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Hawaii Snapshot

Posted by Keith on April 13, 2007 at 7:03 am  

The Aloha State is home to about 1,300,000 people — less than 40 percent as many people as live in the greater Phoenix ( Maricopa County ) area. Hawaii extends across the Pacific for 1,523 miles and contains eight main islands, and many islets. Two years ago President Bush declared Hawaii’s outlying areas a protected national preserve – the largest in the United States .

First settled by Polynesians between A.D. 300 and 600, and physically closer to Pacific locations such as the Marshall Islands than to the mainland, today only 9.4% of Hawaii’s population is entirely Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Surprisingly, 41 percent of the population is of Asian descent.

Sugarcane (Did someone say “ethanol”?), pineapples, and flowers and nursery products are its chief products, along with coffee, bananas and macadamia nuts. But tourism, by far, is Hawaii’s largest industry.

More than 900,000 people live in Honolulu County alone. About a third of those folks live in the City of Honolulu ,

One of the great books about Hawaii is actually a novel by the same name: James Michener’s Hawaii . In it Michener devotes the first 400 truly wonderful pages describing how titanic volcanic forces thrust Hawaii from the Pacific, and how it developed soil, flora and fauna. He also tells the story of the profound role Christian missionaries from Maine played in the state’s history.

Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1900, and, along with Alaska , became a state in 1959. The state’s deep ties to the mainland were sealed on December 7, 1941 – the “Day of Infamy” – when the U.S. fleet was attacked at Pearl Harbor . The U.S.S. Arizona still lies just beneath the surface there, now part of the Pearl Harbor Memorial, as a grim reminder of the sacrifice made by America’s “Greatest Generation” – including many Hawaiians.

–Keith


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1 Comment so far

  1. Steve Miller on April 16, 2007 11:14 am

    Mahalo

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