Hawaii Admission Act

The Admission Act, formally An Act to Provide for the Admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union (Pub.L. 86–3, 73 Stat. 4, enacted March 18, 1959) is a statute enacted by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower which dissolved the Territory of Hawaii and established the State of Hawaii as the 50th state to be admitted into the Union.[1] Statehood became effective on August 21, 1959.[2] Hawaii remains the most recent state to join the United States.

Hawaii Admission Act
Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
Long titleAn Act to provide for the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union.
NicknamesHawaii Statehood
Enacted bythe 86th United States Congress
EffectiveMarch 18, 1959
Public law86-3
Statutes at Large73 Stat. 4
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 50
  • Passed the Senate on March 11, 1959 (76-15)
  • Passed the House on March 12, 1959 (323-89, in lieu of H.R. 4221)
  • Signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on March 18, 1959

Hawaii statehood and international law

Prior to 1959, Hawaii was an organized incorporated territory of the United States. In 1946, the United Nations listed Hawaii as a non-self-governing territory under the administration of the United States (Resolution 55(I) of 1946-12-14). Also listed as non-self-governing territories under the jurisdiction of the United States were Alaska Territory, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Statehood vote

Copy of official ballot (inset) and referendum results approving Admission Act.

Out of a total population of 600,000 in the islands and 155,000 registered voters, 140,000 votes were cast, the highest turnout ever in Hawaii. The vote showed approval rates of at least 93% by voters on all major islands. Of the approximately 140,000 votes cast, fewer than 8,000 rejected the Admission Act of 1959.

Opposition to statehood

The acceptance of statehood for Hawaii was not without its share of controversy. There were Native Hawaiians who protested against statehood. Prior to admission, various bills creating the state were stalled in congressional hearings since the early 1900s. There was a fear of establishing a state that was governed by an ethnic minority, namely the large Asian American population. Some lawmakers worried about the adhesion of Hawaii's residents to the United States, in light of protests and possibly split loyalties.

Upon the election of John A. Burns from the Hawaii Democratic Party as delegate of the Territory of Hawaii to Congress, southern leaders charged that Burns' election was evidence of Hawaii as a haven for communism. Burns, in 1959, would reflect on the obstacles against the statehood campaign and place more emphasis on the resistance to statehood in the islands, rather than in Washington itself.

The reasons why Hawaii did not achieve statehood, say, ten years ago—and one could without much exaggeration say sixty years ago—lie not in the Congress but in Hawaii. The most effective opposition to statehood has always originated in Hawaii itself. For the most part it has remained under cover and has marched under other banners. Such opposition could not afford to disclose itself, since it was so decidedly against the interests and desires of Hawaii's people generally.[3]

Southern lawmakers

Burns was involved in vigorous lobbying of his colleagues persuading them that the race-based objections were unfair and charges that Communist sympathizers controlled Hawaii were false. Burns worked especially hard with the southern Democrats, led by Lyndon Johnson, who blocked the various Hawaii statehood bills. Upon leaving her seat as delegate from Hawaii, Elizabeth P. Farrington said, "Of course, Lyndon Johnson was no friend of statehood." Farrington added, "There were 22 times when he voted against us. He did everything he could, because he was representing the Southern racial opposition." She claimed Johnson had a fear that Hawaii would send representatives and senators to Congress who would oppose segregation, in spite of Johnson's record as a supporter of civil rights for blacks. Johnson ultimately changed his position and voted in favor of statehood for Hawaii.

Alice Kamokila Campbell

On the 53rd anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, January 17, 1946, Territorial Senator Alice Kamokila Campbell, one of the few voices that opposed statehood for Hawaii, offered her testimony to the joint congressional committee sent to investigate and report on statehood. Kamokila Campbell testified at Iolani Palace in front of a small crowd of 600 to frequent applause. There she stated.

I do not feel...we should forfeit the traditional rights and privileges of the natives of our islands for a mere thimbleful of votes in Congress, that we, the lovers of Hawaii from long association with it should sacrifice our birthright for the greed of alien desires to remain on our shores, that we should satisfy the thirst for power and control of some inflated industrialists and politicians who hide under the guise of friends of Hawaii, yet still keeping an eagle eye on the financial and political pressure button of subjugation over the people in general of these islands.[4]

In 1947 Kamokila Campbell opened the Anti-Statehood Clearing House, where she sent "anti-statehood information, reports and arguments to congress."[5]

