State History
Learn about the history of Hawaii and find fun and interesting things to do and see all across Hawaii. We've also found the best books, guides, websites, and other resources to make your study of Hawaii fun and educational.
Things to See & Do in Hawaii
USS Arizona Memorial National Memorial
On a quiet Sunday morning December 7, 1941 a Japanese surprise air attack left the Pacific Fleet in smoldering heaps of broken, twisted steel. Here, peace was interrupted and paradise lost. In hours, 2,390 futures were stolen, half of these casualties from the battleship Arizona. Behind the shadows of destroyed airfields, aircraft, and ships, America fought fear, and a determined enemy responding with an unrivaled war effort. An epic battle for democratic ideals and world freedom would bloody the fields of Europe and the islands of the Pacific over the next four years. The USS Arizona Memorial as a national shrine symbolizes American sacrifice and resolve. Through national tragedy, a “sleeping giant awoke” and the United States moved towards its destiny as a global power.
Battleship Missouri Memorial
Explore the Battleship Missouri with a variety of guided and independent tours. Located on Oahu.
Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu or one of the ancient laws against the gods could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or "pu`uhonua". The offender would be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle. The grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the pu`uhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs. The 182 acre park, established in 1961, includes the pu`uhonua and a complex of archeological sites including: temple platforms, royal fishponds, sledding tracks, and some coastal village sites. The Hale o Keawe temple and several thatched structures have been reconstructed.
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a 175-mile trail corridor full of cultural and historical significance. It traverses through hundreds of ancient Hawaiian settlement sites and through over 200 ahupua'a, or traditional sea to mountain land divisions. Cultural resources along the trail include several important heiau (temples), royal centers, kahua (house site foundations), loko 'ia (fishponds) ko`a (fishing shrines), ki‘i pohaku (petroglyphs), holua (stone slide), and wahi pana (sacred places). Natural Resources include anchialine ponds, pali (precipices), nearshore reefs, estuarine ecosystems, coastal vegetation, migratory birds, native sea turtle habitat, and several threatened and endangered endemic species of plants and animals.
Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site
The founding of the Hawaiian kingdom can be directly associated with one structure in the Hawaiian Islands: Pu'ukohola Heiau. The temple was constructed to incur the favor of the war god Kuka'ilimoku. Built between 1790-91 by Kamehameha I (also known as Kamehameha the Great), together with chiefs, commoners, men, women and children. As British sailor John Young looked on, the temple was built and dedicated, a chief rival was sacrificed, and the war god Ku was pleased. Kamehameha I waged several subsequent battles using Western military strategy and weapons to extend his control over all Hawaiian Islands. The monarchy he established lasted 83 years, from 1810-1893. Authorized by Congress on August 17, 1972 (86 Stat.562.)Acreage - 85.30; federal 60.93, non-federal 24.37. Pu'ukohola Heiau and property of John Young who fought for Kamehameha during the period of his ascendancy to power. The site is located on the northwestern shore of the island of Hawaii in the district of south Kohala.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park
Two tragedies occurred on the Kalaupapa Peninsula on the north shore of the island of Moloka`i; the first was the removal of indigenous people in 1865 and 1895, the second was the forced isolation of sick people to this remote place from 1866 until 1969. The removal of Hawaiians from where they had lived for 900 years cut the cultural ties and associations of generations of people with the `aina (land). The establishment of an isolation settlement, first at Kalawao and then at Kalaupapa, tore apart Hawaiian society as the kingdom, and subsequently, the territory of Hawai`i tried to control a feared disease. The impact of broken connections with the `aina and of family members "lost" to Kalaupapa are still felt in Hawai`i today. Kalaupapa National Historical Park, established in 1980, contains the physical setting for these stories. Within its boundaries are the historic Hansen's disease settlements of Kalaupapa and Kalawao. The community of Kalaupapa, on the leeward side of Kalaupapa Peninsula, is still home for many surviving Hansen's disease patients, whose memories and experiences are cherished values. In Kalawao on the windward side of the peninsula are the churches of Siloama, established in 1866, and Saint Philomena, associated with the work of Father Damien (Joseph De Veuster).
Teaching Tips & Ideas
Knowledge Quest
Knowledge Quest offers historical outline maps and timelines designed for the interactive study of world history and geography.
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Featured Resources

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The Mystery of History
The Mystery of History series is another alternative to traditional textbooks. The five volume set covers history from creation to present day, with a biblical worldview. This series is intended for grades K-8. Note that at this time, this series is not completed.
Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child
Understanding how children learn best allows you to meet their needs and help them succeed. A visual-spatial learner remembers things in pictures and learns better with visual clues and strategies. This book addresses those needs and helps you figure out how to encourage this type of learner in your homeschool environment. 
Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide With Hundreds Of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges
Desk drowning in papers? No room for the car in the garage? Santa still sitting on the roof in May? A less-is-more philosophy is great, but we all still have way too much stuff. The home office swallows up whole rooms, as does the family computer station. Then there's the home gym, the TV room, and the playroom, not to mention our collections - books, CDs, toys. Time management experts agree that when the minor things that take up space in the mind are eliminated, there is room to think about th...
Name That Country Game
"Dear Pen Pal, Konnichi wa! We've been to see Mt. Fuji. Name my country! Sayonara, Michiko." Challenge your group with this fast-paced geography game, created in 1992 by Educational Insights, Inc. Everyone begins at the post office. Players twirl a finely printed spinner (built into the game board itself) to select one of 60 countries. If the player can correctly identify the country's location on the board's numbered map, he or she may advance along the path to the finish. Bonus moves are won b...
Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
A short, illustrated guide to the use of Montessori classroom materials. Describes how to set up a "children's house" - an environment for learning where children can be their own masters.