A Quick History Of Hawaii

These islands were most likely discovered by Polynesians who were traveling in their double hulled outrigger canoes from Tahiti around 500 A.D. They brought with them animals that included pigs, dogs, and chickens as well as sweet potatoes, coconut, banana, and sugarcane.

In 1778 British Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands and named them Sandwich Islands after Britian's Earl of Sandwich. The irony here is that Captain Cook was actually looking for the Northwest Passage between Alaska and Asia. The history of Hawaii shows that Captain Cook was later killed in a dispute with local natives in 1779.


In 1789 the first Chinese arrived in the islands after jumping their ship to avoid slave like conditions.

King Kamehameha the Great

The actual history of Hawaii, with all the islands united into one kingdom, began in 1810 when King Kamehameha the Great proclaimed it to be true. Until 1816, the chiefs of the various islands considered themselves under British protection and therefore flew the Union Jack flag.


Economically the pineapple has always been king in the history of Hawaii. The first pineapple plants were first imported in 1813 from Spain. By the early 1960s, Hawaiian pineapple growers were supplying over 80% of the world's pineapple.


In 1817 coffee was first planted in the Hawaiian Islands. By 1910, 80% of Kona's coffee farmers are comprised of Japanese. In 1914 World War I began and the world demand for coffee skyrocketed because coffee kept the troops awake.


In 1885 the sugar plantations imported workers from Japan for the first time. Later on in the history of Hawaii, on December 7, 1941 Japan pulled a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and triggers the United States entry into World War II.

Ironically today a large percentage of Hawaii's population is Japanese. Today people who vacation in Hawaii are part of Hawaii's biggest business, which is tourism. Again ironically, a majority of these tourists visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

United States

The brightest moment in the history of Hawaii occurred in 1898 when Hawaii was annexed to the United States. Up until then, Hawaii was an independent sovereign state, recognized by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany, all of whom exchanged ambassadors. Then in 1900 Hawaii became a United States territory; finally, in 1959, Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill which allowed for statehood. In the subsequent election Hawaii formally became a state when 94% of the voters voted for statehood.

History of Hawaii's People

There was no such thing as writing in the early part of the history of Hawaii; everything instead was recorded in chants and legends. Unfortunately, most of this history has disappeared with the deaths of the big kahunas.

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