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Hawaii History


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The tallest mountain in the world from base to summit is located on the island of Hawaii. The dormant volcano Mauna Kea measures over 30,000 feet tall when measured from its ocean base to summit, several hundred feet higher than Mt. Everest in the Himalayas.

The largest single mountain mass in the world is also located on the island of Hawaii. While the bulk of its girth is below sea level and not readily visible,the active volcano Mauna Loa has a body mass about 100 times greater than Mt. Shasta in North America, or Mount Fuji in Japan.

The Hawaiian Archipelago consists of over 130 scattered points of land stretching some 1,600 miles in length from the Kure Atoll in the north to the Island of Hawaii in the south.

The wettest spot in the world is located on the island of Kauai. Mt. Waialeale consistently records rainfall at the rate of nearly 500 inches per year.

The earliest Polynesians crossed over 2,000 miles of open ocean to find Hawaii without the aid of navigational instruments. Relying on keen observations of nature, Polynesian navigators could direct their large double hulled ocean canoes across the Pacific to accurate landfalls. Polynesian voyagers were navigating long distance runs in the Pacific almost 1,000 years before Columbus.

The southern most point of the United States of America is located in Hawaii. South Point on the island of Hawai'i is also the general area where the first first human beings set foot on the islands in appx.500 A.D.

Hawaii was originally called the Sandwich isles. The great English navigator Capt. James Cook so named the islands in 1778 in honor of his patron the Earl of Sandwich ( who is also credited with creating the edible sandwiches).

The entire island of Manhattan in New York can fit into the main crater of Maui's Haleakala volcano. Haleakala Crater is over 21 miles in circumference, and over 3,000 feet deep.

A 28 square mile glacier once covered the top of Hawaii's Mauna Kea. Today snow still falls in the winter months on the mountain and skiers enjoy several interesting runs ranging from the shallow Poi Bowl run, to the extreme King Kamehameha Run that descends appx. 1,000 feet in the first half mile. In less than 90 minutes a skier can drive down from the snow to the beach and tropical sunshine.

King Kamehameha I ( The Great), used western firearms and military advisors in his successful campaigns to unite the Hawaiian islands. In the 1790's, historians report that Kamehameha mounted several cannons on his large double hulled canoe to support his invading forces.

Kamehameha the Great is the only Hawaiian monarch whose final resting place is still a mystery. After his death is loyal retainers hid his remains and never revealed their whereabouts to another living soul.

In 1843 English sea captain Lord George Paulet commanded his crew aboard the frigate HMS Carysfort to occupy the fort in Honolulu and in so doing effectively ceded the Kingdom of Hawaii to Great Britain. However, this action was immediately retracted by the British government and the islands were apologetically returned to Kimg Kamehameha III 6 months later.

Writer Herman Melville worked as a pin boy in a Honolulu bowling alley during the mid-1840's. It was during the height of the whaling years for Hawaii that a young Melville came to Honolulu to collect experiences for his future literary masterpieces.

During the California Gold Rush of 1849 miners sent their laundry to Honolulu for washing and pressing. Due to the extremely high costs in California during these boom years it was deemed more feasible to send the shirts to Hawaii for servicing.

In 1816 an agent of the Imperial Russian government convinced the King of Kauai that he could capture all of the Hawaiian Islands with Russia's help, so they constructed a large stone fortress based on Imperialist Russian design standards on the banks of the Waimea river. The remains of this Fort Elizabeth can still be seen on Kauai in testament to this failed Czarist adventure.

The largest permanent Army Post in the United States is located on the Island of Oahu. Schofield Barracks is located in central Oahu plain and covers in area of appx. 14,400 acres.

The only Royal Palace on American soil is located in Honolulu. The Iolani Palace was built by King David Kalakaua in 1882 at a cost of just under $ 360,000 dollars.

Hawaii's King David Kalakaua has the distinction of being the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe during his 'round the world tour in 1881.

King Kalakaua was also the first monarch to be received in Washington D.C. by both the President and a joint session of Congress in 1874. King Kalakaua left such positive impressions with President Grant and many other politicians that Hawaii was granted a full Reciprocity Treaty with the U.S.A. in 1875.

