What is the longest running war in U.S. history? The answer might surprise you. For over 125 years, the U.S. has been in a state of war with the Hawaiian Kingdom. We continue our conversation with Dr. Keanu Sai discussing how Hawaii became America’s so-called 50th state. The U.S. backed overthrow of Hawaii’s government on January 12, 1893 triggered a state of war between the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom, a state that continues to this day as a peace treaty has never been ratified.
Two attempts to officially annex Hawaii by treaty were defeated in the U.S. Senate in large part because of overwhelming opposition to annexation by the Hawaiian people. However, support for annexation shifted in Congress in 1898 when the U.S. went to war with Spain. The Hawaiian Islands, specifically Pearl Harbor, became a highly valuable naval outpost in the Pacific campaign of the war. Congress passed a joint resolution supposedly annexing the Hawaiian Islands. The problem with this act, which paved the way to full statehood, is that congressional resolutions are domestic in authority and have no standing outside of U.S. borders.
Join us for part four of our series, Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat, as we continue our journey discovering the people and events that led us to where we are today.