On March 29, 1949, Kamokila Campbell successfully sued the Hawaii Statehood Commission, to stop them from spending public money to lobby for statehood, invalidating a single section of the Act which created the Hawaii Statehood Commission.[6]

Formation of the state

The State of Hawaii's territory was defined thus in the Act:

The State of Hawaii shall consist of all the islands, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters, included in the Territory of Hawaii on the date of enactment of this Act, except the atoll known as Palmyra Island, together with its appurtenant reefs and territorial waters, but said State shall not be deemed to include the Midway Islands, Johnston Island, Sand Island (off-shore from Johnston Island), or Kingman Reef, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters.[7]


  1. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Statement by the President Upon Signing the Hawaii Statehood Bill.," March 18, 1959". The American Presidency Project. University of California – Santa Barbara. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "48 USC 3 Hawaii".
  3. ^ John A. Burns, "Statehood and Hawaii's People," State Government 32 (Summer 1959): 132
  4. ^ John S. Whitehead, "The Anti-Statehood Movement and the Legacy of Alice Kamokila Campbell" in The Hawaiian Journal of History, vol. 27 (1993) – Article on one of the few voices opposing statehood for Hawaii in 1959, that of a prominent public and cultural figure, a descendant of Hawaiian royalty and an heir of the James Campbell Estate.
  5. ^ September 18, 1947, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
  6. ^ Campbell v. Stainback, et al., 1948
  7. ^ Hawaii Admission Act, s. 2

External links

1959 Hawaii gubernatorial election

The 1959 Hawaii gubernatorial election was Hawaii's first gubernatorial election. The election was held on July 28, 1959; one month after Hawaiians had voted for statehood in accordance with the Hawaii Admission Act and one month before admission as the 50th state on August 21, 1959.In the election, the Republican candidate, Territorial Governor William F. Quinn, defeated the Democratic candidate, Territorial Delegate John A. Burns. Quinn won only the island of Oahu while Burns carried all other islands.

Alaska Statehood Act

The Alaska Statehood Act (Pub.L. 85–508, 72 Stat. 339, enacted July 7, 1958) was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 7, 1958, allowing Alaska to become the 49th U.S. state on January 3, 1959.

Anna Kahanamoku

Anna Kuulei Furtado Kahanamoku (September 28, 1911 - March 28, 1969) was a Hawaiian teacher who became an elected member of the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives from the Fourth District, and after Hawaii was admitted to statehood, she served in the Hawaii Senate.

Ceded lands

In Hawaiʻi, the term "ceded lands" refers to 1.8 million acres (7,300 km2) of land that were the crown lands of the Hawaiian monarchy prior to January 17, 1893, lotted out by Kamehameha III during the Great Mahele. On this date, the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown by anti-monarchial residents of Hawai`i. The abrogation of the monarchy led in turn to the formation of a Provisional Government (January 17, 1893 – July 3, 1894) and to the Republic of Hawaiʻi (July 4, 1894 – August 12, 1898) which was the government that sought and achieved annexation.

At the time of annexation as the Territory of Hawaii, the former Crown lands were given ("ceded") to the US federal government. When the Hawaii Admission Act made Hawaiʻi a U.S. state, the lands were transferred to the state. The federal act authorizing the transfer required that the lands be held in trust and that revenue from the land be used for five purposes: (These excerpts actually came from the Statehood Act 1959)

Support of public education

Betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians as defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 (The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act 1920 did not exist in 1893)

Development of farm and home ownership

Public improvements

Provision of lands for public useDelegates to the State of Hawaii Constitutional Convention, believed that the second purpose had been largely ignored, amended the state constitution to create the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as an avenue for Native Hawaiians to make their own decisions as to investment of ceded lands and collect revenue generated by those lands to fund programs for the people.

Some Native Hawaiian organizations contend that these lands belong to the Hawaiian people, and that any use of or possession of them by any other body is not legal. Such groups are seeking back rent for the use of the land, as well as the return of the title to said land.

At present, control of these lands is divided mostly between the US federal government and the State of Hawaiʻi. A number of facilities, including airports and military facilities, are located on ceded lands, which in part leads to the controversy surrounding the issue.

