At Statehood: A Flutter, No Furor


POSTED: Monday, August 17, 2009

The throbbing heart of the Islands didn't skip a beat at 10:03 a.m. as the Paradise of the Pacific became a State.

It was business as usual, and to say that Honolulans took the event calmly is an understatement. A City Hall employe [sic] thanked a reporter for telling her that the Territory was now a State. “;I'm glad you told me,”; she said. “;I didn't quite know when it was coming.”; City Auditor James K. Murakami said “;Now I'm a first class citizen.”; The lobby of the City Hall was calm, almost deserted, at 10:12 a.m. Up in the office of John H. Peters, City-County prosecutor, a reporter queried Peters on his reaction toward the historic event.


“;Put your shoes on, face Mecca, and hurrah for our side,”; Peters said.  At 10:03 a.m. at Camp H. M. Smith, a frail woman marine was reduced to private and restricted to the base for 30 days for assaulting a six-foot, 200-pound male marine corporal. The woman, Private First Class Eugenia G. Cambridge, threw a beer can at Marine Lance Corporal Richard D. Alexander during a brawl at the Camp Smith enlisted men's club July 25. In U.S. District Court, Federal Judge Jon Wiig was dictating to his secretary, Mrs. Margaret Chun. As a string of 10,000 firecrackers went off at the attorney general's office, with permission of the Police Department, the judge was out of a job. “;Happy Statehood,”; Margaret said with a wry smile. Federal Judge J. Frank McLaughlin, also out of a job, was talking to his temporary successor, Judge John Ross, U.S. District judge from Nevada.


Except for a few routine calls, officers on duty at the switchboard at police headquarters were experiencing an unsually [sic] quiet day. At the City-County Emergency Hospital, attendant [sic] helped an asthma patient out of a private car. Men on duty at the fire department's central station were completing their equipment cleaning chores and getting ready for a study period in fire fighting techniques. The morning session was already ended at the Honolulu Stock Exchange.


J. J. C. Harvey, executive secretary there, typed off the daily sales bulletin. The ticker tape had stopped at 10 a.m. Two brokers checked morning sales. Another read a newspaper. At M's Coffee Shop, a favorite Merchant Street meeting place for newsmen and business executives, one young businessman looked up at the clock and said: “;Well, I guess Ike is signing it now.”;