You Are At: AllSands Home > Potluck4 > The history of Waikiki, Hawaii
Waikiki is known for its swampiness. White man had inhabited the island sometime in the 1700s. The first recorded history of Waikiki involved the chief of Oahu, Kalanikupule. He hijacked a small ship in 1790 to start an attack against Kamehameha I. Kalanikupule kept the ship for some time before the original sailor gained control of the ship. The sailor sent Kalanikupule and the Hawaiians overboard and made them swim to shore. When the sailor reported the prospective attack to Kamehamela, the king turned an army against Kalanikupule. That’s when the battle of Nuuanu Pali assumed. Kamehamela defeated Kalanikupule and took control of Oahu. Diamond Head became an important part of the island because that’s the spot that Kalanikupule initially hijacked the boat.
In the late 1800s King Kalakaua became famous for bringing famous guests to his private beach house. Robert Louis Stevenson was one of those guests. Stevenson wrote many novels on Oahu. When the Moana Hotel was built on Oahu at Diamond Head in 1901, it was instantly a point of contention among natives. The hotel blocked many people’s view of the infamous Diamond Head historical point and that didn’t go over well.
But just a few years later was when Oahu was transformed from a swampy place to a place of extreme beauty. Hawaiian Board of Health Director Lucius Pinkham called much of the island unsanitary and dangerous because of all the mosquitoes that had moved in. He ruled that the swamp should be replaced with a canal in order to drain the swamp completely. In 1921, the Ala Wai Canal was constructed in Waikiki, more hotels were being built, and wealthy guests started flocking to the island.
For the next five decades Oahu became a vacation spot exclusive to the stars. Once Hawaii became a state of the union, hotels popped up like never before. Travel packages suddenly became affordable for many Americans and the economy of Hawaii was off to the races.