10 Fun Facts about Hawaii

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

Kona Coffee

Hawaii has long captured the imagination of travelers not just from the United States, but also from Japan and other countries around the world.  The islands have a long history dating back to its earliest native settlers and up through a number of important historical events including being the site of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The islands are one of the most traveled to destinations by vacationers from everywhere and to this day offer some of the best accommodations, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

Those coming to Hawaii for the first time may not know a great deal about all that it has to offer.  Most of the pertinent information can be found online or in the many great vacation travel guides.  Here though is a look at ten fun facts about America’s 50th state, Hawaii.

  1. The first Japanese prisoner of war captured by the USA during World War II was Kazuo Sakamaki.  He was captured on Waimanalo Beach on December 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  2. Hawaii is the only state in the entire United States that grows coffee.
  3. Most people would not think it, but because of some of the distant smaller islands that are part of the state of Hawaii, it is the widest state in the United States.
  4. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that does not have a state patrol.
  5. Counting the height that is accumulated underwater, the Hawaiian Islands are the tops of the largest mountain range in the entire world.
  6. The official Hawaiian State Gem is black coral.  Black coral only grows in the ocean at depths greater than one hundred feet.
  7. Hawaii has a long history as a state and before that a territory of the United States.  The islands also had a lengthy history as a kingdom with an established royal family.  Often forgotten is the five years, 1894 to 1898, that Hawaii spent as an independent republic before being annexed into the United States.
  8. Hawaii is home to Iolani Palace, this is the only royal palace found within the borders of the United States of America.
  9. Hawaii is one of two states in the United States that doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time, the other is Arizona.
  10. More macadamia nuts and orchids are harvested on the big island of Hawaii than anywhere else in the entire world.

While Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, there is also much more to Hawaii than just beaches and surfing.  The island is home to a thriving nightlife, a tremendous agricultural industry, and friendly and helpful residents.  Hawaii remains to this day the dream vacation site for many Americans and will not be losing that status anytime soon.  A trip to Hawaii, no matter what the reason, is a great idea and something that everyone should look into doing at least once in their life.

Hawaii Statehood

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii statehoodIn 1959 on August 21st Hawaii was inducted as the 50th state and includes all of the Hawaiian Islands as well as the over two thousand miles of volcanoes which are located throughout the entire Hawaiian Island chain. These rocky islands are among the fifteen hundred smaller islands which are located through the state of Hawaii. Although there are only seven of these islands which are widely recognized, these islands are often explored and discovered by those that are visiting the area.

The various islands which are most popularly recognized when spoken about include Hawaii’s big island, Maui, Oahu, Lanai, and Kauai. Although there are more than one thousand other islands, these islands are widely popular and encompass exciting vacation adventures and tourist attractions

The capital of Hawaii is located on the big island of Hawaii, located on the popular of Oahu and is also one of the most popular vacation destinations that can be seen through the entire Hawaiian Islands. The capital is one of the largest locations and full of history. Upon the time that the statehood was announced, Hawaii’s capital was also created.

Hawaii has a long history of trying to become a state, but remained a territory for more than six years! Finally, in 1959 it was inducted as a state and became part of America. Although not attached to the country directly, it falls under the same category as Alaska when it comes to location and destination.

There are over one million people who live in the state of Hawaii, according to one of the most recent census counts. These million inhabitants are mostly concentrated on the big island, one of the largest islands and most populated areas of the state.

With the influence of the Polynesian culture that can be seen throughout the islands and the location within the Polynesian archipelago of the Pacific Ocean. Although Hawaii is a part of the United States, a vacation to the Hawaiian Islands feels more like an exotic destination with the lush wildlife and species of land and marine life. Therefore, a visit to the island allows the traveler to experience an exotic destination with little in the way of travel, after all, a flight to the island can take as little as four to five hours from most destinations. While visiting the island, the traveler can learn all about the culture, history and statehood of Hawaii.

Celebrations are set to occur in 2009, which will mark the fiftieth year in which the statehood of Hawaii has been celebrated. This can educate the people that live within the state about the process that Hawaii has seen to become a state and what exactly this means for the Hawaiian Islands. The celebrations will outline the importance of culture on the island and there are elaborate festivals which can demonstrate this culture to visitors. A visit to the state of Hawaii through this time can yield important information regarding the state of the Hawaiian Islands and just how this fiftieth addition to the United States came to be.

