Korean American Day – January 13, 2024

Korean American Day, celebrated annually on January 13, holds immense significance in recognizing and honoring the contributions of Korean Americans to the fabric of the United States. As we approach January 13, 2024, let’s delve into the history, activities, facts, and quotes that make this day special.

Korean American Day was first established on January 13, 2005, to commemorate the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States in 1903 and to recognize their contributions to American society. It gained official recognition through a resolution passed by Congress.

The history of Korean Americans in the U.S. is rich and diverse. From the early 20th century to the present day, Korean immigrants have played a vital role in shaping the cultural, economic, and social landscape of America. Their stories are a testament to the immigrant experience and the pursuit of the American dream.

History of Korean American Day

In the annals of history, it was the year 1903 when slightly over a hundred denizens from Korea embarked upon their maiden sojourn to the United States. Swiftly unfolding, this initial contingent burgeoned, and within a mere span of two years, an additional 7,500 Korean immigrants traversed the same path. 

Across the ensuing decades, the Korean-American cohort has etched an invaluable narrative upon the societal tableau, and it is on the occasion of Korean American Day that we pay homage to and revel in their momentous contributions.

The chronicles of Korean Americans over the past century have been marked by noteworthy accomplishments. Sammy Lee, a luminary in the realm of diving, clinched the coveted Olympic gold medal twice. 

Wendy Gramm, a stalwart, presided over the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the tenures of Presidents Reagan and Bush. David Hyun, the visionary architect, breathed new life into Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, while Hines Ward Jr. donned the colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Beyond the realm of individual impacts, the pervasive influence of Korean culture has cast a substantial imprint upon the fabric of the United States. Korean gastronomy, in particular, has ascended to unprecedented popularity, with partaking in bibimbap accompanied by a side of kimchi becoming a customary practice. 

Likewise, the auditory landscape is now adorned with the resonance of K-Pop melodies during the homeward commute. Among the myriad tapestry of Korean Americans, a narrative unfolds.

The year 2005 witnessed the joint ascent of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, affirming their collective accord in endorsing the essence and aspirations encapsulated by Korean American Day. 

This auspicious occasion now graces the calendar annually on January 13, serving as the perfect pretext to savor the tang of kimchi.

In the mosaic of linguistic expression, let not the commonplace lexicon prevail; rather, let the symphony of nuanced verbiage resonate.

Korean American Day Activities

  • Learn about Korean American history and culture. There are many great resources available, such as books, documentaries, and online articles. You can also visit a Korean American museum or cultural center.
  • Attend a Korean American Day event. Many communities hold festivals, parades, and other events to celebrate Korean American Day. These events are a great way to learn about Korean culture and enjoy traditional food, music, and dance.
  • Support Korean American businesses. Visit a Korean restaurant, grocery store, or other business. This is a great way to show your support for the Korean American community.
  • Eat Korean food. Korean food is delicious and healthy! Try some traditional dishes like bibimbap, kimchi, and bulgogi.
  • Watch a Korean movie or TV show. There are many great Korean films and TV shows available online and on streaming services.
  • Listen to Korean music. K-pop is a popular genre of Korean music, but there are many other great Korean musicians and bands to explore.
  • Learn some Korean language. Even a few basic phrases can go a long way in showing your appreciation for Korean culture.
  • Share your experiences on social media. Use the hashtag #KoreanAmericanDay to share your thoughts and experiences with others.

5 Facts About Korean American Day

Commemorates a Historic Arrival:

Korean American Day marks the arrival of the first known Korean immigrants on January 13, 1903, in Honolulu, Hawaii. These first 102 laborers paved the way for future generations of Koreans seeking new opportunities in the United States.

From Local to National Recognition:

While celebrations honoring Korean Americans existed at the community level for decades, official national recognition came in 2003. President George W. Bush designated January 13th as “Korean American Day” to acknowledge the community’s rich history and contributions.

