Portal:Hawaii

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Hawaii ( /həˈw.i/ ( About this sound listen) hə-WY-ee; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi] or [həˈwɐjʔi]) is a U.S. state located in the Pacific Ocean. It is the only state outside North America, the only island state, and the only state in the tropics. Hawaii is also one of a handful of U.S. states to have once been an independent nation.

Hawaii encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, composed of 137 volcanic islands spanning 1,500 miles (2,400 km), which are physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. The state's ocean coastline is consequently the fourth longest in the U.S., at about 750 miles (1,210 km). The eight main islands, from northwest to southeast, are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi, after which the state is named; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaii Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands make up most of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the largest protected area in the U.S. and the third largest in the world.

Of the fifty U.S. states, Hawaii is the eighth-smallest in area and the 11th-least populous, but with 1.4 million residents is the 13th-most densely populated. Two-thirds of the population lives on the island of O'ahu, home to the state's capital and largest city, Honolulu. Hawaii is among the most diverse states in the country, owing to its central location in the Pacific and over two centuries of migration; it has the nation's only Asian American majority, largest Buddhist community, and largest proportion of multiracial people. Consequently, the state is a unique melting pot of Southeast Asian, East Asian and North American cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture.

Settled by Polynesians some time between 124 and 1120, Hawaii was home to numerous independent chiefdoms. British explorer James Cook was the first known non-Polynesian to discover the archipelago in 1778; early British influence is reflected in the design of the state flag. An influx of explorers, traders, and whalers arrived shortly thereafter, introducing diseases that decimated the once-isolated indigenous community. Hawaii became a unified, internationally recognized kingdom in 1810, remaining independent until Western businessmen overthrew the monarchy in 1893; this led to annexation by the U.S. in 1898. As a strategically valuable U.S. territory, Hawaii was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941, which brought it global and historical significance, and contributed to America's decisive entry into World War II. Hawaii became the most recent state to join the union on August 21, 1959. In 1993, the U.S. government formally apologized for its role in the overthrow of Hawaii's government, which spurred the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. ( Full article...)

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The Hawaii Sesquicentennial half dollar was struck in 1928 by the United States Bureau of the Mint in honor of the 150th anniversary of Captain James Cook's landing in Hawaii, the first European to reach there. The coin depicts Captain Cook on the obverse and a Hawaiian chieftain on the reverse. Only 10,000 were struck for the public, making the coin rare and valuable.

In 1927, the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii passed a resolution calling on the U.S. government to produce a commemorative coin for the 150th anniversary of Cook's arrival in Hawaii. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon thought the occasion important enough that, unusually for him, he did not oppose such an issue. The bill for the Hawaii half dollar passed through Congress without opposition or amendment, and became the Act of March 7, 1928 with the signature of President Calvin Coolidge. ( Full article...)

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George Luther Kapeau (died 1860) was a noble and statesman in the Kingdom of Hawaii who was one of the first generation of native Hawaiians to receive a Western education at the missionary founded Lahainaluna School. Despite his obscure family status, he rose to prominence as an advisor to King Kamehameha III. He served many government posts such Royal Governor of the Island of Hawaiʻi and member of the House of Nobles. ( Full article...)

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Na Mokulua, a pair of islets off the cost of Oʻahu.

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This section is here to highlight some of the most common words of the Hawaiian Language, ʻŌlelo, that are used in everyday conversation amongst locals.

E komo mai

Welcome

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"E naʻi wale nō ʻoukou, i kuʻu pono ʻaʻole pau" — King Kamehameha I

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