On July 5, 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 keep traditions alive in a lush environment surrounded by ancient history.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL HAWAII DAY
Join National Day Calendar by exploring the sites, sounds, flavors, and beauty of Hawaii and use #NationalHawaiiDay to share on social media.
William Francis Hillebrand – Chemist – (December 12, 1853 – February 7, 1925)
A chemist with the United States Geological Survey in 1880, William Francis Hillebrand later became the chief chemist for the National Bureau of Standards in 1909. Hillebrand’s studies of uranite would eventually lead other chemists to new discoveries.
Victoria Cleghorn – Princess – (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899)
Hiram Bingham III – Senator – (November 19, 1875 – June 6, 1956)
Henry Gabriel Ginaca – Engineer – (May 19, 1876 – October 19, 1918)
Mary Abigail Kawena Pukui – Author – (April 20, 1895 – May 21, 1986)
James Mitose – Martial artist – (December 30, 1916 – March 26, 1981)
Don Ho – Musician – (August 13, 1930 – April 14, 2007)
Paul Avery – Journalist – (April 2, 1934 – December 10, 2000)
Barack Obama – President – (August 4, 1961 -)
Jordan Hubbard – Developer – (April 8, 1963 -)
K. Megan McArthur – Oceanographer – (August 30, 1971 -)
Bruno Mars – Singer-songwriter – (October 8, 1985 -)
World’s Largest Plant Maze – Wahiawa
Kaniakapupu Ruins – Honolulu
Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau – Captain Cook