Sirens, Bells Herald Statehood Arrival


POSTED: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The wail of civil defense sirens informed Honoluluans today that Statehood, long awaited, had finally been approved.

Immediately afterward, church bells pealed, ship's whistles tooted, and motorists leaned on their horns.

From 6 to 9 p.m. tonight there'll be street dancing at Iolani Palace, on Kalakaua Avenue, at the Moiliili Community Center, Waialae-Kahala Shopping Center, Kailua Shopping Center, Kaneohe, Wahiawa Civic Center, Waipahu, Moanalua Shopping Center, Kalihi Shopping Center and in Pauoa.

At 7:25 p.m. the international bonfire will be lit at Sand Island.

From 7:30 to 9 p.m. the Armed Forces will set off pyrotechnics off Leeward Oahu.

Tomorrow, legislators and other Government officials are scheduled to proceed from Iolani Palace at 9 a.m. to Kawaiahao Church, where an interdenominational service will be held.

A joint concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band and Armed Forces bands is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Palace.

At 11 a.m. a Statehood Commemoration Ceremony is to be held there.

At noon a 50-gun salute is to be fired from the Palace grounds. Simultaneously, Hawaii Air National Guard planes are to fly in formation over the legislative chambers.

A five-hour variety show will begin at 1 p.m. at Honolulu Stadium to cap the day's events.

If it can be worked out, Quinn, Delegate Burns, and several prominent Mainland entertainers will be flown home by a jet plane in time for tomorrow's events.

And Hawaii will be in the spotlight, with several national news outlets sending representatives here to record the occasion.

Holiday Proclamation

Acting Governor Edward E. Johnston signed a proclamation yesterday declaring a holiday to begin immediately upon word from Governor Quinn in Washington that the Statehood bill has passed both Houses of Congress.

The balance of the day will be free for all Territorial employees and public school students.

The next day will also be a holiday.

The proclamation follows passage of a concurrent resolution by the Territorial Legislature providing for the holiday.

A joint resolution to make it legal for banks and other institutions whose hours are regulated by Territorial laws is expected to pass third reading in the House today.

Unless the Legislature meets Saturday, Monday will be the earliest date the resolution can pass both chambers, and banks may have to find some legal loophole to take a holiday with the rest of the Territory.

Another joint resolution awaiting final passage is one making “;Hawaii Ponoi”; the official State song.