Quinn, Kealoha Sworn In; 'Greatest day for Isles'


POSTED: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

William F. Quinn was sworn in as first State Governor of Hawaii at 10:19 a.m. today.

A minute later, James K. Kealoha was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.

The oath of office was administered to both by Associate Justice Masaji Marumoto of the State Supreme Court.

The ceremony was held before a standing-room-only audience of about 100 persons packed into the executive chambers at Iolani Palace.

Before word that the President had signed Hawaii's Statehood Proclamation, there were many anxious minutes of waiting in the Governor's office.

The Governor sat at his desk before a double row of chairs. Seated in the first row were his and Kealoha's families.

In the second row were a select group of honored guests.

Behind them stood about 75 visitors, among them many notable Republican Party officials and state legislators.

A corps of press representatives was in the crowd.

The waiting began well before 10 a.m., the hour at which President Eisenhower was expected to sign the proclamation.

As 10 a.m. approached, there were quips from among the audience as to whether the telephone call, from Edward E. Johnston, Secretary of Hawaii, would ever come through.

Johnston is in Washington and was at the White House to witness the signing.


At 10:07, a string of firecrackers was touched off within earshot of the palace and auto horns began blaring.

“;Somebody else got the phone call first,”; Quinn cracked.

“;You won't hold this against the telephone company, I hope,”; remarked State Senator J. Ward Russell, who is an executive of the Hawaiian Telephone Company.

As the minutes ticked by, a hush began pervading the room.


At 10:15 a.m. the telephone on the Governor's desk buzzed. A spontaneous sigh of relief was collectively heaved in the room.

“;Hello . . . yes, Ed,”; the Governor began.

The call was the awaited word from Johnston.

“;Former Secretary Johnston, eh?”; the Governor said.

“;Well, that's wonderful news, Ed.

“;Ladies and gentlemen, Hawaii is now a State,”; Quinn said.

The audience applauded and cheered.

Quinn continued the conversation with Johnston and asked him to express his personal appreciation to the President and Interior Secretary Seaton.

Quinn then spoke to Seaton and thanked the secretary for helping Hawaii's Statehood cause.

After the call was concluded, Quinn told the audience that the President signed the proclamation three minutes before the call came through, which put the signing at 10:12 a.m.

Quinn said one of the pens used in the signing was given to Lorrin P. thurston, last chairman of the Hawaii Statehood Commission.

Another pen was given to Johnston to bring back for the Governor.

Justice Marumoto then began administering the oath.

In taking the oath, Quinn repeated after Marumoto:

“;I, William F. Quinn, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Hawaii, and that I will fithfully discharge my duties as Governor of the State of Hawaii to the best of my abilities.”;

Republican U.S. Senator-elect Hiram L. Fong then presented a lei to Mrs. Quinn, First Lady of the State.

Kealoha was then sworn in.


After the ceremony, Quinn said that Hawaii's admission as a State marks one of the greatest days in the history of the U.S. and the greatest day in Hawaii.

He said, “;The things that are done in the next years will be of utmost importance to future generation in Hawaii.”;

He continued, “;I'm very mindful of these responsibilities and will try to do that which is right for all of the people.”;

Kealoha, in his statement, said “;words can't express my happiness over Hawaii's joining the sisterhood of states.”;

He said he, too, would exercise his authority for the “;progress, wealth and happiness of all of the people.”;

As his first official act, Quinn signed certifications of election for Senators Fong and Oren E. Long, and Representative Daniel K. Inouye.

Fong will take the certificates with him when he leaves for Washington tonight. The Congressmen will be seated Monday.

The ceremony over, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and their families stepped out into the second floor lobby to form a receiving line for the many who came to congratulate them.

Quinn and Kealoha then went down to the Palace grounds to participate in a ceremony commemorating the issuance of the Hawaiian Statehood stamp.

Seated in the guest chairs for the informal swearing in were: Mrs. Quinn, the Quinns' six children, Mrs. Kealoha and the Kealohas' two daughters (the occasion also marked the birthday of Leihulu, the Kealohas' elder daughter).

Also, Mrs. Howard Hubbard, the Governor's former secretary and wife of his campaign manager; Mrs. Johnston; Mrs. Joseph r. Farrington, former Delegate to Congress; Mrs. Marumoto; Mrs. Fong; Mayor and Mrs. Blaisdell.