Everything you wanted to know about Hawaii, history, economy people and more - History

Everything you wanted to know about Hawaii, history, economy people and more - History

Basic Information

Postal Abbreviation: HI
Natives: Hawaiian

Population 2018 1,420,491
Legal Driving Age: 18
(16 w/ Driver's Ed.)
Age of Majority: 18
Median Age: 36.2

State Song: "Hawaii Ponoi”
(Our Hawaii)

Median Household Income:$74,923

Capital..... Honolulu
Entered Union..... Aug. 20,1959 (50th)

Present Constitution Adopted: 1950

Nickname: Aloha State
Paradise of the Pacific

“Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono”
(The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness)

Origin of Name:
May have been named for Hawaii Loa, the man who discoverd the island, according to legend or from the native language, meaning "small homeland".

USS Honolulu

Railroad Stations

Hawaii Economy

AGRICULTURE: flower, macadamia
nuts, melons, milk, pineapples

MINING: sand and gravel, stone.

MANUFACTURING: clothing, food

Hawaii Geography

Total Area: 10,932 sq. miles
Land area: 6,423 sq. miles
Water Area: 4, 508 sq. miles
Geographic Center: Hawaii, off Maui Island
Highest Point: Puu Wekiu, Hawaii Island
(13,796 ft.)
Lowest Point: Pacific Ocean
(sea level)
Highest Recorded Temp.: 100˚ F (4/27/1931)
Lowest Recorded Temp.: 14˚ F (1/2/1961)

The Hawaiian Islands are a chain of 132 islands– of which eight are the main inhabited islands. The islands are, in fact, the peaks of large underwater volcanoes. The largest of the islands are: Hawaii (4,210 sq. miles); Maui (760 sq. miles); Kahoolsawee (63 sq. miles); Molokai (270 sq. miles); Lania (150 sq. miles); Oahu (600 sq. miles); Kanuai (590 sq. miles); Kauai (590 sq. miles); and Niihau (97 sq. miles). The highest peak– Mauna Kea 13,805 is feet high.


Honolulu, 387,170;
Pearl City, 47,698;
Hilo, 43,263;
Kailua, 38,635;
Waipahu, 38,216;
Kaneohe, 34,597;
Mililani Town, 27,629;
Kahului, 26,337;
Kihei, 20,881;
Wahiawa, 17,821.

Hawaii History

1778 A British naval squadron commanded by Captain James Cook discovered
the Hawaiian Islands.
1779 Cook was killed in an altercation with natives.
1791 Kamehameha unifies the islands under his rule.
1820 New England missionaries arrive on the island to disseminate christianity. 1893 Queen Liliuokalani is overthrown by a group of American residents.
1894 The Republic of Hawaii was established with Sanford Dole as President.
1898 Hawaii was annexed by the United states.
1900 A territorial government was established.
1909 Construction began on the Pearl Harbor naval base.
1941 The Japanese attack the naval base at Pearl Harbor sinking most of the
American battleships there.
1959 Hawaii is admitted to the Union.

Famous People

Sanford Dole
Daniel Inouye
Bette Midler
Barak Obama

Hawaii National Sites

1) Halealala National Park
On the island of Maui this national Park center point is the Haleakala Crater.
It covers 28,655 acres and its highest point is the Pu’u Ula’ala summit at 10,023 feet.

2) Puukohola Heiau– National Historic Site
This site contains the Puukohola Heiau, temple, a temple that was built between 1790 and 1791.

3) Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This national park preserves the beauty of Manuna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes. The park provides an ideal place to view volcanic activity. The park covers 229,117 acres.
Mauan Loa is considered the world most massive mountain.

All about Hawaii Culture

Sandy beaches, blue-sky waters, and palm tree-lined shores, amazing volcanoes, and glorious sunsets are some of the things that probably come to mind when you think of Hawaii. But a beautiful natural environment is not all there is to enjoy in this earth-bound paradise, as this group of islands is also home to people with a rich and diverse culture. The culture and tradition of Hawaii are actually reflections of the land's innate beauty. The graceful Hawaiian dances, the meaningful and religious songs, and the various interesting art forms seem to be created with only one purpose, and that is to serve as instruments through which the beauty and the mystery of the place is expressed. The following are just some of the traditions and cultural practices that make Hawaii unique.


