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August is an important month in Hawaii's history. On August 12, 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States government and became a U.S. territory. Sixty-one years later, on August 21, 1958, Hawaii became the country's 50th state. Each of those events had its supporters and opponents, and the debate about Hawaiian sovereignty continues to this day.

The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. -- Hawaii's state motto, attributed to King Kamehameha III

Hawaii may be the newest U.S. state, but its history goes back for centuries. From the arrival of its original Polynesian inhabitants to its 1898 annexation by the United States -- which ended Hawaii's longtime status as a sovereign nation -- Hawaii's story is fascinating, stirring, and, at times, heartbreaking. (Read more Education World Great Sites About Hawaii.

  1. Global Town's Island Overview
    This easy-to-navigate site starts with an explanation of the formation and early inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands. Click on the icon labeled Then and Now for a comprehensive history of Hawaii up through the present.

  2. About Hawaii

    This site is a good source for background information on the Hawaiian Islands, including its people and geography. It is maintained by GoPacific, Inc., a Honolulu-based travel company.

  3. Search Hawaii! Cultural and Educational Pages

    This page contains numerous links to a variety of information, both general and specific, on a variety of topics. Whether you wish to read about the nene (Hawaii's rare state bird), learn about the Hawaiian language, or discover the origins of the hula, this site is the place to start.

  4. A Teacher's Guide to the Geology of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    This teacher's guide is designed for anyone interested in volcanoes. It provides background information on numerous topics and includes teaching suggestions and activities. Of particular interest is lesson 14, Living With Hawaiian Volcanoes.

  5. The American Experience: Hawaii's Last Queen

    Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917), the last Hawaiian monarch, was very much a woman of the world. Although she was educated by Western missionaries, was well traveled, and was an accomplished poet and composer, she never forgot her native language or her traditions. Her reign began in 1891 and ended in 1894 when she was forced to surrender her throne to U.S. marines who supported a group of local businessmen wishing to set up their own government, which led to annexation of Hawaii by the United States in 1898.

    This site, the online companion to PBS's biographical TV show about Liliuokalani, contains many interesting features, including a time line of her life, an article on Liliuokalani's legacy, and a bibliography. Clicking on Hawaii Quiz brings you to a brief questionnaire to test your general knowledge of the Hawaiian Islands. The Teacher's Guide has several discussion and essay questions dealing with different themes, such as cultural values, expansionism, politics, racism, and exploitation. Although many of the questions rely on information provided in the show, an online transcript is also available.

  6. Liliuokalani
    This site is dedicated to Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch to reign over the kingdom of Hawaii. In addition to her failed efforts to restore the monarchy and retain Hawaii's national sovereignty, she is also remembered for composing one of Hawaii's best-known songs, "Aloha Oe," a tribute to the islands she was forced to surrender.

From The Education World Archives

* Hawaii Admissions Day

*Volcanoes: Nature's Explosive Spectacles!

*Happy Anniversary, Hawaii! -- 40 Ways to Teach the 50th State


Lauren P. Gattilia
Education World®
Copyright © 2000 Education World

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