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Hawaii: Aloha State
JOINED UNION: August 21, 1959
STATE BIRD: Hawaiian Goose
STATE FLOWER: Hibiscus
MEANING OF STATE NAME: Could be based on native Hawaiian word for homeland, "Owhyhee"
1992 POPULATION: 1,159,614
RANK FOR POPULATION: 40
LAND AREA: 6,423 square miles
RANK IN SIZE IN UNION: 47
ECONOMY: Lots of pineapple, sugar refining, tourism, government defense, film production.
HISTORY: Settled by early Polynesians around 500 AD, Hawaii was discovered by Englishman Captain James Cook in 1778. Christian missionaries came in 1820. Hawaii remained under native rule until 1893, when it became the Republic of Hawaii and, in 1900, became a U.S. Territory. The bombing of Hawaii's Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941 prompted America's entry into World War II. A chain of volcanic islands stretching about 1,600 miles, Hawaii's eight main islands
are Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Kauai, Niihau, Kahoolawe, and Molokai.
Spinner Dolphin: High Jumper
The spinner dolphin is named after the dramatic way in which it jumps, twisting and twirling, out of the water like a madly spinning airplane. These acrobatics are not performed all the time. During the daylight hours, spinner dolphins are, in fact, very quiet, lazily swimming around inshore bays. But just when the sun goes down, the spinner awakens and the spectacular spinning show begins!
Dolphins are among the most friendly of all the marine mammals and usually travel in groups (or pods) of a dozen to more than several hundred. Spinner dolphins weigh close to 250 pounds and measure up to seven feet long. They inhabit the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Spinner dolphins feed on fish and cephalopod mollusks which they catch with their tiny, sharp teeth. Because they often hunt for food alongside yellowfin and skipjack tuna, every year thousands of these beautiful creatures are accidentally trapped in tuna
nets and killed.
Pearl Harbor Wake-Up Call
December 7, 1941
For two hours on a peaceful Sunday morning, Japanese bombers carried out a surprise attack on the U.S. military fleet resting in Pearl Harbor. This action launched America into World War II. Beginning just before 8:00 a.m., bombs and torpedoes dropped on the battleship Arizona and killed 1,103 of the ship's 1,400 crew. A total of 18 ships were destroyed and about 2,400 people killed, before the planes returned to their carriers around 9:45 a.m.
The next day, Monday, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, and it did. In response, Germany and Italy honored their treaty with Japan, and declared war on the United States.
Rationing of meat, cheese, shoes, and even items like nylon hose began in America. As men joined the armed forces, women at home took over their jobs in defense industries, where they worked as riveters, among other jobs. "Rosie the Riveter," a magazine cover by Norman Rockwell, showed a young American woman in such a factory. Rosie became an image of national pride.
Overseas, American soldiers fought the Japanese in the Pacific islands. They also fought the Germans and Italians in the woods of Europe and the deserts of North Africa. Generals such as George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Dwight Eisenhower led the troops.
One of the most successful of all military maneuvers was 1944's D-Day, the landing of about 150,000 Allied troops on France's Normandy Coast after crossing the English Channel. After D-Day, the Germans were driven out of France, and in 1945 the war came to an end.
Hawaii Taming Paradise
Known for his historical novels, James Michener published one on Hawaii in 1959. Called "Hawaii," the book covers Hawaiian development from 854, when people from Bora Bora migrated here, through 1954 and the emerging of this American territory and soon-to-be state. Though the book is a mixture of fiction and fact, reading it can be an excellent way to get an understanding of the many foreign and competing forces that shaped this beautiful place.
Polynesian founders, New England missionaries, Chinese business people, and Japanese immigrants are all represented -- as are the dynasties they spawn in Hawaii. We are shown the native Hawaiians' worship of multiple deities and the fire goddess Pele, their abandonment of their religion at the coercion of Christian missionaries Abner Hale and John Whipple, Chinese immigrants Char Nyuk Tsin and Kee Mun Ki, and Japanese laborers Kamejiro Sakagawa and his friend Oshii, who is a fanatical supporter of the Japanese emperor.
Perhaps more than in any other state, Hawaiian people are a blend of their ancestors. Intermarriage between natives and newcomers has closely knit the various ethnic groups and the island's commerce. Hawaii is the American state closest to the contemporary powerhouses of Asia: Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.
Michener won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for his "Tales of the South Pacific." While sometimes not viewed as a major literary figure despite this prize, Michener is able to combine historical detail with a remarkable storytelling ability, in order to give readers both an entertaining reading and an understanding of a country.
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