Eisenhower was known, entered the White House in 1953 in charge of 48 states; two more had been added by the time he left office in 1961. During his 1952 presidential campaign, Eisenhower had advocated for the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the Union but recommended adding Hawaii first. Congress, on the other hand, favored admitting Alaska first, as Alaskan oil would be beneficial to the nation’s economy. President Eisenhower called it "truly an historic occasion" because for the second time within a year a new state had been admitted. He also stated: "All forty-nine states will join in welcoming the new one- Hawaii- to this Union," he said. "We will wish for her prosperity, security, happiness and a growing closer relationship with all of the other states. We know that she is ready to do her part to make this Union a stronger nation - a stronger people than it was before because of her presence as a full sister to the other forty-nine states. So all of us say to her, 'good luck.'" In March 1959, the U.S. government approved statehood for Hawaii, and in June the Hawaiian people voted by a wide majority to accept admittance into the United States. And on August 21, Hawaii officially became the 50th state.