On August 21,1959 Hawaii was welcomed into the Union as the 50th State. 140,000 votes were cast out of 155,000 registered voters, which is the highest turnout in Hawaii ever. 93% of the voters voted for Statehood. On that day, school students were dismissed and the government offices were shut down. Retail shops closed. Hundreds danced in the streets. We can certainly understand the celebration with such a high percentage of the voters wanting Hawaii Statehood. It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who dissolved the Territory of Hawaii and established the State of Hawaii as the 50th state.
It took more than six decades of campaigning, petitioning and politicking before Hawaii received its star on the U.S. flag. Many of our citizens have T.H. on their birth certificates, for Territory of Hawaii. Hawaii had 10% of the residents that they have today. Our economy was agricultural back then with a huge sugar and pineapple industry.
Many Native Hawaiians protested against statehood and still do today. Over 50 years later, Hawaii Statehood remains controversial due to a belief that Hawai’i never legally became a state and that it has been illegally occupied by the United States since 1898.