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Honolulu, capital and principal port of Hawaii, U.S., seat of Honolulu county. A modern city, it extends about 10 miles (16 km) along the southeastern shore of Oahu Island and 4 miles (6 km) inland across a plain into the foothills of the Koolau Range. It is the crossroads of trans-Pacific shipping and air routes, the focus of interisland services, and the commercial and industrial centre of the state. The city-county (area 597 square miles [1,545 square km]) comprises all of Oahu and some outlying islets, which have an area aggregate of only 3 square miles (8 square km) but extend for more than 1,300 miles (2,100 km) and constitute the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is administered as a single entity and has about 80 percent of the state’s population.

Hawaiian legend indicates a settlement at Honolulu (meaning “protected bay”) in 1100. Overlooked by Captain James Cook and other early explorers, the harbour with its outlet through the reef of Nuuanu Stream and sheltered by Sand Island was entered by Captain William Brown in 1794. After 1820 Honolulu assumed first importance in the islands and flourished as a base for sandalwood traders and whalers. A Russian group arrived there in 1816, and the port was later occupied by the British (1843) and the French (1849) but was returned to King Kamehameha III, who on August 31, 1850, officially declared Honolulu a city and the capital of his kingdom (Honolulu had been the de facto capital since 1845). In December 1941 the city and the adjacent Pearl Harbor naval-military complex came under Japanese aerial attack. Honolulu became a prime staging area for the remainder of World War II, a position it retained during the Korean War and until the end of the Indochina (Vietnam) conflict in 1973. Military expenditure remains an important source of income.

The port serves numerous manufacturing plants in the city-county, including pineapple canneries, sugar refineries, clothing factories, and steel, aluminum, oil, cement, and dairying enterprises. The international airport is one of the busiest in the United States, with nearby Waikiki—which has a beach lined with luxury hotels and contains an aquarium, zoo, and the lively International Market Place for Pacific basin crafts—as the primary destination of tourists.

Honolulu is the educational nucleus of the state and is the site of the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley (1907) with its East-West Center (established in 1960 for technical and cultural exchange) Chaminade University (1955) Hawaii Pacific University (1953) Honolulu (1920) and Kapi’olani (1965) community colleges and the Kamehameha Schools (1887) for children of Hawaiian descent. The Bishop Museum (1889) has noted Polynesian collections, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts (1927), considered to be the cultural centre of Hawaii, sponsors a wide range of programs. Punchbowl, a 2,000-foot- (600-metre-) wide crater 1 mile (2 km) inland, contains the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific with some 24,000 graves of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War dead.

The focus of Honolulu’s civic centre is the Iolani Palace (completed 1882) it is now a museum but served as the legislative seat until replaced by the nearby new State Capitol (an unusual rectangular structure featuring legislative chambers shaped like volcanoes and columns shaped like royal palms). Within a two-block radius of the palace are several historic buildings, including Kawaiahao Church (1841) and the early Mission Houses, built in the 1820s from lumber brought from Boston around Cape Horn by the first missionary contingents. The Library of Hawaii and the Honolulu Hale (City Hall) are also in the vicinity. Inc. city, 1909. Pop. (2000) 371,657 Honolulu Metro Area, 876,156 (2010) 337,256 Honolulu Metro Area, 953,207.

Can’t-miss experiences

Two outstanding auto routes provide easy access to the park’s main attractions. Crater Rim Drive hugs the edge of Kilauea Caldera and leads to viewpoints where visitors can gaze into the belly of the beast and inhale its pungent sulfur scent (though sections of the road remain closed after the 2018 eruption). Near the start of the route, the park Visitor Center offers exhibits and important safety information, as well as an excellent film, “Born of Fire, Born of the Sea.” (Click here for additional visiting tips.)

Across the road, Volcano House (1846) is one of the oldest lodges in the entire National Park System the back terrace is a great place to get your first glimpse of the crater. Located in another historic structure, Volcano Art Center offers classes and workshops, a gallery dedicated to local artists, hula performances, and free guided hikes into the Niaulani rainforest.

