Hawaii Finally Becomes Part of The U.S. – 8/21/1959

US History |

Aloha means hello and goodbye, on this day in history we said hello to the 50th state Hawaii! It’s a tropical paradise that became part of the United States on August, 21st. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting the state of Hawaii into the Union as our 50th State. The American flag also was revamped from having 49 stars to an even 50 stars making all anal-retentive Americans happy for the first time since the birth of our nation. 

The stars on the flag were staggered in rows as follows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag was officially instated aptly on the 4th of July in 1960.

The first settlers of Hawaii were Polynesian travelers who had to have arrived there in the eighth century. That was a long, long time ago. American traders came to Hawaii to do what American traders do best: exploit the Island’s natural resources and terrorize their people. Just kidding, but really. They were out to discover the island’s resources and their extremely valuable sandalwood population. Sandalwood was highly coveted in the East and powers like China were looking to capitalize on their vast populations. American missionaries and planters brought a lot of change to the Hawaiian political and cultural life. They also altered some economic and religious aspects of the island.

It wasn’t until 1840 that a constitutional monarchy was established in old Hawaii and it stripped the Hawaiian monarch was stripped of his authority when the US took over. Following all of this, in 1983 the group of American expatriates and planters of sugar were backed up by a division of United States Marines. Their mission was to depose of Queen Liliuokalani. She served Hawaii as the last reigning monarch of the islands. Not even a year later, the Republic of Hawaii was established as a U.S. protectorate. Their sole proprietor and seat of power went to Hawaiian-born Sanford B. Dole as their president.

There was anxiety in Congress and many in Congressional proponents opposed the formal annexation of Hawaii. People feared that because Hawaii was not part of the continental United States, they would be hard to control and much like Puerto Rico, would be better off as a ward of the U.S. rather than a fully beneficial state of the Union. 

This process and gridlock in congress took a long time to rectify. Because historically, congress does not want to do something, they don’t do it. This gridlock went on forever it seemed and it was not until 1898, following the authorization of the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War, that Hawaii’s importance became essential, evident and formal incredibly useful to the United States. Of course, congress agreed when it was convenient for them and annexation was approved. Two years later, Hawaii was organized and given full protection as a formal U.S. territory. Hawaii became firmly ensconced in the American national identity during World War II. They became an integral part of the US intelligence and military commissions following the horrific, fatal surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.

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Mike Sexton

Chief Editor

I have always had a passion for writing since a young age and can still remember the first time a teacher assigned us to create our own newspaper it was my favorite project. In high school I wrote for the school newspaper and loved learning about new topics. I knew I found my new passion and as soon as I stepped foot on UCLA my mind was made up. Since getting my degree I have done all types of writing and love the freedom it gives me to work from anywhere. I hope you all love my writing as I am excited to produce quality articles each day for you!