Oʻahu (pronounced [oˈʔɐhu]) anglicized Oahu (/oʊˈɑːhuː/), known as "The Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital, Honolulu, is on Oʻahu's southeast coast. Including small associated islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kāneʻohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20th-largest island in the United States.
Oʻahu is 44 miles (71 km) long and 30 miles (48 km) across. Its shoreline is 227 miles (365 km) long. The island is composed of two separate shield volcanoes: the Waiʻanae and Koʻolau Ranges, with a broad "valley" or saddle (the central Oʻahu Plain) between them. The highest point is Kaʻala in the Waiʻanae Range, rising to 4,003 feet (1,220 m) above sea level.
|Nickname: The Gathering Place|
Satellite photo of Oʻahu
|Area||596.7 sq mi (1,545 km2)|
|Area rank||3rd largest Hawaiian Island|
|Highest elevation||4,003 ft (1,220.1 m)|
|Pop. density||1,636 /sq mi (631.7 /km2)|
The island was home to 953,207 people in 2010 (approximately 72% of the population of the state, with approximately 81% of those living in or near the Honolulu urban area). Oʻahu has for a long time been known as the "Gathering Place". The term Oʻahu has no confirmed meaning in Hawaiʻian, other than that of the place itself. Ancient Hawaiian tradition attributes the name's origin in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa, the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates that he named the island after his daughter.
Residents of Oʻahu refer to themselves as "locals" (as done throughout Hawaiʻi), no matter their ancestry.
The city of Honolulu—largest city, state capital, and main deepwater marine port for the State of Hawaiʻi—is located here. As a jurisdictional unit, the entire island of Oʻahu is in the Honolulu County, although as a place name, Honolulu occupies only a portion of the southeast end of the island.
While the entire island is officially the City and County of Honolulu, locals identify settlements using town names (generally those of the census-designated places), and consider the island to be divided into various areas, which may overlap. The most commonly accepted areas are the "City", "Town" or "Town side", which is the urbanized area from Halawa to the area below Diamond Head (residents of the island north of the Koʻolau Mountains consider the Town Side to be the entire southern half), "West Oʻahu", which goes from Pearl Harbor to Kapolei, ʻEwa and may include the Mākaha and Waiʻanae areas; the "North Shore" (northwestern coast); the "Windward Side" (northeastern coast from Kahuku to Kāneʻohe); the "East Side" or "East Coast" (the eastern portion of the island, from Kāneʻohe on the northeast, around the tip of the island to include much of the area east of Diamond Head); and "The Valley" or "Central Oʻahu" which runs northwest from Pearl Harbor toward Haleʻiwa. These terms are somewhat flexible, depending on the area in which the user lives, and are used in a mostly general way, but residents of each area identify strongly with their part of the island, especially those outside of widely-known towns. For instance, if locals are asked where they live, they would usually reply "Windward Oʻahu" rather than "Lāʻie".
Being roughly diamond-shaped, surrounded by ocean and divided by mountain ranges, directions on Oʻahu are not generally described with the compass directions found throughout the world. Locals instead use directions originally using Honolulu as the central point. To go ʻewa means traveling toward the western tip of the island, "Diamond Head" is toward the eastern tip, mauka is inland (toward the central Koʻolau Mountain range, north of Honolulu) and makai toward the sea. When these directions became common, Diamond Head was the eastern edge of the primary populated area. Today, with a much larger populace and extensive development, the mountain itself is often not actually to the east when directions are given, and is not to be used as a literal point of reference—to go "Diamond Head" is to go to the east from anywhere on the island.
Oʻahu is also known for having the longest rain shower in history, which lasted for 200 consecutive days. Kāneʻohe Ranch, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi reported 247 straight days with rain from August 27, 1993 to April 30, 1994. The island has many nicknames one of them being "rainbow state." This is because rainbows are a common sight in Hawaiʻi due to the frequent rain showers. The average temperature in Oʻahu is around 70–85 °F (21–29 °C) and the island is the warmest in June through October. The weather during the winter is cooler, but still warm with an average temperature of 68–78 °F (20–26 °C).
