History of Hawaii - Timeline of Hawaiian History
300-700 - Polynesian settlers arrive from the Marquesas.
(some estimates earlier)
1627 - Spanish sailors visit Hawaii, describe volcanic eruption in ship's log.
1758 - Paiea, later known as Kamehameha the Great, the lonely one, born in Kohala on the
Island of Hawaii.
1778 - European 'discovery' of Hawaii by English Captain James
Cook, who names them the Sandwich Islands.
1779 - Captain Cook killed in dispute with Hawaiians at Kealakekua,
Island of Hawaii.
1782 - Kamehameha inherits power in the northern part of the Island of
Hawaii and later begins conquest of the other Hawaiian Islands.
1791 - Kamehameha controls the entire island of Hawaii.
1794 - Hawaii is placed under the protectorate of Great Britain by Vancouver.
1795 - Kamehameha defeats the army of the King of Oahu at the battle of
Nu`uanu. He now controls Hawaii,
Molokai and Oahu. Only
Kauai and Niihau are beyond his grasp.
1796 - Kamehameha's fleet readying to attack Kauai is turned back by weather.
1797 - Kamehameha puts down a revolt on the Island of Hawaii in a battle near Hilo.
1804 - Another planned invasion of Kauai is postponed because of a plague.
1810 - First theatrical performance staged in Hawaii.
1810 - Kamehameha unifies all the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom through a treaty with the King of Kauai.
1813 - Don Francisco de Paula y Marin, a Spanish advisor to King Kamehameha, introduces coffee and pineapple to Hawaii.
of Kona Coffee.
1815 - Russian soldiers fail attempt to build a fort in Hawaii.
1816 - Volcano House opens for tourists on the Island of
Hawaii, $1 per person for lodging.
1819 - King Kamehameha dies, Prince Liholiho ascends the throne as Kamehameha II (1819-1824).
1819 - Kamehameha II abandons kapu (taboo) system, including the prohibition on men eating with women.
1820 - First Protestant missionaries arrive from New England.
See: Lahaina Historic Tour.
1824 - Kamehameha II dies in London.
1825 - Kauikeaouli ascends to the throne as Kamehameha III. See: Monarchs.
1826 - James Honnewell establishes C. Brewer & Co. Ltd. trade and service organization.
1826 - U.S. enters into treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with the Kingdom of Hawaii.
1829 - H.N. Greenwell plants first coffee in Kona on the Island of Hawaii.
of Kona Coffee & History
of Hawaii Agriculture.
1834 - Honolulu Police Department is founded by King Kamehameha III.
1835 - First successful sugar plantation started in Koloa on Kauai.
History of Koloa and Plantation
1836 - Organization of the Royal Hawaiian
of Royal Hawaiian Band
1838 - Ground is broken for the building of the Kawaiahao
1839 - France enters into treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with the Kingdom of Hawaii.
1839 - Kamehameha III promulgates the Declaration of Rights and the Edict of Toleration (freedom of religion).
1840 - Kamehameha III promulgates the first Constitution of the Kingdom of
1842 - First House of Representatives is called to order.
1842 - First class begins at Punahou, the new private school.
1843 - Lord George Paulet seizes Hawaii in the name of England for 5 months.
Admiral Thomas is dispatched to the islands to return the throne
to Kamehameha III, who 'coins the phrase' Ua
mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono., which remains Hawaii's motto.
1843 - Great Britain and France agree to consider the Sandwich Islands an independent State and further that neither will take possession of the islands.
1846 - France and Great Britain enter into treaties of friendship, commerce and navigation with the Kingdom of Hawaii.
1846 - Construction of Washington Place (now governor's residence) is completed.
1848 - Kamehameha III divides land between the King, the alii (nobility), and the maka`ainana (commoners). This Mahele (division) allowed private land ownership for the first time.
See: Constitutional History.
1849 - French admiral Legoarant de Tromelin fails in attempted invasion.
1850 - United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii ratify a treat of friendship, commerce and navigation.
1850 - Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society publishes their first journal.
1852 - First steam-propelled ship used in inter-island service
1852 - First Chinese contract workers arrive. See: Immigration
1852 - Kamehameha III promulgates a new
Constitution. See: Constitutional
1853 - Smallpox epidemic takes the lives of over 5,000 Hawaiians.
1854 - Kamehameha III dies, and Alexander Liholiho takes the throne as Kamehameha IV.
1858 - C. R. Bishop and W. A. Aldrich begin Bishop Bank, now First Hawaiian
1859 - Honolulu Gas Company is established.
1860 - The Queen's Hospital's cornerstone laid.
1863 - Elizabeth Sinclair purchases Niihau island from King Kamehameha IV for $10,000.
