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Hawaiians Highlight U.S. Annexation

August 7, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Scores of ethnic Hawaiians arrived Friday for events designed to raise awareness of the United States’ annexation of the islands a century ago.

A Capitol Hill meeting Friday and the Aloha March down Pennsylvania Avenue on Saturday were intended to publicize the sovereignty and land rights issues with which the islands still struggle.

``This is not political,″ said David Burge, an organizer of the events. ``The purpose is for national Hawaiians and their friends to educate people about the annexation of Hawaii.″

Many of the issues arise from a debate over whether Hawaii was annexed illegally, and whether the laws of the kingdom of Hawaii still exist.

A bloodless revolution in 1893 led by Americans, Germans and Britons sacked Queen Liliuokalani’s government and formed the Republic of Hawaii. Sugar planters convinced the United States to annex Hawaii on Aug. 12, 1898, despite opposition from native islanders.

The islands became a U.S. territory in 1900. Though Hawaiians were U.S. citizens, they could not vote and were represented by a congressional delegate who could not vote.

Hawaii became the nation’s 50th state on Aug. 21, 1959.

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