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This month in history

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By Hyon O'Brien

One of the things I do regularly each week is to share with my Rotary Club members in Bal Harbour, Florida an eclectic list of miscellaneous historical events that happened on that day ― "today in history." The recent 100th anniversary of Korea's March 1, 1919 Independence Movement against Japanese occupation inspired me to do the same thing for the month of March. So here is "this month in history."

On March 1, 1919, Seoul was overflowing with marches by people from around the country protesting against Japanese colonial rule. One of the leaders, at the tender age of 16, was student Ryu Gwan-sun (1902-1920). When her school was closed, Ryu continued her ongoing independence protests in her home in Chungcheong Province. Along with her family, Ryu worked tirelessly going door to door and encouraged the people to join the Independence Movement. Ryu organized a demonstration of about 3,000 protesters chanting "Long Live Korean Independence!"

The Japanese military police arrived and fired on the unarmed Korean protesters and killed 19 people including Ryu's parents. Yu was arrested and died in prison on Sept. 28, 1920 due to injuries sustained from torture and beatings inflicted by the Japanese prison wardens, one of 7,500 who reportedly died at the hands of the Japanese authorities.

On a more upbeat note,........

© The Korea Times