Famous People from Hawaii

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

famous people from Hawaii

There are many famous people that have originated from the beautiful Islands of Hawaii. From celebrities to the President, Hawaii has brought light to famous people in a variety of settings. Are you wondering about some of the famous people from Hawaii? Perhaps about the most famous people that have come from the area? Here is a list of the most famous people that have come from the great Hawaiian Islands:

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on the 4th of August 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii and is currently serving as the president of the United States. After taking the nation by storm with his measures and intentions of change for the United States of America he has celebrated his presidential win and has brought new hope to the state of government in America. Barack celebrates his Hawaiian heritage widely and can be seen visiting various areas of the Hawaiian Islands. Apparently, Barack Obama is one of the most famous people from Hawaii and will go down as history as being so.

Nicole Kidman was born in Hawaii, although most people mistake her for being Australian. It is true that her parents are indeed Australian, but she was born in Hawaii and as one of the most popular Hollywood actresses, she has taken the nation by storm as one of the highest paid actresses of all time. She was born in Hawaii in 1967 and carries not only the citizenship from Hawaii, but also from Australia as her parents are Australian citizens.

Tia Carrere is a famous actress and singer that was born in Honolulu but is a combination of Chinese/Spanish and Philippine, rather than traditional Hawaiian. She has become famous for her roles in movies such as Wayne’s World and other various films. She is an exotic looking actress, making her extremely popular with many men. Since this time in her debut in a main role in 1992 on the set of Wayne’s world she has become the fantasy of many men as she continues to appear in a variety of movies and feature films.

Bette Midler is a famous singer, movie actress and Broadway actress that was born in Hawaii. Her initial rise to fame came with an album that was released in the 1970s which led to a myriad of movie roles and Broadway roles which have helped her climb the charts as well as climbing the classics which contributed to her fame.

Although Don Ho is more so known throughout Hawaii than through other various states, he has been known as one of the most famous Hawaiians through his entertaining shows which were infamous through the Hawaiian Islands. He was born in a small neighborhood in Honolulu and interacts and entertains audiences throughout the globe and visitors to the Islands. He has become a classic Hawaiian entertainer who will go down in history as one of the funniest, one of the greatest entertainers in time.

Hawaii State Song

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state song

The Hawaiian state song “Hawaii Pono’I” was declared more than forty years ago in 1967. Although the song was developed years before, it finally became honored as the official song of Hawaii. Nearly every state has an official song, but Hawaii has an official song that comes with a high level of culture and history that can be seen through the values of the Hawaiian culture.

It demonstrates the unification that should occur throughout the islands, as they are separated but should use the same values to accomplish goals, together. The state song uses the demonstration that everyone who lives in Hawaii is a son of the islands and therefore this common element can bring everyone together.

Children are taught the state song and adults are aware of the song, as it can be seen through a variety of mediums. The state song can be seen in schools and on many crests as well as the song being a part of multiple ceremonies which can be seen throughout the years. The children learn the song in school and it is included in multiple school ceremonies, as well as being included in state events, even football games through the football season!

What are the origins of the Hawaii state song? The origin of the song lies more than one hundred years before it was made the official state song of Hawaii. The creation came about in 1876 by the king of that time King Kalakaua to honor the prior King Kamehameha. King Kalakaua had written the song in the honor of the previous king and therefore it comes with a rich and abundant history.

From 1876 to 1893 the song that is now the state song was used as the national anthem until 1967 when the song was finally adapted as the state song. The national anthem lead to the adaptation after the people and officials in Hawaii realized that the message from the song was compatible with the overall values which are represented through the people in Hawaii.

What are the lyrics of the Hawaii State Song?

“Hawaii’s own true sons,
Be loyal to your chief Your country’s liege and lord,
The King Father above us all,
Kamehameha, Who guarded in the war with his spear”

The native Hawaiian version of the song is:

Hawaii ponoi Nana i kou, moi
Kalani Alii, ke Alii.
Makua lani e Kamehameha e
Na kaua e pale Me ka ihe.

The state song is popular and therefore most people know the song word for word. The majority of children in modern educational systems learn the English version of the song, while also learning the cultural aspects of the Hawaiian versions of the song. Through various state and cultural events, the traditional Hawaiian version of the state song is sung by patrons.

As the song speaks about being loyal to the chief, which may seem like an archaic tradition, it speaks of developing a unity between the people of a country and the people of the country following the leadership that is present within that country.

