South Korean History

South Korea: Busan - Daegu - Daejeon - Gwangju - Incheon - Seoul

Historical Events

  • 1897-02-01 Shinhan Bank, the oldest bank in South Korea, opens in Seoul.
  • 1910-08-22 Japan annexes Korea after 5 years as a protectorate
  • 1910-08-29 Japan changes Korea's name to Chōsen and appoints a governor-general to rule its new colony
  • 1945-08-17 Korea is divided into North and South Korea along the 38th parallel
  • 1945-09-09 Japanese in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Indochina surrender to Allies
  • 1946-11-23 The Workers Party of South Korea is founded

Election of Interest

1948-07-20 Syngman Rhee elected the 1st President of South Korea

  • 1948-08-15 Republic of Korea (South Korea) proclaimed (National Day)

Historic Event

1950-06-27 North Korean troops reach Seoul, UN asks members to aid South Korea, Harry Truman orders US Air Force & Navy into Korean conflict

  • 1950-06-28 North Korean forces capture Seoul, South Korea in opening phase of the Korean War

Historic Event

1950-06-30 US General MacArthur visits front in South Korea, asks for US troops

  • 1950-07-01 1st 407 US soldiers flown to South Korea
  • 1950-09-15 During Korean conflict, UN forces land at Inchon in South Korea
  • 1950-09-26 UN troops in Korean War recapture South Korean capital of Seoul
  • 1950-10-01 South Korean troops cross the 38th parallel into North Korea
  • 1950-10-26 South Korean troops reach Chosan at Chinese boundary
  • 1950-11-18 South Korean President Syngman Rhee forced to end mass executions
  • 1950-11-26 China enters Korean conflict, sends troops across Yalu River
  • 1950-12-28 Chinese troops cross 38th Parallel, into South Korea
  • 1951-01-06 Ganghwa massacre: Hundreds of South Korean communist sympathisers are slaughtered
  • 1952-08-08 Syngman Ree re-elected president of South Korea

Historic Event

1952-11-29 US President-elect Eisenhower visits Korea to assess war

  • 1952-12-14 UN Troops kill 82 North Korean POWs during a prison camp riot in Pongam-do, South Korea
  • 1953-08-08 US & South Korea initial a mutual security pact
  • 1960-04-27 South Korean President Syngman Rhee resigns after 12 years in power
  • 1963-12-17 Tsjoi Doo Sun forms government in South Korea
  • 1966-08-15 Radio Free Asia (South Korea) begins radio transmission
  • 1970-12-15 South Korean ferry Namyong-Ho sinks in Strait of Korea, 308 killed
  • 1972-05-10 Overloaded South Korean bus plunges into reservoir, killing 77
  • 1974-08-15 South Korean President Park Chung-Hee escapes assassination attempt
  • 1974-11-02 78 die when the Time Go-Go Club in Seoul, South Korea burns down. Six of the victims jumped to their deaths from the seventh floor after a club official barred the doors after the fire started.
  • 1979-10-26 Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea is assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President; Kim is executed the following May.
  • 1980-05-18 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms
  • 1980-05-27 South Korean police ends people's uprising; 2,000 killed
  • 1980-05-27 The Gwangju Massacre: South Korean airborne and army troops retake city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207 possibly many more
  • 1980-08-27 Chon Doo Hwan elected president of South Korea
  • 1980-09-17 South Korea opposition leader Kim Dae-jung sentenced to death
  • 1980-10-22 New South Korean constitution comes into effect
  • 1981-09-30 International Olympic Committee votes to award Seoul, South Korea as host of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games
  • 1983-09-06 Soviet Union admits that it shot down the South Korean airliner KAL 007 on September 1st
  • 1983-10-09 Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) bombing: North Korean agents attempt to assassinate South Korean President results in 21 deaths, including 9 South Korean government officials; presidential advisors and security team members; and 3 reporters
  • 1984-08-07 The US collects its first Olympic gold medal in women's basketball history with a 85-55 win over South Korea in the final at the LA Games
  • 1987-02-07 Police in South Korea make hundreds of arrests during protest demonstrations, the country's biggest for 6 years, after a student died in custody
  • 1987-07-09 1 million South Koreans demonstrate against Chun Doo Hwan regime
  • 1987-10-27 South Korean voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution
  • 1987-12-16 Roh Tae Woo elected president of South Korea
  • 1988-02-25 South Korea adopts constitution
  • 1988-09-22 South Korean coaches attack NZ referee after disputing his decision, Olympic Korean boxer stages a 67 minute sit-in
  • 1988-10-01 The inaugural Olympic table tennis program concludes in Seoul with China and South Korea each winning 2 titles
  • 1988-10-02 South Korean light middleweight boxer Park Si-hun is controversially awarded the Seoul Olympic gold medal after appearing well beaten by future 4 weight class world champion Roy Jones Jr
  • 1991-02-12 North & South Korea form a joint team for table tennis competition
  • 1991-05-22 Roh Jai Bong resigns as premier of South Korea
  • 1991-09-17 UN admits Estonia, Latvia, Lithuiania, North & South Korea, Marshall Islands & Micronesia
  • 1992-08-04 In its debut at the Barcelona Olympics the badminton singles gold medals are both won by Indonesian athletes, whilst both men's & women's doubles go to South Korea
  • 1992-08-24 Diplomatic relations are established between the People's Republic of China and South Korea.
  • 1993-04-19 Fire in psychiatric institute in South Korea, kills 40
  • 1993-07-26 Boeing 737-500 crashes in South Korea, 66 killed
  • 1993-10-10 Ferry boat leaves for west coast of South Korea, 120 killed
  • 1995-04-28 Gas explosion in South Korean metro, 103 die
  • 1996-12-26 Start of the largest strike in South Korean history.

