50 highlights on the 50th Anniversary for the 50th State of Hawai'i


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1959 Hawai'i becomes the 50th U.S. State.

1960 Tsunami hits Hilo

1961 Keo Nakama is first to swim the Moloka'i channel.

1962 The Arizona memorial opens over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona

1963 Polynesian Cultureal Centers opens.

1964 Patsy Mink first Asian American (Japanese born on Maui) female elected to U.S. Congress.

1965 The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts founded.

1966 Aloha Fridays begin with Bank of Hawai'i allowing works to wear "Aloha Shirts" to work on fridays.

1967 Hawai'i Pono'i," the anthem under the monarchy, is designated the state's anthem.

1968 A passing of legendary surfer and Olympic swimming champion, Duke Kahanamoku.

1969 New State Capitol buidling opens.

1970 First competitive Merrie Monarch hula festival held in Hilo. 

1971 Hawaii's first annual 'ukulele festival held.

1972 Jesse Kuhaulua is the first non-Asian to win a sumo tournament, netting the Emperor's Cup in Nagoya.

1973 Polynesian Voyaging Society founded.

1974 George R. Ariyoshi elected governor, thereby becoming first Japanese-American governor of a U.S. state.  

1975 Aloha Stadium opens.

1976 The state completes Aloha Stadium.

1977 Honolulu Stock Exchange closes after 79 years.

1978 Hawai'i becomes the nation's first bilingual state when both Hawaiian and English are recognized as official state languages.

1979  Humpback whale selected as the state marine mammal by the legislature.

1980 Kaho'olawe no longer regularly used as a U.S. Navy bombing target.

1981 Puna Geothermal begins operations on the Big Island, hoping to generate electricity from geothermal steam and incidentally provoking years of protest.  

1982  Hurricane 'Iwa hits Kaua'i. 

1983 Hemmings establishes the Triple Crown of Surfing

1984  Hawai'i Land Reform Act passes.

1985  Hokule'a launches a "Voyage of Rediscovery."

1986 Space shuttle Challenger explodes after takeoff, killing entire crew, including Hawaii's Ellison Onizuka.

1987  Nanakuli's Salevaa Atisanoe (Konishiki) becomes the first foreigner to reach the rank of ozeki, sumo's second highest level. 

1988  Congress enacts the Native Hawaiian Education Act and the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act.

1989 Built in 1901, the Moana Hotel is fully restored and reopens as a National Historic landmark.

1990  Bishop Museum marks its 100th birthday by opening $6.5 million Castle Memorial Building.

1991  The volcanic peaks of Hawai'i and Maui are the best observation points for a total eclipse of the sun.

1992 Hurricane Iniki strikes the Islands; the hurricane is the most devastating natural disaster in Hawaii's history, causing $1.8 billion in damage.

1993 Chad Rowan (Akebono) becomes first foreign-born wrestler to achieve the sumo rank of yokozuna.  

1994  Japanese Americans whose Waiau property was confiscated in WWII are included in federal government apology and redress.  

1995  The last sugar plantation on the Big Island closes.

1996  Native Hawaiians vote to proceed toward achieving political sovereignty.

1997 Hawai'i is the first state to have at least one Internet connection in each school. 

1998 U.S. Department of Defense begins ordinance-clearing project on Kaho'olawe.

1999 Steve Case, Punahou graduate and head of AOL, makes a major donation to the school.

2000 President Clinton declares Hawaii's Northwestern Islands a Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, protecting an archipelago extending more than 1,200 miles.

2001 Kapono Aluli Souza resurrects ancient traditions of Makahiki - the Hawaiian celebration of harvest and the god Lono - undertaking a four-month procession around the island of O`ahu.  

2002 Hawaii's first female governor, Republican Linda Lingle, elected.  

2003 Michelle Wie, a 13-year-old Punahou student, gains national attention when she wins the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

2004 Governor Lingle signs renewableenergy bill into lawBy 2020, 20 percent of isle power must be from alternate sources

2005 Muliufi "Mufi" Hannemann is first Mayor of a major U.S. city including the city of Honolulu that is of Samoan descent

2006  30th anniversary of the Polynesian Voyaging Society on Tuesday Hawaii Coffee industry reports 30.3 million  for the production during this year

2007  State of Hawaii geologic map is now available online s U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1089

2008 Universty of Hawaii played its first BCS bowl in 2008 Sugar Bowl on New Years Day following an undefeated Regular Season (12-0), During the 200 seaon, UH was only major-college football team to be undefeated in the nation.

2009 Barack Obama begins his first Presidential term as the 44 President of the United States.  Obama is the first U.S. President that is acknowledged African American ethnicity and the first U.S. President to be born in the State of Hawai'i

View these highlights and more at http://www.hawaiihistory.org