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Letter from Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii to U.S. House of Representatives

July 7

The United States annexed the Republic of Hawaii; Congress then established a territorial government.


Petition for Hawaii statehood

March 11

The Senate passed the Hawaii statehood bill. The House approved the bill the following day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on March 18, 1959, and the citizens of Hawaii approved statehood on June 27. By presidential proclamation, Hawaii became the 50th state in the Union on August 21, 1959.


Hiram Fong (R-HI)

August 24

Hawaii's first senators, Hiram Fong and Oren Long, both of Honolulu, took the oath of office and were seated. The senators then drew lots to determine their class assignments. Fong, a Chinese American and the first U.S. senator of Asian descent, drew Class 1, with a term to expire January 3, 1965. Long drew Class 3, with a term to expire January 3, 1963. On the same day, in the House of Representatives, future senator Daniel Inouye was seated as Hawaii's first representative.


Photo of Daniel Inouye

January 3

Daniel Inouye of Honolulu became the first U.S. senator of Japanese heritage.


Statue of King Kamehameha, National Statuary Hall Collection

April 15

Statues of King Kamehameha, who unified the Hawaiian islands, sculpted by Thomas R. Gould, and Father Damien, who ran a leper colony, sculpted by Marisol Escobar, were installed in the Capitol as Hawaii's contributions to the National Statuary Hall Collection.


May 20

Daniel Inouye became chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, serving until January 27, 1978.


January 5

Daniel Inouye was elected Democratic Conference secretary, a position he held until 1989.


Golden Gavel

October 29

Spark Matsunaga of Honolulu received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.


Cover of the Farewell Address Notebook

February 22

Senator Daniel Inouye read George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.



Noting that most government agencies, departments, and offices had their own official flag while the United States Senate did not, Daniel Inouye proposed that the Senate commission an official flag using the design of the Senate seal. The matter was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration, and by 1988 a flag had been created.


Photo of Daniel Inouye

January 6

Daniel Inouye became chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, serving until 1995. He chaired the committee again from 2001 to 2003.


Iran-Contra Investigation

January 12

Daniel Inouye was appointed chairman of the Senate's Iran-Contra investigation. The Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and Nicaraguan Opposition held joint public hearings with a special House committee from May 5 to August 3, 1987. The committees issued their final report on November 18, 1987.


Spark Matsunaga (D-HI)

July 27

By voice vote, the Senate passed H.R. 442. Supported by senators Spark Matsunaga and Daniel Inouye, the original House bill was named for the 442nd Army Regimental Combat Team, which was composed of Japanese Americans who fought in World War II. Signed into law on August 10, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 offered a national apology for the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II and made restitution to the internees.


Daniel Akaka (D-HI)

May 16

Daniel Akaka of Honolulu became the first Polynesian-American senator when he was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Spark Matsunaga.


Daniel Inouye receives the Congressional Medal of Honor

June 21

Daniel Inouye was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor during World War II.


Committee on Veterans' Affiars, 2010

January 12

Daniel Akaka became chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, serving until 2011, when he became chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, serving until his retirement in 2013.


Daniel Inouye

January 12

Daniel Inouye became chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, serving until 2009, when he became chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations He chaired that committee until his death on December 17, 2012.


PPT Seal

June 28

Daniel Inouye was elected president pro tempore of the Senate. He held that position until his death on December 17, 2012.


Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

November 6

Mazie Hirono of Honolulu became the first woman elected to represent Hawaii in the United States Senate.