Hawaii State Motto

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state motto

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono

State mottos are used to embody the theme and the theories which are demonstrated in the people living in the state. It has been compared to a state of mind and also to the general feeling and belief of the morals of the people that reside in the state. The motto was implemented in 1959 but has origins leading back to the 1800s when Hawaii was known as a Kingdom.

The state motto literally translates into, “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”. What is the meaning of the motto? The motto means that the life within the land as well as the people within the land is determined by the right acting ways of the people within the state and the dependence of the people within the state to do the right thing. Acting right within your life, and for the state can be an effective means of summing up the motto.

Historically, the motto was first spoken and thought to reflect the beliefs of the kingdom. It was first spoken by the King of Hawaii at this time, King Kamehameha. These words have been used since this point as the motto of the state of Hawaii and all of the people that reside within the state. These words were used in a famous address from the King and from this day have been used as the official state motto of Hawaii.

Prior to the words being used as the state motto of the Hawaiian Island the words were located on flags and seals, which prompted the adaptation of the words as the state motto of Hawaii. Some of the most popular mottos come with history, which demonstrates the importance of the words being used on a regular basis to ensure they are compatible with the thoughts and values that come along with the state.

What was the origin of the Hawaiian state motto? The origin of the motto comes from the King Kamehameha who spoke the words in the early 1800s at which time he presided over what was known as the Kingdom of Hawaii. The motto has been used for more than two hundred years through the state of Hawaii on seals, gates and various destinations through the Hawaiian Islands.

The motto is used today on the state seal and can be seen on a variety of historical documents. This historical aspect of the motto can establish the history that has been created within the state. These documents are common today and therefore the motto can be found through multiple areas of the political and state documents.

Every state needs a motto but Hawaii uses a motto that is one of the most relevant to the feeling and the ambience of the people that are living in Hawaii and experiencing the wonderful features of the island and natures.

Hawaii State Flower

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state flowerNearly a century ago brought the introduction of the Hawaii territorial flower, the hibiscus. In the 1980s the flower became the state flower, as the only color yellow. Prior to this time the flower may have been represented in a variety of colors, such as red or blue. In 1988 when the flower was implemented as the state flower, yellow became the official hibiscus flower of the Hawaiian Islands. This way nearly sixty years later than the flower became the official representation of the floral emblem to Hawaii. The hibiscus has nearly one-hundred years of history when it comes to the representation of Hawaii.

An organization that is referred to as the outdoor circle began the beautification process of Hawaii’s natural resources and suggested the idea of making the hibiscus flower the state flower of the Hawaiian Islands. This group was also responsible for removing billboards from the island of Oahu as well as preserving the natural beauty which can be found through the islands for future generations.

The hibiscus is represented in the flower leis which are present throughout the entire island and used to create the leis that we are so familiar with and that are presented to visitors of the island upon arrival. The string of hibiscus flowers is used to represent love and affection to the wearer of the flower lei.

Natives to the Hawaiian Islands recognize the flower by the Hawaiian name, pua aloalo. What are the characteristics of the hibiscus flower? The flower ranges between an inch and two inches and is yellow in color, although many other colors have been grown.

Although many people have believed in the past that the hibiscus flower originated in the Hawaiian Islands, the flowers truly originated in locations in Asia and the Pacific Islands and then growers were able to create hybrid flowers and they became popular in the Hawaiian Islands.

Although the state flower of Hawaii is the hibiscus flower, different flowers have been established as the island flower of all of the islands that are located in the Hawaiian isle. These different flowers represent the islands in various ways, and most of the flowers that are used to represent each of the islands are flowers that are found locally on these islands.

Here are the island flowers which are used to represent the islands that make up the state of Hawaii:

  • Maui is represented with the damask rose
  • Oahu is represented with the dodder shrubs which are native to the island
  • Kauai is represented with the native tree of the island
  • Molokai is represented by the candlenut tree
  • Lanai also uses the native dodder to represent the island

The flowers have more properties that being esthetically pleasing – as the juice that is created from the pressing of the flowers is said to have healing properties. This juice is often extracted from the flower and given to children that have fallen ill or women that have become pregnant. As the flower contains the natural healing properties and the beauty which the islands have become known for, it becomes obvious why the flower is well suited to the state in which it represents.

Hawaii State Bird

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

neneThe Hawaiian goose or the nene (which is pronounced nay-nay) is the official bird of Hawaii and can be seen through various parts of the Hawaiian Islands, in natural habitats as well as the multiple wildlife preserves which are scattered through the islands. These geese emigrated from Canada decades ago and have been seen throughout various parts of the island for decades, eventually becoming the state birds of the Hawaiian Islands.

