Vintage photos showcase little-known pieces of history from Korean War

By Jason Woods

Last Updated: July 5, 2023

Vintage photos showcase little-known pieces of history from Korean War

In This Article

  • Heifer's history is rooted in helping communities devastated by war.
  • In response to the Korean War, Heifer shipped thousands of eggs to South Korea in the early 1950s.
  • Heifer's work in South Korea later focused on the needs of orphanages.
  • These vintage photos are heartwarming tidbits of a little-known piece of history.

A black and white photo of three men standing by a plane, holding crates of eggs to donate.

An egg company, Creighton Brothers, donated a third of the eggs needed for Hatching Eggs for Korea in 1952.

War broke out between North Korea and South Korea in the middle of 1950, leaving families mourning loved ones and struggling after the loss of homes and livestock. In 1951, Heifer Project International responded to aid requests from South Korea and assessed the situation. By 1952, Heifer and the United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency planned a first shipment of hatching eggs to the country.

The first Heifer project to South Korea came to be known as Hatching Eggs for Korea and consisted of 210,000 eggs in three shipments. The project’s success led to more requests from South Korea to Heifer Project.By 1954, Heifer Project had shipped 222 goats, 331 pigs, 70 chickens, 216,000 hatching eggs, 500 rabbits and 200 hives of honey bees to South Korea.

After the war, much of Heifer’s work in South Korea focused on orphanages. By the end of 1954, there were more than 400 registered orphanages in South Korea, and they grew by about 1,000 children a week. Animals were in critically short supply post-war, so Heifer Project provided livestock for improvement of nutrition and as the foundation for vocational training.

Heifer’s work in South Korea ended in 1976. By that time, 3,200 animalsincluding heifers, rabbits, bees, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens, had been sent to 17 different parts of the country.

The following photos from the Heifer archive showcase some of our work in South Korea from 1952 onward.

A black and white photo of two South Korean children hugging goats.
Heifer sent more than 200 goats to South Korea between 1952 and 1954.
A black and white photo of three small South Korean children standing near a pin of cattle.
The donation of livestock helped to support the rebuilding of South Korea after the war.
A black and white photo of a young woman leading a cow down a ramp.
The 7,000th animal Heifer Project sent went to a community in South Korea.
A black and white photo of a young woman sheering an Angora rabbit.
Miss Park sheers an Angora rabbit donated by Heifer Project in 1965.