Wednesday, April 03, 2019

A look at Arbor Day

My latest Korea Times story is about the long-lost holiday, Arbor Day / 식목일. For decades April 5 was a day off so students, citizens and civil servants could plant trees. One of the unsung accomplishments achieved (mostly) under Park Chung-hee's rule was the conversion of Korea's bare mountains into thriving forests that are today a haven for hikers - something now taken for granted.

For a decade or so Park led a ceremony on that day and was photographed planting trees, often with his children. He and others made lofty speeches, such as when, in 1968, "Seoul Mayor Kim Hyun-ok...emphasized planting trees as a sacred task for the modernization of the Republic and this generation’s sublime duty for the welfare of our descendants."

Here are a few photos and cartoons drawn from the Korea Times:

Korea Times, April 6, 1968. 

Korea Times, April 6, 1965.

Korea Times, April 5, 1967. 

Korea Times, April 5, 1970. 

No comments: