Hawaii History 1527 – 1926

The following pages provides a timeline of important events in the written history of Hawaii. Hawaii, a small group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, has played a critical roll in the history of the United States. Most especially during the Spanish American War and World War II. Our timeline takes Hawaii history through its “discovery” and up until 1926.


1527Supposed arrival of two shipwrecked Spaniards at Keei, Kona, Hawaii.
1555Discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Juan Gateau, pilot-navigator, Claimed by Spanish archivists.
1736Kamehamecha the Great born. November. (The year, however, is controversial, and may have been about 1750.)
1740Paleioholani, king of Oahu, on passage to Molokai, said to have sighted a foreign ship.
1752Kalaniopuu, king of western Hawaii, ruling when Capt. Cook visited the Islands, born.
1768Kaahumanu born at Kauiki, East Maui, of Keeaumoku, the great chief and general of Kamehameha, and Namahana, his wife, ex-queen of Maui. Kaahumanu became wife of Kamehameha and gave practical aid, after 1820, to the missionaries in establishing Christianity among her people, while she was premier (kuhina nui).

Discovery of Hawaiian Islands (Kauai and Oahu), by Capt. James Cook, British navy, in the ships Resolution and Discovery, while en route from South Seas to the Northwest Arctic Passage, anchoring off Waimea, Kauai. January 18.
On return voyage from the Northwest Passage Capt. Cook discovered island of Maui, November 26; and island of Hawaii, December 1.

1779Capt. Cook anchored in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii. January 17. Capt. Cook slain in a melee at Kaawaloa, Kealakekua Bay. February 14. Ships Resolution and Discovery commanded by Capts. King and Clerke, departed from Hawaii. February 23
1782Kalauiopuu, king of Hawaii, died in April, leaving the districts of Kau, Puna and Hilo, to Kiwalao, his own son, and Kona, Kohala and Hamakua to Kamehameha, his nephew.
Battle of Mokuohae, between Kamehameha and Kiwalao at Keomo, Hawaii; Kamehameha triumphed. Kiwalao slain by Keeaumoku; Keoua, brother of Kiwalao, became king of Kau, and Kewaemauhili, king of Puna and Hilo. July.
Poet Keaulumoku composed the mele, “Haui Ka Lani,” or a prophecy of the overthrow of Hawaii by Kamehameha. Died 1784.
1784Captains Portlock and Dixon with the ships King George and Queen Charlotte, visited Hawaii and Oahu and inaugurated trade.
1786Commander La Pérouse, with two French frigates, visited Lahaina. May 28


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