@thekellyhu dropping some knowledge on the overthrow of HI, and eventual statehood 58 yrs ago today.
On August 21, in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state to join the union.
The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived possibly near 300 CE. Captain James Cook arrived in the Islands in 1778 introducing natives to, among other things, military weapons and disease. The weapons were used by Kamehameha I to conquer and unify Hawaii in 1795 for the first time, establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii. Diseases (namely smallpox) caused the native Hawaiian population to dwindle from about 300K in 1770 to 60K in the 1850's to a mere 24K in 1920.
Hawaii was quickly settled shortly after European contact by missionaries and American farmers who began cultivating sugar followed by field workers from China, Japan and the Philippines. Other immigrants were traders who came to the islands to exploit sandalwood which was in high demand in China.
After his death in 1819, Kamehameha was succeeded by his young son, Liholiho, who ruled with the guidance of his mother, Ka'ahumanu. Following them was Kamehameha III. By the 1840's, American influence had grown in Hawaii politics and plantation owners started to demand a say in Hawaiian government. A constitutional monarchy was established, stripping him of much of his authority.
Throughout the short reigns of monarchs who followed, businessmen who, born in Hawaii but still kept close European and American ties, gained power through intimidation and deception. They eventually overthrew the monarchy in 1893 with the help of the US military. The Republic of Hawaii was thrust upon the natives for a short period. After realizing the strategic importance of Hawaii's location during the Spanish-American war, Congress approved annexation making the Territory of Hawaii two years later in 1898. After the attack of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Hawaii became a significant part of US history.
On March 17, 1959 the Admissions Act was signed to admit Hawaii as the 50th state and on August 21, 1959, nearly 58 years ago today, Hawaii officially became a state.