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Tuesday 2nd June
Hawaii USA Facts
The islands of Hawaii were created by volcanic activity millions of years ago.

Polynesia, which means many islands, is a name covering over a thousand islands between Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna are also in this grouping.

Captain James Cook named the Hawaiian Islands the Sandwich Islands after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich.

The Big Island of Hawaii is almost twice as big as all the other Hawaiian Islands put together.

Pearl Harbour (Oahu), named after its pearl fisheries, is the best natural harbour in the Pacific.

Approximately eighty percent of the Hawaiians live on Oahu and over half of these live in Honolulu.

Hawaii's highest mountain is Mauna Kea, on the Big Island, at just over 4,200m high.

Mauna Loa, an active volcano, makes up a large proportion of the Big Island of Hawaii.

The world's most active volcano is Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Visitors can watch the eruptions of Kilauea in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Lanai is known as the Pineapple Island and until recently has been mainly used for pineapple plantations.

"Aloha" is used as a greeting and a farewell. Hospitality is important to the Hawaiian way of life and is called the spirit of Aloha.

Kamehameha united the Hawaiian Islands at the end of the eighteenth century. With the help of the Europeans, he conquered all the islands except for Kauai which paid him tribute.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA with a royal heritage.

Hawaiian society was divided into the ruling class of known as the ali'i, the priests and the ordinary people.

Hawaiian royalty used surf boards which were double the length of those used by ordinary people.

Grass skirts were not worn in Hawaii until 1870s.

A muumuu is a dress which missionaries encouraged Hawaiian women to wear. It is now made in bright cottons and silks.

Some Hawaiian aloha shirts have become collectors' items.

In 1960 a tsunami originating near Chile, killed 5,000 in the area; it travelled to the Hawaiian Islands killing sixty-one people and carried on to Japan killing another one hundred and fifty. (A tsunami is an enormous wave produced by undersea earthquakes which can travel at speeds of up to 600 mph).

In May 2018 the eruption of the Kilauea volcano destroyed many homes.

Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961.

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