1909 – He was born in Fort Assinniboine, Montana on the 30th of March.
1948-1952 – He held various leadership positions in the territorial Democratic Party, culminating in being chair of the territorial party.
1956 – He was elected Delegate from Hawaii.
1959 – He played a key role in lobbying for Hawaii statehood, a goal that was achieved on the 12th of March when the statehood bill was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1962 – Burns won the election to become Governor.
1973-1974 – Burns became ill to the point of incapacity in October and Burns’ third elected Lieutenant Governor, George R. Ariyoshi became Acting Governor through the end of Burns’ third term, before Ariyoshi was elected in his own right as Governor.
1975 – He died on the 5th of April.