in
Hawaii after a month-long journey across the Pacific Ocean. Since that
time, the Korean-American presence has grown to more than 100
communities with a population of about 1.1 million people, and has made
immense contributions to our nation.
Abroad, members of the Korean-American community served with valor
and distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States, notably
during World War I, World War II, and the Korean Conflict, where they
helped defend South Korea from Communist North Korea's invasion. Their
sacrifices helped to preserve the freedom and democracy that we have
At home, Korean-Americans, like other waves of immigrants to America,
have spurred the growth of new businesses, churches, and academic
communities. They have also made tremendous contributions in areas such
as athletics, literature, the arts, medicine, architecture, and
As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and as
an immigrant, I am proud to recognize these achievements.
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Bass). The question is on the motion
offered by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis) that the House
suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of
those present have voted in the affirmative.
Mr. TOM DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be
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