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Monday, Sept. 13, 1999




Star-Bulletin file
A Honolulu Star-Bulletin extra edition from Dec. 7, 1941.



Hawaii for the ages

War comes to the islands

1939

Bullet April: Navy holds biggest war games to date here.
Bullet May 18: Honolulu's first blackout drill lasts 20 minutes.
Bullet Aug. 1: FBI's Honolulu office reopens to work with Army and Navy on possible spying incidents.

1940

Bullet April:
130 ships of U.S. Fleet arrive. Also: U.S. Secretary of Navy calls inspection of Army and Navy facilities here "completely reassuring."
Bullet May 23: Entire Territory participates in blackout drill.
Bullet August: Fingerprinting of aliens begins under federal Alien Registration Act. Also: Navy plans for its largest Pacific air base, on 2,700 acres at Barbers Point, plus expanding Kaneohe NAS by acquiring Mokapu Peninsula.
Bullet Nov. 5: Defense workers arrive for Pearl Harbor and Midway.

1941

Bullet May: Army sends 21 "Flying Fortresses" here.
Bullet June: Army plans $750,000 food storage tunnel near Fort Shafter. Also: Honolulu blood bank gets first donor.
Bullet July 26: Many here affected as U.S. freezes Japanese and Chinese assets; Japan, in turn, freezes U.S. funds there.
Bullet Sept. 1: Up to 8,000 unionists march in Labor Day parade, largest labor gathering in Territory's history.
Bullet November: Despite expressing hope to reporters here en route to Washington, D.C., Japan's special envoy weeks later rejects U.S.'s settlement deal. On Nov. 27, a U.S. "war warning" arrives, advising that hostile action can be expected.
Bullet Dec. 7: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, plunging United States into World War II. USS Arizona and other ships are sunk; more than 2,500 lives are lost. Martial law in Hawaii is declared. On Dec. 8, schools taken over for evacuation centers, hospitals, defense purposes.
Bullet Dec. 15: Kahului, Maui, shelled by Japanese sub.
Bullet Dec. 18: Military orders farmers near West Loch evacuated. The next day, all residents evacuated from Iwilei.
Bullet Dec. 30-31: Japanese subs shell the ports of Hilo, Big Island; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Kahului, Maui.


U.S. Army Museum
Students ready gas masks for distribution.



1942

Bullet January:
$15 million in federal civilian defense money arrives; distribution of gask masks begins; commission report blames U.S. Dec. 7 losses on military commanders' lack of alertness. On Jan. 28, Army transport Royal T. Frank is torpedoed by Japanese sub between Hawaii and Maui, killing dozens.
Bullet February 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, declaring all people of Japanese descent be moved from California, Oregon, Washington. Some 112,000 ousted from homes and businesses.
Bullet Feb. 21: People of Japanese, German and Italian ancestry ordered to turn in firearms, explosives, other weapons.
Bullet March 4: Three bombs hit Tantalus.
Bullet May 10: Mauna Loa eruption threatens Hilo defense facilities.
Bullet June 5: Adm. Chester Nimitz announces defeat of Japan fleet at Battle of Midway.
Bullet Summer: 1,300 Japanese-American volunteers leave for Camp McCoy, Wis., to train as 100th Infantry Battalion; nine months later, this "Purple Heart Battalion" merges with 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Bullet August: Ingram M. Stainback appointed governor.
Bullet Nov. 23: First group of 107 Hawaii Japanese arrive at Jerome Relocation Center, Ark.


U.S. Army Museum
As training intensifies for Pacific battles, morale
becomes key. Bob Hope, right, tours here in July 1944.



