Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Celebrating 50 years of Statehood

The 50th state of the United States of America turned 50 years old today. At the Hawaii State Capitol past governors and lawmakers who helped shape the foundation of our government and other dignitaries joined the 25th Legislature and the administration in commemorating this historic event.

President Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admissions Act on March 18, 1959, and three months later the people of Hawaii voted 17 to 1 to accept statehood.

Members of the First Legislature of Hawaii House of Representatives were honored this afternoon at the Statehood Special Joint Session:

Thomas P. Gill. Mrs. Lois Gill and son, Mr. Eric Gill
Stanley I. Hara, Mrs. Diane Hara and son, Judge Glenn Hara
Walter M. Heen and Mrs. Norma Heen
George Koga and Mrs. Ruth Koga
Katsugo Miho, Mrs. Laura Miho, and daughter, Ms. Mariko Miho
Frederick W. Rolfing and Mrs. Rolfing

After the special session, four artifacts celebrating the State's 50th anniversary were placed in the chambers of the Capitol for public viewing. The artifacts included the original state seal, the pen President Eisenhower used to sign into law the Hawaii statehood bill, the phone used by Speaker Elmer Carvalho to receive a call from Territorial Governor William Quinn in Washington D.C. about the passage of the statehood bill by the president, and a log from a bonfire held in Honolulu to celebrate statehood. You can views these artifacts at the end of the slideshow.

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