How Pearl Harbor Has Changed Over the Past 20 Years

March 30, 2010

Pearl Harbor is best known for the 1941 Japanese bombing that prompted the United States to enter World War II. The US naval base located on Oahu Island, Hawaii, has many memorials and museum dedicated to the infamous events of Sunday, December 7, 1941. The most popular attractions in Pearl Harbor are the memorial of the USS Arizona and the outdoor museum called the Polynesian Cultural Center. Admission to the memorial is free and any soldier who served on the Arizona can have his ashes scattered above the shipwreck site. In the last 20 years, the island has erected more memorials to honor its rich history and significantly increased its profile as an education and entertainment vacation destination.
In December 2006, the Pacific Aviation Museum, located on historic Ford Island, opened Hangar 37 to the public. Hangar 37 focuses on the Pearl Harbor attack with interactive displays of the Battle of Guadalcanal and Jimmy Doolittle’s Tokyo bomber raid. Other hangars at the museum will focus on the Vietnam War, Korean War, and Cold War. The museum also plays host to several air shows. Scheduled for opening in 2010 or 2011, Hangar 79, will offer interactive displays and vintage aircrafts will educate the public on the major theatres of WWII including the Philippines and China. A full-size replica of a WWII aircraft carrier will also be featured inside the hangar. The museum has a flight simulator where visitors can experience the thrill of combat flying in a Wildcat or Zero aircraft.
Additionally, the island has 18 markers dedicated to battleships sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack. The Admiral Clarey Bridge, built in 1998, connects Ford Island to mainland of Oahu. Before the bridge was constructed Ford Island could only be reached by ferry and the island was closed to the public. Only tourists who possessed a military identification or had been invited by a military family could access the island.
Another Pearl Harbor historic site is the battleship USS Missouri. Moved from the US in 1999,the USS Missouri, nicknamed “Mighty Mo”, it now sits perpendicular to the sunken USS Arizona representing both the beginning and the end of the United States’ participation in the war The USS Missouri is famous because the Japanese signed the surrender papers aboard ship signifying the end of WWII. The ship’s location signifies its protection of the USS Arizona.
While surfers may travel to Waikiki beach for the awesome waves, the beach also offers a history lesson to tourists. In 1994, native Hawaiian historian George Kanahele penned a paper describing 10 ways to improve Waikiki Beach. One of Kanahele’s suggestions was the creation of the Waikiki Historic Trail and in 1997 he founded the Native Hawaiian Tourism and Hospitality Association to further his goals of restoring Hawaiian culture on the island. Kanahele suggested that the historic trail highlight significant events and locations in Hawaiian history. Although he passed before all of the historic markers could be placed on the trail, today 19 surfboard markers highlight historical sites along the beach.

The State of Arizona in the Past and Present

February 25, 2010

Arizona is listed in the US Constitution as one of the second last states to have been admitted to the United States of America. Some scholars believe its name was derived from Spanish phrase aridi zona, which is literally translated as dry region though there is as yet no consensus over this assertion. It is located in the western side of the United States and is one of the largest states among the “corner states.” It has its headquarters in the city of Phoenix. Some of the neighboring states include Utah, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. It shares an international border with Mexico.
Much of the State is either desert or semi desert hence experiencing very dry and cold climate at varying times of the year. The area receives about three hundred millimeters of rainfall every year in two seasons. Monsoon winds, ice drops, lightning and thunderstorms are some of the other features of this state’s climate. Much of the desert area is covered by cactus while the other mountainous area and higher ground is covered with large forest cover. The landscape is characterized by mountains as well as plateaus such as Mogollion Rim. The mountainous nature of this region is said to have originated from volcanic activity in the early years. Among other geographical features that tourists visiting this are will find enchanting include the Grand Canyon, a gorge alongside the Colorado River which also happens to be among the Seven Wonders of the World in natural terms.
Arizona has a population of over six million people as per the estimates provided in 2006. It has a 3.6% rate of growth. The population density is 45 people for every square kilometer. The population consists of white Americans who are the majority, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans and other inhabitants of mixed race. The state is also noted for having one of the highest concentrations of Native Americans along with Oklahoma and California.
Arizona has one of the largest economies in the US which is heavily dependent on cotton and copper mining. Tourism, shopping and golf are also big economic contributors. Transportation here is made up mainly of intra and interstate buses while trains are also very popular. The aviation industry is greatly developed in the state with up to four major international airports spread out across some of the cities. This makes it easier for visitors to get to the city from any part of the world.
Whether you come to the state for the environment, the attractions, a conference or reunions, it should be pretty easy to find a hotel – especially if you visit Arizona during the low season.

Flagstaff: Past & Present

February 22, 2010

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A history of Flagstaff, Arizona in photos… More >>

Flagstaff: Past & Present