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Key Events in Hawaiian History

`Iao Needle, Maui, photo by Jacquie George 

0-500 AD Polynesians arrive in Hawai‘i.

1778 James Cook, British explorer, lands on the island of Kaua‘i.

1810 Kamehameha I unifies the islands as an independent Kingdom.

1820 First group of American Protestant missionaries arrive.

1840 First Constitutional government.

1848 Māhele or Land Division allows private land ownership.

1873 William Charles Lunalilo, first-elected king.

1874 David Kalākaua, known as the Merrie Monarch, is elected king.

1883 Princess Pauahi writes her Last Will and Testament.

1884 Pauahi is diagnosed with breast cancer. She dies on October 16.

1887 Kalākaua forced to sign what is often referred to as the Bayonet Constitution. Kamehameha School for Boys opens its doors with 37 students.

1891 Lili`uokalani ascends throne.

1893 Queen Lili‘uokalani ousted by American businessmen and placed under house arrest at `Iolani Palace.

1894 The Hawaiian Kingdom is declared a Republic. The Kamehameha School for Girls opens.

1898 A Joint Resolution of Annexation in the U.S. Congress passes. President McKinley signs it into law.

1900 Hawai‘i becomes a Territory of the United States.

1917 Queen Lili‘uokalani dies.

1920 Hawaiian Homes Commission Act establishes Hawaiian homestead lands.

1941 Pearl Harbor attacked by Japan.

1959 Hawai‘i becomes the 50th state.

1993 100th anniversary of the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. U.S. apologizes for illegal take-over.

Back to Hawaiian History

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