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FDLP Resource Guides
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Then and Now Experiences of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

Overview

Read about featured U.S. Government events that impacted NHPI and their civil rights since 1868, and find out about notable individuals in American history.

U.S. Government Resources for Historical Research

Screenshot of "Asian American and Pacific Islander Materials: A Resource Guide"

Library of Congress

Asian American and Pacific Islander Materials: A Resource Guide

  • Learn how to research and locate materials in "multiple formats on Asian American/Pacific Islander studies and related resources."
Screenshot of "Series: Finding a Path Forward: Asian American Pacific Islander National Historic Landmarks Theme Study"

National Park Service

Series: Finding a Path Forward: Asian American Pacific Islander National Historic Landmarks Theme Study

  • Read a series of essays for " contemplation or commemoration of historic events/people/ideas in the narratives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within the histories of the United States."
Screenshot of "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month"

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

  • Explore records, images, articles, videos, and more.

Timeline: Notable Individuals

Click on the side arrows to see brief biographies of notable NHPI individuals, including Isabella Aiona AbbottDaniel AkakaTulsi GabbardPeter GumataotaoDuke Kahanamoku, Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, John Kneubuhl, Queen Liliʻuokalani, Amata Coleman Radewagen, Gregorio Kilili Camacho SablaTony Solaita, Fofo Iosefa Fiti Sunia, John D. Waiheʻe III, and Robert William Wilcox.

Queen Liliʻuokalani (1838–1917)

Only queen regent of Hawaii and last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands.

Robert William Wilcox (1855–1903)

First delegate from Hawaii elected to the U.S. Congress (1900–1903).

Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (1871–1922)

Only royally-born member of the U.S. Congress (19031922).

Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1968)

Native Hawaiian who won Olympic gold medals in swimming and popularized the sport of surfing.

Isabella Aiona Abbott (1919–2010)

First native Hawaiian woman to receive a PhD in science (botany in 1950).

John Kneubuhl (1920–1992)

American Samoan screenwriter, including Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, and Star Trek.

Daniel Kahikina Akaka (1924–2018)

First elected U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry (1977–2013).

Fofo Iosefa Fiti Sunia (1937–Present)

First Delegate from American Samoa (1981–1988).

John D. Waiheʻe III (1946–Present)

First American of Native Hawaiian descent to be elected governor in the United States in 1986.

Amata Coleman Radewagen (1947–Present)

First woman to represent American Samoa in the U.S. Congress (2015–Present).

Tony Solaita (1947–1990)

First American Samoan to play Major League Baseball.

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (1955–Present)

First delegate from Northern Mariana Islands (2009–Present).

Rear Adm. Peter Gumataotao (1958–Present)

First native of Guam to achieve flag rank.

Tulsi Gabbard (1981–Present)

First Samoan-American voting member of U.S. Congress (2013–2021).

Timeline: Featured U.S. Government Events Concerning Civil Rights

Click on the side arrows in this box for more information.


 Date Event  Date Event
 July 9, 1868 Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution  April 6, 1972 Public Law 92-270
 January 17, 1893 Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government  January 9, 1978 Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective
 July 7, 1898 Annexation of Hawaii  October 31, 1978 Public Law 95-556
 April 11, 1899 Treaty of Paris is proclaimed  March 28, 1979 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week
 April 30, 1900 Hawaiian Organic Act  November 3, 1986

Proclamation 5564

 July 16, 1904 Treaty of Cession of Manu'a  October 23, 1992 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
 February 20, 1929 Ratification Act of 1929  November 23, 1993 Public Law 103-150
 1947 to 1994 Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands  November 4, 2008

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands elects first non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress

  August 21, 1959 Hawaii becomes a state  May 20, 2021 COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

July 9, 1868 | Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."^

Ratified on this date, this Amendment "extends liberties and rights granted by the Bill of Rights to formerly enslaved people" and "equal protection under the laws" for all citizens.*

For more information:

January 17, 1893 | Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government

"I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom."^

The Committee of Safety "overthrew Queen Lili'uokalani in a bloodless coup" and "proclaimed itself to be the Provisional Government" of Hawaii.^^

July 7, 1898 | Annexation of Hawaii

"That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America."^

President William McKinley signs the "Newlands Resolution" that officially annexes the Hawaiian islands.

April 11, 1899 | Treaty of Paris is proclaimed

"... Spain cedes to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam in the Marianas or Ladrones."^

As part of the peace treaty to end the Spanish-American War, Spain cedes Guam to the United States.

