A little about Hawaii, the big island
The "Big Island" has spectacular contrasts...the mighty volcanoes Maunaloa (13,679 feet) and Kilauea, lofty snow clad Maunakea (13,796 feet), the Kau Desert, gorgeous waterfalls, the Puna Fern Forest, the colorful orchids of Hilo. The island grows sugar, coffee, cattle and macadamia nuts. Landmarks: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kealakekua Bay, Kailua-Kona, Kawaihae, Parker Ranch, Waipio Valley.
The history of Hawaii, the big island
Hawaiʻi is said to have been named for Hawaiʻiloa, the legendary Polynesian navigator who first discovered it. Other accounts attribute the name to the legendary realm of Hawaiki, a place from which the Polynesian people are said to have originated (see also Manua), the place where they go in the afterlife, the realm of the gods and goddesses. The name is cognate with Savaii, the name of the largest island of Samoa. Captain James Cook, the English explorer and navigator who was the captain of the first European expedition that discovered the Hawaiian Islands, called them the "Sandwich Islands" after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. Cook was killed on the Big Island at Kealakekua Bay on February 14, 1779, in a mêlée which followed the theft of a ship's boat. Hawaiʻi was the home island of Paiʻea Kamehameha, later known as Kamehameha the Great. Kamehameha united most of the Hawaiian islands under his rule in 1795.
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