In July in 1898, the United States began absorbing an island paradise en route to making it a state, the U.S. Census Bureau chronicles.
President William McKinley signed a resolution annexing the Hawaiian Islands, then an independent republic.
A short time later, Congress made Hawaii an incorporated territory of the United States, which it remained until achieving statehood in 1959, giving us 50 stars on the flag.
For most Americans on the mainland, Hawaii is the ultimate vacation, with its lovely scenery and an average annual temperature of around 75 degrees.
Tourism, defense, and raising sugar cane and pineapples are the mainstays of the economy.
More than 1.4 million Americans call Hawaii home — about half of them Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.