The Hawaii reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: The Aloha State
In Detail
Other U.S. States
Capital Honolulu
Largest City Honolulu
Governor Linda Lingle
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 43rd
28,337 km²
16,649 km²
11,672 km²
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 42nd
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date
August 21, 1959
Time zone Hawaii: UTC-10/ (no daylight saving time)
16°55'N to 23°N
154°40'W to 162°W
 - Highest
 - Mean
 - Lowest
2,450 km
4,205 meters
925 meters
0 meters
ISO 3166-2: US-HI

Hawaii (in Hawaiian language and as used increasingly in that place, spelled Hawai‘i with an ‘okina) is the North Central Pacific Ocean archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands, constituting the 50th state of the United States. As of the 2000 Census, the population of the state was 1,211,537. Honolulu is the largest city and the state capital.

Hawaii (Hawai‘i) has many distinctions as a state of the Union. For example, it is the territory that was most recently annexed to the United States and the most recently admitted into statehood. In addition to having the southernmost point, it is the only state that lies in large part in the tropics. As one of two states outside the contiguous United States, it is the only one without territory on the mainland of any continent. It is the only state that continues to grow due to volcanic lava flows. Culturally, it is the only state that does not have a Caucasian majority, has the largest percentage of Asian Americans, and is the only industrial producer of coffee in the nation.

Table of contents
1 State symbols
2 Language
3 History
4 Geology and geography
5 Government
6 Economy
7 Demographics
8 Education
9 Famous people from Hawai‘i
10 Media
11 Miscellaneous information
12 See also
13 External links

State symbols


Main article:
Hawaiian language
The State of Hawaii has two official languages as prescribed by the state constitution: Hawaiian and English. Article XV, Section 4 of that constitution requires the use of Hawaiian in official state business, such as public acts and transactions. Though legislation has directed the use of Hawaiian in some public acts and transactions, standard American English is the language of formal business.

Starting late in the 20th century, interest in the use of traditional Hawaiian-language spelling has been revived; this is increasingly being taught in schools. The written form of Hawaiian was developed by Congregational and Presbyterian American missionaries in Hawai‘i during the early 19th century, and assigns to letters sounds virtually identical to those of their English equivalents. It also involves the use of the ‘okina character to indicate a glottal stop, and the macron accent over long vowels (called kahakō in Hawaiian). Just as some knowledge of the orthography is needed to correctly pronounce Hawaiian words and names, omission of these marks obscures correct pronunciation of Hawaiian place names, and often their literal meanings.

A third language had developed over the course of Hawaiian history and is today in common use throughout the state. Originally considered a mere dialect, cultural anthropologists have recently reached consensus that Hawaiian Pidgin is a language of its own. It finds its origins in the sugarcane and pineapple plantations as laborers from different cultures were forced to find their own way of understanding each other. Hawaiian Pidgin is a spoken language primarily based on English and includes words from Chinese, Hawaiian, Ilocano, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Tagalog.

Naming conventions: "Hawaii" and "Hawai‘i"

The issue of the exact spellings of Hawaii and Hawai‘i and how they are applied is proven to be a divisive political issue. The issue is over the inclusion or exclusion of the ‘okina.

In the Hawaiian language, for as long as the language has been written, the name has always been Hawai‘i, with an ‘okina. When Hawaii became a political unit of the United States, U.S. Congress adopted the spelling Hawaii, without the ‘okina. This is still the official name of Hawaii as a political entity under American sovereignity. For the purposes of interpolitical relations outside the State of Hawaii, the American congressional spelling is properly used.

However, in local Hawaiian society, the spelling and pronunciation of Hawai‘i is preferred in nearly all cases, even for English language speakers, and is considered the most correct name for Hawai‘i as a place. Even the Government of Hawaii prefers this spelling for the names of its departments and offices. The convention to include the ‘okina is so widespread in Hawai‘i that it is used even in publications whose titles include the spelling Hawaii without the ‘okina.

These delicate nuances are often not obvious or well-appreciated outside Hawai‘i. This issue can be a source of friction in situations where correct naming conventions are mandated, as people frequently disagree over which spelling is "correct" or "incorrect", and where it is "correctly" or "incorrectly" applied.