The island has been inhabited since at least 3rd century A.D. The 304-year-old Kingdom of Oʻahu was once ruled by the most ancient aliʻi in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of Oʻahu was Maʻilikūkahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generation of monarchs. Kualiʻi was the first of the warlike kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783, Kahekili II, King of Maui, conquered Oʻahu and deposed the reigning family and then made his son, Kalanikūpule, king of Oʻahu. Kamehameha the Great would conquer in the mountain Kalanikūpule's force in the Battle of Nuʻuanu. Kamehameha founded the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi with the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. Hawaiʻi would not be unified until the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau surrendered under King Kaumualiʻi in 1810. Kamehameha III moved his capital from Lāhainā, Maui to Honolulu, Oʻahu in 1845. ʻIolani Palace, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.
Oʻahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19, 1778, during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS Discovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oʻahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779, when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (island of Hawaiʻi) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific. With the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands came the introduction of disease, mosquitoes, and aggressive foreign animals. Although indirect, the simple exposure to these foreign species caused permanent damage to the Native Hawaiian people and environment.
The Imperial Japanese Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor, Oʻahu on the morning of December 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II. The surprise attack was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone).
Oʻahu boasts of having had the Olympic Gold Medal winner Duke Kahanamoku serve as Sheriff, perhaps the only such athlete to serve as a law enforcement professional. He held that office for 13 consecutive terms, from 1932 until 1961.
Visitors should be aware that some of the police vehicles on Oʻahu (and on the "Big Island" of Hawaiʻi) are unmarked except for the blue lights mounted on their roofs.
Beginning with a contract with the US Navy in 2001, Ocean Power Technologies began ocean-testing Azura, its wave power generation system at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) at Kāneʻohe Bay. The Oʻahu system was launched under the company's program with the US Navy for ocean testing and demonstration of such systems, including connection to the Oahu grid. The prototype can produce 20 kW, a system with 500 kW to 1 MW is planned to be installed at end of 2017.
The 1998 Oahu Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Air Force Falcons and the University of Washington Huskies. The Oahu Bowl pitted the fifth place team from the Pac-10 against the runner up of the WAC.2000 Oahu Bowl
The 2000 Jeep Oahu Bowl was a college football bowl game, played as part of the 2000-01 bowl game schedule of the 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the 3rd and final game named Oahu Bowl, and became the Seattle Bowl for the 2001 contest. (It was later shut down after 2 years as the Seattle Bowl.)
The game was played on December 24, 2000, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The game matched the Georgia Bulldogs against the Virginia Cavaliers, and was televised on ESPN. The 24th ranked Georgia Bulldogs won the game, 37-14.
The game marked the final game as head coach for Jim Donnan of Georgia and George Welsh of Virginia, both of whom retired from head coaching after the season.Banzai Pipeline
The Banzai Pipeline, or simply Pipeline or Pipe, is a surf reef break located in Hawaii, off Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea on O'ahu's North Shore. A reef break is an area in the ocean where waves start to break once they reach the shallows of a reef. Pipeline is notorious for huge waves which break in shallow water just above a sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride. There are three reefs at Pipeline in progressively deeper water farther out to sea that activate according to the increasing size of approaching ocean swells.Diamond Head, Hawaii
Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi. The Hawaiian name is most likely derived from lae (browridge, promontory) plus ʻahi (tuna) because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals on the adjacent beach for diamonds.Hanauma Bay
Hanauma (; Hawaiian: [həˈnɔumə])
is a marine embayment formed within a tuff ring and located along the southeast coast of the Island of Oʻahu in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood of East Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands.Hanauma is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island and has suffered somewhat from overuse. At one time, this popular tourist destination accommodated over three million visitors per year. In 1956, dynamite was used to clear portions of the reef to make room for telephone cables linking Hawaii to the west coast of the US.Honolulu
Honolulu (; Hawaiian: [honoˈlulu]) is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu along the southeast coast of the island of Oʻahu. The city is the main gateway to Hawaiʻi and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific cultures, cuisine, and traditions.