The 2018 eruption events closed the park temporarily—but even after it reopened, some locations remain shuttered indefinitely. Damaged by eruption-related earthquakes, the Jaggar Museum of volcanology will likely not reopen. Also closed: Kilauea Iki Crater and Nahuku Thurston Lava Tube. Check the official park site for updates. As no surface lava is currently flowing in the park, sightseeing boat tours—which once offered the chance to watch molten lava hiss and steam as it met the ocean at Kamokuna—are likewise inactive.

In the meantime, explore Chain of Craters Road, which meanders 20 miles through tortuous volcanic landforms between Kilauea Caldera and Holei Sea Arch. Numerous places en route beg a stop, including lofty Kealakomo Overlook, the Martian-like landscape of Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu lava field, and the boardwalk trail that leads to the Pu‘u Loa Petroglyphs, where more than 23,000 images were rendered by native Hawaiians between 1200 and 1450.

Reaching the summit of Mauna Loa is a herculean effort. A narrow, paved road ascends to a lookout point at 6,662 feet. The rest of the route is on foot, a 16-mile trail that quickly morphs from native woodland into lava rock wilderness. Most people undertake the trek over four days, with overnights in national park mountain huts.

The park’s other iconic backcountry hike is the Kau Desert Trail, a rugged 18-mile trek that leads from the trailhead off of Highway 11 across undulating lava fields to Hilina Pali cliffs and overnight campsites along the Pacific coast like Halape with its sandy beaches and coconut grove.

Jan. 17, 1893 | Hawaiian Monarchy Overthrown by America-Backed Businessmen

Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is shown in this uncredited portrait taken around 1890.
Historic Headlines

Learn about key events in history and their connections to today.

On Jan. 17, 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown when a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate. The coup led to the dissolving of the Kingdom of Hawaii two years later, its annexation as a U.S. territory and eventual admission as the 50th state in the union.

The first European contact with Hawaii was made in 1778 by Capt. James Cook. In the 19th century, traders and missionaries came to the islands from Europe and the United States. They often opposed the Hawaiian monarchy, favoring instead a British-style constitutional monarchy where the monarch held little power.

In 1874, David Kalakaua became king and sought to reduce the power of the white Missionary Party (later Reform Party) in the government. In 1887, angered by King Kalakaua’s extravagant spending and his attempts to dilute their power, a small group of Missionary Party members, known as the Hawaiian League, struck back against the king.

Led by Lorrin A. Thurston and Sanford B. Dole, the Hawaiian League drafted a new constitution that reduced the power of the king and increased the power of the cabinet and Legislature. It also extended voting rights to wealthy noncitizens, while excluding Asians and restricting access for native Hawaiians through land-owning and literacy provisions. Backed by a militia, the group used the threat of violence to force King Kalakaua to sign the constitution, which became known as the Bayonet Constitution.

King Kalakaua died in 1891 and was succeeded by his sister, Liliuokalani, who proposed a new constitution that would restore powers of the monarchy and extend voting rights for native Hawaiians. The queen’s actions angered many of Hawaii’s white businessmen, who formed a 13-member Committee of Safety with the goal of overthrowing the monarchy and seeking annexation by the United States.

The Jan. 29, 1893 edition of The New York Times recounted the events of the coup. On Jan. 16, Hawaiian Marshal Charles B. Wilson attempted to arrest the committee members and declare martial law, but his attempts were turned down by other government officials who feared violence. The next day, after a police officer was shot and wounded trying to halt the distribution of weapons to the Committee of Safety’s militia, the committee decided to put its coup into action. Near the queen’s ʻIolani Palace in Honolulu, the committee’s militia gathered and were joined by 162 U.S. Marines and Navy sailors who were ordered by John L. Stevens, U.S. Minister to Hawaii, to protect the committee. The queen surrendered peacefully to avoid violence.

The Committee of Safety established a provisional government headed by Mr. Dole. U.S. President Grover Cleveland opposed the provisional government and called for the queen to be restored to power, but the Committee of Safety established the Republic of Hawaii and refused to cede power. In 1895, Hawaiian royalists began a coup against the republic, but it did not succeed. Queen Liliuokalani was arrested for her alleged role in the coup and convicted of treason while under house arrest, the queen agreed to formally abdicate and dissolve the monarchy.

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii. Hawaii was administered as a U.S. territory until 1959, when it became the 50th state.