Chester Kahapea

Chester Frank Kahapea (March 14, 1945 – March 4, 2011) was an American soil scientist, technician and former paperboy. Kahapea became a symbol of the Hawaiian statehood after an iconic photo of him appeared in newspapers around the United States holding a special edition copy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin headlined "Statehood." Kahapea became known in state history as "the face of Hawaii statehood."The photo of Kahapea was taken on March 12, 1959, shortly after U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admission Act, admitting Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state. Kahapea was a twelve-year-old paperboy in Honolulu at the time. People had taken to the streets to celebrate Hawaii's admission to the U.S. and Kahapea reportedly could not keep up with the demand for the special edition Honolulu Star-Bulletin statehood newspapers. Kahapea was selected as the newsboy to hand the first statehood newspaper to then Honolulu Mayor Neal Blaisdell, who was late for the photographer's appointment. With the Mayor late, the reporter began talking to Kahapea, which led to the now famous photograph. In 2009, on the fiftieth anniversary of statehood, Kahapea recalled the instance when an Associated Press reporter took the now iconic photograph, "He just asked me how I normally sold my papers. So, I held up my hand with the paper - and, just a shot of statehood - and that was it!" The photo of Kahapea holding a "Statehood" special edition appeared in newspapers and publications worldwide, including the New York Times. The photograph made Kahapea a symbol of Hawaii's achievement of statehood.Kahapea become a soil technician for Construction Engineering Labs, testing the quality and composition of soil, cement and asphalt. where he worked for thirty-one years before retiring.In 2008, Kahapea was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, but acted as a spokesman and activist for those suffering from the disease in Hawaii. He worked to spread awareness of the disease in the state. Kahapea died of complications from Lou Gehrig's disease at Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu on March 4, 2011, at the age of 65. He was a longtime resident of Waianae, Oahu. He was survived by three children - Christopher, Jeffrey and Nadine. His memorial service was held at the Nuuanu Memorial Park and Mortuary on March 26, 2011.

Dean P. Taylor

For other persons named Dean Taylor, see Dean Taylor (disambiguation)

Dean Park Taylor (January 1, 1902 – October 16, 1977) served as a United States Congressman from New York for nearly 20 years and came from a family long involved in public service to New York. Taylor was born in Troy, Rensselaer County, N.Y., on January 1, 1902, and attended the Troy public schools, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y. (Class of 1925), and Albany Law School of Union University.

Taylor was admitted to the bar in 1926 and commenced practice in Troy, N.Y. with his father, former Rensselaer County District Attorney John P. Taylor, and brother, Donald S. Taylor who went on to become a judge. Taylor served as Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of New York from 1927-1930. He was chairman of the Rensselaer County Republican Committee from 1938–1952 and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1940. Taylor was also chairman of the New York State Republican Committee from 1953-1954. He served as trustee of Russell Sage College, as well as a director of the Union National Bank and the Niagara Mohawk Power Co.Taylor was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1942 as a Republican to the Seventy-eighth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1943 – January 3, 1961) (29th District 1943-45, 33rd District 1945-53, 31st District 1953-61). He served on various committees, including the United States House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Public Land. Taylor also sat on the sub-committee of the U.S. House Committee on Territories evaluating Hawaiʻi for statehood. Commencing in 1946, Taylor travelled to Hawaiʻi, conducted hearings, and briefed President Harry S. Truman and Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes on matters pertaining to legislation generally known as the Hawaii Admission Act, which, however, did not become law until 1959.Taylor was not a candidate for renomination in 1960 to the 87th United States Congress and retired to resume the practice of law. On September 30, 1960 at the Hendrick Hudson Hotel in Troy, N.Y., then Vice President Richard M. Nixon, though campaigning for the presidency at the time, attended Taylor's retirement celebration, along with Senator Kenneth B. Keating and then New York Lieutenant Governor Malcolm Wilson. Nixon noted he was there "to pay my respects to Dean as an individual, as one who has been a close personal friend of mine from the time I came to the House 14 years ago; one who I always considered to be a 'dean' to a certain extent, he always seemed older to me some way, but as I get older he seems younger."Taylor died in Albany, N.Y., on October 16, 1977 and is interred in Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York.

Taylor's papers are held by the Rensselaer County Historical Society Troy, New York, which also hosts the Dean P. Taylor Research Library, opened in 1993.


Dower is a provision accorded by law, but traditionally by a husband or his family, to a wife for her support in the event that she should become widowed. It was settled on the bride (being gifted into trust) by agreement at the time of the wedding, or as provided by law.

The dower grew out of the Germanic practice of bride price (Old English weotuma), which was given over to a bride's family well in advance for arranging the marriage, but during the early Middle Ages, was given directly to the bride instead. However, in popular parlance, the term may be used for a life interest in property settled by a husband on his wife at any time, not just at the wedding. The verb to dower is sometimes used.

