In re: Hawaii…strange

A friend of mine was in Hawaii recently and gave me a call and it got me thinking how strange it is that these islands in the middle of the pacific, so completely far away from my world (read Ohio and east coast cities), yet the phone call isn't international even with the six hours difference and there are no passports.  Why do I think this is strange?  Maybe its just because I haven't been, but also the idea that something could be so far away and still beholden to the rule of Washington.  Somehow the fact that the UK is less of a time difference is just…well strange. 

None of this of course makes for a compelling thesis, but it also had me thinking about the history of Hawaii and how few of us seem to know the history of our newest state (remember it wasn't until 1959 that it became a state)  The first time I realized I didn't know the history of Hawaii was during a class I took in Switzerland during college where the professor wanted to alert us Americans to our possible misconceptions of the world, or at least the bias in our education and proceeded to show us a documentary (an American one no less) on Hawaii (see some history on Wikipedia for those of you inclined) and basically from a large group of Americans who had all been through a few years of college not one of us could really tell anything about how it became a state or admit to having read anything about it in our classes (as a side note my senior year of college I took an intro history course on post reconstruction US history and I believe we covered some of it, and our textbook was written to be 'up to date' including pretty harsh words about things we had done or didn't do, and attempting to portray certain historical figures in a more complex light then we might have had in highschool (for example President Wilson, who didn't appear as enlightened as I had once been led to believe…)  Ok so I guess thats enough on Hawaii…just thought it is strange.


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