On this day in history….. in 1959 to be exact, Hawaii became the 50th State in the United States. In 1893 US sugar plantation owners and business men had with the help of the US Army overthrown the sovereign Hawaiian monarchy and forced Queen Lili’uokalani to abdicate. They then formed an independent republic before Hawaii was officially annexed as a territory to the United States in 1898.
Why did the United States want Hawaii? Well, the simplified version is that sugar growers sought to avoid heavy import taxes into the United States and the US really wanted that deep sea port (Pearl Harbor) in the middle of the Pacific.
To this day the annexation remains a sore subject for Hawai’ian sovereignists. The Honolulu Star Advertiser calls it ‘Hawaii’s silent holiday’.
What to expect today? State and County offices are closed as are public schools. But unlike other States, there are (to my knowledge) no official ceremonies on Maui today. Generally people will go about their daily business as usual.
Happy silent holiday! I guess.