Hawai’i Commemorates 50TH Anniversary of Statehood Tomorrow

Media Release:

On the eve of Hawai‘i’s 50th anniversary of statehood, final preparations are being made for tomorrow’s 50th Anniversary of Statehood Conference “New Horizons for the Next 50 Years.”

More than 2,000 Hawai‘i citizens representing different industries and interests are scheduled to take part in the one-day conference, which gets underway at 8:00 a.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. in the exhibit hall.

Major topics and themes that will be discussed at the conference include: 21st Century Economy; Education for the Next Generation; Energy for Tomorrow; Technology in Our Daily Lives; and Native Hawaiians: Cultural Navigation in a Sea of Change.

Keynote speakers include Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist Bryan Clay, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy Andy Karsner, and pollster John Zogby of Zogby International, who will present the findings of a new survey of Hawai‘i residents and reveal their views on Hawai‘i, the economy and the future.

Key breakout workshops include: Hawai‘i’s Tourism Future; Military Partnerships – Part of Our ‘Ohana; Knowledge Management – Leading Hawai‘i’s Future; Media in Hawai‘i – The Next 50 Years; Economic Understanding for Today and Transformation for Tomorrow; Public Education in Hawai‘i: Past, Present and Future; Labor Movement: Role of Unions Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Historic Overview: Historical Perspectives of Statehood; Preserving Hawai‘i’s Natural Resources; Agricultural Land Use Since Statehood; and Energy for Tomorrow.

In addition to the conference plenary sessions and workshops, the New Horizons exhibit pavilions and a career fair for Hawai‘i residents faced with the realities of the current economic challenges. Over 30 employment search firms, local employers, and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Workforce Development Division will offer information and job search assistance to potential employees.

Other highlights include the unveiling of a commemorative State of Hawai‘i stamp by the U.S. Postal Service; a live video conference with Hawai‘i’s troops in Iraq; a post-conference 1950s concert (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.) featuring The Platters, The Coasters and The Drifters; and fireworks (8:55 p.m.) presented by the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

As of Thursday morning, organizers said there was space for an additional 500 delegates, but that registration was filling up. Walk-up registration will be available on Friday, while space is available, however the economic forecast lunch has sold out.

Tickets to the concert by The Platters, The Coasters and The Drifters can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Hawai‘i Convention Center the day of the event while seats are available.

Additional Information about the conference and concert can be found at: www.hawaiistatehoodconference.com.

Year-Long, Statewide Commemoration

The statehood conference culminates a year-long series of events and activities that mark this important milestone in Hawai‘i’s relatively young, but rich history as a state. The Commission placed a strong focus on educational outreach for Hawai‘i residents of all ages.

Educational exhibits chronicling Hawai‘i’s journey to statehood were displayed at various locations, including the State Capitol, Hawai‘i State Library, and five airports – Honolulu International, Kona International, Hilo International, Līhu‘e and Kahului.

Also, 50 time capsules containing a treasure trove of memorabilia representing both Hawai‘i’s past and present will be buried statewide to be opened on the state’s 75th anniversary in 2034. Seven of the capsules were made available for Hawai‘i residents to contribute memorabilia will be retired and sealed at the luncheon tomorrow, and will be buried on the grounds of the State Capitol. The other 43 capsules were distributed to the neighbor islands, as well as schools and organizations statewide.

Over the past year, various events have been held statewide to commemorate Hawai‘i’s statehood. Highlights included:

August 25, 2008 – The first of the 50 Voices of Statehood vignettes began airing on radio and television stations statewide. The vignettes, which aired each week over the course of the year, featured personal perspectives on statehood and Hawai‘i’s history from 50 residents representing the state’s diverse ethnic, cultural, religious, political, social and economic backgrounds. The 50 Voices of Statehood vignettes are archived on the Internet: www.hawaii.gov/statehood.

November 10, 2008 – The U.S. Mint unveiled the Hawai‘i Commemorative Quarter, the final coin produced in the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Program.

March 18, 2009 – A joint session of the Legislature convened to commemorate the date 50 years ago, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the bill that allowed Hawai‘i to be admitted as the 50th state.

July 23, 2009 – The state’s namesake submarine, the USS Hawaii (SSN 776), the first Virginia-class submarine to be home-ported in the Pacific, arrived in Hawai‘i.

August 4, 2009 – A giant commemorative statehood mosaic mural created with over 8,000 pieces of artwork by students from Hawai‘i and the nation was unveiled at Honolulu International Airport.

In addition, 17 official events and activities sanctioned by the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission, were held on the neighbor islands throughout the past year. They included:

Big Island – The Ka’u Coffee Festival; Ipu Lani – Ipu and Traditional Fishing Workshops; Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute – Workshops on History; Big Island Film Festival – Best of the Fest Concert; Hilo Inter-tribal Pow Wow; Hawai‘i Performing Arts Festival – 50 Years of American Music; Mango Festival; and Commemoration ceremony at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

Maui: Upcountry Fair and Makawao Paniolo Parade.

Lāna‘i – Pineapple Festival and Statehood event at Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i at the Lodge at Koele.

Kaua‘i – Kaua‘i Museum Statehood Celebration; E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha; Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair; Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival; and musicians and hula dancers at Līhu‘e Airport.

Two additional events are scheduled to take place on the neighbor islands:

August 21 – “50 Years of Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance” at Hana Beach Park.

August 23 – Statehood event held in conjunction with the Kailua Village Business Association’s Ali‘i Drive Stroll.

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