RESOLUTION FOR CELEBRATION OF STATEHOOD DAY, Senate, 22nd Legislature, State of Hawai'i, 2003



S.R. NO.








relating to celebration of admission day.


WHEREAS, from 1849 to 1959, there were repeated attempts by Hawaii to achieve statehood; and

WHEREAS, in 1849 King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III, responding to pressures from Britain and France, prepared a provisional deed to cede the Kingdom of Hawaii to the United States, and gave it to the United States Commissioner, but it was never implemented because the pressures abated; and

WHEREAS, in 1854, King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III signed an order directing his Minister of Foreign Relations to take steps to ascertain the views of the United States regarding annexation of the Hawaiian islands and the terms and conditions under which such annexation could be obtained, and a treaty was drafted by the Hawaiian government in August of 1854, providing for the admission of Hawaii into the United States with the status of full statehood, but during informal negotiations the United States did not agree; and

WHEREAS, on September 8, 1897, the Republic of Hawaii ratified a treaty of annexation and the treaty was accepted by the United States in a joint resolution of Congress (known as the Newlands Resolution) then signed by President McKinley; and

WHEREAS, on April 30, 1900, President McKinley signed the Organic Act establishing the government of the Territory of Hawaii, including a provision that all citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, were now citizens of the Territory of Hawaii and the United States; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii's first Territorial Delegate to Congress, Robert Wilcox, presenting the Home Rule Party, was elected on a pledge that "The first bill I shall introduce will be one to admit Hawaii to Statehood" (The Evening Bulletin, July 12, 1901); and

WHEREAS, the elected Territorial Legislature in 1903, with more than 70% of its members being native Hawaiian, unanimously passed a joint resolution to ask Congress for an enabling act to convene a constitutional convention to create a constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii (Session Laws of Hawaii, 1903, p. 377); and

WHEREAS, in 1919, Hawaii's elected Territorial Delegate Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole introduced the first bill for Hawaii statehood into Congress; and

WHEREAS, on November 5, 1940, the Hawaii general election ballot included the question "Do you favor Statehood for Hawaii?" and the vote was 46,174 "yes" and 22,438 "No" (67% in the affirmative); and

WHEREAS, in 1949, a special election was held to elect delegates to a constitutional convention to draft a constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii, which draft constitution was then approved by a special session of the Territorial Legislature on July 15, 1950, and was approved in the general election of November 7, 1950, by a vote of 82,788 "Yes" and 27,109 "No" (75% in the affirmative); and

WHEREAS, U.S. Senate Report 886 of January 27, 1954, associated with a bill for statehood, indicated that 33 bills for statehood were introduced by Hawaii's Territorial delegates between 1919 and 1954; and

WHEREAS, in February of 1954, a petition seeking statehood was signed by approximately 120,000 citizens of Hawaii and was given a celebratory sendoff including hula, chants, music, kahili, and torch bearers from the Hawaiian civic clubs at the front entrance to the Territorial capitol building also known as Iolani Palace, and was sent by air and delivered to Congress and remains permanently secured in the National Archives in Washington D.C.; and

WHEREAS, during the 1950's, Republican Territorial Delegates Joseph Farrington and Elizabeth Farrington, Democratic Territorial Delegate John Burns, Republican Governor Samuel Wilder King, and a large majority of Hawaii citizens strongly supported statehood but encountered persistent opposition in Congress; and

WHEREAS, in 1958, Delegate John Burns, working closely with Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson and Democratic Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, successfully negotiated the two-step political compromise which admitted Alaska as the 49th state in 1958 and Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959; and

WHEREAS, on March 11, 1959, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a statehood bill and President Eisenhower signed it on March 18, 1959, offering statehood to Hawaii pending ratification by Hawaii's citizens; and

WHEREAS, on June 27, 1959, Hawaii held a plebiscite where 140,744 ballots were cast on Proposition 1 which asked "Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted to the Union as a state?" and the vote was 132,773 "Yes" to 7,971 "No", thereby confirming an overwhelming majority of 94% in favor of statehood; and

WHEREAS, on August 18, 1959, Hawaii was admitted to the Union; and

WHEREAS, on August 21, 1959, President Eisenhower proclaimed that "the procedural requirements imposed by the Congress on the State of Hawaii to entitle that state to admission to the Union have been complied with in all respects and that the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union on an equal footing with other states of the Union is now accomplished"; and

WHEREAS, on August 24, 1959, Senator Oren E. Long, Senator Hiram L. Fong, and Representative Daniel K. Inouye took their oaths of office in Washington D.C. to represent the State of Hawaii in Congress; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii's Admission Day holiday, also known as Statehood Day, annually celebrates Hawaii's statehood, cultural diversity and undying aloha spirit; and

WHEREAS, there has been an upsurge of American patriotism after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and following the 60th anniversary of the bombing on Pearl Harbor of December 7, 1941; and

WHEREAS, the renewed patriotism not only honors the country and its flag, but includes special respect for the police, firefighters, military personnel, civic organizations, and government workers; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-Second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2003, that the Legislature calls upon the Governor to organize celebratory events for Admission Day holiday weekend August 15 through 17, 2003, and for each Admission Day holiday in future years, and to:

(1) Invite participation in such celebratory events by a broad spectrum of Hawaii civic organizations, police, firefighters, National Guard, and U.S. military units;

(2) Proudly fly the U.S. flag on all buildings formerly used by the Territory of Hawaii and/or formerly or currently used by the State of Hawaii for legislative, executive, or judicial proceedings; and

(3) Encourage police, firefighters, the National Guard, U.S. military units, and Hawaii civic organizations, each one carrying the U.S. flag, to parade on Oahu, including celebrations and ceremonies on the grounds of the former Territorial and State Capitol, where the Roll of Honor Statehood Petition of 1954 was given a great celebratory sendoff and where Statehood finally became a reality in 1959, such ceremonies to include flying the U.S. flag from the highest center pole;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of the United States Congress, and the Secretary General of the United Nations.






Report Title:

Celebration of Statehood Day

GO BACK TO: HAWAI'I STATEHOOD -- The History of the Struggle to Achieve Statehood, and Current Challenges