HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii celebrates Statehood Day, also known as Admission Day, every year on the third Friday in August, commemorating the anniversary of the state’s admission to the Union.

It was in 1919 when Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole sponsored the first bill for Hawaii’s statehood. More bills were introduced throughout the years until Aug. 21, 1959, when Hawaii officially became the 50th state.

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower supported the idea of statehood for Hawaii early in his administration, but appropriate legislation failed to make it through Congress until the Hawaii Admission Act of 1959.

In March 1959, Eisenhower signed the bill into law. In June, Hawaii citizens voted on a referendum to accept the statehood bill, and finally on Aug. 21, Eisenhower signed the official proclamation admitting Hawaii as the 50th state.

Here’s what that time looked like in Hawaii:

These photos are available to the public thanks to the Hawaii State Archives. In 2021, they launched a project to digitize what is physically in the building so everyone can access the files online from home. From people to parades, there are thousands of photos from the past that are now available to go through.

In the 1950s, did you know Nimitz Highway was called the Makai Freeway? From pedestrians to vintage cars and traffic, here’s what Honolulu looked like back in the 1950s.

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The State Archives is currently digitizing over 22,000 glass plate negatives. To learn more, click here.