History of Honolulu
According to Hawaiian legend, a colony in Honolulu (which means “protected bay”) was established in 1100. The harbour, which has an exit through the reef of Nuuanu Stream and is protected by Sand Island, was overlooked by Captain James Cook and other early explorers until it was discovered and entered by Captain William Brown in 1794. After 1820, Honolulu surpassed all other cities in the islands in terms of prominence, and it prospered as a trading post for sandalwood and a base for whalers.
Honolulu was founded by a Russian party in 1816, and it was then conquered by the British (1843) and the French (1849) before being returned to King Kamehameha III, who on August 31, 1850, officially declared the city to be the capital of his kingdom (Honolulu had been the de facto capital since 1845). During the month of December 1941, the city of Pearl Harbor, as well as the nearby Pearl Harbor naval-military complex, came under attack by Japanese aircraft. For the balance of World War II, Honolulu served as a major staging station, a role it continued to play during the Korean War and until the end of the Indochina (Vietnam) conflict in 1973, when it was decommissioned. Military expenditures continue to be a significant source of revenue.
There are various manufacturing plants in the city-county, including pineapple canneries, sugar refineries, garment factories, steel and aluminum mills, oil and cement plants, and dairying establishments. The international airport is one of the busiest in the United States, with nearby Waikiki—which features a beach lined with luxury hotels, as well as an aquarium, zoo, and the bustling International Market Place, which sells crafts from the Pacific basin—as the primary destination for tourists arriving in the country.
In addition to the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley (1907), which has an East-West Center (established in 1960 for technical and cultural exchange), Chaminade University (1955), Hawaii Pacific University (1953), Honolulu Community College (1920), and Kapi’olani (1965) community colleges, as well as the Kamehameha Schools (1887) for children of Hawaiian descent, Honolulu is the state capital. While the Bishop Museum (1889) is known for its Polynesian collections, the Honolulu Academy of Arts (1927), which is widely regarded as Hawaii’s cultural center, organizes an extensive range of events and programs. Approximately 24,000 graves from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War are located in Punchbowl, a 2,000-foot-wide crater 1 mile inland.