Connect to Today:

In 1993, Congress issued an apology to the people of Hawaii for the U.S. government’s role in the overthrow and acknowledged that “the native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished to the United States their claims to their inherent sovereignty.” And, since 2000, Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii, who is soon to retire, has repeatedly proposed to Congress the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the Akaka Bill, which would extend sovereignty to 400,000 native Hawaiians.

In 2005, The Times described the bill: “The measure would give [Native Hawaiians] equivalent legal standing to American Indians and native Alaskans and lead to the creation of a governing body that would make decisions on [their] behalf … The governing body would also have the power to negotiate with federal and state authorities over the disposition of vast amounts of land and resources taken by the United States when the islands were annexed in 1898.”

Supporters say the bill is necessary to protect native culture and redress Hawaiians for past injustices. Opponents say the bill is unworkable and would create a racially divided state.

What are your thoughts on legislation that gives native Hawaiians more control over the land, culture and resources of the islands? Given your understanding of history, would you support or oppose a bill that grants more autonomy to native Hawaiians? Why?


About 1,500 years ago a group of canoes came ashore to some of the islands now known as Hawaii. These people—the islands’ first known residents—had rowed about 2,000 miles from the Marquesas Islands to get here. People from what is now Tahiti—over 2,500 miles away—followed 500 years later. These cultures brought traditions of their own and over time created new traditions such as surfing, hula dancing, and exchanging flower garlands called leis.

In 1810 Kamehameha became Hawaii’s first king. The islands continued to have royal rulers into the 1880s. In 1898 Hawaii became a U.S. territory. It was named the 50th state in 1959, and to this day you can still visit Iolani Palace—the only royal building on U.S. soil.


Hawaii may have been named for Hawai’i Loa, a legendary figure who is said to have first discovered the islands.

Hawaii’s nickname, the Aloha State, is no mystery: Aloha is a Hawaiian way to say hello and goodbye.

Right: Hawaii state symbols


Hawaii sits over 2,000 miles west of California.

Hawaii is the world’s largest island chain, and it’s the only U.S. state completely made up of islands. But only 7 of its 132 islands are inhabited: Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau.

The Hawaiian Islands are volcanic islands. They have formed as the Earth’s crust, made up of giant rocky slabs called tectonic plates, moves over a particularly hot spot in the molten layer beneath the crust. The heat melts the rock that makes up the crust, turning it into magma. Then once the magma breaks through to the surface of the Earth’s crust it cools and forms new land.

The Earth’s crust is always moving just a little bit, but the hot spot that produces magma isn’t. So over time as the crust moved, but the hot spot remained—creating a series of volcanic islands. Hawaii’s most active volcano is Kilauea, and you can see it at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Kilauea has been erupting for over 30 years, and each year, its lava expands Hawaii by over 40 acres.

Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches—some of them with unusual colors. Many beaches are filled with white sand, but other Hawaiian shores are covered with green, red, pink, and even black sand.

Whether you like hiking, biking, kayaking, sailing, swimming, or just sitting on the beach, Hawaii is the state for you. Near the water, you can relax as palm trees blow in the island breeze. Travel toward to the center of one of the big islands and you can hike through dense tropical rain forests and experience stunning waterfalls. Don’t forget to dive in the waters and snorkel near Hawaii’s coral reefs.

On Hawaii you can experience yet another environment: the volcano Mauna Loa’s dry lava is so much like parts of the moon’s surface that astronauts once walked on it to practice for lunar voyages. Mount Waialeale on Kauai is considered on of the rainiest spots on Earth, getting 384 inches of rain a year on average.


Though Hawaii has thousands of plants and animals, it has only one native land mammal: the Hawaiian hoary bat. Hawaii’s other mammals, including the mongoose, rat, and feral pig, were brought to the islands by humans.

Hawaii is teeming with native birds like the pueo (also called the Hawaiian owl), the noio (a type of tern), and Hawaii’s state bird, the nene (it’s related to the Canadian goose). Hawaii’s waters are home to sea life such as monk seals, hawksbill turtles, and lizardfish. Humpback whales visit the waters from December to May to mate, give birth, and nurture their calves.

Thousands of species of trees—from perfumed magnolias and plumeria to fruit-filled ohi’a ’ai trees—grow on the islands. Thousands of flowering plants grow there too, including exotic orchids.