Film Premiere

1997-04-15 Disaster film "Volcano" directed by Mick Jackson, and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche premieres in South Korea

  • 1997-05-12 14 North Koreans defect to South Korea

Sports History

1999-07-04 South Korean defending champion Se Ri Pak wins the most crowded playoff in LPGA history (6) in the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic

Summit of Interest

2000-06-13 South Korean President Kim Dae-jung meets leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit, in the northern capital of Pyongyang

  • 2001-04-16 105th Boston Marathon: Lee Bong-Ju of South Korea men's winner in 2:09:43; Catherine Ndereba of Kenya wins back-to-back women's titles in 2:23:53
  • 2002-04-15 An Air China Boeing 767-200, flight CA129 crashes into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.
  • 2002-06-29 Naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea lead to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel.
  • 2003-02-18 Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea
  • 2004-03-12 Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea, is impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation's history.
  • 2004-05-14 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun
  • 2004-08-21 The archery competition concludes at the Athens Olympics with South Korea dominant with 3 of 4 gold medals; venue is the Panathenaic Stadium, in which the 1896 games were held
  • 2005-07-17 Canadian Open Women's Golf, Glen Arbour GC: South Korean Meena Lee wins by 1 from Australian Katherine Hull
  • 2007-05-17 Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.
  • 2007-10-02 President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea walks across the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea on his way to the second Inter-Korean Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
  • 2007-12-07 The Hebei Spirit oil spill began in South Korea after a crane barge being towed by tug collided with the very large crude carrier, Hebei Spirit.
  • 2008-02-10 The 2008 Namdaemun fire severely damages Namdaemun, the first National Treasure of South Korea.
  • 2008-08-16 South Korean weightlifter Jang Mi-Ran wins the women's unlimited (+75 kg) division at the Beijing Olympics by breaking world records 5 times: once in snatch, twice in clean-and-jerk, and twice in total
  • 2009-01-13 Global shipping experiences a drop in trade, as exports from South Korea dropping an annualised 30%, with Taiwan and Japan experiencing a 42% and 27% drop respectively

PGA Championship

2009-08-16 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Hazeltine National GC: Yang Yong-eun of South Korea wins his first major title by 3 strokes from Tiger Woods

  • 2010-06-27 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Locust Hill CC: American Christie Kerr takes her second major title with a 12 stroke win over Song-Hee Kim of South Korea
  • 2010-11-23 The Bombardment of Yeonpyeong occurs on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea. The North Korean artillery attack kills 2 civilians and 2 South Korean marines.
  • 2011-07-11 US Open Women's Golf, The Boardmoor: Ryu So-yeon wins her first major in a playoff with fellow South Korean Hee Hung Seo
  • 2011-08-27 13th Athletics World Championships open at Daegu, South Korea

Sports History

2011-09-03 Following his disqualification in the 100m, Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs a season best 19.40 to win the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in South Korea

  • 2012-02-20 South Korea angers North Korea as it proceeds with live fire drills in disputed Korean sea borders
  • 2012-04-11 South Korean legislative elections result in the governing Saenuri Party retaining governance
  • 2012-07-05 South Korea announce plans to begin "scientific' whaling of minke whales
  • 2012-12-05 8 people are killed and 12 injured by a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in South Korea

Election of Interest

2012-12-19 Park Geun-hye wins the South Korean presidential election to become the nation’s first female president

