PRESIDENT MCKINLEY SIGNS NEWLANDS RESOLUTION ANNEXING HAWAII
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 McKinley’s predecessor, Grover Cleveland, had rescinded an earlier annexation proposal in 1893 as it was a pretext for illicit territorial acquisition.
Sources: “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