Hawaii’s rich soil is considered one of its most important natural resources. Sugarcane, pineapples, coffee, macadamia nuts, and flowers are all important sources of income for the state’s economy. Tourism is the state’s leading source of income.


—Hawaii is the only U.S. state with two official languages: English and Hawaiian.

—In 2008 Barack Obama, who was born in Honolulu, was elected the 44th president of the United States.

—Entertainer Bette Midler was also born in Honolulu.

—The hula is a traditional Hawaiians dance that tells a story through movement. Dancers often wear grass skirts and leis.

—The sport of surfing may have originated in what is now Hawaii. Today professional surfersride waves over 50 feet high.

Hawaii - History and Heritage

The Hawaiian Islands were first settled as early as 400 C.E., when Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands, 2000 miles away, traveled to Hawaii’s Big Island in canoes. Highly skilled farmers and fishermen, Hawaiians lived in small communities ruled by chieftains who battled one another for territory.

Related Content

The first European to set foot in Hawaii was Captain James Cook, who landed on the island of Kauai in 1778. Cook, who named the islands after the Earl of Sandwich, returned to a year later and was killed in a confrontation with Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay, on Hawaii's Big Island.

Between 1791 and 1810, King Kamehameha conquered other rulers and united the entire archipelago into one kingdom. Hawaii’s first king, who died in 1819, is still feted with floral parades every June 11, King Kamehameha Day.

In 1820, the first Christian missionaries arrived. Shortly afterward, Western traders and whalers came to the islands, bringing with them diseases that devastated the native Hawaiian population. Hawaiians had numbered about 300,000 when Cook arrived. By 1853, the native population was down to 70,000.

In 1893, American colonists controlled Hawaii’s sugar-based economy, and they easily overthrew the kingdom and established the Republic of Hawaii. With the agreement of the mostly American elite, the U.S. annexed Hawaii as a territory in 1898.

In the 1890s, the last Hawaiian ruler, Queen Lili’uokalani was deposed, imprisoned and forced to abdicate. The author of “Aloha Oe,” Hawaii’s signature song, she remains a Hawaiian heroine. Honolulu’s Iolani Palace, where he queen lived during her reign and where she was held captive after the coup, was restored to its late 19th-century appearance in the 1970s and is open to the public for tours and concerts.

Frequently Asked Questions About U.S. Territories

Is the Philippines a U.S. territory?

No. The Philippines is not a U.S. territory. It was formerly a U.S. territory, but it became fully independent in 1946.

Is Guam a U.S. territory?

Yes. Guam is a U.S. Territory. It has been a territory of the United States since 1898, since it was ceded to the U.S. by Spain in the Treaty of Paris.

Are the Bahamas a U.S. territory?

No. The Bahamas are not and have never been a U.S. territory. They were formerly a territory of the United Kingdom and have been independent since 1973.

When did Puerto Rico become a U.S. territory, and why?

The island is about the size of Connecticut, and Puerto Rico was first settled by the Spanish in the 1500s. Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898—when it was ceded to the U.S. by Spain in the Treaty of Paris, at the close of the Spanish/American War. This handily explains why the speak Spanish in Puerto Rico—although it’s worth noting that since 1917 Puerto Ricans have been full citizens of the U.S., able to travel freely within the U.S.

How many U.S. territories are there?

The U.S. has five inhabited territories and twelve uninhabited territories. (See above)

What territory did the U.S. buy from France in 1803?

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. Today the Louisiana Territory no longer exists and is part of 14 current U.S. states.

And there you have it! Everything you could possibly want to know about U.S. territories explained in less than 4,000 words. Fancy a deeper dive into some of the fascinating colonial history of the U.S. and how it impacted our current territories, send a copy of How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States it will have you turning pages for hours.

55 thoughts on &ldquoEverything You Need to Know About the Territories of the United States&rdquo

Very interesting — learning about constitutional right vs civil right on the territorial, colony, commonwealth & incorporated. It is very interesting to learn the laws, bylaws, citizenship and politics about these territories.

I wonder what the United States thinking today when one of their territory Philippines the fastest growing economy in Asia today. The most strategic location in the pacific. The Chinese claiming the whole pacific ocean, the richness of its natural resources (oil-tourism & fisheries)and the filipino people who love them so much.

