Timeline Capsule
Time Capsule Details | BeingBlackToday.com
1948 . 07 . 24
South Korea
1st Leader of U.S. Controlled South Korean Government
After the United States occupied the South Korean territory after the defeat of Japan, at the end of World War II,  the United Nations intervened to supervise an election of a national assembly made up of the Korean people there.  The newly formed national assembly drafted a constitution and elected their first president, Syngman Rhee, who was 73 years old at the time.  

Rhee Faces a Korean Civil War
Two years into his presidency, South Korea was invaded by the newly formed government of North Korea and the Korean (Civil) War began.  Each side had powerful allies who provided millions of troops to each.  Communist China contributed close to a million troops to North Korea, and the United States contributed nearly a million troops, along with military contributions made by other UN Member States.  A truce was called in 1953.

Rhee Amends the Constitution to Ensure His Reelection
Because Rhee feared that the legislators would not reelect him in 1952, he submitted an amendment to the constitution that turned over election of the president to the people.  As a result, the voter reelected him twice, in 1952 and 1956.

Rhee Fixes Fourth Term Election
In 1960, Rhee ran for a fourth term, determined to keep control of the government, so he fixed the election to ensure victory.

Rhee Resigns Office Under Pressure of Political Protests
At the age of 85 Syngman Rhee resigned from the office of President, following nationwide demonstrations against the government, soon after his fraudulent reelection.

For several months following there was political upheaval and turmoil in South Korea.