1863 - Kamehameha IV dies, Prince Lot Kapuaiwa ascends the throne as Kamehameha V.
1864 - Kamehameha V promulgates a new
Constitution. See: Constitutional
1866 - Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) sails into Honolulu Harbor.
See: Mark Twain's Hawaii.
1868 - First Japanese contract workers arrive in Hawaii.
See: Immigration Timeline.
1872 - Kamehameha V dies.
1873 - William C. Lunalilo elected King. See: Monarchs.
1874 - King Lunalilo dies, David Kalakaua becomes King. See: Monarchs.
1874 - Supreme Court of Hawaii moves into
Ali`iolani Hale (where it remains today).
Victoria Ka`iulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawękiui Lunalilo (Crown
Princess) born in Honolulu. See: Princess
1875 - First official regatta held on King Kalakaua's birthday.
1875 - United States and Kingdom of Hawaii enter into Reciprocity Treaty that allowed sugar and other products into the U.S. without customs duties.
1877 - King Kalakaua dedicates Kapiolani Park as a focal point of outdoor
recreation, including what is now the Honolulu
1878 - Lydia Kamaka`eha (later Queen Liliuokalani) writes "Aloha
1878 - First telephone is in operation, two years after Alexander Graham Bell's patent.
1878 - First Portuguese arrive from the Azores. See: Immigration
1879 - First locomotive on Maui.
1881 - William H. Purvis introduces macadamia nuts to Hawaii. History
of Macadamia Nuts & History
of Hawaii Agriculture
1882 - The King and Queen move into Iolani
1882 - Planter's Labor and Supply Company founded (renamed the Hawaii Sugar Planter's Association in 1895).
1883 - Kamehameha Statue is unveiled in Honolulu.
1883 - Mutual Telephone Company founded in Hawaii (later Hawaiian Telephone, GTE Hawaiian Tel., and
1883 - Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of Kamehameha I, executes
her will which contains a trust to erect maintain a school for boys and girls to be called
1884 - Bernice Pauahi Bishop dies, Bishop Estate created.
1884 - United States and Kingdom of Hawaii extend the 1875 Reciprocity Treaty for seven years in return for the U.S. getting the exclusive right to use Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
1885 - First polo match is played in Hawaii at Kohala on the Big Island.
1885 - First large group of Japanese contract laborers arrives.
See: Immigration Timeline.
1886 - Electricity arrives as five arc lamps are strung around Iolani
1886 - Great Chinatown Fire; losses exceeded $1,455,000.
1887 - Kamehameha School for Boys opens.
1887 - King David Kalakaua promulgates the 'bayonet'
Constitution. See: Constitutional
1889 - Father Damien dies at
Kalaupapa Leper Colony on Molokai.
1889 - Bishop Museum building completed.
1889 - Robert Louis
Stevenson, famous author, arrives in Hawaii. See: Kaiulani.
1889 - Revolt against 'bayonet' Constitution put down.
1889 - First artesian well drilled in Ewa plain, allows commercial sugar and pineapple planting.
1891 - King Kalakaua dies in San Francisco. Lydia Kamaka`eha becomes Queen Lili`uokalani.
1893 - Hawaiian Monarchy overthrown by government ministers, planters and businessmen with the assistance of the U.S. Consul. U.S. Marines and sailors sent ashore to maintain order and protect Americans.
1893 - Sanford B. Dole and his provisional government request annexation of the Hawaii by the United States.
1893 - President Grover Cleveland withdraws the treaty of annexation from Senate consideration saying "a feeble but friendly state [was] robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States."
1894 - July 4th, Republic of Hawaii established with Sanford B. Dole as President.
1894 - Kamehameha School for Girls opens.
1895 - Revolt against Republic of Hawaii put down, Queen Lili`uokalani forced to formally abdicate the throne.
1895 - Planter's Labor and Supply Company renamed the Hawaii Sugar Planter's Association, starts research station.
1896 - Moana Hotel ("Grand Old Lady" of Waikiki/now the Sheraton Moana
1897 - William McKinley becomes President of the United States.
1898 - Spanish-American War, U.S. liberates Cuba and acquires Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
1898 - Congress passes the Newlands Resolution which annexes Hawaii as a territory. Sanford B. Dole appointed first Territorial Governor.
1900 - Congress passes an Organic Act for Hawaii which establishes the framework of the territorial government.
1900 - One pound of sugar costs 7 cents.
1900 - Great Chinatown fire, 7,000 made homeless.
1900 - First workers arrive from Puerto Rico and Okinawa.
See: Immigration Timeline.
1901 - James "Jim" Drummond Dole plants his first pineapples near Wahiawa and founds the Hawaiian Pineapple Company.
1901 - Honolulu Rapid Transit inaugural run of electric streetcars.