Its very interesting to know that their failure of joining the Philippines a 51st states will make America much stronger controlling the Pacific ocean today along with defending their allies like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the 9 yards of ASEAN Nations such as (Myanmar- Indonesia- Thailand – Malaysia – as well as protecting AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.
They never saw the BULLY CHINESE ARE COMING!

for Kaleb:
It was interesting to read your take on Puerto Rico–and funny! I came to this wonderful page bc I really want to know how the people in the various us territories FEEL about being under the us’s thumb, in particular, the people of Puerto Rico. You added a cute, refreshing take from a native’s perspective. Thank you!

One more territory you didn’t think of. The ten Mile square known as all that insular passion is called Washington District of Columbia, Washington D.C. is a possession of the United States. The 50 states are not territories, they are the considered the creator, look up Act of 1871, helps you understand the court tricks.

Q: What is the difference, or is there one, between a U.S. territory and a U.S. area?
Thanks for your fine work!

sorry if this was already asked and answered, but, which of all the ‘territories a US citizen could live, has the lowest cost of living, but still medicare, etc?

If anyone wants to escape a Trump presidency, you can come to Guam and not have to fully leave the US. It is very similar to living in HI. It is easy to do, and there is service jobs etc here and you can make it alot easier than moving to a foreign country. Please come!

I’m starting to think about it Chris. Any good primers on what to read to prepare for such a move?

Great article! However, the statement made near the end, where you mention that three states have official languages other than English, does not seem to be accurate. Only Hawaii has English and Hawaiian as the official language of the state. Neither Louisiana nor New Mexico has an “official” language, at least according to Wikipedia. New Mexico’s original constitution allowed for a “bilingual government” but apparently they do not currently publish all laws, for example, English and Spanish, so it doesn’t function as if there are two “official” languages in the state.

The Ryukyu Islands, including the main island of Okinawa, which are now a province of Japan, was a former U.S. trust territory, from after WWII, until it was reverted back to Japan on April 15, 1972.

thank you, ed. but really only interested in puerto rico, since I am considering living there. I am american citizen, 72 yrs, retired. any comments ?

please consider guam, its alot like hawaii and its a great place to live if you want an island lifestyle like PR. the people here are very similar to hawaii.

I am interested in living in PR too. Where is the best snorkeling off the beach?

If you’re 72, allow me to say that Puerto Rico has a very bureaucratic and less than desirable health care system.

If you were born in an unincorporated and unorganized island further identified as “US Minor Outlying Islands” such as:
•Palmyra Atoll (Pacific)
•Baker Island (Pacific)
•Howland Island (Pacific)
•Jarvis Island (Pacific)
•Johnston Atoll (Pacific)
•Kingman Reef (Pacific)
•Midway Islands (Pacific)
•Wake Island (Pacific)
•Bajo Nuevo Bank (Caribbean)
•Navassa Island (Caribbean)
•Serranilla Bank (Caribbean)

Would such a person be considered for a US passport and would their status be of a US National?

where would I find the comparitive cost of living in the Us territories and possessions?

i live on guam, came here from hawaii, its about the same cost. housing is less but food is a little more. the people and govt are similar.

Chris, How is the snorkeling right off the beach in Guam? Thank you, Sandy
Do you have US Medicare in Guam?

Good info. Just wanted more pictures

There was a lot I didn’t know about US territories. Great post. Thanks

Actually, Puerto Rico is at a crossroads at this very moment. The current status, Commonwealth in English, “Estado Libre Asociado” in Spanish, which translates literally as Free Associated State is under fire, both at the US and Puerto Rico. Recent developments have cleared the air and the United States is on record on an amicus curiae to the Supreme Court stating the Puerto Rico is a nonincorporated territory of the US, to the chagrin of the defenders of the ELA in the island. Where this is going to end, nobody knows, but perhaps your prediction that PR will become a state of the Union will be true sooner, rather than later. There is also the possibility that the US will basically grant PR its independence, causing a mass exodus of puertorricans to the mainland, especially those who have family already residing on the mainland and would like to keep their US citizenship. At any rate, you did a great job explaining about Puerto Rico, in my opinion, since your facts are unbiased and earnest. As a puertorrican residing in the United States for more than 30 years, it is refreshing to see such a balanced portrait of the place I was born.

