August 22, 2012

Hawaii – “The Aloha State”

Hawaii map



Just the Facts…


bird – Nene
flower – Hibiscus
tree – Candlenut
capital – Honolulu
union – 50th on August 21, 1959
population – about 1 1/2 million



The Basics 

Hawaii is the last of the states to join the Union.  Before becoming a state, Hawaii was independent.  For almost 100years, Hawaii was a monarchy – which means that it had a king!  It was called the Kingdom of Hawaii.  The monarchy was overthrown in 1893 to create the Republic of Hawaii.  Shortly after that, it became an American territory.  But, it did not become a state until 1959.

It is made up of a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  There are eight main islands.  Maybe you have hear of some – Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.  But, did you know that there are also many smaller islands that are included in the state?  Currently, there is no ferry system in Hawaii – you have to fly to get from island to island.

The islands were formed by underwater volcanic activity thousands of years ago.  Even today, there is an active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Magma flows from the volcano and hardens into rock as it cools, slowly making the island bigger!


Its Claim to Fame

There are two official languages in Hawaii – English and Hawaiian.  Native Hawaiians are considered to be Polynesian – Hawaii is part of northern Polynesia.

The Big Island is home to an active volcano named Mauna Loa.  It is one of the biggest active volcanoes in the world!  It extends up from the floor of the ocean, so what we see as part of the Big Island is only the very tip of the huge volcano.  “Mauna Loa” means “long mountain” in Hawaiian.

Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 – “a day that will live in infamy.”  This event took America by surprise and brought us into World War II.  It was one of the biggest disasters in the history of our military.


What Makes it Tick

Hawaii is known for pineapples!  Mr. Dole came to Hawaii in 1899, bought some land and started growing pineapple plants.  He developed a system to preserve the pineapple in cans, so that it could travel to the mainland without becoming rotten.  A few years later, he was known across America as the “Pineapple King”!  In 1922, he bought the whole island of Lanaii and created the largest pineapple plantation in the world.    Until the 1990s, Lanaii produced about 75% of the pineapples grown in the whole world.  While you are at the famous Dole Plantation, you can ride the Pineapple Express train, walk through the pineapple fields, and make your way though the world’s largest maze – the Pineapple Garden Maze!

Hawaii is known for some other unique agricultural products, besides pineapples – we are talking about coffee, macadamia nuts, and sugar cane.  Do your parents drink coffee in the morning? Maybe they are drinking Hawaii’s famous Kona coffee.  Coffee has been grown in Hawaii for over 100 years!


If You Visited

If you visited Hawaii, you might watch a surfing competition!  Hundreds of surfers go to the north side of Oahu in search of the “perfect wave.”   Some of the waves along the Bonzai Pipeline can grow as high as 30 feet!  A popular thing to do after watching a surfing competition is to stop in Haweila Town for some rainbow shaved ice!

Or you might walk on lava in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Mount Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is located on the Big Island of Hawaii.   The lava fields are still active – sometimes you can see the steam coming up through the ground!  There are also volcano cones, craters, and steam vents – it seems like a completely different world!


Want to Know More? 

Check our Hawaii state scrapbook for an industry map, state symbols and information we received from the Governor and Board of Tourism.

Do you live in Hawaii? Or, maybe you have visited Hawaii?  We want to hear from you!!  Post a comment at the end of this page.

  • What is your very favorite thing about Hawaii?
  • What is your favorite thing to eat?
  • What is your favorite thing to do?
  • What other special or unique facts do you want to share about your home state?

Do you have any photos of Hawaii to share? Email them to: Or, post them to our Facebook page:

Our tour includes just a few things that are interesting and special about Hawaii.  Visit these websites to learn more: