HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

180

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 
   


HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

RECALLING THE HISTORIC STRUGGLE FOR HAWAII STATEHOOD, AFFIRMING THE PRIDE OF THE PEOPLE OF HAWAII THAT HAWAII IS THE 50TH STATE IN THE UNION, AND URGING THE GOVERNOR TO ORGANIZE CELEBRATORY EVENTS FOR THE STATEHOOD DAY HOLIDAY.

 

 

WHEREAS, from 1849 to 1959, there were repeated attempts by the people of Hawaii -- both indigenous and foreign -- 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

WHEREAS, in 1854, King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III directed his Minister of Foreign Relations to ascertain the views of the United States regarding annexation of the Hawaiian islands and the terms and conditions under which the annexation could be obtained; and

WHEREAS, In 1897, the Republic of Hawaii ratified a Treaty of Annexation and offered it to the United States. The offer was accepted by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by President William McKinley in 1898; and

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

WHEREAS, Hawaii's first Territorial Delegate to Congress, Robert Wilcox, a former royalist, was elected on a pledge that "The first bill I shall introduce will be one to admit Hawaii to Statehood"; and

WHEREAS, in 1903, the elected Territorial Legislature, with more than seventy per cent of its members being native Hawaiian, unanimously passed a joint resolution asking Congress for an enabling act to convene a constitutional convention to create a constitution for a proposed State of Hawaii; and

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

WHEREAS, on November 5, 1940, the Hawaii general election ballot included the question "Do you favor Statehood for Hawaii?" The vote was 46,174 "Yes" and 22,438 "No" -- or sixty-seven per cent 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. The draft constitution was then approved by a special session of the Territorial Legislature on July 15, 1950, and ratified in the general election of November 7, 1950, by a vote of 82,788 "Yes" and 27,109 "No" -- or seventy-five per cent in the affirmative; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Senate Report 886 of January 27, 1954, associated with a bill for statehood, indicated that thirty-three bills for statehood had been introduced by Hawaii's Territorial Delegates between 1919 and 1954; and

WHEREAS, in 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 of the Territorial capitol building -- Iolani Palace; and

WHEREAS, during the 1950s, Republican Territorial Delegates Joseph Farrington and Elizabeth Farrington, and Democrat Territorial Delegate John Burns, Republican Governors Samuel Wilder King and William Quinn, and a large majority of Hawaii's citizens all strongly supported statehood; and

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

WHEREAS, on March 11, 1959, the United States Senate passed a Hawaii statehood bill by a vote of 76-15, the United States House of Representative passed the same bill on March 12, 1959, by a vote of 323-89, and President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on March 18, 1959, offering statehood to Hawaii pending ratification by Hawaii's people; and

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

WHEREAS, on August 21, 1959, President Dwight 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, Republican Senator Hiram L. Fong, Democrat Senator Oren E. Long, and Democrat Representative Daniel K. Inouye, elected after the plebiscite of June 27, 1959, took their oaths of office in Washington, D.C. to represent the State of Hawaii in Congress, while Republican William Quinn became the State's first elected governor; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii's Admission Day holiday, now officially referred to as "Statehood Day", annually celebrates the political joining of America and Hawaii, giving the world a model of people celebrating great cultural diversity while unified in the Aloha Spirit, democracy, and equality under law; and

WHEREAS, there has been a great upsurge of American patriotism in Hawaii following the terrorist attacks on America of September 11, 2001, in which thousands of lives were lost, including some from Hawaii; and

WHEREAS, this upsurge of patriotism includes special respect for the heroism and sacrifices of police, firefighters, United States military personnel, and civic organizations, and prominent displaying of the United States flag; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature calls upon the Governor to:

(1) Organize celebratory events for the Statehood Day holiday weekend, August 16-18, 2002, and for each Statehood Day holiday in future years;

(2) Invite participation in these celebratory events by a broad spectrum of Hawaii civic organizations, police, firefighters, National Guard, and United States military units;

(3) Proudly fly the United States flag on all buildings used by the State of Hawaii for legislative, executive, or judicial purposes; and

(4) Encourage police, firefighters, National Guard, United States military units, and Hawaii civic organizations, each one carrying the United States flag, to take part in celebrations and ceremonies commemorating the Roll of Honor Statehood Petition of 1954 and the declaration of Statehood;

and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President pro tempore of the United States

Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the Governor.

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

Report Title:

Statehood; Gov. to Organize Celebratory Events