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Hawaii's history in story and legend is ancient and proud, dating back at least a thousand years before American colonies became a nation in 1776. It is highly unlikely that the exact date when Polynesian people first set foot on these previously uninhabited islands will ever be known, nor much details about events occurring between that date and the first contact with Europeans. The Hawaiians were a people without writing, who preserved their history in chants and legends. Much of the early history has disappeared with the death of the kahunas and other learned men whose function it was to pass on this knowledge, by means of chants and legends, to succeeding generations.
Modern Hawaiian history begins on January 20, 1778, when Captain James Cook's expedition made its first contact with the Hawaiian people on the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Captain Cook was not the first man to "discover" the Hawaiian Islands. He was the first known European to arrive.
The language of Hawaii and archaeological discoveries indicate that Hawaii was settled by two distinct waves of Polynesian migration. Cook, himself, knew that the original Polynesian discoverers had come from the South Pacific hundreds of years before his time. First, from the Marquesas, came a settlement as early as 600 or 700 AD, and then from the Society Islands, another migration about 1100 AD. Lacking instruments of navigation or charts or any kind, the Polynesians sailed into vast oceans. They staked their knowledge of the sky and its stars, the sea and its currents, the flight of birds and many other natural signs. They were superior seamen of their time.
Source: Hawaiian Roots
The photos presented here are in no particular chronological order. They are grouped more or less by place visited. On October, 19th I went bus hopping around the island. I was way up in the mountains as you will see. There are also photos from the 18th, which cover the palace and capitol district, and a few from the 20th which was my last day there.

The only time I can recall being happier to see our flag was upon my return from Vietnam.

This panorama is of the eastern end of the Koolau Mountain Range as seen from Honolulu International Airport. The highway in the foreground is H1 which runs along the southern side of Oahu.

Up into the mountains I went. I actually went twice. The first bus didn't provide the view I wanted, so I got a transfer to a bus in another area, which went higher.

Just a small villa in the mountains

The view I was looking for

And another

A Navy ship at sea

This would be me at the `Iolani Palace and the sign that tells me so. `Iolani Palace is the only official state residence of royalty in the United States. It was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom's last two monarchs -- King Kalakaua, who built the Palace in 1882, and his sister successor, the beloved Queen Lili`uokalani.

During the monarchy period, `Iolani Palace was the center of social and political activity in the Kingdom of Hawai`i.
The four principle gates each display the Coat of Arms of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and have a distinctive name and purpose. The decorative plaques from two of the four principal Palace gateways. They depict the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawai`i and bear its motto:.
"Ua mau ke ea o ka`aina i ka pono"
"The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness".

In this National Historic Landmark, today's visitor can enjoy one of the most precise historic restorations to be found in America and learn much about Hawaiian history and heritage.

The Coronation Pavilion was built for the February 12, 1883 coronation of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapi`olani. It was moved from its original site near the King Street steps
The Royal Hawaiian Band regularly gives concerts near the Coronation Pavilion, which has also been used for the inauguration of the Governors of the State of Hawai`i.
Banyans are a type of tropical fig tree of the genus Ficus. Banyans are large trees that usually start life as a seedling epiphytic on another tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges), where a fig-eating bird has deposited the seed. The seedling quickly develops aerial roots from the branches, which grow into full stems once they touch the ground. The original host is eventually strangled or split apart by the banyan's rapid growth, thus one common name for these trees is "strangler figs".
Tuesday, December 7, 2004 A portion of a historic banyan tree that was planted on 'Iolani Palace grounds when the palace opened in the 1880s came crashing down late Friday afternoon. The tree was one of two believed to have been planted by Queen Kapi'olani between 1882, when the palace opened, and 1886, said palace curator Stuart Ching. Roots from the two trees established themselves and eventually grew into a cluster of seven trees, he said. . .
Rouse said there were people sitting under the tree and security personnel cleared them out. Shortly after 5 p.m., about a quarter of the 70-foot tree crashed to the ground.
Source: The Honolulu Advertiser

`Iolani Barracks, originally completed in 1871, was designed by architect Theodore Heuck to house the Royal Guard. This coral block structure contains an open courtyard surrounded by rooms once used by the guards as a mess hall, kitchen, dispensary, berth room, and lockup. The Barracks was originally located on what are now the grounds of the Hawai`i State Capitol. On the left is an old cannon in the courtyard.