A critical mistake was made in the 1940s when the birds became nearly extinct after the government allowed the hunting of the Hawaiian geese through a season in which the population levels of was higher than usual. Since this time, two of the three species of Hawaiian geese have been battling with near extinction, and one species has been completely depopulated.

Later, in 1957 after the birds were making a comeback from the threat of extinction they were named the official state bird of Hawaii. Efforts were made to increase the population with the hopes of releasing the birds into their natural habitat to replenish the population.

What features are distinct to the Hawaiian goose? Similar in appearance to the Canada goose, as the species which are located in Hawaii are evolutionary descendants to Canadian geese, the tall bird is grey and light brown in color, with features of black that are present through the beak and prominent on the facial features of the bird, and on the beak. Unique to the Hawaiian goose is the cheek coloring, which is a light beige color and present on many of the birds. The Hawaiian goose ranges between twenty-five and forty inches and interestingly enough does not have completely webbed feet, like other varieties of geese.

Although it is difficult to tell the difference between male and female variations of the geese as the feathers and patterns are similar, experts are able to distinguish between the two sexes. There are experts that have been studying the geese for decades to determine the impacts that humans have on the activities and populations of the geese and have determined that human interaction has effectively reduced the population of the Hawaiian goose.

There are many places where the Hawaiian geese can be seen in their natural habitat, after the population has been replenished. These areas include the volcano parks throughout the islands, mainly Mauna Loa as well as in the various wildlife parks that are located through the island and the state zoo which is located in Honolulu. Although many geese require water to survive, there are many groups of these geese that have learned to adapt through various parts of the island which are not in close proximity to bodies of water. With this evolution comes a stronger type of geese, as they have adapted to complex biological conditions.

The call of the goose is distinct and can be compared to a honking noise or a calling. This distinctive call has been called noisy and offensive but remains one of the most identifiable noises that come from various birds.

Hawaii State Fish

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state fishThe odd shape of the Hawaiian state fish is cause for the name of the Hawaiian rectangular fish or the Hawaiian trigger fish. The fish is identifiable through its colorful markings of white, yellow, black and light blue. Through the silver color of the fish there is a dark stripe which can be seen through the sides and through the belly of the fish.

Interestingly enough, the fish was declared the state fish through the seventies and eighties but in the nineteen nineties the law had run out of time and therefore, officially, the triggerfish was not the state fish of Hawaii for more than sixteen years – until the official reinstatement of the reef triggerfish of the humuhumunukunukupua in the year 2006.

Known as the humuhumunukunukupua the fish has been called this name because it literally translates into “fish with a pig’s nose” in Hawaiian. For short, the fish is called humuhumu by the natives of the island that are familiar with the fish.

Do people commonly sport fish for this type of fish in the area of Hawaii, although it has become known as the state fish? People in the past have indeed fished for the humuhumu through a variety of times and therefore the species has been under a threat of human hunting and consumption through a variety of times. However, this behavior has been significantly reduced, leaving the population of the state fish to flourish among the coral reefs on the island.

Humans aren’t the only enemy that the state fish has had to face. Nearly ten years ago there was a disease which had been discovered through the island which put the fish species under duress and had the ability to reduce the population which was found in the island. This disease within the water had been caught under control however, and the population was saved.

Although there are many other locations within the world where the fish can be found, it has been the state fish of Hawaii for years.

What is commonly included in the Hawaiian trigger fish’s diet? The diet includes seaweed which is present throughout the coral reef and can also include various fish and other small animals that lack vertebrae that can be found within close proximity to the coral reef. The mother stays close to the reef while she is protecting the nest of fish as there are many predators which can be found lurking near the coral reef.

The species have been known to grow upwards of eighteen inches long and sometimes even longer. Depending on the environment in which the fish is found, this can determine the size.

The fish can be commonly seen through the Big Island of Hawaii and by snorkelers that frequent the vast coral reefs on the islands. Through these island reefs, the coral reef dwelling fish eat seaweed as well as bottom dwellers which are located through the various islands.

Interestingly enough, the fish sleeps on its side and appears flat through the night. This is an interesting fish as this is one of the very few species that acts this way and exhibits this type of behavior. There is also one more unique feature that can distinguish the triggerfish from other species – it has blue teeth!