The last Royal Hawaiian flag to be defended during the U.S. led coup d'etat of 1893 was aboard a Japanese gunboat. The Japanese Imperial Navy gunboat Naniwa refused to strike the Royal Hawaiian flag from it's mast during it's anchorage in Honolulu Harbor. After firmly resisting all threats from the newly installed rebel government, the Naniwa was finally ordered to lower the colors by the Japanese government. The captain of the Naniwa later went on to become the greatest naval commander in the history of Japan. Capt. Heihachiro Togo is credited with destroying the combined Russian Baltic and Pacific fleets in a single battle during the Russo-Japanese War, thus galvanizing Japans status as a world power in the early 20th century.

The "Father of Modern Baseball", Alexander Cartwright Jr., is buried in the Oahu Cemetery near downtown Honolulu. Despite his fame as the creator of modern baseball, Cartwright is best known in Hawaii as the organizer and first chief of Honolulu's volunteer fire department.

The grave sight of world famous aviator Charles Lindbergh is located near the town of Hana on the Island Maui.

The world's first revolving restaurant was the La Ronde Restaurant atop the Ala Moana building fronting the Ala Moana shopping center. (The restaurant has since closed down.)

The first Asian American in the U.S. Senate was Hawaii's Hiram Fong. Descended from Chinese immigrants Fong was elected to the Senate in 1959.

The first Asian American to be elected Governor of a State was Hawaii's George Ariyoshi. Descended from Japanese immigrants, Ariyoshi was elected in 1974.

The first Hawaiian to be elected Governor of a State was Hawaii's John Waihee in 1986.

The first Filipino American to be elected Governor of a State is Hawaii's current Governor Ben Cayetano, elected into office in 1994.

The Lahainaluna School on the island of Maui is the oldest American school west of the Rocky Mountains. Established in 1831.

The world's largest underground storage tanks are located near Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. The 20 fuel oil tanks are about 100 feet in diameter and nearly 25 stories tall.

The world's tallest ceramic mural is located on the side of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Rainbow Tower in Waikiki. The mural is 30 stories high.

Hawaii is the largest consumer of Spam in the United States. Last estimates site over 10,000 cans of Spam are consumed everyday in Hawaii.

The only reported wild Kangaroos in the U.S. are found in Hawaii. Descendants of an escaped pair of wallabies continue to flourish in the mountains behind Honolulu.

The lowest recorded temperature in Hawaii was set in 1970 atop Mauna Kea mountain on the island of Hawaii. The temperature was 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hawaii has no snakes, seagulls, rabies, billboards, or daylight savings time.

During the peak of its eruption in 1984, Mauna Loa produced 1.3 million cubic yards of lava per hour. That's enough lava to build a standard sidewalk from Honolulu to New York City, over 4,800 miles long!

It took over 450,000 feathers from 80,00 birds to create a magnificent cape for King Kamehameha the Great.

The first westerner to set foot in Hawaii was not Captain James Cook. In 1778 Capt. Cook's Sailing Master, Lt. William Bligh, was the first man ashore during the expedition. Lt. Bligh went on to captain the infamous HMS Bounty.

The Hawaiian language has the shortest alphabet in the world. It has only 12 letters A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, W.

The highest sea cliffs in the world are located on the island of Molokai. The cliffs near Umilehi Point drop over 3,000 feet from summit to shoreline. It's in the Guinness Book!!











NOTE: For a more detailed listing and the largest on-line source of information on sports activities for all the Hawaiian Islands, check out: See & Visit Hawai'i


Hawaii Diving Information
Scuba Links

Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding Central


Second Wind - Maui
Triple Crown Of Surfing
Surfing Hawaii
Hawaii Magazine - Raceplace
At The Beach (East Coast)
Hawaii Lifeguards - North Shore
Surfing Costa Rico
Surf Links


Second Wind - Maui
American Windsurfing Industries Inc
Sailworld, USA
Best Windsurfing Pages
Windsurfing Mags and More
Maui's Windsurfing Shops
Maui Windsurfing Report (Humorous)


Hike Hawaii (killer info)
Hiking Hawaii
Backpackers of Hawaii
Oahu Hikes
Hiking & Camping In Hawaii


Running Events


The Island Golf Network
Rick Carroll's Golf Page


Kayaking In Hawaii
Kayaking Alaska
Cool Kayak Links


Ski Association of Hawaii


Skydiving Hawaii


Camping in Hawaii


Mountain Biking Links



Outrigger Canoe

1995 Queen Lilioukalani Canoe Race, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
1996 Bankoh Molokai Hoe Canoe Race, Molokai to Oahu
1996 Bankoh Na Wahine O Ke Kai Canoe Race, Molokai to Oahu


Hawaii Weather Links

National Weather Links


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