- 1 to 5 million years ago – Hawaiian
string of islands rises out of the ocean through volcanic activity.
Island of Hawaii is formed by the merging of five
- 500–800 AD – Marquesans
sail in voyaging
canoes to Hawaii, probably landing in the South Point (Ka
Lae) area of the Big Island.
- 1100–1200 AD – Tahitians arrive
in Hawaii. Some may have sailed to South America and back, bringing
the sweet potato.
- 500–1200 AD Marquesans and Tahitians
move northward, up the east and west sides of the Big Island.
- 1778–1779 – Captain Cook explores
Kauai and the west side of the Big Island. On February 14, Captain
Cook killed in a skirmish with natives in Kealakekua Bay.
- 1782 – Kamehameha
I begins to unify the Hawaiian Islands.
- 1819 – Whaling
ships arrive in Kealakekua Bay. In Lahaina in 1820.
- 1820 – Missionaries
arrive in Hawaii.
- 1825 – First sugar and coffee is planted
in the Manoa Valley.
- Early 1830s – Mexican cowboys arrive
on the Big Island.
- 1848 – Land is divided among kings and
chiefs in the Great
Mahele land division.
- 1849 – Some commoners are given the
right to claim land.
- 1852 – Chinese contract laborers arrive.
- 1872 – Henri
Berger arrives from Germany to lead the Royal Hawaiian Band
and does so for 40 years. The band continues to this date.
- 1874 – King
Kalakaua is elected.
- 1882 – Iolani
Palace is completed.
- 1889 – Scottish writer Robert Louis
Stevenson arrives on the yacht Casco. Visits the village of Hookena
on the Big Island.
- 1891 – Liliuokalani
becomes queen, succeeding King Kalakaua.
- 1894 – Republic of Hawaii is established.
Sanford. B. Dole is President.
- 1900 – Hawaii becomes a territory of
the United States of America. Sanford B. Dole is sworn in as first
- 1912 – Duke
Paoa Kahanamoku gets an Olympic gold medal for the 100-meter
- 1927 – Royal Hawaiian Hotel opens. Matson
puts the SS
Malolo into service.
- 1935 – Pan American Airways’ China
Clipper lands in Honolulu on November 23, en route to
- 1941 – Japanese planes attack Pearl
Harbor on December 7.
- 1946 – Tsunamis hit Hawaii following
an underwater earthquake in the Aleutian
Islands. The town of Hilo suffers major damage and loss of
- 1959 – Hawaii becomes the 50th
Iki erupts with gigantic lava fountains.
- 1960 – Tsunamis again hit the Big Island,
significantly damaging the town of Hilo.
- 1976 – Voyaging canoe Hokulea
sails from Hawaii to Tahiti.
- 1983 – Kilauea
erupts and continues to be active through to the present day.
- Present Day – Tourism is now by far
the major economic engine while sugar and pineapple production
has decreased markedly with very little of these crops exported.