Actually PR was not a gift of a trophy for the UUSS in the hispanic-american war. Puerto Rico fought against spaniards with the help of americans. It was a friendly invasion of the uuss in the caribbean. We are nowhere close to statehood. The 2012 won the current status but the first option of the ones that voted for changing the current status was statehood. Stop confusing people and rooting for something that is not clear. We are poorer than the mainland however we give the uuss much more money than we receive in welfare, etc. We would be much better without being a territory and a LOT of people know that. Don’t disrespect my islands as the grand us saviour would only be being part of a country in neverending wars and the most wasteful. Please give us to the european union or to cuba. Much love to all humans of all countries

You are inserting politics into the discussion. Fact is, just prior to USA invasion (not a welcoming liberation), Puerto Rico had been granted a Spanish charter that provided for far more self government that what it currently has. It simply never came to fruition.

Colonialism, in any form, must come to an end.

Great information. Something I really plan to share with my Citizenship class.
Can I assume that the U.S., President is the head of the government four organized territories? Which laws do the follow? Ours or their own? Do we have federal courts in these territories? Thanks again for a great research.

Your wrote about the Philippines: “June 12, the day they became free of Spain in 1898”

That is actually not quite accurate. June 12 is the day that Filipino revolutionaries proclaimed the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain. However, Spanish rule was effectively ended on May 1, 1898, when Commodore Dewey and the Asiatic Squadron of the U.S. Navy decisively defeated the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay. That battle effectively ended Spanish rule. From that point on, the question was Who would replace the Spanish — the American government or a Filipino government? Following the Battle of Manila Bay, various Filipino forces took power in various rural areas and provincial cities and the Americans took over Manila after a mostly staged Battle of Manila.

In short, Spanish rule ended not on June 12, 1898 but on May 1, 1898. June 12 and all other activity was just efforts by either the American or Filipino forces to gain the upper hand and win control of the post-Spanish Philippines.

Your website is the only one I could find that provides comprehensive info on US Territories. Thank you! You also have an interesting personal story to tell which I enjoyed reading. Happy travels!

Hi, everything is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing
data, that’s really good, keep up writing.

I found this as a result on a Google search about us territories. This is great information! Thanks for it! Really interesting stuff. I’d love to read more.

A nice reminder to our history and territories. I want to visit all of these territories and this article is my initial guide to that.

On the other hand these US territories have some of the post powerful economies in the Caribbean

I am from Caribbean and many of us consider the US territories as crime and drug ridden. A real pity

Your explanation/tips to Christy on 6/28 of how to travel to Samoa was very helpful! Thanks Gary!

Really great post. Very interesting to see how the US has expanded their footprint. Will be curious to see if Puerto Rico does become a state in the not so distant future.

Wow, you really did a lot of work on this post. It contains excellent information, and I really learned a lot. I was amazed at the fact that Cuba has not cashed the checks paid for the monthly leasing fee for the US naval base at Guantomano Bay. What an interesting bit of information!

I just came across your blog and I’m glad I did. Thank you for putting so much time into a very foggy subject that is quite interesting. I look forward to being part of this community.

Wow Gary, you put quite a bit of time into this. I was completely unaware of all the uninhabited islands that are U.S. Territories.

I found this very interesting. Thank you. It made my treadmill jaunt a breeze:-)

Really really like this post! Yeah, you gave me the good tip. Yub i will go to there soon.

When we were in Albania, they were very keen to join the United States. If we paid with dollars instead of euros we got better prices. That was quite a surprising finding in the Balkans. They might be willing to settle for a colonial status.

You probably had too much raki in Albania my friend because Albanians are too proud to become anyone’s territory. Albanians are thankful to Americans for many reasons, including liberation of Kosova. I am Albanian and never heard anyone wishing or thinking about giving up our blood earned sovereignty.

Really insightful post! I really enjoyed the idiosyncrasies of each territory. Great!

Loved this post! A real history lesson — good information! Thanks, Gary!

Shit, they’re giving both France and england a run for their money on overseas territories

Very interesting! I didn’t know about half of these former territories…it’s amazing the things that get overlooked in the US school system.