Hawaii State Tree

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

kukui tree

The vast and expansive Kukai tree has become known as the official state of Hawaii. It has come to be known as the candlenut tree and can be seen at various places throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands. The tree was native to the Polynesian areas and is found through various Hawaiian Islands.

Prior to the introduction of the Kukai tree as the state tree, the unofficial tree that was used as a representation of Hawaii was the Coconut palm tree which is found throughout the islands, as well as a significant part of the landscape of Hawaii – which is the reason that the tree was so popular.

Small white flowers grow on the tree and these are often used in the traditional customary leis which are distributed during celebrations and to visitors of the island. Standing up to twenty meters tall, the tree can be identified by these small white flowers, which are present through the leaves on the tree. These light green leaves are not only identifiable by natives of the Hawaiian Islands, but by visitors to the island that notice the trees presence throughout the landscape.

Where is tree found through the various parts of the islands? The tree can be found most prominently within the hillside and mountainside of the landscape of Hawaii.

The Kukai trees can grow upwards of eighty feet high and two feet around, making the high tree tops that can grow within the side of the mountains. Branches are evident more than thirty feet into the air and can form heavy foliage through the bases of mountains and valleys.

The fruits or nuts which are considered beneficial by natives of the islands are two inches in diameter and appear as black or brown softened nuts with pits that fall to the ground and rot quickly.

The nuts which are present on the tree are used for a variety of methods through the Hawaiian tradition, from creating lights with the use of the valuable oils from the tree, or even medicine which is used by natives to the island that can yield traditional holistic benefits when used as medicine.

As there are multiple uses to the tree, the natives of island see the value in the choice of the tree becoming a part of the Hawaiian culture. For centuries Hawaiians have used the oil which can be pressed from the candlenuts to soothe burns and it has been compared to salves that can be created through the use of Aloe Vera. Since the oil is not readily absorbed into the skin it can provide a salve as well as protection that are used for various skin ailments like psoriasis and eczema. While protecting the skin, it can also reduce the instances of episodes which are experienced. It can also protect against acne to reduce the amount of breakouts that a person experiences.

Hawaii is actually the only state which uses a tree to represent their state that is not native to the area. The origin of the Hawaii state tree is unknown, but has been found on the islands of Hawaii for centuries.

Kauai Movies

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

kauai north shoreDo you remember the lush green mountains and sparkling waterfalls in the three versions of film Jurassic Park? You must have wondered whether these beauties exist in reality or these were made artificially, like the huge dinosaurs, by using computer graphics software. In fact, the startling beauties you saw in the film were not artificial but exist in this world at the Island of Kauai. On the island of Kauai, Manawaiopu Falls and Mount Waialeale are the two places those were frequently shown in the films. If you happen to visit these places, you will consider yourself in the dinosaur age.

Talking of forests, the lush green forests of Kauai have special attraction for film producers to shot scenes for their films. Leafy forests shown in the blockbusters RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM are part of Kauai forests.

The Island of Kauai appeared as the NEVER-NEVER land and played a supporting role in the movie HOOK, featuring Julia Roberts. Even if you are short of time you can visit the places those were shown in the movie, Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) that was completely made in Kauai. Showing its deep green valleys, sandy beaches and sparkling waterfalls, Kauai also appeared as a French Polynesian tropical island in the movie Six Days, Seven Nights. One of the famous valleys in Kauai that is famous amongst visitors is the Honopu Valley of Kauai also known as “Valley of the Lost Tribe.” The reason for this valley being so popular is the fact that some part of the historic blockbuster KING KONG was shot here.

For showing stunning contradictions of the beaches and scenic overlook, the island of Kauai has been the first choice for the producers. As in 1983, a mini series was played on TV based on a famous novel THE THORNBIRDS. Although the story of the novel was based on the characters those are Australian and living there. Major part of this drama series was shot at the Kee beach of Kauai.

For best of the snorkeling experiences, you must visit the Haena Beach, which has been starred as heaven in Hollywood movies and is still famous for its heavenly beauty.

When making of Hollywood movies in Hawaii is discussed, the island of Kauai stands in front as compared to other Hawaiian islands, i.e. Honolulu, Waikiki, and Oahu. Ancient mysterious temples, sparkling waterfalls, miles of sandy beaches and lush green valleys in North shore of Kauai make it an ideal spot for film producers, this the reason why North shore of Hawaii is called Hawaii of Hollywood.