  • 2013-01-30 South Korea successfully launches its rocket Naro-1 which was carrying a scientific satellite
  • 2013-03-08 North Korea terminates all peace pacts with South Korea
  • 2013-03-11 North Korea cuts the phone line with South Korea, breaching the 1953 armistice
  • 2013-03-16 Kim Yu-Na of South Korea wins the women’s 2013 World Figure Skating Championships
  • 2013-03-30 North Korea declares it is at a state of war with South Korea
  • 2013-04-17 North Korea blocks a South Korean supply delegation from the Kaesong joint industrial zone
  • 2014-01-20 Credit cards of at least 20 million South Koreans are hacked
  • 2014-04-16 South Korean ferry MV Sewol sinks on route Incheon to Jeju, 304 drown, mostly students. National controversy erupts over rescue efforts and actions of crew and owner.
  • 2014-08-24 Canadian Open Women's Golf, London Hunt CC: Ryu So-yeon wins by 2 from fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi
  • 2014-11-11 The captain of the South Korean ferry which sank in April is found guilty of gross negligence and sentenced to 36 years in prison

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 191

  • 1545-04-28 Yi Sun-sin, Korean Naval Commander, born in Hanseong, South Korea (d. 1598)

Syngman Rhee

1875-03-26 Syngman Rhee, 1st President of South Korea (1948-60), born in Haeju, North Korea (d. 1965)

  • 1879-07-12 Han Yong-woon, Korean Buddhist reformer and poet, born in Yucheon, Hongseong, South Korea (d. 1944)
  • 1897-08-26 Yoon Boseon, Korean politician, President of South Korea (1960-62), born in Asan, Joseon (d. 1990)
  • 1917-09-30 Chung Hee Park, general/President of South Korea (1961-79), assassinated
  • 1918-11-09 Choi Hong Hi, South Korean army general and Founder of Taekwon-Do, born in Hwadae, Myongchon County, North Hamgyong Province, Japanese Korea (d. 2002)
  • 1919-07-16 Choi Kyu-hah, President of South Korea, born in Wŏnju, South Korea (d. 2006)
  • 1920-02-25 Sun Myung Moon, South Korean evangelist (Unification Church), born in Chongju, Japanese Korea (d. 2012)
  • 1924-01-08 Kim Dae-jung, 8th President of South Korea (1998-2003) and 2000 Nobel Peace Prize 2000 laureate, born in Hauido, South Korea (d. 2009)
  • 1926-01-07 Kim Jong-pil, South Korean Prime Minister (1971-75, 1998-2000) and founder of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (now the National Intelligence Service), born in Buyeo County, Japanese Korea (d. 2018)
  • 1927-12-20 Kim Young-sam, South Korean politician and democratic activist (President of South Korea 1993-98), born in Geojedo, Geoje, South Korea (d. 2015)
  • 1932-11-30 Cho Namchul, South Korean professional Go player (d. 2006)
  • 1932-12-04 Roh Tae-Woo, 6th President South Korea (1988-93), born in Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
  • 1933-08-01 Ko Un, South Korean poet, born in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province
  • 1934-09-12 Jaegwon Kim, Korean-born American philosopher, born in Daegu, South Korea
  • 1939-03-27 Jay Kim, U.S. House of Representatives from California, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1943-03-16 Kim Mu-saeng, South Korean actor (d. 2005)
  • 1945-04-12 Lee Jong-wook, Korean Director-General of the World Health Organization, born in Seoul, South Korea (d. 2006)
  • 1946-08-06 Roh Moo-hyun, South Korean politician
  • 1946-09-01 Roh Moo-Hyun, President of South Korea

Park Geun-hye

1952-02-02 Park Geun-hye, 1st female President of South Korea (2013-17), born in Jung-gu, Taegu

  • 1953-01-22 Myung-Whun Chung, South Korean pianist and conductor (Chung Trio), born in Seoul, South Korea

Moon Jae-in

1953-01-24 Moon Jae-in, South Korean politician, President of South Korea (2017-), born in Geoje, South Korea

