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O'ahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous
island in the State of Hawai'i. Total land area is 608 mile (1,600
km). In greatest dimension this volcanic island is 71 km (44 mi) long
and 48 km (30 mi) across. The length of the shoreline is 366 km. The
island is the result of two separate shield volcanoes: Wai'anae and
Ko'olau, with a broad "valley" or saddle (the central O'ahu Plain)
between them. The highest point is Mt. Ka'ala in the Waianae Range,
rising to 1,225 m above sea level.
The island is home to almost 900,000 people (approximately 75% of the
resident population of the state) and partly because of this, O'ahu
has for a long time been nicknamed "The Gathering Place". However, the
term O'ahu has no confirmed meaning in Hawaiian, other than that of
the place itself . Ancient Hawaiian tradition attributes the name's
origin in the legend of Hawai'iloa, the Polynesian navigator credited
with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates that he
named the island after a son.
The city of Honolulu—largest city, state capital, and main deepwater
marine port for the State of Hawai'i—is located here.
King Kamehameha III (the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii
from 1825 to 1854) moved his capital from Maui to O'ahu in 1845.
'Iolani Palace, built later by others of the royal family, still
remains as evidence of the only monarchy now American soil.
O'ahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the
crew of HMS Resolution on 18 January 1778 during Capt. James Cook's
third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS Discovery, the expedition
was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central
Pacific. O'ahu was not actually visited by Europeans until 28 February
1779 when Captain Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at
Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after Capt. Cook was
killed at Kealakekua Bay (Island of Hawai'i) on February 14, and was
leaving the islands for the North Pacific.
Today, O'ahu has become a tourism and shopping haven as over 5 million
visitors (mainly from the American mainland and Japan) flock there
every year to enjoy the quintessential island holiday experience that
the Hawaiian Islands and her multicultural people now personify.

from Wikipedia.
*scanned pic*

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3781 W: 144 N: 8843] (41222)
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