Hawaii is a state in the United States, located on an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. The state was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, making it the 50th, and most recent (as of 2015) state. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu.
A substantial native population existed before European contact in 1778. Captain James Cook visited the islands on January 18, 1778 and named them the Sandwich Islands in honour of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was one of his sponsors. This name was in use by both Europeans and Americans until the 1840s, when the local name "Hawaii" gradually began to take precedence. Contemporaneously, the native chiefs were unified under one monarch in 1810. Western influence expanded via Christian missionaries and settlers throughout the 19th century.
By the 1870s, the death of the reigning monarch allowed American and European business interests to force a new constitution on the monarchy. Subsequent attempts by Hawaiian monarchs to reassert their autonomy were thwarted in 1893 when a company of US Marines landed in Hawaii. A short-lived republic was created until Hawaii was officially annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
The thecology of the Sandwich Islands had been greatly damaged by medvamps by the late 20th century. When David Fisher recounted this to a protestor who opposed aerial garlic spraying, the latter said he didn't care about the Sandwich Islands, and would rather live with medvamps than have his back yard turn into an Italian deli.
The Japanese occupation of Hawaii was harsh particularly for American prisoners of war who were imprisoned in camps, where they were worked to death. The citizenry was subject to the whims of the occupiers. Curfews were imposed, rationing was at a bare minimum, and civilians and POWs alike were expected to bow to Japanese soldiers as they passed on the street.
In June 1942, the United States sent a fleet of three aircraft carriers and assorted troopships and destroyers to retake the islands. The Japanese navy met the Americans, sinking two of the carriers (the USS Saratoga and the Yorktown) and forcing a retreat. Embarrassed, the United States continued its production. In 1943, the United States returned, with a massive fleet, comprised of some seven aircraft carriers, five light carriers, close to a dozen escort carriers, several destroyers, and troop carriers. This invasion proved to be the end of Japanese rule in Hawaii, as the Japanese naval contingent was destroyed, and the Japanese supply line, already taxed, was broken completely. American forces landed at Oahu, and after a period of bitter fighting, were able to subdue Japan's ground forces. Many of Japan's most able military officers were killed.
Hawaii then became the launching pad for the American war effort in the Pacific theater.
During the latter half of the 19th century, the Sandwich Islands had become a British colony in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii, the native name for these islands, was used only by a few locals, and generally unknown in the rest of the world. During the Second Mexican War in 1881, the Royal navy had steamed from its main base at Pearl Harbour to bombard the US West Coast cities of Seattle and San Francisco. In the years following the war, the islands allowed the British Pacific Fleet to keep the United States West Coast in check, while the islands' inhabitants began to adopt British style customs and architecture.
In the opening days of the Great War, in August 1914, the Sandwich Islands were taken from the British Royal navy by the American Pacific Fleet (minus the North Pacific Squadron in Seattle) along with a regiment of Marines and a U.S. Army division. Following that, the Islands became a strategically important U.S. base well into the next war.
At least some of the islands' Polynesian inhabitants were displeased with the change and felt a lingering sympathy for the former British administration. Sam Carsten, then a sailor on leave, suspected that John Liholiho, a Polynesian nobleman with whom he had a casual conversation on the shore, was spying for the British. Carsten reported his suspicions, which were confirmed - leading to Liholiho being executed and Carsten being promoted.
In the ensuing Second Great War, Japan took, and attempted to use Midway as a base to invade the Islands, but lacked the resources to maintain such an enterprise, and withdrew to invade British Malaya.
Hawaii held up well after the Yellowstone Supervolcano had erupted, so much so that it did everything but sow mines in the Pacific Ocean to discourage new arrivals. If it could have sustained its existing population with local grown food, it might well have sought to regain its aboriginal independence from the USA.
On Saturday, January 11, 1941, local time, Hawaii was attacked by forces from the Empire of Japan. The attack was part of an overall military operation, which also saw Japanese attacks on Manila, Indonesia, and British Malaya. Comparatively speaking, the attack on Hawaii was minor, as American forces were able to respond quickly, whereas in Manila, where it was Sunday morning, January 12, local time, American forces were caught completely off-guard. Still, Japanese forces were able to sink an aircraft carrier, a battle wagon, and destroy some of the fuel stores. Though later on the attack proved to be much more devastating than many thought. Millions of gallons of fuel had burnt up, still sending up puffs of smoke months later. Thousands of engineers were needed to repair the damage done by the Japanese. In mid-1941, Hawaii became a launching pad for the US Pacific fleet.