Acknowledging & Apologizing for the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii
President William Jefferson Clinton signing Public Law 103-150 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., 11/23/1993. The resolution acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and offered an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Vice President Albert Gore, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka and Representatives Patsy T. Mink and Neil Abercrombie are present. The image was photographed by Sharon Farmer.
For more context on the annexation of Hawaii, be sure to see:
Daniel K. Inouye, Senator and Medal of Honor Recipient, 9/07/1924 – 12/17/2012
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii speaks to the Remembrance Day audience at the USS ARIZONA Memorial Visitors Center. USS ARIZONA survivors are honored during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/04/1991
Remembering Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Clarendon Hetrick, Pearl Harbor survivor, sits in his wheelchair as he views the memorial shrine at the USS ARIZONA Memorial immediately following the joint Navy/National Park Service ceremony commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 2006, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 1,500 Pearl Harbor survivors, their families and their friends from around the nation joined the more than 2,000 distiguished guests and the general public for the annual observance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication SPECIALIST 1ST Class James E. Foehl) (Released), 12/07/2006
Happy Lei Day!
On May 1st every year, Hawaii celebrates its island culture with Lei Day. It isn’t an official state holiday, but has been widely celebrated since 1928. A lei can be made from flowers, foliage, shells, paper - almost anything.
Have you ever worn a real lei — and what was it made from?
Taken on February 10, 1944, this is one of a collection of photographs of salvage operations at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard taken by the shipyard during the period following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
NASPH #120337- 10 Feb 1944. USS Utah- Salvage; Aerial view from offshore showing ship in about 90 degree position during righting operations, 02/10/1944
More photos of salvage operations at Pearl Harbor »
December 19, 1898
I, Liliuokalani of Hawaii, named heir apparent on the 10th day of April, 1877, and proclaimed Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the 29th day of January, 1891, do hereby earnestly and respectfully protest against the assertion of ownership by the United States of America of the so-called Hawaiian Crown Islands amounting to about one million acres and which are my property, and I especially protest against such assertion of ownership as a taking of property without due process of law and without just or other compensation.Memorial of Queen Liliuokalani in relation to the Crown lands of Hawaii, 12/19/1898
What was President Franklin Roosevelt doing on December 7, 1941, before he learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? Which advisers did he summon when he realized that America was on the brink of war?
Most Americans know where the President was on December 8th, but where was he on December 6th … or the 9th? Find the answers in a new feature from the Roosevelt Library, FDR Day by Day, an interactive timeline that traces FDR’s appointments, travel schedule, social events, guests, and more.
On the afternoon of December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt was in his Oval Study in the white House having lunch. The lunch was interrupted at 1:40 p.m. by a telephone call from Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox who told him Pearl Harbor was under attack and that the military command had emphasized that this was “no drill.” This Memorandum was one of the first written damage assessments presented to the President. In his own hand, Roosevelt indicated the date and time he received it.
On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers staged a surprise attack on U.S. military and naval forces in Hawaii. In a devastating defeat, the United States suffered 3,435 casualties and the loss of or severe damage to 188 planes, 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, and 4 miscellaneous vessels. Japanese losses were less than 100 personnel, 29 planes, and 5 midget submarines.
Four years after the attack, Congress established the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack. Their task was to make a full and complete investigation of the facts relating to the events and circumstances leading up to or following the attack. In its investigation, the committee sought to determine whether shortcomings or failures on the U.S. side might have contributed to the disaster and, if so, to suggest changes that might protect the country from another attack in the future. The committee’s public hearings began on November 15, 1945, and continued until May 31, 1946.
The Radar Plot of Detector Station Opana was an exhibit of the Joint Committee. The 22 x 31-inch radar plot was made by Privates Joseph L. Lockard and George Elliot at the Opana Radar Station on the morning of December 7, 1941. It indicated a large number of aircraft approaching the island of Oahu. The control officer whom Lockard and Elliot called believed the radar signals announced the approach of American B-17s scheduled for arrival the same day. It wasn’t until they arrived back at camp that they learned of the Japanese attack and surmised that the planes they had observed on the radar were the same ones who led the attack.
Learn more about the documents relating to the Pearl Harbor attack by visiting our featured document on the Day of Infamy.
Radar Plot from Station Opana, exhibits compiled 11/15/1945 - 5/31/1946, Records of the Joint Committees of Congress (ARC 2600930)
Attack on Pearl Harbor
In the early hours of December 7, 1941, Japan unleashed a devastating surprise attack throughout the Pacific. The worst blow came at Hawaii, site of the giant Pearl Harbor naval base and other American military installations. In just two hours, Japanese bombers destroyed or damaged 21 American naval vessels and over 300 aircraft. The attacks killed 2403 military personnel and civilians, and shattered the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The top image shows the wreckage-strewn Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor following the Japanese attack.
Below is a photo of Japanese carrier planes taking off for the attack: Japanese sailors cheer as planes take off from a carrier deck for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sailors cheer as Japanese planes take off from the deck of a carrier one-by-one under the “Z” flag for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Historian John Toland determined the time of this photograph to be 7:49 a.m. Honolulu time.
"THIS IS NOT A DRILL"
At 7:55 a.m. December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers and torpedo planes attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, catapulting the United States into World War II. In less than 2 hours, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was devastated, and more than 3,500 Americans were either killed or wounded.
From the Records of the Women’s Bureau, this photo of native Hawaiian girls in a pineapple cannery was taken November 20 1928. The Women’s Bureau was established in the Department of Labor by an act of June 5, 1920. The Bureau developed policies and programs to benefit working women economically and improve working conditions.
This photo was part of The Way We Worked, a photo exhibition focusing on the history of work in America.
Memorial of Queen Liliuokalani in relation to the Crown lands of Hawaii, 12/19/1898
When Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii assumed the throne in 1891 and tried to reassert her sovereignty in the face of increasing foreign interference, she was deposed by a small group of American businessmen, with the support of the American diplomats and the U.S. Navy. On July 7, 1898, the Hawaiian Islands were annexed to the United States by a joint resolution of Congress. Shown here is her letter of protest to the U.S. House of Representatives, dated December 19, 1898.
After years of controversy, protests by native Hawaiians, and growing American expansionism fueled by the Spanish American War, the Hawaiian Islands were officially annexed by the United States in July of 1898.