The U.S. Annexes Hawaii
On July 7, 1898, President William McKinley signed legislation annexing Hawaii, paving the way for it to become a U.S. state.
Polynesians were the first people to settle the Hawaiian Islands. They journeyed across the Pacific, moving from island to island in giant canoes, and likely reached Hawaii around 2,000 years ago. Another group from Tahiti reached the islands in 1200 A.D. and conquered the earlier settlers. The name Hawaii is either derived from the name of a hero from a Hawaiian legend, Hawai’iloa, or the name of the Polynesian homeland to the west, Hawaiki.