1902 - First Korean workers arrive. See: Immigration
1903 - Joint Tourism Committee is created to promote the Territory to the world (now the
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau).
1905 - First workers from the Philippines arrive. See: Immigration
1906 - California and Hawaiian Sugar Company (C&H) founded.
1907 - University of Hawaii at Manoa founded as a land grant college called the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
1907 - Dole opens a new pineapple cannery in Iwilei.
1905 - Only 80 automobiles are registered on the island of Oahu.
1909 - Japanese workers strike sugar plantations.
1910 - First airplane flight in Hawaii.
1912 - Duke Kahanamoku participates at the Olympics in Stockholm.
1912 - Hawaiian Pineapple Packers' Association research station established (later called the Pineapple Research Institute).
1912 - "The Outdoor
Circle" founded to keep Hawaii clean, green and beautiful.
1916 - The brothel "Iwilei
Stockade" is shut down.
1917 - Charlie Chaplin visits Hawaii and speaks at the Honolulu Ad Club's luncheon.
1920 - Edward, Prince of Wales, visits the Islands.
1920 - Hawaii National Park on the islands of Hawaii (now
Volcanoes National Park) and Maui (now Haleakala) established by
an Act of Congress.
1921 - Congress passes the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act introduced by Delegate Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole (R-Haw.).
1922 - Honolulu Museum of Art is chartered.
1923 - Hawaiian Dredging Co. begins dredging of the Ala Wai Canal.
1924 - Work begins on Aloha Tower.
1924 - Labor riots at Hanapepe, Kauai. 16 workers and 4 police killed.
1927 - "The Outdoor Circle", founded in 1912, gets Honolulu to prohibit outdoor billboard advertising.
1927 - Inaugural Lei Day.
1927 - The Royal Hawaiian Hotel opens for business.
1927 - First nonstop flight to Hawaii from the mainland.
1929 - First inter-island flight by an amphibious aircraft.
1934 - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt makes his first visit to Hawaii.
1935 - Pan American Airways begins 'China Clipper' service using seaplanes on a route from California to Hawaii, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
1935 - First 2,270-mile trans-Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hawaii takes 21 1/2 hours.
1935 - 5-year-old Shirley Temple visits Hawaii.
1935 - "Hawaii Calls" radio program enters the hearts and living rooms of America.
1941 - Empire of Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, the U.S. enters the Second World War.
1941 - A lone Japanese pilot crash lands on Niihau and is killed after he shoots a Hawaiian.
1941 - First land-based inter-island flights.
1945 - United Nations founded. Hawaii listed as a non-self governing territory.
1946 - Great tsunami hits Hilo, killing over 100 people and causing $25 million in damage.
1946 - "Great Sugar Strike" - 33 plantations struck by 28,000 ILWU workers.
1947 - Newly unionized pineapple workers conduct their first strike.
1949 - Territorial legislature passes an act providing for a constitutional convention to draft a State Constitution and to petition Congress for admission to Statehood.
1950 - Referendum at general election adopts State Constitution.
1952 - First television station broadcast in Hawaii.
1956 - Financing is settled and Ala Moana Shopping Center opens.
1958 - 90-day ILWU sugar strike results in the closures of sugar mills at
Kohala, Kahuku, Kilauea, and Ewa Beach.
1959 - Congress passes the Hawaii Admission Act to admit Hawaii as a State.
1959 - Voters of Hawaii approve statehood. Hawaii becomes a State.
1959 - First jet airplane service to Hawaii.
1966 - First live television broadcast from the mainland. Michigan State v. Notre Dame.
1968 - ILWU pineapple workers strike for 61 days.
1969 - Television series 'Hawaii Five-Oh' with Jack Lord begins.
1974 - About 9,000 ILWU sugar workers strike for 39 days and about 6,000 ILWU pineapple workers on Oahu, Maui and Lanai strike for 21 days.
1976 - Hokule`a, a Hawaiian double-hull sailing canoe recreates the Polynesian voyages of discovery and settlement.
1978 - Hawaii Constitution establishes the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to administer funds and programs for native Hawaiians.
1980 - Television series 'Magnum PI' with Tom Sellick begins.
1991 - Miss Hawaii, Carolyn Sapp, becomes the first Miss America from Hawaii.
1992 - Dole Fresh Produce shuts down Iwilei cannery.
1992 - Hurricane Iniki hits Kauai.
1993 - Congress passes the 'Apology Resolution' which "apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination."
1995 - Last sugar plantation on the Island of Hawaii closes.
2000 - U.S. Supreme Court decides Rice v. Cayetano, which declares restricting voting in Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections to native Hawaiians violates the 15th Amendment.
| Monarchy Years
| Territorial Years