Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"It's cleaner than San Francisco." When Park Chung-hee got the key to the city.

Visiting J&L Steel; photo by 이현표 but found via this article.

In May 1965, South Korean president Park Chung-hee (father of current South Korean president Park Geun-hye) visited Pittsburgh as part of a tour of the US that included stops in Washington D.C., New York, West Point, Los Angeles, and Cape Kennedy. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, on May 22, 1965, two articles on the occasion: one, a summary of the visit and the pleasantries exchanged between Park and Pittsburghers; another, a profile on the Korean First Lady. From the former:
The president of South Korea, Gen. Chung Hee Park, got the official view of Pittsburgh yesterday---a few minutes at the Mt. Washington overlook, and a half-hour motorcade through Oakland.

"I didn't expect to see so much green," he told Mayor Joseph M. Barr during the ride, "it's cleaner than San Francisco."
And from the latter:
On the approach to the Golden Triangle, Korea's First Lady went into a happy peal of laughter, letting out a quick spate of Korean. (She's so pleased with herself that she could talk so much about the rivers and the bridges in English, her secretary-interpreter Mrs. Margaret Cho explained.

For her arrival in Pittsburgh, Madame Park wore an entrancing lavendor silk Chogory Chima, with panels from teh shoulders, floating in the wind as she walked . . . showing the white silk lining. (The chogory stands for "short jacket," the chima for "down to the floor.").

She was greeted in her native language by a bevy of beautiful young Korean women and some Korean men.