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Hawaii query

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650017.  Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:31 pm Reply with quote

I was idling through the afternoon Xmas listings and re-watched the series B episode 'bombs' and noticed a glaring research error.

In the episode there was the question "How many States are there in America?" which then veered off to discussions about straight lines and onto how Hawaii is the only state that has no straight lines in its borders.

In the same episode it was stated that the only 6 casulties in World War II on American home soil were as a cause of fugos (balloon bombs).

Surely all the 2,350 deaths at Pearl Harbour were on American home soil? (Yes, I know it could be argued that the US and Japan weren't technically at war at the time, but WWII started in 1939 so the deaths still occurred during the war).

650026.  Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:23 pm Reply with quote

Good question Jimski, and I thought you were right at first reading. The research for the question is at post 2538 and includes the line:

Molly cule wrote:
The only American citizens killed by enemy action on US soil in WW2 were killed by balloon bombs, released in Japan and floated across the Atlantic.

So there's no arguing with that. However I think, although I'm definitely no expert, that Hawaii wasn't US soil until 1954. From 1900 to 1954 it was a US 'territory with self governance', not a state. Wiki says:

Annexation the Territory of Hawaii (1898-1959)

After William McKinley won the presidential election in 1896, Hawaii's annexation to the U.S. was again discussed. The previous president, Grover Cleveland, was a friend of Queen Liliʻuokalani. He remained opposed to annexation, but McKinley was open to persuasion by U.S. expansionists and by annexationists from Hawaii. He met with a committee of annexationists from Hawaii, Lorrin Thurston, Francis Hatch and William Kinney. After negotiations, in June 1897, McKinley agreed to a treaty of annexation with these representatives of the Republic of Hawaii.[39] The president then submitted the treaty to the U.S. Senate for approval.

The Newlands Resolution in Congress annexed the Republic to the United States and it became the Territory of Hawaii . Despite some opposition in the islands, the Newlands Resolution was passed by the House June 15, 1898, by a vote of 209 to 91, and by the Senate on July 6, 1898, by a vote of 42 to 21. Its legality continues to be questioned because it was a United States Government resolution, not a treaty of cession or conquest as is required by international law.[citation needed] Both houses of the American Congress carried the measure with two-thirds majorities.

In 1900, Hawaii was granted self-governance and retained ʻIolani Palace as the territorial capitol building. Despite several attempts at statehood, Hawaii remained a territory for sixty years. Plantation owners and key capitalists, who maintained control through financial institutions, or "factors," known as the Big Five, found territorial status convenient, enabling them to continue importing cheap foreign labor; such immigration was prohibited in various states.

Revolution of 1954 the State of Hawaii (1959-present)
All representative districts voted at least 93% in favor of Admission acts. Ballot (inset) and referendum results for the Admission Act of 1959.

In the 1950s the power of the plantation owners was finally broken in a non-violent revolution by descendants of immigrant laborers. Because they were born in a U.S. territory, they were legal U.S. citizens. The Hawaii Republican Party, which was strongly supported by the plantation owners, was voted out of office. The Democratic Party of Hawaii dominated state politics for 40 years. Expecting to gain full voting rights, Hawaii's residents actively campaigned for statehood.

In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Hawaii Admission Act and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. (The act excluded Palmyra Atoll, part of the Kingdom and Territory of Hawaii, from the new state.)

Whether this is conclusive or obvious to Molly and the Elves I have no idea. Thoughts?


650059.  Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:38 pm Reply with quote

I think you must be right there, Davini - Pearl Harbor "doesn't count" because Hawaii was not at the time a part of the United States of America proper. Similarly, 78 Americans lost their lives during the Battle of Dutch Harbor at Dutch Harbor (Iluulux) in the Aleutian Islands - but Alaska too had yet to become a state.

However, I do think there is a case to be answered here. U-507, stationed in the Gulf of Mexico, torpedoed and hit an oil tanker named Virginia in the Mississippi River on 12 May 1942; 29 people died. I suppose it would be possible to argue that because this attack took place in water, it was not on US soil - but it was within the territory of the United States.

650118.  Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:27 pm Reply with quote

Yes, I know it could be argued that the US and Japan weren't technically at war at the time, but WWII started in 1939

Erm - I beg to differ. War between Germany and its' allies and Britain and its' allies started in 1939. But the USSR didn't enter the war until June 1941, and the USA not until December 1941 (you could argue that Japan was already at war due to various excursions in that part of the world). I've certainly seen an American book which states that "WW2 started on December 7th 1941" - which does seem kind of reasonable.

650127.  Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:27 pm Reply with quote

WW2 started in 1939 but reached 'maturity' in 1941.

650142.  Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:24 pm Reply with quote

Bo wrote:
But the USSR didn't enter the war until June 1941

I disagree.

650224.  Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:27 am Reply with quote

Davini994 wrote:
Bo wrote:
But the USSR didn't enter the war until June 1941

I disagree.


650336.  Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:59 pm Reply with quote

I'd probably date Soviet participation in WWII from the invasion of Poland on 17 Sep 1939.

Dating wars from when a state of war is declared is the easy approach to defend, but really pretty meaningless - sometimes that takes months, and sometimes war is never formally declared at all.

650366.  Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:02 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
sometimes war is never formally declared at all.

Correct me if I am wrong (that wouldn't be surprising), but America never declared war on Vietnam.

650372.  Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:24 pm Reply with quote

Correct me if I am wrong (that wouldn't be surprising), but America never declared war on Vietnam.

Correct. It was billed as a 'police action'. Cunning bastards!

650393.  Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:56 am Reply with quote

Did America ever declare war on Iraq?

650436.  Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:21 am Reply with quote

No, it did not. Similarly, it has never declared war on Afghanistan / al Qa'ida / whatever.

That was part of GWB's claimed "justification" for why the Geneva and Hague Conventions did not have to apply - those conventions cover what may and may not happen when there is war, war had not been declared, and hence they did not apply.

651082.  Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:30 pm Reply with quote

Oooh-err, certainly opened a can of worms with this one.

Just Googled and Wiki'd it and found this....

The Territory of Hawaiʻi was a United States territory that existed from July 7, 1898, until August 21, 1959, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Hawaiʻi.

The U.S. Congress passed the Newlands Resolution which annexed the former Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and later Republic of Hawaiʻi to the United States. Hawaiʻi's territorial history includes a period from 1941 to 1944 when the islands were placed under martial law. Civilian government was dissolved and a military governor was appointed.

... which agrees with the previous thread. But I guess that as a territory under the governership of the US it should be counted as American soil. But I could be wrong.

Regarding the beginning of WWII - this is, as other replies state, an interesting debate. Most historians generally use 1 September, 1939 as the start date. The reason for this seems to be that although little widescale conflict occurred around this time, the invasion of Poland led directly to the declaration of war two days later by France and the United Kingdom which brought the British Empire and Commonwealth into the fray, thus turning a largely localised invasion into a worldwide affair.

There is an argument that the war began earlier because of Sino-Japanese war etc. but the notion that the conflict did not begin until 1941 is generally limited to US and Soviet/Russian historians, who cite the date that their respective countries entered.

In fact, if 1941 were to be used as the start date of the war, then surely the launching of Barbarossa (the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union) on 22 June, 1941 would be the most relevant? This plunged the Soviet-controlled states of Russia, Ukraine and others into the war, whereas Pearl Harbour (December 7, 1941) 'merely' brought the US into the action.

** Ducks head and runs for cover **


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