S.B. NO.














relating to state holidays.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that every state in the Union celebrates holidays unique to that state's history. Texas celebrates its own Texas Independence Day, a day honoring Texas' independence from Mexico's central government. Utah celebrates Pioneer Day, the day Brigham Young ventured to its territory. Alaska celebrates Seward's Day, when the purchase treaty between the Alaska and Russia was codified. The distinctive cultural and storied past of Hawaii has its own holidays that have been celebrated up through the Territory of Hawaii. Lā Kūokoa, Hawaiian Recognition Day, was widely celebrated with pride as Hawaii became an emerging power in the Pacific among the global powers of that time.

The history and culture of Hawaii are showcased around the world to tell the story of the archipelago. Hawaii's culture and native language are used to make areas, buildings, and communities relevant with a sense of place. Lā Kūokoa has long been a source of pride in Hawaii and in recent years has garnered a new found energy in its celebration.

The legislature further finds that during the reign of Kamehameha III, Great Britain and France recognized the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom by joint proclamation on November 28, 1843. The United States followed on July 6, 1844. These leading world powers recognized Hawaii as an independent nation state due to the diplomatic work of Timoteo Haalilio, the first diplomat of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and his associate William Richards, who were sent as envoys of Kamehameha III to secure formal diplomatic relations with these countries.

In 1847, Kamehameha III required his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Crichton Wyllie, to determine a fitting way to recognize and celebrate the anniversary of Hawaii's welcome into the family of nations. On October 15, 1847, Wyllie delivered his report, by Privy Council, to the King and ministers. That year marked the first official celebration of Hawaiian Recognition Day, Lā Kūokoa.

Throughout the 1850s and 1870s, Hawaii celebrated Lā Kūokoa with lūau, music, and marches. The celebration grew under the reign of King Kalākaua, with formal proclamations sent by official circular to the foreign diplomatic corps in Hawaii and the Hawaiian Kingdom consuls abroad, informing them of the holiday.

The day remained a national holiday under the Provisional Government of Hawaii (1893), the Republic of Hawaii (1894-1898), and the initial years of the Territory of Hawaii. Lā Kūokoa was among the codified list of national holidays enacted by the Republic of Hawaii in 1896 (Act 66).

The purpose of this Act is to reestablish Lā Kūokoa, Hawaiian Recognition Day, as an official state holiday.

SECTION 2. Section 8-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"8-1 Holidays designated. The following days of each year are set apart and established as state holidays:

The first day in January, New Year's Day;

The third Monday in January, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day;

[The third Monday in February, Presidents' Day;]

The twenty-sixth day in March, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day;

The Friday preceding Easter Sunday, Good Friday;

The last Monday in May, Memorial Day;

The eleventh day in June, King Kamehameha I Day;

The fourth day in July, Independence Day;

The third Friday in August, Statehood Day;

The first Monday in September, Labor Day;

The eleventh day in November, Veterans' Day;

The fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day;

The twenty-eighth day in November, Lā Kūokoa;

The twenty-fifth day in December, Christmas Day;

All election days, except primary and special election days, in the county wherein the election is held;

Any day designated by proclamation by the President of the United States or by the governor as a holiday."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.




















Report Title:

State Holiday; Lā Kūokoa; Hawaiian Recognition Day



Reestablishes Lā Kūokoa, Hawaiian Recognition Day, as an official state holiday.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.