Hawaii

Hawaii

The 50th state of the United States, comprising a group of eight major islands and  numerous islets in the central Pacific Ocean, c.2,100 mi (3,380 km) SW of San Francisco.

Area: 6,450 sq mi (16,706 sq km).

Population: (2000) 1,211,537, a 9.3% increase since the 1990 census.

 Capital: and largest city,Honolulu.

 Statehood: Aug. 21, 1959 (50th state). Highest pt., Mauna Kea, 13,796 ft (4,208 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname,Aloha State. Motto, Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono [The Life of the Land Is Perpetuated in Righteousness]. State bird,Hawaiian goose. State flower, hibiscus. State tree, candlenut. Abbr., HI

Area: 6,450 sq mi (16,706 sq km).

Population: (2000) 1,211,537, a 9.3% increase since the 1990 census.

 Capital: and largest city,Honolulu.

 Statehood: Aug. 21, 1959 (50th state). Highest pt., Mauna Kea, 13,796 ft (4,208 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname,Aloha State. Motto, Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono [The Life of the Land Is Perpetuated in Righteousness]. State bird,Hawaiian goose. State flower, hibiscus. State tree, candlenut. Abbr., HI

The only U.S. state in the tropics, Hawaii is sometimes called “the paradise of the Pacific” because of its spectacular beauty: abundant sunshine; expanses of lush green plants and gaily coloured flowers; palm-fringed, coral beaches with rolling white surf; and cloud-covered volcanic peaks rising to majestic heights. Some of the world’s largest active and inactive volcanoes are found on Hawaii and Maui; eruptions of the active volcanoes have provided spectacular displays, but their lava flows have occasionally caused great property damage. Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are volcanic mountains on Hawaii island; Haleakala volcano is on Maui in Haleakala National Park.

Vegetation is generally luxuriant throughout the islands, with giant fern forests in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kahoolawe, however, is arid, and Niihau and Molokai have very dry seasons. Although many species of birds and domestic animals have been introduced on the islands, there are few wild animals other than boars and goats, and there are no snakes. The coastal waters abound with fish.

Ethnic and cultural groups: are represented in Hawaii than in any other state. Chinese labourers, who came to work in the sugar industry, were the first of the large groups of immigrants to arrive (starting in 1852), and Filipinos and Koreans were the last (after 1900). Other immigrant groups—including Portuguese, Germans, Japanese, and Puerto Ricans—came in the latter part of the 19th cent. Intermarriage with other races has brought a further decrease in the number of pure-blooded Hawaiians, who comprise a very small percentage of the population.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers, who may have arrived as early as A.D. 300; but were present by A.D. 800. The islands were first visited by Europeans in 1778 by the English explorer Captain James Cook, who named them the Sandwich Islands for the English Earl of Sandwich. At that time the islands were under the rule of warring native kings.

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