Completing the Union: Alaska, Hawai'i, and the Battle for Statehood

Completing the Union: Alaska, Hawai'i, and the Battle for Statehood

by John S. Whitehead
     
 

ISBN-10: 082633637X

ISBN-13: 9780826336378

Pub. Date: 09/15/2004

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

As late as mid-1941 the two territories of Alaska and Hawai'i were little known by most Americans. Alaska was seen as a frozen wasteland and Hawai'i, an exotic outpost in the mid-Pacific with a multi-racial, particularly Asian, population. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in late 1941 and the capture of two Aleutian Islands in 1942 made the two territories central

Overview

As late as mid-1941 the two territories of Alaska and Hawai'i were little known by most Americans. Alaska was seen as a frozen wasteland and Hawai'i, an exotic outpost in the mid-Pacific with a multi-racial, particularly Asian, population. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in late 1941 and the capture of two Aleutian Islands in 1942 made the two territories central theaters of World War II. Thousands of Americans came to know Alaska and Hawai'i as never before.

Once the war ended both territories hoped that statehood would be their reward for such loyal wartime service. Their strategic locations pointed to an increased national involvement in the Pacific and Asia. The 49th and 50th states would eventually be admitted, but it took thirteen years, from 1946 to 1959, to do it. The long delay was caused by many of the events of the Cold War. Both territories became enmeshed in the national politics of anti-communism, radical labor movements, and Arctic policy to resist a Soviet air attack across the polar North. A cadre of statehood supporters emerged to make their case to the nation, including the young Daniel Inouye of Hawai'i and Ted Stevens of Alaska, both of whom would become two of the most powerful senators in Congress.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826336378
Publisher:
University of New Mexico Press
Publication date:
09/15/2004
Series:
Histories of the American Frontier Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
456
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

ForewordIX
AcknowledgmentsXI
Introduction: Apathy and Ecstasy1
Part IFar-off and Distant Territories: Alaska and Hawai'i on the Eve of World War II13
Chapter 1Hawai'i: A Gibraltar Worth Defending?15
Chapter 2Alaska: A Land without People32
Illustrations56
Part IIAnd the War Came: World War II in the Territories, 1941-194567
Chapter 3World War II and the Transformation of Hawai'i69
Chapter 4World War II and the Creation of Modern Alaska98
Illustrations130
Part IIIAnd the War Came Again: Statehood and the Cold War in Alaska and Hawai'i, 1946-1956135
Chapter 5The Cold War Stymies Hawai'i as the Forty-ninth State, 1946-1950137
Chapter 6The Continuing Transformation of Hawai'i, 1950-1956167
Chapter 7The Cold War Activates Alaska, 1946-1954201
Chapter 8The Alaska Legends: The Constitutional Convention and the Alaska-Tennessee Plan, 1955-1956237
Illustrations263
Part IVThe Needle and the Thread: Alaska and Hawai'i Complete the Union, 1957-1959271
Chapter 9We're In: Alaska Takes the Lead as the Forty-ninth State, 1957-1959273
Chapter 10The Last Territorial Delegate and the Admission of Hawai'i, 1957-1959301
Illustrations330
Epilogue: The Legacy of the Fifty-Star Flag341
Journey's End: A Personal Note361
Notes366
A Guide to Sources and Orthography416
Index427
List of Maps
1The North Pacific during World War IIXIV
2The Aleutian Islands in World War IIXV
3Major Cold War Installations in AlaskaXVI
4Major Cold War Installations in Hawai'iXVII

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