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The Korean War took the lives of millions, separated families and heavily influenced the Pacific Northwest. Sixty-five years later, the war resonates with veterans who survived savage combat, the loved ones of soldiers who never returned and thousands of orphans adopted by Washington families. More than 60,000 Koreans and Korean Americans live in Washington today. South Korea is one of the state’s leading partners in international trade.


Korea 65: The Forgotten War Remembered is a series of online stories and an exhibit at the Washington State Capitol that document the broader impact of war. The extraordinary experiences of Washingtonians invite visitors to think critically about the different aspects of the conflict and its continuing influence.

In Korea 65 visitors will meet Dan Keenan of Spokane, an infant in war-torn Korea shunned because of his mixed heritage and rescued by sailors aboard an aircraft carrier. The story that brought Keenan to Washington is an unforgettable tale of human compassion.


When the Korean War broke out, Patsy Surh O’Connell was 7. Invading North Koreans took over the Surhs’ large home in Seoul to use as offices, forcing Patsy’s father into hiding. The family eventually fled to safety in Busan, the port city at the bottom of the Korean peninsula.

They called him Fearless Frailey. Flying a sleek F-86 Sabre, Richard Frailey of Tumwater prowled “MiG Alley” along the Chinese border during the war. In a stunning turn of events, Frailey was shot down by friendly fire a few weeks after bagging his first enemy jet.


As a teenager during World War II, Barbara Nichols of Lacey built B-17 bombers at Boeing. By 1950, she was one of the first Army nurses sent to Korea. Nichols soon received a battlefield promotion to captain, and in her spare moments aided missionaries to help children orphaned by the war.

Help support the Korea 65 project

Legacy Washington exhibits offer visitors a unique and interactive opportunity to learn about our state’s history and the people who made it remarkable. The State Capitol Building and the Office of Secretary of State welcome more than 40,000 people annually. Visitors include student groups from across the state. Many are enrolled in social studies and state history classes.

This collaborative program enjoys a strong partnership with the Puyallup School District and the Karshner Museum. Exhibits are on display for one year in the Capitol Building before traveling to the Karshner Museum and other venues around the state.

Legacy Washington is currently seeking sponsors for the Korea 65 project. All Legacy Washington exhibits are made possible with private funds raised by the Washington State Heritage Center Trust, a 501(c)3 non-profit.

Exhibit sponsors will be invited to attend the opening ceremony, programs and events throughout the year as either guest speakers or discussion group participants. Their names will be displayed on all electronic marketing and printed material as well as on the Secretary of State website. Additionally, sponsors will be invited to a special reception with Secretary Wyman and exhibit staff after the opening.

Help us share these fascinating stories and consider sponsoring Korea 65. Contact Laura Mott, Director of Development, at (360) 902-4171.