In popular usage, the term dower may be confused with:

A dowager is a widow (who may receive her dower). The term is especially used of a noble or royal widow who no longer occupies the position she held during the marriage. For example, Queen Elizabeth was technically the dowager queen after the death of George VI (though she was referred to by the more informal title "Queen Mother"), and Princess Lilian was the Dowager Duchess of Halland in heraldic parlance. Such a dowager will receive the income from her dower property. (The term "Empress Dowager", in Chinese history, has a different meaning.)

Property brought to the marriage by the bride is called a dowry. But the word dower has been used since Chaucer (The Clerk's Tale) in the sense of dowry, and is recognized as a definition of dower in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Property made over to the bride's family at the time of the wedding is a bride price. This property does not pass to the bride herself.

George Paele Mossman

George Paele Mossman (March 28, 1891 – February 6, 1955) was a cultural entrepreneur, musician and ukulele maker of Hawaiian ancestry. He was born in the Kingdom of Hawaii to Thomas and Nahua Kealaikahiki Mossman in the Pauoa Valley on the island of Oahu. After the death of his wife Rebecca Kainapau, he married Emma Keliilalanikulani Lewis. He had 7 children resulting from the two marriages: George R., Thomas W., Robert, Rebecca Pualani, Kaahikipiilani T., Leilani R. and Joseph Kekaulike. Mossman was of the Mormon faith, and a Sunday School superintendent of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawaii.

Hawaii Land Court

The Land Court of the State of Hawaiʻi (originally, the Court of Land Registration in the former U.S. Territory of Hawaii) has exclusive jurisdiction in the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary over cases involving registered land titles. The Land Court system of land registration was created by statute in 1903 as a Torrens system of land titles.Registration of land in Land Court is optional in Hawaii; non-registered land is conveyed in the "Regular System" instead, by recording deeds or other documents in the Bureau of Conveyances. Land in the Regular System may be lost by adverse possession (including squatter's rights, encroachments, and public trespassing) but land with registered title cannot be lost by adverse possession or other prescriptive means. "'No title, right or interest in, to or across registered land in derogation of that of the registered owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession'. Thus is the possession of registered land protected. It cannot be interrupted by an adverse entry." In order to register a parcel of land in Land Court for the first time, an application with supporting documents proving good title is filed with the court. If successful, the Land Court issues an Original Certificate of Title, and issues Transfer Certificates of Title for all subsequent valid transfers. Notice of liens, mortgages, long-term leases, easements, servitudes or other encumbrances on the land is recorded on the Certificate of Title.

The application is formally a legal case in a court of record, with required notice to all affected persons, and rights of appeal. Registered title to land is guaranteed by the State (and a special trust fund) to be solid ("good against the whole world") and is rarely challenged. Original applications to register new land parcels have become rare in Hawaii in recent years. It is possible, under a Hawaii statute, to take land out of the Land Court system into the Regular System.The Land Court staff certifies transfers of land title under the Torrens system; the court presides over disputed titles and rights to registered land. The Land Court is administered by a Registrar, an Assistant Registrar, and the Judge of the Land Court, who is a judge of the First Circuit (Honolulu) assigned to the Land Court.

On Lānai Island, almost all land has been registered in Land Court, while very little of nearby Molokai Island is registered. Palmyra Island was registered in Land Court in 1912, and land parcels there were subdivided and transferred in that system until 1959, when the rest of the Territory of Hawaii, excluding Palmyra and the Stewart Islands, became the State of Hawaii (Hawaii Admission Act). The Land Court became a state court and lost jurisdiction over Palmyra land because Palmyra was left out of the new state, as the remnant of the old federal Territory. (Since 1962, Palmyra land transfers are recorded by the court clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.)

Hawaii State Legislature

The Hawaii State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state legislature is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Hawaii State House of Representatives, with 51 representatives, and an upper house, the 25-member Hawaii State Senate. There are a total of 76 representatives in the legislature, each representing single member districts across the islands. The powers of the legislature are granted under Article III of the Constitution of Hawaii.

The legislature convenes at the Hawaii State Capitol building in the state capital of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.

Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 556 U.S. 163 (2009), was a United States Supreme Court case about the former crown lands of the Hawaiian monarchy, and whether the state's right to sell them was restricted by the 1993 Apology Resolution. The Court, in an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, ruled unanimously that the state had the power to sell the lands free of encumbrances.

