From the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the admittance of Hawaii as the 50th state to the tragic Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and volcanic eruptions, Hawaii certainly lays claim to some pretty shocking and suspenseful events throughout history. Here are 13 times the United States was completely focused on our magnificent Hawaiian Islands.
1) On February 22, 1900, Hawaii became a territory of the United States.
2) Queen Lili’uokalani, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, died in November 1917.
3) On August 21, 1959, Hawaii was officially introduced as the latest state in America.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the fiftieth state. In March of that year, Hawaii was approved for statehood by the United States government, and in June, the Hawaiian population voted to accept admittance to the United States of America.
4) From 1968 to 1980, the incredibly popular television series, Hawaii Five-0 brought everyone’s attention to the beautiful islands.
5) On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched a massive attack on Pearl Harbor.
A day that will live on in infamy, the Japanese airstrike against the Hawaii naval base killed 2,400 service members and civilians, and injured another 1,200. All eight United States Navy battleships were damaged, and the attack is considered the event that triggered America’s involvement in WWII.
6) In 1946, a massive tsunami hits Hilo.
The natural disaster killed more than 100 people and caused approximately $25 million worth of damage.
7) Hawaii legalized abortions in 1970, three years before the historic Roe versus Wade decision.
Hawaii was the first state in the nation to legalize abortion and, sure enough, the entire country had an opinion on the matter.
8) When the Honolulu Strangler evaded police in the 1980s.
Often referred to as Hawaii’s first serial killer, the Honolulu Strangler was responsible for the deaths of five women between 1985 and 1986. The killer has never been caught. The victims ranged in age between 17 and 36, but all were found with their hands bound, sexually assaulted and strangled. Two of the victims were found at Keehi Lagoon, pictured above.
9) Last year, Hawaii passed legislation that outlawed the use of non-recyclable plastic bags.
Environmentalists and nature lovers rejoiced when Hawaii banned the use of plastic bags. Sure, there are still some loopholes in the law, but the bold move was certainly a step in the right direction.
10) In 1980, Hawaii became the home of the NFL Pro Bowl, the first ever AFC-NFC all-star game.
For the past 36 years, all eyes have been on Hawaii as football legends and their fans flock to Oahu’s Aloha Stadium each February.
11) In 1993, on the 100th anniversary of the overthrow, President Bill Clinton signed a resolution that apologized for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Many Hawaiians debated whether or not they wanted to remain a state.
12) On January 3, 1983, Kilauea Volcano began its most recent eruption.
The eruption has not stopped yet, more than 30 years later, making Kilauea one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
13) As of January 1, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to purchase – or be in possession of – tobacco products of any kind.
I guess that’s one way to get younger individuals to stop smoking...