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Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Location in Honolulu County and the state of Hawaii
Country United States
State Hawaii
County Honolulu
 • CDP 105 sq mi (272.1 km2)
 • Land 85.7 sq mi (222.0 km2)
 • Water 19.3 sq mi (50.1 km2)
0 ft (Sea Level 0 m)
 • CDP 371,657
 • Estimate 
(July 2006[1])
 • Metro

Honolulu is the capital city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is also the largest city in Hawaii and it has the most important harbor. It is on the south-east shore of the island of Oahu.


Honolulu means "sheltered harbor" in the Hawaiian language. No one knows for sure when Honolulu was first settled or when the name was first used.


Honolulu harbor was called Kulolia before foreigners came. The first foreigner was Captain William Brown of the English ship Butterworth, in 1794. He named the harbor Fair Haven. Other foreign captains started calling it Brown's Harbor. The name Honolulu was used some time after that.

Honolulu quickly became the most important harbor of Hawaii. At that time, sandalwood was a big export. Honolulu was also an important supply point for whalers.

Kamehameha III made Honolulu the capital city of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1850. It was also the capital of the Republic of Hawaii and the Territory of Hawaii. It stayed the capital when Hawaii became a state in 1959.

Notable people