Hawaii

Read this profile of Hawaii to learn about the state's history, points of interest, and government. Also find interesting facts about each state, including the state's motto, symbols, and when it entered the union.
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Hawaii flag

Capital: Honolulu

State abbreviation: Hawaii.

Postal code: HI

Population est.: 1,275,194

Largest City (2005 est.): Honolulu, 371,657

Land area: 6,423 sq mi. (16,637 sq km)

U.S. Representatives: 2

Entered Union (rank): Aug. 21, 1959 (50)

Motto: Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

Origin of name: Uncertain. The islands may have been named by Hawaii Loa, their traditional discoverer. Or they may have been named after Hawaii or Hawaiki, the traditional home of the Polynesians.

State symbols:

flower: hibiscus
bird: nene
song: "Hawaii Ponoi"
tree: kukui

Nickname: Aloha State

Residents: Hawaiian, also kamaaina (native-born nonethnic Hawaiian), malihini (newcomer)

Did you know: Hawaii is home to the only royal palace in the U.S. (Iolani)

Map of Conn.

History

First settled by Polynesians sailing from other Pacific islands between A.D. 300 and 600, Hawaii was visited in 1778 by British captain James Cook, who called the group the Sandwich Islands.

Hawaii was a native kingdom throughout most of the 19th century, when the expansion of the sugar industry (pineapple came after 1898) meant increasing U.S. business and political involvement. In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani was deposed, and a year later the Republic of Hawaii was established with Sanford B. Dole as president. Following annexation (1898), Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1900.

The Japanese attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was directly responsible for U.S. entry into World War II.

Hawaii, 2,397 mi west-southwest of San Francisco, is a 1,523-mile chain of islets and eight main islands—Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, other than Midway, are administratively part of Hawaii.

The temperature is mild, and cane sugar, pineapple, and flowers and nursery products are the chief products. Hawaii also grows coffee beans, bananas, and macadamia nuts. The tourist business is Hawaii's largest source of outside income.

Hawaii's highest peak is Mauna Kea (13,796 ft). Mauna Loa (13,679 ft) is the largest volcanic mountain in the world by volume.

Among the major points of interest are Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii), Haleakala National Park (Maui), Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park (Hawaii), Polynesian Cultural Center (Oahu), the USS Arizona and USS Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Oahu), and Iolani Palace (the only royal palace in the U.S.), Bishop Museum, and Waikiki Beach (all in Honolulu).

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