Yuk Young-soo

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Yuk Young-soo

Yuk Young-soo (1925 ~ 1974)

Yuk Yeong-su, known as the wife of Bak Jeong-hi who was the President of 3rd and 4th Republic, was born as a second daughter between Yuk Jong-Gwan and Lee Jyeong-ryeong.

She was born of a rich family. However, she was not conceited by her circumstances and had very gentle and warm characteristic. After graduating from Juk-hyang Primary School in Okcheon-Eup, she came up to Seoul. She graduated from Bae-wha Girl's High School in Seoul and worked as a teacher at Okcheon Girl's Middle School.

During her refugee life by the Korean War in 1950 she married lieutenant colonel Bak Jeong-hi of ROK Army and had one son and two daughters.

The successful military coup on May 16, 1961 led by her husband, Major General Bak Jeong-Hi resulted her husband to win in the presidential election twice in a row. Therefore, eventually she helped her husband as the first lady for 11 years. With her frugal behavior and elegant dignity, she was very active in many ways. She built good reputation by doing many works secretly.

Yuk Yeong-suShe was an honorary president of Yanggihui and the chairperson of Nature Conservation Association. She used to be called 'the Opposition party in the Blue House' because she continuously proposed public opinion she had collected to her husband. She established the Children's Hall on Mt. Namsan, the Children's Grand Park in Guui-Dong, Seoul and the Jeong-su Technical Training School.

She also spent her time for social welfare services such as preparation for disaster relief fund and campaign for mentally retarded children. She founded a children magazine 'The Childhood Friend' and built a dormitory 'Jung-Yeong-Sa' in Seoul National University. She built a woman's hall everywhere. Needless to say, she visited nursing homes and orphanages at the end of each year and helped unfortunate people. From 1969, she established 87 villages for dormant leprous patients and led them to make a way to revival. However, on August 15, 1974, she was assassinated by Mun Se-gwang in the Seoul National Theater where the Independence day ceremony was being held.

Because she was assassinated instead of her husband, the President Bak Jeong-hi, a crowd of people rushed in the Blue House day after day to mourn for her. At 10 a.m. of August 19, her funeral service was held solemnly at the Capitol Building Square with almost 3,000 Korean and foreign mourners including envoys from all over the world. On the afternoon of the day she was buried in National Cemetery. As a respectable mother of our modern era she implanted an ideal image of Korean woman in hearts of the people.