Settled by Polynesians sometime between 1000 and 1200 CE, Hawaii was home to numerous independent chiefdoms. In 1778, British explorer James Cook was the first known non-Polynesian to arrive at the archipelago; early British influence is reflected in the state flag, which bears a Union Jack. An influx of European and American explorers, traders, and whalers soon arrived, leading to the decimation of the once-isolated indigenous community through the introduction of diseases such as syphilis, tuberculosis, smallpox, and measles; the native Hawaiian population declined from between 300,000 and one million to less than 40,000 by 1890. Hawaii became a unified, internationally recognized kingdom in 1810, remaining independent until American and European 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 entry into World War II. Hawaii is 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 had spurred the Hawaiian sovereignty movement and has led to ongoing efforts to obtain redress for the indigenous population. (Full article...)
No immediate action had been taken after the 1880 act authorizing coins, but King Kalākaua was interested and government officials saw a way to get out of a financial bind by getting coins issued in exchange for government bonds. Businessman Claus Spreckels was willing to make the arrangements with the United States in exchange for profits from the coin production, and contracted with the US Mint to have $1,000,000 worth of coins struck. Originally, a 121⁄2 cent piece was planned and a few specimens were struck, but it was scrapped in an effort to have uniformity between US and Hawaiian coins, and a dime was substituted. The coins were struck at San Francisco in 1883 and 1884, though all bear the earlier date. (Full article...)
The history of Hawaii describes the era of human settlements in the Hawaiian Islands. The islands were first settled by Polynesians sometime between 1000 and 1200 AD forming the modern population of Native Hawaiians. Hawaiian civilization was isolated from the rest of the world for at least 500 years.
An expedition led by British explorer James Cook is usually considered to be the first group of Europeans to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands, which they did in 1778. However, Spanish historians and some other researchers state that the Spanish captain Ruy López de Villalobos was the first European to see the islands in 1542. The Spanish named these islands "Isla de Mesa, de los Monjes y Desgraciada" (1542), being on the route linking the Philippines with Mexico across the Pacific Ocean, between the ports of Acapulco and Manila, which were both part of New Spain. Within five years after Cook's arrival, European military technology helped Kamehameha I, ruler of the island of Hawaii, conquer and unify the islands for the first time, establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795. The kingdom was prosperous and important for its agriculture and strategic location in the Pacific. (Full article...)
"How would you like to stand like a god before the crest of a monster billow, always rushing to the bottom of a hill and never reaching its base, and to come rushing in for a half mile at express speed, in graceful attitude, until you reach the beach and step easily from the wave?" — Duke Kahanamoku