Independence Movement Day (March 1st Movement) in South Korea Date in the current year: March 1, 2016

Independence Movement Day (March 1st Movement) in South Korea South Korea annually observes Independence Movement Day on March 1. This movement was one of the earliest public resistances against Japanese occupation the of Korean Empire.

March 1st Movement (or Samil Movement) took place in 1919 and it came as the result of the repressive nature of Japan. The movement was started by the Korean students studying in Tokyo, when they heard the news of Woodrow Wilson's speech at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919. The students published a statement, in which they demanded freedom to South Korea from colonial rule.

33 activists formed the core of the Samil Movement and convened at Taehwagwan Restaurant in Seoul to read the Korean Declaration of Independence, drawn up by historian Choe Nam-seon. The document was signed by the leaders of the movement and a copy was sent to the Governor General.

This movement became a catalyst for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in April 1919. The activists of the movement, who were hunted down by the Japanese, fled to other parts of China, where they continued their activities. The Japanese reacted on the movement by heightening its suppression, but the Government lost control.

Independence Movement Day on March 1 was established as national holiday only in 1949. Nowadays Independence Movement Day is celebrated with a ceremony of reading of the Korean Declaration Independence in Tapgol Park.

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