Hawaiʻi 1968-1978 Constitutional Convention Archives

Scope and Content

This collection includes scrapbooks from the 1968 and 1978 Hawaiʻi Constitutional Convention (Con Con). 

Administrative History

The 1968 Con Con was published by the Governor John A. Burnʻs 1968 Constitutional Convention Public Information Committee.  This Con Con took place after Hawaiʻi was admitted into the U.S. Union as the 50th State in1959.  The Scrapbook summarizes some of the major issues to be considered at the 1968 Con Con.  

The 1978 Con Con scrapbook includes newspaper clippings of articles leading up to and covering the 1978 Con Con. Constitutional Conventions are conventions wherein publicly elected delegates convene to revise or rewrite the Constitution and reflect socio-political change and influence within the state’s fundamental laws. Hawaii’s third and last, to date, constitutional convention was held on July 5th, 1978; the convention was dubbed “the People’s Con Con” because there were more women in attendance as delegates and more racial and ethnic diversity amongst the delegates that people felt better represented Hawai’i’s diverse makeup (Id. at 309).

The convention proposed around forty additional sections that gave constitutional status and recognition to Native Hawaiian Rights including the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (“OHA”), the adoption of Hawaiian as an official state language, and amended the Constitution’s preamble to better reflect the custom and culture of the islands (Trask, supra at 310. Van Dyke 1998). 

The establishment of OHA was especially important because it advocates and formulates policy in favor of native Hawaiians and acts to the benefit of Native Hawaiian peoples (McPherson 1991).  Additionally, the establishment of OHA gave constitutional status and protection of customary Native Hawaiian practices (Sproat 2016). 

Physical Description

The 1978 newspaper clippings scrap book is in FRAGILE condition. It has a Yellow cover sheet. The newsclipping are pasted on a 18” x 24” on rough newsprint paper. The company of the scrapbook medium is M. Grumbacher, Inc. 50 sheets.

Access Restrictions

The materials are accessible in person at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Law Library.  Please see the Access page for more information.

Reference Code

These items are cataloged as the 1968-1978 Hawaiʻi Constitutional Convention Newsclippings Archive.  Go to the index pages of this collection to browse the records. Note the Box number and folder number to request access to them.

Bibliography

Governorʻs 1968 Public Information Committee.  Information Booklet of Hawaiiʻs 1968 Constitutional Convention.  (1968). 

Jon M. Van Dyke, The Political Status of the Native Hawaiian People, 17 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 95 at 109 (1998)

Michael M. McPherson, Trustees of Hawaiian Affairs v. Yamasaki and the Native Hawaiian Claim: Too Much of Nothing, 21 Envtl. L. 453 at 472 (1991)

D. Kapua’ala Sproat, An Indigenous People’s Right to Environmental Self-determination: Native Hawaiians and the Struggle Against Climate Change Devastation, 35 Stan. Envtl. L.J. 157 at 184 (2016).