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Today in Korean history

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

March 15

1919 -- Korean immigrants in Hawaii, the U.S. mainland and Mexico hold separate meetings on how to support and finance the independence movement in their homeland, which was then a Japanese colony. They contributed wages from working on farms to help independence fighters operating on the Korean Peninsula and in surrounding countries, mostly China and Russia.

1960 -- The Liberal Party succeeds in arranging the reelection of then President Rhee Syngman in a rigged vote. Fake voters were created and vote counts were manipulated to extend Rhee's term. He had ruled the country since becoming South Korea's first president in 1948. The U.S.-educated leader, however, was forced to leave the country later that year after his government was toppled in a pro-democracy uprising. He died in Hawaii five years later.

2003 -- The Ministry of National Defense shortens mandatory military service by two months, cutting service periods in South Korea's Army, Navy and Air Force to 24, 26 and 28 months, respectively. The changes went into effect in October that year. All South Korean men are required to serve.

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