List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union

A state of the United States is one of the 50 constituent entities that shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside, due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government. Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

States are the primary subdivisions of the United States. They possess all powers not granted to the federal government, nor prohibited to them by the United States Constitution. In general, state governments have the power to regulate issues of local concern, such as: regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, public school policy, and non-federal road construction and maintenance. Each state has its own constitution grounded in republican principles, and government consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches.All states and their residents are represented in the federal Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state is represented by two Senators, and at least one Representative, while the size of a state's House delegation depends on its total population, as determined by the most recent constitutionally-mandated decennial census. Additionally, each state is entitled to select a number of electors to vote in the Electoral College, the body that elects the President of the United States, equal to the total of Representatives and Senators in Congress from that state.Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing states.The following table is a list of all 50 states and their respective dates of statehood. The first 13 became states in July 1776 upon agreeing to the United States Declaration of Independence, and each joined the first Union of states between 1777 and 1781, upon ratifying the Articles of Confederation, its first constitution. (A separate table is included below showing AoC ratification dates.) These states are presented in the order in which each ratified the 1787 Constitution, thus joining the present federal Union of states. The date of admission listed for each subsequent state is the official date set by Act of Congress.

March 18

March 18 is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 288 days remain until the end of the year.

Nancy Quinn

Nancy Ellen Quinn (1919 – June 2014) was an American public figure, former First Lady of Hawaii, and a prominent figure during Hawaii's transition to statehood. Quinn, the wife of Governor William F. Quinn, served as the last First Lady of the Territory of Hawaii from 1957 until 1959. She then served as the first First Lady of the new U.S. state of Hawaii from 1959 to 1962. According to Time Magazine, Nancy Quinn was the first person in the Territory of Hawaii to receive news that the bill granting Hawaiian statehood had been signed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1959.

Organized incorporated territories of the United States

Organized incorporated territories are territories of the United States that are both incorporated (part of the United States proper) and organized (having an organized government authorized by an Organic Act passed by the United States Congress, usually consisting of a territorial legislature, territorial governor, and a basic judicial system). There have been no such territories since 1959.

Regions that have been admitted as states United States Constitution in addition to the original thirteen were (most often), prior to admission, territories or parts of territories of this kind. As the United States grew, the most populous parts of the organized territory would achieve statehood. Some territories existed only a short time before becoming states, while others remained territories for decades. The shortest-lived was Alabama Territory at two years, while New Mexico Territory and Hawaii Territory both lasted more than 50 years.

Statehood Day (Hawaii)

Statehood Day or Admission Day is a legal holiday in the state of Hawaii in the United States. It is celebrated annually on the third Friday in August to commemorate the anniversary of the state's 1959 admission to the Union. It was first celebrated in 1969.Statehood bills for Hawaii were introduced into the U.S. Congress as early as 1919 by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, the non-voting delegate sent by the Territory of Hawaii to the U.S. Congress. Additional bills were introduced in 1935, 1947 and 1950. In 1959, the U.S. Congress approved the statehood bill, the Hawaii Admission Act. This was followed by a referendum in which Hawaiian residents voted 94% in support of statehood (the ballot question was: "Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted into the Union as a state?"), and on August 21, 1959 (the third Friday in August), President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation making Hawaii the 50th state.

Territory of Hawaii

The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 30, 1900 until August 21, 1959, when most of its territory, excluding Palmyra Island and the Stewart Islands, was admitted to the Union as the fiftieth U.S. state, the State of Hawaii. The Hawaii Admission Act specified that the State of Hawaii would not include the distant Palmyra Island, the Midway Islands, Kingman Reef, and Johnston Atoll, which includes Johnston (or Kalama) Island and Sand Island, and the Act was silent regarding the Stewart Islands.On July 4, 1898, the United States Congress passed the Newlands Resolution authorizing the U.S. annexation of the Republic of Hawaii, and five weeks later, on August 12, Hawaii became a U.S. territory. In April 1900 Congress approved the Hawaiian Organic Act which organized the territory. Hawaii's territorial history includes a period from 1941 to 1944, during World War II, when the islands were placed under martial law. Civilian government was dissolved and a military governor was appointed.

United States congressional apportionment

United States congressional apportionment is the process by which seats in the United States House of Representatives are distributed among the 50 states according to the most recent decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. Each state is apportioned a number of seats which approximately corresponds to its share of the aggregate population of the 50 states. However, every state is constitutionally guaranteed at least one seat.

The number of voting seats in the House of Representatives has been 435 since 1913, capped at that number by the Reapportionment Act of 1929—except for a temporary (1959–1962) increase to 437 when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted into the Union.The size of a state's total congressional delegation also determines the size of its representation in the U.S. Electoral College, which elects the U.S. president.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.