Main article: History of Hawai‘i

The history of the Hawaiian Islands can be divided into its various legal entities, from ancient Hawai‘i under the rule of local chiefdoms over a millennium ago to the consolidation and establishment of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i in 1810. The islands witnessed the overthrow of its sovereignty by the Provisional Government of Hawai‘i, followed by governance as the Republic of Hawai‘i. The Newlands Resolution was passed in 1898 establishing the Territory of Hawai‘i and statehood was achieved in 1959.

Ancient Hawai‘i

Main article: Ancient Hawai‘i

It is believed that the Hawaiian Islands were first populated by Polynesians from the Marquesas and Society Islands approximately 1500 years ago. Many legends proclaim how the Hawaiian people came to be, like the story of the navigator Hawai‘iloa who named the islands after his sons. The early Hawaiians developed a complex society based on a caste system and adopted a system of law and religion called kapu. Local chiefs ruled each community and constantly fought to defend them from rival chiefs wanting to extend their territories. Warfare was endemic. The period called ancient Hawai‘i finally came to an end with the arrival of British explorer Captain James Cook on January 18, 1778 whose interactions with the native Hawaiians ended in his death. The man the Hawaiians thought was the god Lono had named the archipelago the Sandwich Islands after the benefactor of his voyage, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

Kingdom of Hawai‘i

Main article: Kingdom of Hawai‘i

In 1795, the islands were united for the first time under a single ruler: King Kamehameha, the first chief to enthusiastically adopt innovations such as cannon and foreign advisors. The Kamehameha Dynasty ruled the Hawaiian islands until 1872, when the last Kamehameha monarch, King Kamehameha V, died childless. The monarchy passed to the House of Kalākaua, another line of the Hawaiian nobility, and lasted until 1898, when a league of mostly American plantation owners, supported by a U.S. Naval commander, overthrew Queen Lili‘uokalani. On July 7, 1898 the new Hawaiian government and the U.S. Congress agreed that the United States should annex Hawai‘i as a United States territory, with self-government beginning shortly thereafter.

Incorporation into the U.S.

"Hawaii" was a territory of the United States for 60 years. The plantation owners found territorial status convenient, as they were able to continue importing cheap foreign labor—immigration that would have been prohibited under then-current law to any state. But the power of the plantation owners was finally broken by the descendants of the imported laborers. Because they were born in a U.S. territory, they were U.S. citizens with full voting rights. They campaigned for statehood for the islands.

On March 18, 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Statehood Admission Act, which made Hawaii the 50th state of the Union, effective August 21, 1959.

An unexpected outgrowth of the 1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention was what some call the "Hawaiian renaissance." Ethnic Hawaiians, through programs created by the constitutional convention, revived their ancestral language and culture; some took a combative attitude towards a U.S government seen as a occupying power. Many regretted the demise of the Hawaiian monarchy and decried some U.S. government officals' connivance in its overthrow. In January 1993, the U.S. Congress passed (and President Clinton later signed) a resolution apologizing for that role.

Geology and geography



and islands]] ''Main article: Hawaiian Islands

The State of Hawaii is spread over 19 major islands and atolls in the central Pacific. The state government also includes minor offshore islands and individual islets in each atoll in its count of 137 islands; this number is often quoted in visitor literature. The inhabited islands are those from the Big Island of Hawai‘i to Ni‘ihau (see map), but the island chain extends another 1000 miles (1600 km) to the northwest.

The main Hawaiian Islands and the counties of the state are shown on the map to the right. The larger islands are listed below.
  • O‘ahu
  • Kaua‘i
  • Ni‘ihau
  • Government

    The Hawai‘i State Capitol has served as the seat of government in Hawai‘i since 1969Enlarge

    The Hawai‘i State Capitol has served as the seat of government in Hawai‘i since 1969

    The state government of Hawaii is largely modeled after the United States federal government with adaptations originating from the kingdom era of Hawaiian history. As codified in the Constitution of Hawai‘i, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The executive branch is headed by the state governor who oversees the major state agencies. The legislative body consists of the 25-member Hawai‘i State Senate and the 51-member Hawai‘i State House of Representatives. The judicial branch is comprised of the highest state court, the Hawai‘i State Supreme Court. Lower courts are organized as the Hawai‘i State Judiciary.

