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Honolulu holds turbulence and conflict in its early history. One of the last areas on the globe to be explored by Europeans, and first visited by British captain James Cook in 1778, this area faced pressure from numerous forces, including the arrival of American missionaries in 1820. For Honolulu, more turmoil occurred during World War II: Approximately 8 miles from Honolulu is the famous Pearl Harbour, the site of the December 7th, 1941 Japanese bombing that forced the United States to enter the war.
The flag flying over Honolulu changed colors numerous times. As early as 1814, Russian soldiers tried to move in, and built a bastion at the harbor's edge. In 1843, the British flag was raised over the city, and in 1849 French forces occupied Honolulu. Control was returned to the independent native kingdom each time, without bloodshed.
Honolulu's foundations were built by whalers seeking trade opportunities. Their work brought commerce and prosperity to the city as whale goods were traded with other states and cities. In 1898, Hawaii became one of the United States. 9 years later, Honolulu was incorporated as a city.