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5 Fun Facts About December 26 In Hawaii History

---Learn Every Day: HI Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history hi To: 618-270-4005---

1. Kamehameha III Declares Christianity the Official Religion: On December 26, 1839, King Kamehameha III signed a law that declared Christianity the official religion of Hawaii. This decision was heavily influenced by the arrival of Christian missionaries from the United States and Europe, who had been working in Hawaii since the early 1800s.

2. Arrival of Chinese Laborers: On December 26, 1852, the first group of Chinese laborers arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii. These laborers were brought to Hawaii to work on sugarcane plantations, and their arrival marked a significant shift in Hawaii's demographics and culture. Today, Chinese people make up a significant portion of Hawaii's population.

3. USS Arizona Memorial Dedicated: On December 26, 1961, the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor was dedicated. This memorial honors the 1,177 sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The USS Arizona Memorial is now one of Hawaii's most visited tourist attractions.

4. George Helm Disappears: On December 26, 1977, George Helm, a Native Hawaiian activist and musician, disappeared during a protest against the proposed development of the island of Kahoolawe. Helm was one of the leaders of the protest movement, which sought to protect Kahoolawe's cultural and environmental resources. Helm's disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

5. Hawaii Tsunami Strikes: On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered a tsunami that devastated coastal communities around the Indian Ocean. The tsunami also struck Hawaii, causing extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure on the island of Kauai. The disaster highlighted the need for Hawaii to be better prepared for natural disasters.
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