    Unlike other states, municipal governments within the State of Hawaii operate only at the county level. There are no incorporated cities in Hawai‘i, other than the consolidated City & County of Honolulu.

    See: List of Hawaiian counties, US Congressional Delegations from Hawai‘i, List of Hawai‘i politicians


    The total gross output for the state in 1999 was $41 billion, placing Hawaii 40th compared to the other states. Per capita income for Hawaii residents was $28,221. Tourism is now the state's largest industry. Industrial exports include food processing and apparel. However, because of the considerable shipping distance to markets on the U.S West Coast or Japan, they play a small role in the island economy. The main agricultural exports are nursery stock and flowers, coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, and sugar cane. Agricultural sales for 2002 (according to the Hawai‘i Agricultural Statistics Service) were $370.9 million from diversified agriculture, $100.6 million from pineapple, and $64.3 million from sugarcane.





    The population of Hawaii (Hawai‘i) is approximately 1.2 million, while the de facto population is over 1.3 million due to military presence and tourists. O‘ahu is the most populous island, with a population of just under one million.

    According to the 2000 Census, 41.6% of Hawaii's population identified themselves as Asian, and 9.4% were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. 21.4% described themselves as mixed (two or more races). A large proportion of Hawaii's population was of Asian (especially Japanese) descent, from those early immigrants who came to the islands in the nineteenth century to work on sugar plantations. The first Japanese arrived in Hawaii on February 9, 1885.

    The largest city is the capital, Honolulu, located along the southeast coast of the island of O‘ahu. Other populous cities include Hilo, Kāne‘ohe, Kailua, Pearl City, Kahului, and Kailua-Kona.


    Main article: Hawai‘i State Department of Education

    Hawaii is currently the only state in the union with a unified school system statewide. (Similarly, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico also has a commonwealth-wide system.) It is also the oldest public education system west of the Mississippi River. Policy decisions are made by the eleven-member state Board of Education, whose members are elected for four-year terms. The Board of Education sets statewide educational policy and hires the state superintendent of schools, who oversees the operations of the state Department of Education. The Department of Education is also divided into seven districts, four on O‘ahu and one for each of the other counties.

    The structure of the state Department of Education has been a subject of discussion and controversy in recent years. The main rationale for the current centralized model is equity in school funding and distribution of resources: leveling out inequalities that would exist between highly populated O‘ahu and the more rural Neighbor Islands, and between lower-income and more affluent areas of the state. This system of school funding differs from many localities in the United States where schools are funded from local property taxes.

    However, policy initiatives have been made in recent years toward decentralization. Current Governor Linda Lingle is a proponent of replacing the current statewide board with seven elected district boards. The Democrat-controlled state legislature opposed her proposal, instead favoring expansion of decision-making power to the schools and giving schools more discretion over budgeting. Political debate of structural reform is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

    Colleges and universities

    The following are some of the most notable, colleges and universities in Hawai‘i. Wikipedia's is more comprehensive.

    Famous people from Hawai‘i

    The following are some of the most notable, nationally-renowned people from Hawai‘i. Wikipedia's list of famous people from Hawaii is more comprehensive.


    In Hawai‘i, there are two competing Honolulu newspapers, The
    Honolulu Advertiser, owned by the Gannett media conglomerate, and Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The state has a vibrant ethnic press, with newspapers for the Filipino, Japanese and Native Hawaiian communities, among other groups. The Big Island of Hawaii has the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today. Hawaii Reporter is an online publication. Pacific Business News is a weekly business newspaper. Hawai‘i Business is the state's business magazine. Honolulu magazine is a prominent city magazine.

    All the major television networks are represented in Hawai‘i through KFVE (WB affiliate), KGMB (CBS affiliate), KHET (PBS affiliate), KHNL (NBC affiliate), KHON (FOX affiliate) and KITV (ABC affiliate), among others. From Honolulu, programming at these stations are rebroadcast to the neighbor islands via networks of satellite transmitters.

    Miscellaneous information

    See also

    External links

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