Fifty years, another marker, another jubilee: in 1948, three
years after the end of WWII, three years after the mushroom cloud grew over
Japan and we entered into the atomic age, Hawaiʻi celebrated itís
Territorial Golden Jubilee. Hawaiʻi and the
world had gone through massive changes in those fifty years being celebrated
from 1898 to 1948. The stories
tutu told keiki then were of world wars of imperialist expansion,
transportation and communication, economic hardship, inventions: the light
bulb, the automobile, airplanes and rockets, radio and television, the
telephone, entertainment and the atomic bomb.
How do you mourn the loss of a population, the loss of
language and culture, the loss of a kingdom when nations of the world were
celebrating? The golden jubilee of
1948 was still celebrating the end of the war, and drunk with the massive
technological advancements in which the United States of America had led. Congress had resubmitted statehood
bills, and Hawaiʻi and
Alaska were now seriously being debated in the House and Senate.
The U.S.A. officially ended the war with Japan, and greatly
contributed to the end of the war with Germany and Italy. Hawaiʻi had become the
command center in the Pacific. Just
as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor formally got the US into the war, Pearl
Harbor was central to its end.
As we approach the golden jubilee of statehood and look back
at yet another fifty years, we ask how and why Hawaiʻi became a state,
and examine the conditions that led to statehood.