Hawaii is nicknamed the Aloha State

November 30, 2012 1:26 am
Hawaii
Hawaii was the last state to join the . It became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the southernmost state in the country. It also is the only state made up entirely of islands.
Facts About Hawaii
Capital
Honolulu
Population
1,280,000 people
Rank among states in population
42nd
Major cities
Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua
Area
10,930 square miles
28,300 square kilometers
Rank among states in area
47th
Statehood
August 21, 1959, the 50th state
State nickname
The Aloha State
Name for residents
Hawaiians
State bird
Nene (Hawaiian Goose)
State flower
Yellow Hibiscus
State tree
Kukui
Abbreviation
HI
THE ALOHA STATE
Hawaii is nicknamed the Aloha State. Alohais a greeting in the Hawaiian language. It can mean “hello” or “goodbye.” Most Hawaiians would probably say that aloha is an expression of welcome. Millions of tourists visit Hawaii to enjoy its mild climate and sparkling beaches.
Hawaii is made up of 8 major islands and 128 islets (small islands). The 8 main islands are Hawaii, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau.
Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the capital of Hawaii and its largest city. About three-fourths of Hawaii’s people live on Oahu. The island of Hawaii is the largest of the islands. It is sometimes called the Big Island.
HAWAII’S PEOPLE
Hawaii was first settled hundreds of years ago, perhaps as early as the 600s. The earliest settlers were Polynesians, people from islands in the South Pacific. To reach Hawaii, they traveled more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) across the Pacific in long wooden canoes.
For a long time, Hawaii was best known for growing pineapple and sugarcane. Many people were brought in to work on pineapple and sugar plantations. The workers came mainly from East Asia, especially from China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Today, many of Hawaii’s people have East Asian ancestry.
MADE FROM VOLCANOES
Underwater volcanoes formed the Hawaiian Islands. Melted rock called lava flowed from the ocean floor. The lava cooled and hardened in the water. Over time, lava flows built the islands of Hawaii.
Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano, is on the island of Hawaii. Since 1983, lava has poured out of Kilauea and added land to Hawaii.
Kilauea and Mauna Loa, another active volcano, are part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. At the park, you can see lava flows, hike a trail, and learn about volcanoes. On the Big Island, you also can see beaches of black sand formed from lava.
THE KINGDOM OF HAWAII
A Hawaiian ruler named Kamehameha united the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom by 1810. Although he died in 1819, Hawaii remained a kingdom until 1893. Hawaii is the only state that was once an independent kingdom.
Every year on June 11, Hawaiians observe Kamehameha Day. They honor King Kamehameha with parades, dances, and other festivities. They hang necklaces of flowers on a statue of the king in Honolulu.
SURFING—A HAWAIIAN TRADITION
Water sports are important in Hawaii, as you would expect in an island community. Hawaii has beautiful coral reefs to explore by snorkeling or diving. The islands are also famous for their giant waves.
The huge waves are perfect for the sport of surfing—riding waves on a surfboard. Hawaiians started surfing hundreds of years ago. The north shore of Oahu has some of the best surfing waves in the world.
HULA—ANOTHER HAWAIIAN TRADITION
The hula is a traditional dance of Hawaii. Hula dancers move their hips back and forth and make graceful movements with their hands and arms. They use these movements to tell a story.
Hula dancers usually wear skirts that move easily and necklaces of flowers. Chanting and beating of drums often goes along with their dances. Each July, young dancers perform at a hula festival held at the Moanalua Gardens on Oahu.
PEARL HARBOR
Pearl Harbor near Honolulu is Hawaii’s most famous harbor. The United States Navy has a base here. In 1941, planes from Japan bombed the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. The United States entered World War II after this attack.
The Japanese bombers sank many U.S. ships. More than 1,000 sailors went down with the battleship USS Arizona. Today, you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. You have to take a boat to get to the memorial. The memorial floats over the sunken battleship.
THE WETTEST PLACE ON EARTH
On the island of Kauai, though, you can visit one of the wettest places on Earth. Mount Waialeale gets about 451 inches (1,146 centimeters) of rain each year. Kauai gets more rain than any other Hawaiian island. It’s sometimes called the Garden Island. All the rain gives Kauai lush greenery.
But many places in Hawaii are dry. Honolulu, for example, gets only about 25 inches (63 centimeters) of rain each year.
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