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Oahu Island

Oahu, the third largest Hawaiian Island, has an area of 608 square miles and a coastline of 112 miles ( 180km). It reaches from sea level to 4,003-foot ( 1,220m) at Mt. Ka'ala.

While Oahu was populated before 1000 A.D., it was added to the Island kingdom in 1794 when King Kamehameha I, from the island of Hawaii, fought the Oahu king's forces to surrender at the famous Battle of Nu'uanu Pali. With it's fine harbors, Oahu gradually became the state's political , economic, military, educational, and cultural center. Honolulu harbor, discovered before 1800, became a key pacific port for whale, sandalwood, and fur traders. Pearl Harbor became famous when the nation set about to establish strategic military bases. By 1850, the Hawaiian royal court had moved permanently to Honolulu which has since been the seat of the government for the monarchy, republic, territory, and state.

Fascinating Facts:
Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States

More than 14,000 coral blocks were taken from offshore reef to build Kawaiaha'o Church in 1836.

Aloha Tower, today dwarfed by Honolulu Highrises, was the tallest structure on the island when it was built in 1926.

Honolulu Sunset
Honolulu Sunset

View of Waikiki and Diamond Head
View of Waikiki and Diamond Head

Waimea Bay, North Shore
Waimea Bay, North Shore



Document Information
Source: Hawaii VCB, photos: Chuck Painter, Joe Solem, Kirk Lee Ader
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