Statehood Day In Hawaii

Observed on the third Friday in August in Hawaii, Hawaiian Statehood Day is a state holiday that commemorates the state’s admission into the United States in 1959. Although there were various attempts to make Hawaii a U.S. state before that date, it would take over nine decades from the time Hawaii was a territory annexed by the U.S. to become an official U.S. state.

This holiday was previously known as Admission Day, and it’s a holiday that has sparked some controversy over the years. Some people believe that this is a day that should be celebrated with much enthusiasm, while others believe that it’s a holiday that should be ignored.

The History of Hawaiian Statehood Day

During the Spanish-American War, the Hawaiian Islands were annexed by the United States for strategic reasons. It would be an important base for the U.S. Navy and would become even more important after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The islands would then become the command post for all U.S. operations in the Pacific.

After WWII, two-thirds of the residents favored U.S. statehood. On June 27, 1959, a plebiscite took place in Hawaii, and various statehood propositions won the vote for the day. When the election was over, U.S. President Eisenhower signed a proclamation making Hawaii the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959. The holiday was known as Admission Day up until 2001 when it was officially renamed Hawaiian Statehood Day.

Observing Hawaiian Statehood Day

Although there are a few public observations of this holiday, this day isn’t as widely celebrated as some other public holidays. Since it’s a state holiday, however, quite a few people have the day off. That’s because government offices, schools, and major universities are closed for the day.

Of course, it’s also a day when politicians like to address the public, and some people may use the extra day off to spend time with friends and family members. On social media, people use the hashtag #HawaiianStatehoodDay to spread the word about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (State holiday) - Hawaii
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 16 Friday
Next year (2025)
August 15 Friday
Last year (2023)
August 18 Friday