  • 1953-01-29 Hwang Woo-Suk, South Korean biomedical scientist and stem cell researcher, born in Buyeo-gun, South Korea
  • 1953-02-25 Kim Yeong-cheol, South Korean actor
  • 1954-07-04 Chang-dong Lee, South Korean filmmaker and novelist (Secret Sunshine, Poetry), born in Daegu, South Korea
  • 1957-04-07 Kim Kap-su, South Korean actor
  • 1958-01-03 Shim Hyung-rae, South Korean filmmaker
  • 1958-06-25 Debbie Green-Vargas, American volleyball player (Olympic silver 1984), born in South Korea
  • 1959-12-08 Jim Yong Kim, South Korean-American physician, anthropologist and President of the World Bank, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1960-10-25 Hong Sang-soo, South Korean filmmaker (Right Now, Wrong Then), born in Seoul
  • 1962-01-22 Choi Min-sik, South Korean actor, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1962-08-20 Dong-Wook Song, South Korean tennis player, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1962-12-23 Kang Je-gyu, South Korean film director, born in Masan, South Korea
  • 1963-08-23 Park Chan-wook, South Korean filmmaker (Joint Security Area, Thirst), born in Seoul
  • 1963-10-14 Yim Jae-beom, South Korean rock singer, born in Seoul
  • 1965-04-24 Son Chang-Min, South Korean actor, born in Busan, South Korea
  • 1965-11-24 Kim Roe-ha, South Korean actor
  • 1966-04-06 Young Man Kang, South Korean film director
  • 1966-08-18 Kang Soo-yeon, South Korean actress (The Surrogate Woman, Come Come Come Upward), born in Seoul, South Korea (d. 2022) [1]
  • 1967-01-17 Song Kang-ho, South Korean actor, born in Busan, South Korea
  • 1968-05-01 Sol Kyung-gu, South Korean actor
  • 1968-06-15 Oh Dal-su, South Korean actor, born in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
  • 1968-06-23 Jay Y Lee [Lee Jae-yong], South Korean Vice Chairman of Samsung, born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1968-08-18 Lee Seung-yeon, South Korean actress, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1968-11-01 Park Shin-yang, South Korean actor (The Letter, A Promise), born in Gonghang-dong, Seoul
  • 1969-02-12 Hong Myung-Bo, Korean footballer, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1969-08-17 Uhm Jung-hwa, South Korean K-pop singer (Rose of Betrayal; Festival), and actress, born in Jecheon-si, South Korea
  • 1970-05-19 K. J. Choi, South Korean golfer (Players C'ship 2011; 8 PGA Tour titles), born in Wando, South Korea
  • 1970-07-12 Brian Lee Byung-Hun, South Korean actor
  • 1970-09-01 Hwang Jung-min, South Korean actor
  • 1970-10-01 Gam Wu-seong, South Korean actor
  • 1970-10-08 Soon-Yi Previn, Korean-American actress (Hannah and Her Sisters), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1970-10-09 Park Sang-min, South Korean actor (General's Son), born in Changwon, South Korea
  • 1971-01-31 Lee Young Ae, South Korean actress, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1971-02-03 Hong Seok-cheon, South Korean actor
  • 1971-02-23 Jeong Chan, South Korean actor, born in Boryeong, South Korea
  • 1971-10-12 Ahn Jae Wook, South Korean actor, composer and singer, born in Donam-dong, Seongbuk District, Seoul, South Korea (d. 1971)
  • 1972-01-03 Yoon Chan, South Korean actor
  • 1972-03-07 Jang Dong-gun, South Korean actor (Friend) and musician, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1972-07-28 Yeom Jeong-ah, South Korean actress (A Tale of Two Sisters), born in Seoul
  • 1972-08-29 Bae Yong Joon, South Korean actor, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1972-09-03 Shim Eun-ha, South Korean actress (Christmas in August), born in Seongnam, South Korea
  • 1972-10-24 Kim Ji-soo, South Korean actress (This Charming Girl), born in South Korea
  • 1973-02-11 Jeon Do-yeon, Korean actress, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1973-03-20 Jung Woo-sung, South Korean actor
  • 1973-05-09 Chu Sang-mi, South Korean actress
  • 1973-06-07 Song Yun-ah, South Korean model and actress
  • 1973-06-24 Ji Jin Hee, South Korean actor
  • 1973-11-07 Yunjin Kim, South Korean-American actress (Sun-Lost), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1973-12-15 Ryu Seung-wan, South Korean actor and director, born in Onyang, South Korea
  • 1974-04-05 Uhm Tae Woong, South Korean actor
  • 1974-06-14 Jang Jin-young, South Korean actress
  • 1974-07-02 Moon So-ri, South Korean actress
  • 1974-09-22 Yoo Chae-yeong, South Korean singer and actress (Cool), born in South Korea (d. 2014)
  • 1974-12-07 Kang Full, South Korean webcomic artist, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1975-02-17 Harisu [Lee Kyung-eun], South Korean singer, model and actress, born in Seongnam, Korea
  • 1975-03-04 Kim Jung-Eun, South Korean actress (Marrying the Mafia), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1975-05-23 Kim Sung-soo, South Korean actor
  • 1975-06-11 Choi Ji-woo, South Korean actress (Stairway to Heaven), born in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
  • 1975-07-23 Sung Hyun-ah, South Korean actress (Cello), born in South Korea
  • 1975-09-08 Lee Eul-Yong, South Korean footballer, born in Taebaek, South Korea
  • 1976-03-25 Baek Ji Young, South Korean singer
  • 1976-03-25 Cha Tae-hyun, South Korean actor
  • 1976-04-13 Yu Ji-tae, South Korean actor, born in Seoul
  • 1976-08-05 Kwon Sang-woo, South Korean actor (Stairway to Heaven), born in Daejeon, South Korea
  • 1976-09-06 Hyun Young, South Korean actress and pop singer, born in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
  • 1976-10-05 Song Seung-hun, South Korean actor, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1976-10-15 Yoon Son-ha, South Korean actress and singer (Fighting Girl), born in Jeonju, South Korea
  • 1977-02-27 Ji Sung, South Korean actor, born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1977-05-05 Choi Kang-hee, South Korean actress (Sweet Buns), born in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1977-05-09 Choi Jeong-yoon, South Korean actress
  • 1977-08-12 Park Yong-ha, South Korean actor and singer
  • 1977-09-09 Chae Jung-an, South Korean actress and singer, born in Busan, South Korea
  • 1977-09-28 Se-ri Pak, South Korean golfer (5 LPGA major titles; US Open 1998, British Open 2001), born in Daejeon, South Korea
  • 1977-09-29 Won Bin, South Korean actor (Autumn in My Heart), born in Jeongseon County, South Morea
  • 1977-11-04 So Ji-sub, South Korean model and actor, born in Incheon, South Korea
  • 1977-12-25 Uhm Ji-won, South Korean actress, born in Daegu, South Korea
  • 1978-01-03 Park Sol-mi, South Korean actress

