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Overview of time periods in Hawaii's post-contact history

List all short stories from Hawaii's Timeline

Sources for Hawai‘i Timeline


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Life in Hawai‘i Business & Economy Arts & Science World Events

Constitution of 1840 replaced by one that grants adult male suffrage for the first time and changes the House of Nobles from a hereditary body to one in which members are appointed for life. Read More.

Death of imprisoned whaler sparks riot by several thousand whalers in Honolulu. Read More.

Stranger's Friend Society organized in Honolulu.

Treaties with Sweden and Norway negotiated.

First Hawaiian Cavalry organized in Honolulu.


First large group of Chinese workers arrives. Read More.

Hawai'i exports culinary fungus (hirneola polytricha, or pepeiao akua), a Chinese food item, for the first time.

Honolulu harbor holds 131 whale ships and 18 merchant ships.

Privy Council again moots the subject of a Reciprocity Treaty with the United States.

The Islands export 699,170 pounds of sugar and 62,030 gallons of molasses.

$760,000 worth of imports arrive in Hawai'i; exports total $511,000.


First fire hydrants placed along Nu`uanu Avenue, in the hope of preventing a reoccurrence of the fiasco that took place a few years earlier when Honolulu's first firefighters mistook a cesspool for a well.

Lava from an eruption on Mauna Loa flows toward Hilo, stopping within seven miles of the town.

Second Foreign Church (later called Fort Street Church) opened; it ultimately combines with rival Oahu Bethel Church to form Central Union Church of Honolulu.


Harriet Beecher Stowe writes Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Louis Napoleon proclaimed Emperor Napoleon III of France.

French physicist Leon Foucault invents gyroscope.

Novelist and playwright Nikolai Gogol dies.


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