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

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

Pearl Harbor bombed on the morning of December 7th. Read More.

Public schools closed for almost two months after the Pearl Harbor attack.

U.S. Navy gets sublease from Kaho`olawe Ranch for training. After Pearl Harbor attack, Navy takes full control of the island.

Honolulu Blood Bank gets first donor.

Kahului, Hilo and Nawiliwili shelled by Japanese submarines.

The only combat against an armed enemy in the Islands during WWII takes place on the island of Ni`ihau between Benehakaka Kanahele and Japanese flyer who crashes there.

Taiyo Maru returns 450 Japanese citizens residing in Hawai`i to Japan.

War department interns 273 Japanese aliens in Hawai`i.

Gene "Tarzan" Smith paddles the 100-mile channel between O`ahu and Kaua`i.

Army announces plans for $500,000 addition to Tripler general hospital and Schofield station hospital; Navy acquires 222 acres at Halawa for a 1,000 bed hospital.

Kiyoshi "Keo" Nakama sets record in one-mile swim.


Mabel Smyth Building opens near Queen's Hospital.

Many in Hawai`i affected as U.S. freezes Japanese and Chinese assets; Japan, in turn, freezes U.S. assets there.

$192,855,000 worth of imports arrive in Hawai`i; exports total $133,653,000.

Inter-Island Airways Ltd. changes name to Hawaiian Airlines Ltd.

Military governor freezes wages and terms of employment for those engaged in war efforts on O`ahu.

HRT (Hawai`i Rapid Transit) employees strike to establish union shop.


Iolani School uses $125,000 in contributions to buy 25 acres mauka of the Ala Wai Canal as a new school site.

Construction of Halawa Shaft begins in response to water demands of a growing population and expanded military presence during World War II.

Hawai`i receives its first radar equipment when the U.S. Army sets up five mobile units at various O`ahu locations. At 7:02 a.m. December 7th, operators at Opana (a station near Kahuku Point) report a large radar blip moving toward O`ahu. Their superior, assuming the equipment had picked up an incoming flight of American B-17s, tells them "Well, don't worry about it." The blip turns out to be the Japanese attack force.

Three 24-passenger DC-3s operated by Hawaiian Airlines fly from Oakland to Honolulu in 13 hours, 53 minutes and 48 seconds, setting a new transpacific record for commercial planes.

Board of Water Supply takes first steps to develop project connecting Pearl Harbor and Honolulu water systems.

The world's first official surfboard sailing race (windsurfing) held near Waikiki's Outrigger Canoe Club.

Surfer Carlos Dogny introduces the sport to his native Peru.


German armies take Greece and Yugoslavia.

Orson Wells directs and stars in Citizen Kane.

Mount Rushmore opens.

James Agee and Walker Evans publish Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.


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