Beyond K-Pop: A Legacy of Achievement:

While K-pop and Korean media might be prominent today, Korean Americans have made significant contributions across various fields. From the development of the nectarine to pioneering heart surgery techniques, and from Olympic gold medals to influential figures in politics and architecture, the community’s impact extends far beyond pop culture.

A Vibrant and Diverse Community:

Korean Americans represent a tapestry of diverse experiences and backgrounds. From descendants of early laborers to refugees and recent immigrants, the community encompasses different generations, ethnicities, and regional origins, all woven together by shared heritage and resilience.

A Day for Celebration and Reflection:

Korean American Day is not just a day of fun festivities. It also serves as a time for reflection on the challenges and triumphs the community has faced throughout history. It’s an opportunity to learn about the struggles past generations endured, celebrate the accomplishments of the present, and envision a brighter future for Korean Americans in the United States.

Korean American Day Quotes, Wishes, and Messages

“Diversity is what makes America beautiful. Happy Korean American Day!”

“May the achievements of Korean Americans continue to inspire us all.”

Happy Korean American Day! Today, we honor the incredible journeys and vibrant spirit of a community that has enriched the fabric of America. May your heritage continue to inspire and your stories continue to be told. 

“My Korean heritage is in everything I do. It’s the foundation of who I am and the lens through which I see the world.” 

Wishing you a joyous Korean American Day filled with delicious food, lively music, and the warmth of loved ones. May your heritage be your guiding light and your dreams reach new heights.

“Celebrating the strength and resilience of the Korean American community.”

Why We Love Korean American Day

1. Honoring History and Legacy:

Korean American Day commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants on January 13, 1903. These brave pioneers paved the way for generations to come, facing unimaginable challenges and contributing significantly to American society. Celebrating this day is a way to acknowledge their sacrifices and remember the roots of the community. 

2. Embracing Rich Culture and Heritage:

Korean culture is a treasure trove of artistic expression, culinary delights, and ancient traditions. From the vibrant colors of hanbok to the soulful melodies of K-pop, Korean heritage offers a unique perspective on the world. Korean American Day allows us to appreciate this cultural richness and learn from its diverse tapestry. 

3. Celebrating Resilience and Triumph:

The Korean American community has faced discrimination, hardship, and adversity throughout its history. Yet, it has persevered with unwavering resilience and emerged stronger and more united. Korean American Day is a testament to this spirit of overcoming challenges and celebrating every victory, big or small. 

4. Recognizing Achievements and Contributions:

Korean Americans have made significant contributions to American society in every field imaginable. From technology and medicine to art and entertainment, their innovative spirit and dedication to excellence have left an indelible mark on the nation. Korean American Day is a chance to recognize these achievements and inspire future generations to dream big. 

5. Building Bridges and Strengthening Communities:

Korean American Day fosters understanding and appreciation between different cultures. It encourages intercultural dialogue, breaks down stereotypes, and builds bridges of friendship and respect. By celebrating together, we can create a more inclusive and harmonious society for everyone.

6. Sharing the Joys of Korean Culture:

Korean American Day is a day to indulge in the vibrant spirit of Korean culture. From trying delectable dishes like kimchi and bibimbap to dancing to the infectious beats of K-pop, it’s a chance to experience the joy and vibrancy of Korean traditions firsthand. 

Korean American Day Dates

2024January 13Saturday
2025January 13Monday
2026January 13Tuesday
2027January 13Wednesday
2028January 13Thursday


What is Korean American Day?

Korean American Day is an annual celebration that commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States and recognizes their contributions to American society.

When is Korean American Day?

Korean American Day is celebrated on January 13th every year.


As we celebrate Korean American Day on January 13, 2024, let’s reflect on the rich history, vibrant activities, and significant contributions of the Korean American community. This day serves as a reminder of the strength that comes from embracing diversity and honoring the stories of those who have contributed to the American narrative.

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