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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


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Samuel Wilder King selected as Territory's 11th governor.

President Dwight Eisenhower signs executive order assigning control of Kaho`olawe to the Navy.


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David Kalakaua Kawananakoa, only son of the late Prince David, last heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, dies in Honolulu.

For the first time, Hawai`i selects women to serve on the territorial grand jury.

Ernest Matlas escapes from O`ahu prison, touching off one of the biggest, most expensive manhunts in Hawai`i history.

Mayor Wright Homes completed for low-income families.

Jack Hall convicted under the Anti-Communist Smith Act.

Former governor Lawrence Judd called out of retirement by President Eisenhower to serve as governor of American Samoa.

Japan's Crown Prince Akihito visits Hawai`i.


Nineteen people die in first crash of a Hawai`i-mainland commercial flight.

Fire destroys half the business section in Pahoa.

`Ola`a Plantation is the last of Hawaii's 28 sugar plantations to adopt mechanical harvesting.

Japan Airlines begins its Tokyo-Honolulu-San Francisco service.

$402,900,000 worth of imports arrives in Hawai`i; exports total $266,600,000.


Leeward sides of all the islands declared disaster relief areas because of draught.

First section of Honolulu's $30,000,000 seven-mile freeway opens.

Dorothy Leilani Ellis of Lihue named Miss Hawai`i of 1953.

Kona TV's first telecast on Channel 2; the station later adopts call letters KITV.

First FM radio station launched; KVOK is a low powered educational station.

Honolulu Symphony Orchestra sets a post-war attendance record of more than 2,000 for a single performance.

From Here to Eternity is a cinematic hit. Starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr and Frank Sinatra, the movie is filmed at locations around O`ahu.


Watson and Crick "break" the genetic code.

First IBM mainframe computer becomes available.

First open-heart surgery performed.

Edmund Hilary and Tensing Norgay are first to climb Mt. Everest.

Josef Stalin dies.

Korean War ends.


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