50 is a landmark anniversary to celebrate, and Hawaiians plan to do it in style. There's plenty of time to join in the festivities which will be held around the state. A cruise is an excellent way to see the Islands of Aloha.
Hawai‘i’s Governor Lingle spoke about the Commission's plans saying “In emphasizing education and passing on of Hawai‘i’s rich history to a new generation of leaders, I believe that we are giving this milestone the weight and attention it deserves".
"The plan’s varied components will provide residents and visitors of all ages with opportunities to reflect on how statehood has contributed to the Hawai‘i of today and the direction we are headed as the youngest and most ethnically and culturally diverse state in America,” the Governor added.
Road to Hawaii Statehood
The road to statehood began on May 18, 1959 when Congress passed a bill proposing that the Territory of Hawaii become the 50th state of the union. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill making it official on August 21, 1959.
To commemorate the day in 1959 that the U.S. Congress passed the bill which allowed Hawai‘i to be admitted as a state, the Commission will host a public event at the State Capitol on March 18, 2009, which will include various family activities from noon until 1:30 p.m. in the Rotunda and Capitol grounds. A special joint session of the Hawai‘i State Legislature has also been requested.
In addition, a Memorial Day commemorative event and an arrival ceremony for the first commissioned submarine named for the State of Hawai‘i, the USS Hawai‘i, are being planned for summer 2009 to recognize the invaluable contributions made by the military to Hawai‘i both before and after statehoodCoordinated by neighbor island representatives to the Commission and their local planning committees, each county will host several island-specific events to commemorate statehood.
The year-long activities will culminate with a one-day public conference on August 21, 2009 called Commemorating the 50th State: New Horizons for the Next 50 Years, at which local, national and international leaders will gather to discuss topics about Hawai‘i’s past, present and future, including technology in our daily lives, education for the next generation, the 21st century economy, and a break-out session entitled “Native Hawaiians: Cultural Navigation in a Sea of Change.”
For additional information see the following websites:
- Hawaii 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission
- Hawaii the Islands of Aloha - Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
- Statehood Hawaii
- Hawaii Statehood Postage Stamp
- U.S. Mint - Hawaii Statehood Coin
- Cruise Destination - Hawaii
I'll take a closer look at the Islands of Aloha in future columns.