About the State of Hawaii: Facts, Map, and State Symbol
written by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• edited by: Wendy Finn
• updated: 3/2/2012
Studying the states can be a lot of fun...especially when it comes to the islands which make up the state of Hawaii. Facts, map and state symbol are all included in this overview of Hawaii and the Hawaiian islands.
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As the 50th, and currently the last, state to join the Union, Hawaii is an intriguing study. After all, what other state can claim to be entirely surrounded by water? Here, you can learn more about Hawaii. Facts, map and state symbol are among the information provided below.
As you can see from the map provided above, the state of Hawaii is actually made up of 8 islands located in the Pacific Ocean: the Big island of Hawaii, Kaho'olawe, Kauai'i, Lana'i, Maui, Moloka'i, Ni'hau, and O'ahu. These islands were formed from volcanoes which erupted under the ocean. The volcanic rock originated from the Hawaiian hot spot. This hot spot is located under the Big Island of Hawaii. You can learn more about volcanoes and the formation of the Hawaiian islands through this WebQuest.
The capitol of Hawaii is Honolulu. The city of Honolulu is located on the island of O'ahu. Besides the capital building, visitors to O'ahu will also be interested in visiting the harbor of Pu'uloa - or Pearl Harbor. This is the site of the December 7, 1941 attack by the Empire of Japan which lead the United States into WWII. As Hawaii's most popular tourist attraction, the battleship wreak of the USS Arizona serves as a memorial to the 1,177 sailors killed during the attack that day.
Today, Pearl Harbor is also home to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Here are several interesting facts about the state of Hawaii:
Before it became a state, Hawaii was actually a kingdom. The first king was Kamehameha the Great. He reigned in the 1800's. To this day, Hawaiians still celebrate their heritage and Kamehameha the Great every June 11th.
Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian islands in 1778. He named them the "Sandwich islands" (in honor of the Earl of Sandwich). However, King Kamehameha I united the islands under his rule in 1819 and changed the name to the "Kingdom of Hawaii."
As the 50th state, Hawaii was admitted into the Union on August 20th, 1959.
Hawaii is known as the "aloha" state. "Aloha" is a Hawaiian word, and it is used interchangeably for both "hello" and "good bye."
Hawaii is also sometimes referred to as the "Paradise of the Pacific," and the "island" state, because it is the only state which is entirely composed of islands.
In the Hawaiian culture, it is considered disrespectful for a guest to wear their shoes when they enter someone's home. Shoes are expected to be removed and left by the front door.
Mt. Waialeale on Hawaii's Kauai Island is known as the rainiest and wettest spot on Earth. It boasts an average of more than 472 inches of precipitation each year.