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Feb. 8 Declaration of Independence in English discovered in 104 years

Feb. 8 Declaration of Independence in English discovered in 104 years

Posted February. 23, 2023 07:43,   

Updated February. 23, 2023 07:43


The only known handwritten English copy of the Feb. 8 Korean Declaration of Independence has been discovered in 104 years. This document was written by Korean students studying in Japan who were instrumental in the 1919 March 1st Movement. Experts believe that the draft was penned by Lee Kwang-soo (1892-1950).

On Wednesday, the Independence Hall of Korea's research institute announced that they found the handwritten copy of the Feb. 8 Declaration by analyzing materials borrowed from the KNA Memorial Foundation in Los Angeles, the U.S., in 2019. The Feb. 8 Declaration was an event where more than 600 Korean students read the declaration of independence and resolution at the YMCA Hall in Tokyo on February 8, 1919.

Written in cursive letters on six pages, the document's first line states, "Korean Declaration of Independence." It contains the same phrases as the Korean version by describing the forced annexation of Korea by Japan as "a great blot on the history of the human race" and saying, "we shall fight to the last drop of blood." While the author of the handwritten copy is unknown, some speculate that Lee may have written the original English draft himself on January 23-24, 1919, and sent it to the Korean National Association before carrying out the declaration reading event.