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Clip from And Then There Were None
producer: Elizabeth Lindsey
The U.S. military's presence in Hawaii began when it gained control of Pearl Harbor in 1876. This was done through a treaty which gave the Navy our sacred bay in exchange for the elimination of U.S. tariffs on Hawaii-grown sugar.
Hollywood built a fantasy around us, idyllic and savage, mystical and silly. We were portrayed as carefree natives when, in reality, we were struggling.
Movie stars, businessmen, dignitaries and the wealthy came to visit our exotic U.S. islands, oblivious to the fact that our Hawaiian people were in trouble. Unable to continue our traditional way of life, many drifted into Honolulu to find work on the streets of the city.
Poverty, never before a part of our culture, became commonplace.
[VOICE OF FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT: Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan.]
World War II was cataclysmic, not a harbinger of change, but change itself. Now Hawaii was undeniably American.
My father believed that it was his patriotic duty to enlist in the military. He eventually became a major in the U.S. Air Force and invented a submarine detector using sonar. This invention saved thousands of lives during the war.
More than a quarter of a million American military personnel landed on our shores. Our people quickly went from being the majority to a minority.