The courtyard of `Iolani Barracks

A light fixture on the palace steps
After being dismantled block by block, `Iolani Barracks was moved and reconstructed at its present location in 1965. It now houses The Palace Shop, ticket office, video theatre, and membership office.

Queen Lili`uokalani

King Kamehameha I
Directly in front of Ali'iolani (Hawaiian Supreme Court) is the statue we see here of Kamehameha the Great (I). It was commissioned by the Legislature in 1878, exactly 100 years after Captain James Cook arrived in Hawaii. It was to be a "heroic statue in bronze," a "Commemorative Monument of the Centennial of Discovery". T.R. Gould, a Boston artist, completed the statue the next year. On its way to Hawaii, however, the ship carrying it sank near the Faulkland Islands. A duplicate was ordered, but before it was completed, the original was recovered from the sea and shipped here to Honolulu. Following repairs, the original was sent to the Big Island for a memorial at Kamehameha's birthplace.

Kawaiaha'o Church (Left) is known as the Westminster Abbey of Hawaii, the site of coronations, royal christenings and funerals. It sits on Punchbowl Street near Iolani Palace and Ali'iolani Hale. King William C. Lunalilo, who preferred to be buried in a church cemetery rather than the Royal Mausoleum, rests in the Kawaiaha'o courtyard.
On the right is the resting place of King Lunalilo.

Some buildings of Honolulu

More buildings with Post Office in foreground

Left, I don't know. Modern art? On right, the seal of the State of Hawaii with the state motto at the bottom.

At the left is the House of Representatives. On the right is the Senate.

The Hawaiian Capitol building

Hawaii's replica Liberty Bell
Honolulu is the largest city and the capital of the U.S. state of Hawai?i. In the Hawaiian language, honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter." The city is located along the southeast coast of the island of O?ahu. The term also refers to the District of Honolulu. As of the 2000 Census, the population of the Honolulu District was 371,657. However, in Hawai?i, municipal governments operate only at the county level, and the City & County of Honolulu encompasses all of the Island of O?ahu, having a 2000 Census population of 876,156. (compare with 1,211,537 for the entire state)

Father Damien (Joseph de Veuster): In college at Braine-le-Comte, Belgium, Joseph decided to become a religious. He entered the novitiate of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary at Louvain, and took in religion the name of Damien. Three years later, though still in minor orders, he was sent to the mission of the Hawaiian Islands, where he arrived, 19 March, 1864. He was ordained a priest at Honolulu May 24. He was not only the missionary of the natives, but also constructed several chapels with his own hands, both in Hawaii and in Molokai.
On Molokai there had grown up a leper settlement where the Government kept segregated all persons afflicted with the loathsome disease. The board of health supplied the unfortunates with food and clothing, but was unable in the beginning to provide them with either resident physicians or nurses. On 10 May, 1873, Father Damien, at his own request and with the sanction of his bishop, arrived at the settlement as its resident priest. There were then 600 lepers.
He not only administered the consolations of religion, but also rendered them such little medical service and bodily comforts as were within his power. He dressed their ulcers, helped them erect their cottages, and went so far as to dig their graves and make their coffins. After twelve years of this heroic service he discovered in himself the first symptoms of the disease. This was in 1885. He nevertheless continued his charitable ministrations, being assisted at this period by two other priests and two lay brothers. On 28 March, 1889, Father Damien became helpless and passed away shortly after, closing his fifteenth year in the service of the lepers.

And the birds. They just didn't want to look to the camera. Except this little guy on the fence.

And the flowers. They were everywhere.

The Banyan trees

This must have been a special tree

There are fountains all over Oahu

This was next door to my hotel

Another look at the Koolau Mountains

The control tower

Goodbye Hawaii

Koko Crater

The sun goes west as I fly east to home.

Music is "Aloha Oe"

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