Honolulu is the remotest city of its size in the world, and is the westernmost and southernmost major U.S. city. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau recognizes the approximate area commonly referred to as "City of Honolulu" (not to be confused with the "City and County") as a census county division (CCD). Honolulu is a major financial center of the islands and of the Pacific Ocean. The population of the Honolulu census designated place (CDP) was 359,870 as of the 2017 population estimate, while the Honolulu CCD was 390,738 and the population of the consolidated city and county was 953,207.
Honolulu means "sheltered harbor" or "calm port". The old name is Kou, a district roughly encompassing the area from Nuʻuanu Avenue to Alakea Street and from Hotel Street to Queen Street which is the heart of the present downtown district. The city has been the capital of the Hawaiian Islands since 1845 and gained historical recognition following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan near the city on December 7, 1941.
As of 2015, Honolulu was ranked high on world livability rankings, and was also ranked as the 2nd safest city in the U.S. It is also the most populated Oceanian city outside Australasia and ranks second to Auckland as the most-populous city in Polynesia.Honolulu County, Hawaii
Honolulu County (officially known as the City and County of Honolulu, formerly Oahu County) is a consolidated city–county in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The city–county includes both the city of Honolulu (the state's capital and largest city) and the rest of the island of Oʻahu, as well as several minor outlying islands, including all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (islands beyond Niihau) except Midway Atoll.The consolidated city-county was established in the city charter adopted in 1907 and accepted by the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaiʻi. As a municipal corporation and jurisdiction it manages aspects of government traditionally exercised by both municipalities and counties in the rest of the United States.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 953,207. Because of Hawaii's municipal structure, the United States Census Bureau divides Honolulu County into several census-designated places for statistical purposes.
The mayor of Honolulu County is Kirk Caldwell, who in 2013 reclaimed the job from Peter Carlisle, who had defeated him in a 2010 special election.
The county motto is "Haʻaheo No ʻO Honolulu (Honolulu Pride)".About 70% of the state's population lives in Honolulu County. Only Nevada has a higher percentage of its population living in its most populous county.Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii
Kailua is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It lies in the Koʻolaupoko District of the island of Oʻahu on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. It is in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. It is 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Honolulu – over Nu‘uanu Pali. The population was 38,635 at the 2010 census.In the Hawaiian language Kailua means "two seas" or "two currents", a contraction of the words kai (meaning "sea" or "sea water") and ʻelua (meaning "two"); it is so named because of the two lagoons in the district or the two currents which run through Kailua Bay.
Kailua is primarily a residential community, with a centralized commercial district along Kailua Road. The population was 50,000 in 1992.Places of note in Kailua include Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, Kawai Nui Marsh, Maunawili Falls, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. It was home to Barack Obama’s winter White House.Koʻolau Range
Koʻolau Range is a name given to the dormant fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972.List of radio stations in Hawaii
The following is a list of FCC-licensed radio stations in the U.S. state of Hawaii which can be sorted by their call signs, frequencies, cities of license, licensees, and programming formats. In addition, several stations in Honolulu also transmit their audio broadcasts on Spectrum Digital Cable for the entire state of Hawaii through local agreements.North Shore (Oahu)
The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oʻahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku. The largest settlement is Haleʻiwa.
This area is best known for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the globe.Nuʻuanu Pali
Nuʻuanu Pali is a section of the windward cliff (pali in Hawaiian) of the Koʻolau mountain located at the head of Nuʻuanu Valley on the island of Oʻahu. It has a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oʻahu. The Pali Highway (Hawaii State Highway 61) connecting Kailua/Kāneʻohe with downtown Honolulu runs through the Nuʻuanu Pali Tunnels bored into the cliffside.