1943

Bullet Jan. 20: White House announces civilian authority of some government functions restored, though martial law remains in effect. A March ceremony marks this change.
Bullet March 28: 15,000 attend program for 2,600 AJA volunteer Army soliders leaving for Camp Shelby, Miss.
Bullet May 18: 5,000 Koreans petition to have status changed from enemy to friendly aliens. In December, that occurs.
Bullet July 13: Blackout rules ease to allow lights in homes until 10 p.m., except for rooms facing the sea.
Bullet Aug. 8: Waikiki off-limits to servicemen due to dengue fever epidemic; ban is lifted Sept. 13.
Bullet September: Eleanor Roosevelt tours Oahu for several days. Also: The 100th Battalion begins action in Italy.
Bullet December: 2nd Marine Division, after Guadalcanal and Tarawa fighting, comes here for rest and training en route to Marianas.


Star-Bulletin file photo
Roosevelt, in bowtie, meets here with, from left,
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, CINCPAC Adm.
Chester Nimitz, and Adm. William Leahy,
Roosevelt's chief of staff.



1944

Bullet March:
First company of WACs arrive. Also: Commercial rent control established on Oahu.
Bullet May 21: Explosion of LSTs in Pearl Harbor kills 127, injures 380.
Bullet May-June: Troops leave for Saipan, Tinian and Guam.
Bullet June 8: Ten civilians and four Army men killed, and 15 civilians hurt when two Army planes collide, crash in Kalihi.
Bullet July 19: Democratic National Convention endorses statehood for Hawaii.
Bullet July: President Roosevelt makes five-day visit here for military conference.
Bullet Oct. 24: Martial law here formally ends.
Bullet October: 442nd Regimental Combat Team liberates French towns of Bruyeres and Biffontaine from Nazis, rescues "Lost Battalion."
Bullet Sept. 21: Gov. Stainback orders Honolulu brothels closed.


Star-Bulletin file photo
V-J Day parade here draws throngs.



1945

Bullet January:
Troops leave for Iwo Jima and Okinawa; CINCPAC moves from Pearl Harbor to Guam, closer to the action fields.
Bullet Feb. 18: First of many U.S. POW groups released from Philippines and Japan arrive, en route to mainland.
Bullet Feb. 19: Emergency federal housing, Kalihi War Homes, is occupied. Three months later, federal government takes 83-acre Manoa site for more units.
Bullet May 8: End of hostilities in Europe.
Bullet June 6-10: Honolulu diary workers' strike begins series of strikes.
Bullet July 7: Curfew lifted.
Bullet Aug. 3: First negotiated labor contract in agriculture, between sugar growers and ILWU.
Bullet Aug. 6: U.S. drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, instantly killing at least 70,000; another a-bomb is dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9.
Bullet Aug. 14: Japan surrenders; huge "V-J Day" celebrations mark end of WWII. Next day, gas rationing, labor controls and censorship end.
Bullet September: On Sept. 2, Japanese signs surrender documents, aboard the USS Missouri docked in Tokyo Bay. Hawaii officially marks V-J Day with three-day holiday ending with big victory parade.
Bullet Nov. 14: First large group of Hawaii AJAs interned, 450 of them, return.


Star-Bulletin file photo
Hilo in shambles after tsunami hit on April 1.



1946

Bullet Jan. 7:
Eleven years after initial hearings here, subcommittee of U.S. Committee on Territories holds hearings, recommends legislation be considered to admit Hawaii as state. But U.S. Senate would oppose that for next decade.
Bullet Feb. 25: U.S. Supreme Court, 6-2, declares martial law in Hawaii was unconstitutional and illegal.
Bullet April 1: Tsunami slams into Hilo, killing 159, injuring some 160, causing $25 million damage.
Bullet July: Trans Pacific Airlines founded; becomes Aloha Airlines in 1958.
Bullet Sept. 10: Hawaii Air National Guard established.




About this Series

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is counting down to year 2000 with this special series. Each month through December, we'll chronicle important eras in Hawaii's history, featuring a timeline of that particular period. Next month's installment: October 18.

Series Archive

Project Editor: Lucy Young-Oda
Graphics by Bryant Fukutomi and Lucy Young-Oda



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