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Return to the year 1944

Martial law ends

Martial law, in effect for the duration of America's involvement in World War II, was lifted by presidential order in October 1944. After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Governor Joseph Poindexter turned over many functions of the civilian government to Lieutenant General Walter Short who took over as military governor of the Islands. The new military government instituted many changes in the name of the war effort: new agencies and regulations were created, military judges replaced civilian courts, censors operated, blackouts and curfews were enforced. The military took over parks and schools (the Army Corps of Engineers took the entire Punahou campus for the duration of the war), plantations relinquished land, equipment and manpower, and more than 300,000 acres were occupied by the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Army alone controlled more than a third of the land on O`ahu. While some land was leased from the owners, other land was condemned and bought by the military. In 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court found the declaration of martial law in Hawai`i unconstitutional.

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"Martial law held sway in isles for three years" (Star-Bulletin)

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