Chronography of Hawaii

Page last modified 16/9/2022


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See also USA


23/11/1993, US President Bill Clinton apologised to the indigenous Hawaiians for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in the 19th century.

21/8/1959. Hawaii became the 50th State of the USA.

7/12/1941. Japanese attack on the USA fleet in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Pearl Harbour was taken entirely by surprise and within 2 hours 360 Japanese warplanes had destroyed 5 battleships, 14 smaller craft, and 200 aircraft. 2,400 people, many of them civilians, were killed. However the Japanese failed to find and destroy America�s all-important aircraft carriers, both of which were away on manoeuvres. The Japanese force then turned west to strike the British in the East Indies, Australia, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The US Congress met to declare war in emergency session on 8/12/1941,

much to the relief of Britain.

9/6/1926, Sanford Ballard Dole, Hawaiian statesman (born 23/4/1844 in Honolulu) died in Honolulu.


US annexation of Hawaii; last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, dies

11/11/1917, Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii, died.

14/11/1909. The US President, William Taft, announced that a naval base would be built on Hawaii at Pearl Harbour to protect the US from attack from Japan.

11/3/1901, The first of many large tourist resorts in Hawaii, the Moana Hotel, opened on the Waikiki beach, outside of Honolulu, with an afternoon tour of the rooms and dinner and entertainment for investors, newspaper reporters and VIPs. The first overnight guests were registered the next day, March 12, with rooms for $1.50 per night (about US$ 47.00 in 2020 by the consumer price index). Located at what is now 2365 Kalakaua Avenue in Honolulu, the hotel is now operated as the Westin Moana Surfrider.

30/4/1900, Hawaii, formerly the British Sandwich islands, formally became a US territory.

12/8/1898. The sovereignty of Hawaii was transferred to the USA.

7/7/1898, The USA formally annexed Hawaii.

17/1/1893. US troops landed on Hawaii and annexed it to the USA. The annexation was generally peaceful. The US was concerned about the rise of Japan as a world power, the need for the US to have a Pacific base, the anti-US attitude of the Hawaiian Queen, and demands from Hawaiian sugar growers to sell inside the US tariff area.

20/1/1891, King David Kalalahua of Hawaii died, aged 54, and was succeeded by his 52-year sister, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani. White settlers who now owned 80% of the land in Hawaii, formed a Hawaiian League to oppose the accession of Queen Liliuokalani, and sought annexation to the USA.

20/1/1887. A renewal of the reciprocity agreement between the USA and Hawaii contained an amendment giving the USA exclusive rights to a coaling station in Pearl Harbour.

9/2/1885, The first Japanese migrants arrived in Hawaii.

18/3/1875. Hawaii signed a treaty giving exclusive trading rights with the islands to the USA.


1853, New diseases brought in by Europeans had decimated the population of Hawaii. In 1778, when Captain Cook landed, there had been some 500,000 Hawaiians. Europeans brought flu, syphilis, tuberculosis, typhoid and smallpox, and by 1853 there were just 70,000 indigenous Hawaiians.

1848, King Kamehameha III seized most Hawaiian land from the indigenous inhabitants. He kept 24% for himself, a further 36% was �government land�, and 39% went to his chiefs. This left just 1% of the land for the ordinary people.

1845, The political capital of Hawaii was moved from Maui to Honolulu.

28/11/1843, Britain and France recognised the independence of the Hawaiiian Islands.

31/7/1843, End of a 5-month British occupation of Honolulu, Hawaii.

2/9/1838, Queen Liliuokalani, last monarch of Hawaii, was born.

16/11/1836, David Kalakaua, last King of Hawaii, was born.

1825, Accession of King Kamehameha III.

14/7/1824, Kamehameha II, King of Hawaii and his wife died of measles during a visit to Britain.

8/5/1819, Death of King Kamehameha, who united Hawaii, aged 82. He was succeeded by his 22-year old son, Kamehameha II, who welcomed Christian missionaries and allowed the indigenous culture to be undermined.

14/2/1779. Explorer Captain James Cook, born 27/10/1728, stabbed to death at Keelakekeua Bay by natives of Owyhee, the modern Hawaii. See 28/4/1770, 18/1/1778.

1795. The Hawaiian Islands were now united under a single ruler.

18/1/1778. Captain James Cook discovered Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands. Having sailed from the Cape of Good Hope in 1776, Cook�s plan was to sail through the Bering Straits and attempt to find a north-east route between Europe and the Pacific from the eastern side. See 14/2/1779.

1440, Political control on the Hawaiian Islands began to consolidate with a single chieftan ruling each island where before there had been individual petty principalities. Then, inter-island warfare intensified as island chieftains attempted to control more resources so as to exact more tribute.

1400, After significant population growth, especially after 900, there was now no more unsettled agricultiural land and the level of conflict on Hawaii intensified.

Ca. 450 CE, The Hawaiian Islands were discovered by Chief Hawaii Loa, who had sailed from Tahiti.


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