Discover what is an interesting fact about Hawaii.
Hawaii, the only island state in the United States, consists of eight main islands: Oahu, Niihau, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island of Hawaii. Although the volcanic activity that formed these islands has mostly subsided, Hawaii still boasts many active volcanoes, in addition to a distinctive landscape bordered by water. Water makes up 41 percent of the total area of Hawaii. Hawaiian culture is as rich as the environment. Hawaii is the southernmost U.S. state and is located far off the coast of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean. The largest and youngest Hawaiian island is the Big Island. It has been speculated that the Polynesian people who eventually settled in Hawaii first landed at this island.
The first European to reach Hawaii was Captain James Cook, who landed on the island of Kauai in 1778. Christian missionaries from America began to arrive in Hawaii in the early 19th century, and foreigners continued to stream in as the native population dwindled due largely to disease. It was not until 1893 that Hawaii became a U.S. territory, and not until 1959 that Hawaii became a state.
Today, Hawaii is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the U.S. The 2006 U.S. Census Bureau reported a nonwhite population of 72.4 percent, compared to 19.9 percent nationally. The 2000 census reported that 26.6 percent of the population speaks a language other than English at home and 56.5 percent of the population owns a home. In 2008, Hawaii had the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the nation -- 3.1 percent of the population.
Hawaii is home to the only royal palace in the United States: the Iolani Palace on the island of Oahu. The Iolani Palace is a remnant of the Hawaiian monarchy, which lasted from 1810 to 1893 when American businessmen overthrew the last Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani.
Perhaps one of the best-known cultural traditions of Hawaii is the hula dance. Hula dancing is an ancient form that combines body movement and music to tell a story. The fire goddess Pele is of central importance to Hula, and dancers often make a pilgrimage to the rim of Kilauea Crater in her honor. Kilauea Crater is part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island; Kilauea volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with continuous activity since 1983.
The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu, the state flower is the Hawaiian Hibiscus, the state bird is the Nene (or Hawaiian Goose), and the Hawaiian state motto is: "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."