April 30, 1900 | Hawaiian Organic Art

"That a Territorial government is hereby established over the said Territory, with its capital at Honolulu, on the island of Oahu... That all persons who were of the Republic of Hawaii on August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States and citizens of the Territory of Hawaii."^

Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States.

July 16, 1904 | Treaty of Cession of Manu'a

Tui Manu'a Elisala cedes the islands of Manu'a to the United States (later known as American Samoa).

  • For more information:
    • American Samoa | Office of Insular Affairs (U.S. Department of the Interior)

February 20, 1929 | Ratification Act of 1929

"Whereas certain chiefs of the islands of Tutuila and Manua and certain other islands of the Samoan group... herein referred to as the islands of eastern Samoa, having in due form agreed to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over these islands of the Samoan group by their acts dated April 10, 1900, and July 16, 1904."

U.S. Congress passes a joint resolution to "accept, ratify, and confirm the cessions of certain islands of the Samoan group to the United States," forming part of American Samoa.^

 

 

 

 

 

1947 to 1994 | Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI)

"The Territory of the Pacific Islands, consisting of the islands formerly held by Japan under mandate in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, is hereby designated as a strategic area and placed under the Trusteeship System established in the Charter of the United Nations. The Territory of the Pacific Islands is hereinafter referred to as the Trust Territory... The United States of America is designated as the Administering Authority of the Trust Territory."^

The islands in Micronesia are under a United Nations trust that the United States administers. The TTPI includes the Northern Mariana Islands.

August 21, 1959 | Hawaii becomes a state

"All forty-nine States will join in welcoming the new one--Hawaii--to this Union. We will wish for her prosperity, security, happiness, and a growing closer relationship with all of the other States."^

President Dwight Eisenhower signs Proclamation 3309 admitting Hawaii as a state.

April 6, 1972 | Public Law 92-270

"To provide that the unincorporated territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands shall each be represented in Congress by a Delegate to the House of Representatives."^

The U.S. Congress passes the law to allow non-voting delegates to represent Guam and the Virgin Islands.

January 9, 1978 | Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective

"We the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, ordain and establish this Constitution as the embodiment of our traditions and hopes for our Commonwealth in political union with the United States of America."^

After the establishment of the Covenant a few years prior, the islands become a commonwealth under the United States.

October 31, 1978 | Public Law 95-556

"To provide that the Territory of American Samoa be represented by a nonvoting Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, and for other purposes."^

The U.S. Congress passes the law to allow a non-voting delegate to represent American Samoa. Before the law there were delegates at-large since 1970.

March 28, 1979 | Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week

"America's greatness—its ideals, its system of government, its economy, its people—derives from the contribution of peoples of many origins who come to our land seeking human liberties or economic opportunity... I call upon the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities."^

President Jimmy Carter issues the first presidential proclamation for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. 

November 3, 1986 | Proclamation 5564

"As of this day, November 3, 1986, the United States has fulfilled its obligations under the Trusteeship Agreement with respect to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, and they are self-governing and no longer subject to the Trusteeship. In taking these actions, the United States is implementing the freely expressed wishes of the peoples of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands."^

U.S. citizenship is granted to "domiciliaries" of the Northern Mariana Islands as defined in the Covenant.

October 23, 1992 | Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

"To designate May of each year as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."^

U.S. Congress expands recognition the "history, concerns, contributions, and achievements of Asian and Pacific Americans" from a week to the month of May.

November 23, 1993 | Public Law 103-150

"To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii."^

As a first step toward reconciliation, the United States formally apologizes to the "Native Hawaiian people for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893."^^

November 4, 2008 | Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands elects first non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress

"Election Credentials for the Resident Commissioner and Delegates: The Clerk announced that credentials have been received showing the elections of the following... Honorable Gregorio Sablan, Delegate from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands."

Gregorio Sablan wins the election, later taking the oath of office on January 6, 2009.

May 20, 2021 | COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

"Congress finds the following: (1) Following the spread of COVID–19 in 2020, there has been a dramatic increase in hate crimes and violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. (2) According to a recent report, there were nearly 3,800 reported cases of anti-Asian discrimination and incidents related to COVID–19 between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021, in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. (3) During this time frame, race has been cited as the primary reason for discrimination, making up over 90 percent of incidents, and the United States condemns and denounces any and all anti-Asian and Pacific Islander sentiment in any form."^

This Act "requires the Justice Department to facilitate expedited review of hate crimes and authorizes grants to State, local, and tribal governments to prevent, address, or respond to hate crimes."^^