On August 21, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation welcoming Hawai‘i as the 50th state of the union and ordered a new American flag to feature 50 stars. The new design became the official American flag the following year on July 4, 1960.
The effort for statehood had started in 1919 by Prince Kuhio as Hawai‘i’s non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress, and took 40 years and five failed attempts before the Hawai‘i Admission Act was approved. On June 27, 1959, Hawai‘i residents voted 94% in support of statehood.
Since 1969, Hawai‘i has commemorated this anniversary with a state holiday on the third Friday in August. The holiday was originally called “Admissions Day,” but since 2001 it has been called “Statehood Day.” I find it interesting to note that out of all 50 states, only five have official statehood holidays (Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada, West Virginia, and Hawai‘i). Read more about Hawai’i Admissions Day in my previous blog post.
We will commemorate the occasion by playing “Island Songs” at my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong series on Thursday, August 16 from 10 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. ‘Ukulele players are invited to play-along as everyone sings-along to ten popular songs of the Hawaiian Islands.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele