History of Oahu, Hawaii
For thousands of years, Polynesians - mostly the Marquesas and Tahitians - lived and thrived. On record, modern history begins with the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1778. While he didn't step foot on Oahu, it was the first Hawaiian island any white man saw.
Captain James Clerke, replacing the dead captain, was the first white settler to land on Oahu, bringing seamen and missionaries. When they arrived, Hawaii had an established monarchy.
Kamehameha III ruled for much of the beginning half of the 19th century and would move Hawaii's capital from Lahaina, Oahu, to Oahu. The "westernization" of Hawaii was in motion. Descendents of Kamehameha reigned over Hawaii until 1872.
Other chiefs, including Queen Lilioukalani, ruled till 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown. A year later Hawaii became the Republic of Hawaii; eventually it was annexed by the US in 1898, made a territory in 1900, and later became the 50th state of the US in 1950.
The "day which will live in infamy", December 7, 1941, American Pacific fleets were attacked near Oahu, propelling the US into World War II. Twelve warships were damaged or destroyed, 188 aircrafts destroyed, 2,403 servicemen and sixty-eight civilians killed during the battle. As of 2000 Census, 876,151 people reside on Oahu.