50 years ago today Hawaii became a state. I was lucky enough to be there for the event. At the time I wasn't aware of the real history of the islands and how statehood was not something welcomed by many of the Hawaiians themselves. How the US Government, the missionaries, and the wealthy white landowners had taken control away from Queen Liliʻuokalani and the native people. It was all part of American expansion. It's not a pretty history for such a beautiful place. But if this history had not occurred I probably would have never lived there. I wouldn't give up my years there for anything. Hawaii was a magical place for a child.

Hawaii 50th State coin_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see coin larger.

I still remember when I moved back to the Mainland in the middle of the winter I arrived to my new school tan with no warm clothes to wear. For years I'd worn nothing heavier than a sweater if it got cool, which meant mid-70s. I was treated as an oddity by the other children because as far as they were concerned I had dropped out of the sky from a foreign place. Sometimes I still think people in this country forget that Hawaii is the 50th state, not a foreign country. I even heard so called television journalists berating the President when he took a vacation to the islands in the middle of last years election, saying he shouldn't be leaving the country to visit someplace so exotic. I just shook my head at their stupidity.

So here's to Hawaii and all of her people. Raise a toast to the Queen and wonder what the Islands would have been like if there were still a monarchy.

Hawaii_50th State_tatteredandlost
(Source: Paradise of the Pacific 1960, No. 11, Vol. 71) Click on image to see it larger. 

1 comment:

  1. Do you remember the record label. '49th State' ?
    All of our Hawaiian 45's were on that label.
    The company was certain that Hawaii would be a state before Alaska.
    Do you still have the records? I do.