Protestors question legitimacy of Hawaii statehood on 50th anniversary

Antoinette Papa
Antoinette Papa

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - 50 years ago Wednesday, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the bill that allowed Hawaii to become the 50th State.

To commemorate this historic day, a special legislative session was held. It didn't go on without a protest.

The presidential signing of the Hawaii admission act paved the way for the people of Hawaii to vote on the statehood bill.

It was approved in June, then two months later on August 21st, it was made official. But there are still some, like the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance, who feel Hawaii is not really a state.

Members of this group protested outside the Capitol as the joint legislative session continued its commemoration.

"There's no real animosity here, all we're doing is trying to set the record straight and then the obvious thing will be if Hawaii is a fake state and we believe it is and international law shows that it is, then there needs be some readjustment," Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance spokesperson Leon Siu said.

Notable people at this event included former Hawaii governors, including John Waihee and George Ariyoshi.

"I think I can understand some of the people's feelings here on the island not wanting statehood, but you cannot not be a state now and I think there are a lot of advantages to statehood for the islands," Waikiki resident Antoinette Papa said.

People who made a significant impact on Hawaii 50 years ago were also honored during the session.

The 50th Anniversary Commission has planned a year-long series of events, focusing on education. To learn more, click on the link on this Web site.