On July 5th, National Hawaii Day recognizes the 50th state to be granted statehood.
Eight islands make up The Aloha State, the largest of which is named Hawaii. The islands of Maui, Oahu, and Kauai are the next in size followed by Molokai, Lanai, Nihau, and Kahoolawe.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Polynesians navigated the Pacific ocean in double-hulled vessels from the west. Captain James Cook sailed to the islands in 1778 and would later meet his death on the big island.
For generations, Hawaii ruled by the hand of the Kamehameha dynasty. King Kamehameha is still honored in Hawaii today.
In 1874, a new king was elected to the throne. King Kalākaua was known as the Merrie Monarch. Kalākaua also developed a reputation as a diplomat as he set out to tour the globe in 1881. As a result, Kalakaua would become the first monarch to travel around the world. It would take the Hawaiin leader an entire year to complete the voyage.
While Hawaii is the 50th state to join the Union, it has long been a strategic military installation. Its location in the Pacific has been vital to U.S. Naval operations for decades. On December 7, 1941, the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor shocked the nation and propelled the United States into World War II.
The islands’ beauty and traditions consistently draw visitors for rest and relaxation. Hawaii’s pristine beaches, majestic volcanoes, and exotic atmosphere speak to a richly diverse heritage that is welcoming and fascinating. Dance, music, and song taught from one generation to the next to keep traditions alive in a lush environment surrounded by ancient history.
HOW TO OBSERVE
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