Famous Weddings

Syngman Rhee

1934-10-08 South Korean President Syngman Rhee (59) weds Francesca Donner (34)

Famous Deaths

Syngman Rhee

1965-07-19 Syngman Rhee, 1st President of South Korea (1948-60), dies at 90

  • 1974-08-15 Yuk Young-So, wife of South Korean president Park Chung-Hee, murdered in an assassination attempt on her husband at 48
  • 1979-10-26 Park Chung-hee, South Korean general and President (1963-79), assassinated by the director of the Korean Intelligence Agency at 61
  • 1982-11-17 Duk Koo Kim, South Korean boxer, legally declared dead
  • 1983-10-09 Suh Seok-jun, South Korea Deputy Prime Minister, killed (one of 21 victims) in Rangoon bombing at about 45
  • 1990-07-18 Yoon Boseon, President of South Korea (b. 1897)
  • 1994-01-17 Chung Il Kwon, Prime Minister of South Korea (1964-70), dies
  • 2002-06-15 Choi Hong Hi, South Korean army general and Founder of Taekwon-Do, dies at 83
  • 2004-06-22 Kim Sun-il, South Korean translator (b. 1970)
  • 2005-04-16 Kim Mu-saeng, South Korean actor (b. 1943)
  • 2006-10-22 Choi Kyu-hah, President of South Korea, dies at 87
  • 2007-02-10 Jung Da Bin, South Korean actress (b. 1980)
  • 2008-01-03 Yo-Sam Choi, South Korean boxer (Lineal & WBC light flyweight titles 1999-2002), dies of brain damage after fight at 35
  • 2008-10-02 Choi Jin-sil, South Korean actress (b. 1968)
  • 2008-10-06 Kim Ji-hoo, South Korean actor and model (b. 1985)
  • 2009-03-07 Jang Ja-yeon, South Korean actress, commits suicide at 29
  • 2009-04-27 Woo Seung-yeon, South Korean actress & model, dies at 25
  • 2009-05-17 Jung Seung-hye, South Korean film producer (b. 1965)
  • 2009-08-18 Kim Dae-jung, 8th President of South Korea (1998-2003) and 2000 Nobel Peace Prize 2000 laureate, dies at 85
  • 2009-09-01 Jang Jin-young, South Korean actress (b. 1974)
  • 2011-12-13 Park Tae-joon, South Korean general and founder of steel giant Posco, dies at 84
  • 2012-09-03 Sun Myung Moon, South Korean evangelist (Unification Church), dies at 92
  • 2015-11-22 Kim Young-sam, politician and activist - President of South Korea (1993-98), dies at 87
  • 2017-12-18 Jonghyun [Kim Jong-hyun], South Korean singer-songwriter, radio host, and author (SHINee), commits suicide at 27
  • 2018-06-23 Kim Jong-pil, South Korean Prime Minister (1971-75, 1998-2000) and founder of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (now the National Intelligence Service), dies at 92