A Little Research About Discoverers’ Day in Hawaiʻi

By Roberta Freeland Woods, Reference and Instructional Services Librarian

In Hawaiʻi, the second Monday in October is not about Christopher Columbus and cannot be a state holiday (HRS 8-1.5):

[§8-1.5]  Discoverers’ Day.  The second Monday in October shall be known as Discoverers’ Day, in recognition of the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands, provided that this day is not and shall not be construed to be a state holiday.

[L 1988, c 220, §4]

The enumerated state holidays are also statutory (HRS 8-1):

§8-1 Holidays designated.  The following days of each year are set apart and established as state holidays:

The first day in January, New Year’s Day;

The third Monday in January, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day;

The third Monday in February, Presidents’ Day;

The twenty-sixth day in March, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day;

The Friday preceding Easter Sunday, Good Friday;

The last Monday in May, Memorial Day;

The eleventh day in June, King Kamehameha I Day;

The fourth day in July, Independence Day;

The third Friday in August, Statehood Day;

The first Monday in September, Labor Day;

The eleventh day in November, Veterans’ Day;

The fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day;

The twenty-fifth day in December, Christmas Day;

All election days, except primary and special election days, in the county wherein the election is held;

Any day designated by proclamation by the President of the United States or by the governor as a holiday.

[L 1896, c 66, §1; am L 1903, c 55, §1; am L 1911, c 167, §1; am L 1915, c 20, §1; am L 1919, c 54, §1; RL 1925, pt of §146; RL 1935, pt of §21; am L 1941, c 132, pt of §1; RL 1945, pt of §21; am L 1945, JR 8, §1; am L 1949, JR 15, §1; am L 1953, c 278, pt of §10; am L 1955, c 9, §1; RL 1955, pt of §1-43; am L 1961, c 116, pt of §1; am L 1965, c 162, §1; HRS §8-1; am L 1969, c 156, §1; am L 1971, c 21, §2; am L 1976, c 220, §2; am L 1978, c 205, §2; am L 1980, c 11, §1; am L 1988, c 220, §1; am L 2001, c 65, §1]