The area is also the location of the Nuʻuanu Freshwater Fish Refuge and the Nuʻuanu Reservoir in the jurisdiction of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside is a lookout above the tunnels where there is a panoramic view of the Oʻahu's windward side with views of Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe Bay, and Kailua. It is also well known for strong trade winds that blow through the pass (now bypassed by the Nuʻuanu Pali Tunnels). The Nuʻuanu Pali Tunnels were built in 1958. Before this road opened, people would use what is now known as the Old Pali Road, currently a popular hiking route.Oahu Open
The Oahu Open is a defunct tennis tournament that was played on the ATP Tour for one year in 1994. The event was held in Oahu, Hawaii and was played on outdoor hard courts.Oahu Railway and Land Company
The Oahu Railway and Land Company, or OR&L, was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge common carrier railway that served much of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and was the largest narrow gauge class one common carrier in the U.S, until its dissolution in 1947.Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.Solar power in Hawaii
The energy sector in Hawaii has rapidly adopted solar power due to the high costs of electricity, and good solar resources, and has one of the highest per capita rates of solar power in the United States. Hawaii's imported energy costs, mostly for imported petroleum and coal, are three to four times higher than the mainland, so Hawaii has motivation to become one of the highest users of solar energy. Hawaii was the first state in the United States to reach grid parity for photovoltaics. Its tropical location provides abundant ambient energy.
Much of Hawaii's solar capacity is distributed solar panels on individual homes and businesses. Hawaii's grid has had to deal with this unique situation by developing new technology for balancing the energy flows in areas with large amounts of solar power. In 2017 distributed solar produced 913GWh which was 36% of all renewable energy produced in the state and about 9% of electricity sales. Utility-scale solar produced 212GWh, just over 1% of sales. In December 2016, Hawaii had 674MW of installed distributed solar capacity. The largest utility-scale solar farm in Hawaii is the 49 MW Kawailoa Solar project which opened in September 2019.University of Hawaii–West Oahu
The University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu (UHWO), is a public university. It is one of ten campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi system. It offers baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts and professional studies. UHWO opened in January 1976, and since 1981 has been fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In 2007 the school added first- and second-year subjects, becoming a four-year university.UHWO is the US' fastest-growing public baccalaureate school. It has one of the most diverse student populations among four-year public institutions, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is the newest campus in the UH, It was established in part to provide access to higher education in Leeward Oʻahu.The university offers undergraduate education. It enrolled 3,182 students in fall 2018, many from Leeward Oʻahu. UHWO also reaches students around the state with its Distance Learning program. About 10 percent of UH West Oʻahu’s enrollment list another island as their permanent address.UHWO has the highest percentage of distance and online courses and programs and the highest percentage of part-time students in UH. UH West Oʻahu supports the study of Hawaiian language, history and culture. The student:faculty ratio is 24:1. Tuition is among the lowest in the nation.Waianae Range
Waiʻanae Range (sometimes referred to as the Waianae Mountains) is the eroded remains of an ancient shield volcano that comprises the western half of the Hawaiian Island of Oʻahu. Its crest, at Kaʻala, is the highest peak on Oʻahu at 4,025 feet (1,227 m).
Like the neighboring Koʻolau, the Waiʻanae Range is not a mountain range in the sense most people are familiar with, as the mountain range as a whole was created from a single volcano rather than for example plate tectonics.
The oldest lava dated from the volcano are about 3.9 million years old. About 3.2 million years ago, the volcano's activity changed, the rate of eruption started to decrease and the composition of the lava erupted from the volcano changed. The volcano is thought to have last erupted about 2.5 million years ago.
When active, the Waiʻanae volcano's center of activity was at present-day Lualualei Valley. Intense erosion on the western flank of the mountain has destroyed much of those flanks. Thus, the mountain today is much smaller than it was when the volcano was active.
While the western part of the mountain has been destroyed by erosion, the eastern part is still in a youthful stage of erosion. This is considered somewhat strange by some geologists since the western part of the volcano is on the leeward side of the island; thus, most rain falls on the eastern side of the volcano. Given this information, more erosion would be expected on the eastern portion of the mountain. One theory to explain this erosion pattern is that a large landslide cut away the western portion of the volcano. The faults from this huge landslide weakened the rock, making the western part of the mountain much more susceptible to erosion than the eastern side.Waimea Bay, Hawaii
Waimea Bay is located in Haleiwa on the North Shore of O'ahu in the Hawaiian Islands at the mouth of the Waimea River. Waimea Valley extends behind Waimea Bay. Waimea means "reddish water" in Hawaiian.
Islands, municipalities, and communities of Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States
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