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Fifty Years

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.



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