Hawaii Statehood Day 2020

Photo by Albert Yamauchi of news carrier Chester Kahapea on Friday, August 21, 1959

This year Hawai’i celebrates Admission Day or Statehood Day on the actual day that it occurred back in 1959, August 21 the third Friday of the month. The legal state holiday commemorates the 1959 admission of Hawai’i into the Union.

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).

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele