Honolulu is the capital of the U.S. state of Hawaii and is also the largest city in that state. It is the county seat of Honolulu County and is an unincorporated city in that county. Located on the southeastern coast of the island of Oahu, Honolulu is a major hub for international business, defense of the United States by the military, and the primary gateway for outside visitors to the rest of Hawaii. In addition, it is both the westernmost and southernmost major city in the United States and is also the most remote city of its size in the world.
Honolulu currently has a population of about three hundred sixty thousand people. It is a major financial center for all of the nations of the Pacific Rim and Polynesia.
The name “Honolulu” means “sheltered harbor” or “calm port,” in the old Hawaiian language. It has been the capital of the Hawaiian Islands since 1845 and was previously known as Koa, prior to becoming the capital of the island chain. Honolulu was not well known in the United States or internationally until the Japanese military action against Pearl Harbor there in 1941. After that, the whole world knew about Honolulu.
Honolulu ranks high on national and international lists of livability and was also named the second safest city in the United States in 2015. It is the most populous city in Oceania, and the second-most populous city in Polynesia (with the most populous being Auckland in New Zealand).
The area that is now Honolulu has been inhabited by humans for longer than archaeologists are certain. To say it has been inhabited for thousands of years would not be out of the question, and there is certainly archaeological evidence to suggest this. However, the first definitively known settlement by humans in the area that is now Honolulu was in the 1000 A.D.’s. Prior to this, the area was inhabited by Polynesians who emigrated there from other islands in the Pacific region.
At some point in the Middle Ages, Hawaii became a monarchy, governed by one king or queen who ruled over all of the Polynesian tribes who lived there. Those tribes eventually became united into one Hawaiian culture. What we know today as modern Hawaii came into existence in 1804 when Kamehameha I conquered the island of Oahu during the Battle of Nu’uanu at Nu’uanu Pali. When he won this decisive victory, he moved the royal court of his kingdom, which became the one kingdom of Hawaii, to Waikiki. In 1809, he moved the royal court again to the area that is now downtown Honolulu. He moved the capital once more to Kailua-Kona, where his court was originally located before his victory over the island chain.
The first known European to visit Hawaii was in 1794 when Captain William Brown of the United Kingdom sailed into what is now known as Honolulu Harbor. With this discovery, Hawaii became known to the rest of the world, and other European ships followed it on their own expeditions. Soon, Honolulu became a popular and important port for ships to stop and rest and re-stock as they traveled between North America and Asia.
In 1845, King Kamehameha III moved the royal court once again from Lahaina on the island of Maui to Honolulu on the island of Oahu. This move marked the last time the royal court moved, and the location of the royal court was always the location of the Hawaiian capital. Thus, Honolulu became the capital of Hawaii. Kamehameha III and the monarchs that came after him worked on transforming Honolulu into a modern city. They built such famous structures as St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Ali’iolani Hale, and Iolani Palace.
As Honolulu became more modern, it also attracted more commerce and foreigners. Honolulu became the center of commerce on the islands. Descendants of missionaries from the United States, who still lived in Hawaii, also set up businesses in what became the downtown Honolulu area.
The Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown by the United States in 1893, and the islands themselves were annexed as a territory of the United States in 1898. A large fire swept through Honolulu in 1900, and Japan raided the Pearl Harbor port there in 1941. However, despite these hardships and setbacks, Honolulu always bounced back and stayed the capital of Hawaii, as well as its largest city, and the location of the main airport and seaport on the island chain.
After WWII, a boom in commerce and tourism came to Hawaii, which only increased after it was made a state in 1959. Today, around seven and a half million visitors come to Hawaii each year, and about sixty-three percent of these visitors come to Hawaii through the Honolulu International Airport.
The city today has a beautiful skyline of high rise buildings, and thousands of hotel rooms are available within the city limits. Honolulu ranks twenty-ninth in the world in quality of living, according to a study done by the UK-based consulting firm known as Mercer. Mercer’s study ranked Honolulu highly for such important quality of living things like safety, political stability, housing, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, recreation, banking, a clean natural environment, the availability of popular consumer goods, education, and transportation. Honolulu is a good place to live in.
Just like the Hawaiian kings and queens of old envisioned, Honolulu is a modern and thriving city, with hundreds of thousands of people living there who love it. It has the most modern facilities in the island chain and is an example to the other cities on the islands. People around the world love Honolulu and flock to it just to bask in its beauty. It is truly a remarkable state capital and a stunning city of its very own.
While its origins may be a bit murky, Honolulu’s future couldn’t be clearer. It is on the cutting edge of modern society, and will undoubtedly be among the cities of the world leading the way into a new, even better era.