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Authorizing Use of Emancipation Hall to Celebrate Birthday of King Kamehamea

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, aloha. I rise today in support of S. Con. Res. 16, which authorizes the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor's Center for the 42nd Annual Kamehameha Day Lei Draping.

I would like to thank Speaker Boehner, Chairman Lungren, and Ranking Member Brady for their support of this bill. The location of the Kamehameha statue in Emancipation Hall requires that a concurrent resolution be passed to authorize the use of the space for this event.

The Kamehameha Day Lei Draping has been hosted by the Hawaii Congressional Delegation and the Hawaii State Society of Washington D.C. since 1969. The event has been held on or about June 11th to coincide with the celebration of Kamehameha Day, a state holiday in Hawaii. This year, the event will be held on Sunday, June 5.

Born in 1758, Kamehameha was the first monarch to unify the Hawaiian Islands and is fondly remembered as a leader who was daring, strong, and courageous.

As King of all Hawaii, Kamehameha appointed governors for each island, made laws for the protection of all his people, planted taro, built houses and irrigation ditches, restored important cultural sites, encouraged industries like farming and fishing, managed the island's natural resources, and entered into trading agreements with other nations. The flag design he ordered for his kingdom later became the Seal of the State of Hawaii. He would rule the islands until his death in 1819.

I would like to close by thanking the staff of the Committee on House Administration, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, and the Office of the Sergeant At Arms who each year help make this event possible. I urge my colleagues support of S. Con. Res. 16.


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