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Speaking Volumes: Learn more about our 50th state as Hawaii celebrates 60th anniversary

Dramatic video shows lava streaming into ocean from Hawaii volcano

The USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory released this dramatic video of lava flowing into the ocean from the Kilauea volcano. The open lava stream poured out of a lava tube, perched high on the sea cliff, and into the ocean in late January 2017.
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The USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory released this dramatic video of lava flowing into the ocean from the Kilauea volcano. The open lava stream poured out of a lava tube, perched high on the sea cliff, and into the ocean in late January 2017.

This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Hawaii joining the United States and becoming the 50th territory to receive statehood.

It is the only state made entirely of islands and is geographically located in Oceania, though it is still considered a part of North America. The largest island of the group is Hawai’i, from which the state takes its name.

Before becoming part of the United States, Hawaii was governed by the Kingdom of Hawaii. However, King Kalakaua was forced to sign the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, commonly known as the Bayonet Constitution, which stripped the Hawaiian monarchy of most of its authority.

In 1891, King Kalakaua died and Queen Liliuokalani, author of the famous song “Aloha Oe,” ascended the throne. Two years later, she was placed under house arrest in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu and overthrown by a group of Americans who formed the Committee of Safety.

Sanford B. Dole, a lawyer and member of the committee, became the President of the Republic of Hawaii in 1894. In 1898, the Republic of Hawaii moved to annex to the U.S., led by members of the committee and many U.S expansionists and other non-native parties, much to the dismay of most native Hawaiians.

They succeeded and Hawaii became the Territory of Hawaii for 60 years until 1959, when the residents of Hawaii voted in favor of the statehood bill. Since then, though the Apology Resolution passed in 1993, the United States has apologized for the wrongs committed against the Hawaiian people during the overthrow of the Kingdom.

A "vortex of rapidly swirling air" created a lava whirlwind that erupted from one of the Kilauea volcano's fissures on July 2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Today, Hawaii continues to share and celebrate its rich culture and history with all who visit the islands.

Stop by the local library to learn even more about the history of Hawaii by checking out “The Colony” by John Tayman, “Captive Paradise: the United States and Hawaii” by James L. Haley, and “Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s last queen, the Sugar Kings and America’s First Imperial Adventure” by Julia Flynn Siler.

Immerse yourself in a piece of Hawaiian culture with “Hawaiian Myths of Earth, Sea, and Sky” by Vivian L. Thompson or head online to our language database, Mango, where you can take courses to learn how to speak Hawaiian, the official state language of Hawaii.

Did you know that Hawaii and Alaska are the only states to have a second official language after English?

Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941. More than 2,000 American service members were killed and the event launched the U.S. into World War II.

Experience some of the sights Hawaii has to offer from home with the DVD “Hawaii to the Max: Maui & the Big Island, Oahu & Kauai.” Watch as host Rudy Maxa visits iconic locations such as Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach and the Big Island’s most active volcano.

Check out CDs such as “Luau Party Favorites” and “Authentic Luau Party Music” or explore our digital music collection on Hoopla, where you will find such albums as “World of Hawaii: The Music of the Islands” to set the right atmosphere for your next luau party!

Call your local branch for more information on available titles.

Central Library — 941-748-5555;

Braden River — 941-727-6079;

Island — 941-778-6341;

Palmetto — 941-722-3333;

Rocky Bluff — 941-723-4821;

South Manatee — 941-755-3892.

You also can access the library via the internet at mymanatee.org/library.

Sylva Osbourne is the librarian at the Central Library in downtown Bradenton. Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday in the Bradenton Herald.

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