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Archaeological evidence dating back to 300 B.C. has been found to support the fact that Polynesian's were the first to inhabit this glorious, island paradise. But, the first known European to reach the island was a British explorer named James Cook in 1778, Cook named the island Sandwich Islands.
Cook published several books of his voyages which attracted many visitors to the island. But, along with the traders, explorers and whalers came many diseases to the once isolated island. The population was estimated at somewhere from 250,000 to one million in 1779, but by 1848 it had dwindled to around 88,000.
Under the rule of Polynesian kings and queens for almost a century, Hawaii is the only state that has ever been an independent monarchy and has a royal palace! It is also the only state that is not part of the continent and the only one that is made up entirely of islands.
The first bill for statehood was introduced to Congress in 1919 and many more followed, most of which were not even voted on. Congress finally approved the legislation; President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill and Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959.
The deep blue seas, exotic plant life, majestic waterfalls and glorious beaches have earned the state the nickname "Paradise of the Pacific". It's no wonder that tourism is Hawaii's most important industry. Military installations, such as Pearl Harbor make up another large percentage of income and it's leading manufacturing industry is food processing.
Hawaii also has another unusual fact in regards to State Government. They are the only state within the U.S. that does NOT have State Police. Law is enforced throughout the state and various islands by the Hawaii Sheriff's office and has four correctional institutes. Three are located on Oahu and one is located on the Big Island of Hawaii.
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