JULY 7, 1898


Hawaii was formally annexed by the Newlands Resolution, a Congressional-executive agreement method requiring only a majority vote in both houses.  Passing Congress on July 4, 1898, it was signed on July 7 by President William McKinley.  On August 12, a ceremony on the steps of ʻIolani Palace signified the official transfer of Hawaiian sovereignty.  The resolution established a 5-member commission led by Terrirotial Governor Sandford Dole to study the laws needed in Hawaii.  The commission’s final report, when submitted to Congress, led to over a year of debate largely based on whether creating an elected territorial government in Hawaii would lead to admitting a state with a non-white majority.  McKinley’s predecessor, Grover Cleveland, had rescinded an earlier annexation proposal in 1893 as it was a pretext for illicit territorial acquisition.  

  “Newlands Resolution,” Hawaiian Independence.  Retrieved 5/23/2020, https://www.hawaii-nation.org/annexation.html
 “The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii,” National Archives.  Retrieved 5/23/2020, https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hawaii-petition
Photo:  Frank Davey (1860-1922), 8/12/1898.  The flag of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi over ʻIolani Palace was lowered to raise the United States flag to signify annexation. Public Domain. Source: Hawaii State Archives. Call Number: PPWD-8-3-006

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