HI - HawaiiPrint Icon

1898 (July 7)

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


1959 (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.


1959 (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.


1963 (January 3)

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


1969 (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.


1976 (May 20)

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


1977 (January 5)

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


1977 (October 29)

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


1982 (February 22)

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


1984 (April )

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.


1987 (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.


1987 (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.


1988 (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.


1990 (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.


2000 (June 21)

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


2007 (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.


2007 (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.


2010 (June 28)

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


2012 (November 6)

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