I love learning things about the U.S.that are never taught in school. Social Studies or history of the U.S. was always the same and covered only the important states. A mention would be made of the less important, but you never got a full grasp of the magnitude of our nation.

What is the statue in the picture at the top of the article?

The Fontana de las Raices in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Interesting! I actually never knew that about the Philippines. Or Cuba for that matter.

This was one of the best posts I’ve read here in a long time and the most clear explanation of the U.S. Territory relationship. It made me smarter!

Great post! I really enjoyed it. This sort of thing is a nice addition to your normal posts. Thanks.

Gary, this a really interesting article. I am looking forward to the next ones on Eurpean territories. Enjoy your Caribbean trip!

This is really interesting. Thanks for the history lesson! How was your visit to American Samoa? Would you recommend going? I was considering it, mostly because I’m obsessed with islands.

If you go to American Samoa, go through Samoa, not Hawaii. The Honolulu-Pago Pago route is considered a domestic route, so foreign carriers can’t do it. Hawaiian Airlines has a monopoly on the route and it is very expensive.

If you fly through Apia, it is much cheaper and the Apia-Pago Pago leg is only a 45 minute flight.

I really like this post a lot ! Because I am fascinated by US territories and because I was born in one! I Agree with everything about Puerto Rico, I was just there a week ago and I think I will be Dr. Garcia before we become state. No body really cares! (In our mind we are a nation, but we are also crazy)

Everything Everywhere is also a podcast!

Now that you've stolen public breasts from the Hawaiian people, how about mocking the rest of the culture by wearing cheap clothes that vaguely imitate items traditionally worn on the islands.

Go ahead, put on that grass skirt made of plastic! Why not wear a feather head dress while you're sitting beside the hotel pool? Hey, it's your vacation, go for it!

If you think that sounds ridiculous, let's turn it around and use it on your culture. Let's say you're a devout Catholic, and here comes someone wearing a big plastic cross or maybe a Pope hat made of cheap materials. Are you offended?

Wait. Before you answer, consider that this type of dress has become acceptable by most of the people around you. When you get upset, they tell you not to be so uptight. I mean, come on, we're just mocking the traditions of your ancestors. Get over it already.

Now how mad would you get when you saw an airplane dumping these offensive cultural parasites on your native soil?

Everything you wanted to know about Hawaii, history, economy people and more - History

The History of Chinese Immigration to the U.S.

This summary is about the history of Chinese immigration to the US. I have three questions about this topic. When did Chinese immigrants begin to come to US? Why did they come to US? And what kinds of jobs did those Chinese immigrants have in the US?

When did Chinese immigrants begin to come to the US? Chinese immigration can be divided into three periods: 1849-1882, 1882-1965, and 1965 to the present. The first period began shortly after the California Gold Rush and ended abruptly with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Next, why did Chinese immigrants come to the US? First of all, they arrived in America looking to strike it rich with hopes of being to send money back to their poor families, or of returning to China after a few years with newly acquired wealth. Another reason is America served as a symbol of something higher than monetary prosperity. It represented the hope of freedom from intolerance based upon one's particular views. However, the most important reason for Chinese immigration was economic hardship due to the growing British dominance over China after Britain defeated China in the Opium War of 1839-1842. So, these are three reasons why the Chinese people came to the US.

The last question is what kinds of the jobs did those Chinese immigrants do in the US, Chinese immigrants in the late 19th century faced many hardships that had a profound effect on America. Primarily, the Chinese supplied labor for America's growing industry. Chinese factory workers were important in California, especially during the Civil War. They worked in wool mills, and cigar, shoe, and garment industries twenty-five occupations in all. Chinese were also the first to stake claims in California gold fields prompting many to relocate to the west. With the gold rush, the Chinese were prompted to exploit other western state resources, providing products of use to the American society. The Chinese began the era of railroad building. The Central Pacific Railroad Company employed about 15,000 Chinese to construct the Transcontinental Railroad. In addition to prospecting for gold in California, many Chinese also came as contract laborers to Hawai'i to work in sugarcane plantations. The Chinese also worked as small time merchants, gardeners, domestics, laundry workers, farmers, and starting in 1865.

In conclusion, three reasons why the Chinese immigrants wanted to come to the US because they were poor and they wanted to make more money to send back to their poor families. Most importantly, Chinese faced economic hardships in China.