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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

Japanese submarine sinks U.S. transport ship in Hawaiian waters.

Japanese plane bombs Honolulu.

About 1,400 Japanese-American volunteers leave Hawai`i for Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, to train for WWII service. The group later serves with distinction in the European theater and is called the "purple heart battalion."

Distribution of gas masks begins.

Three bombs hit Tantalus.

Battle of Midway, so crucial to Hawaii's survival, begins. Its successful conclusion is the turning point of the Pacific war.

Ingram Stainback appointed wartime governor by President Roosevelt.

All civilians in the Islands required to register and be fingerprinted. Personal identification cards must be carried at all times. Blackout restrictions apply from 6pm to 6am.

First group of about 40 Japanese families living in the Islands leaves Hawai`i to be exchanged for Americans living in Japan; no one is sent against their will.

Civil courts resume most normal functions but writs of habeas corpus remain suspended.

William "Bill" Smith sets world record in 200-meter freestyle.


$137,246,000 worth of imports arrive in Hawai`i from the United States. Total imports equal $143,377,000 while exports stand at $96,904,000.


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Military governor forbids withdrawal of more than $200 a month in cash from personal bank accounts; possession of more than $200 at any one time is also prohibited.

All U.S. currency in the Islands withdrawn and replaced with Hawaiian series U.S. currency that includes the overprint "Hawaii."


Gregg Sinclair appointed president of the University of Hawai`i.

Army planes try aerial bombing to divert a lava flow from Mauna Loa that threatens defense facilities in Hilo.

Shichiro Watanabe, vice-president of Hawai`i Kyoiku kai (Japanese Educational Association) orders all Japanese language schools in Hawai`i closed.

Betty Grable and Hilo Hattie star in Song of the Islands.


Manhattan Project created to build atomic weapons.

First nuclear reactor built to produce electricity.

U.S. beats Japan at Battle of Midway.


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