About

Just as Elihu Root noted the Need of Popular Understanding of International Law, there is a need of Popular Understanding of Korea's Movement for Self-Determination and Democracy, and the importance of the March 1, 1919 Movement thereto. Understanding this story is not only necessary for a proper appreciation of the present, but is also a valuable means by which to reconnect with and be inspired by the values which we hold dear: Democracy, Independence, Self-Determination, Automony, Human Dignity and the priority of Right over might.

As 서재필 (Soh Jaipil/Philip Jaisohn) a Cosmopolitan Patriot said, "Right makes might, not might the right."

To that end, Forward Into Memory is an international collaborative project which seeks to educate English speaking audiences (both inside and outside of Korea) about the democratic, non-violent and transnational aspects of the March 1, 1919 Movement.

There are five focal points to the project:

1) The 'Thread of Democracy' that was spinning in Korea before the March 1, 1919 Movement, how that Thread of Democracy continued to spin after 1919, and how, after the division of Korea in 1945, that Thread continues to spin to this day.

2) The transnational dimensions of the Movement - especially by drawing attention to both Koreans and non-Koreans who were working outside of Korea for the Movement;

3) Korea's repeated diplomatic appeals for assistance in its quest for Independence and Self-Determination to International Fora such as The 1905 Portsmouth Peace Conference (ending the Russo-Japanese War), The 1907 Hague Peace Conference, The 1919 Paris Peace Conference (ending the First World War), The League of Nations, the 1921 Washington Disarmament Conference, and the 1945 Conference on International Organization of The United Nations;

4) The Interfaith Dimensions of the Movement, especially amongst Christians, Buddhists and members of the Choendogyo Movement.

5) The relationship of the March 1,1919 Movement to the goal of the Peaceful Unification of Korea.

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The March 1, 1920 Parade celebrating Korean Independence, Reedley, California. Image Courtesy of the Korean Amercian Digital Archive at the University of Southern California

칼을 꺾고 생각을 깊이하자 ~ 함석헌

Put your sword down and think hard ~ Ham Sok Hon


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Student delegates to the 1919 Korean Congress in Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. The Congress, inspired by the March 1, 1919 Movement in Korea, was convened from April 14-16, 1919 in Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. Download the proceedings here. The Provisional Government of Korea was established 4 days later in Shanghai, China on April 20, 1919.