History at a glance

Following are significant dates and events relating to the Church in Hawaii and the history of what was once called the Sandwich Islands:

  • Jan. 18, 1778: Captain James Cook finds Hawaii.
  • May 11, 1843: Joseph Smith calls first LDS missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. These missionaries arrive in Tubua’i (now part French Polynesia) in 1844 and decide to remain.
  • June 20, 1846: Sam Brannan and members traveling by sea to California make landfall in Hawaii. Sam Brannan preaches first known LDS sermon on the islands.
  • Dec. 12, 1850: Ten LDS missionaries — called from the gold fields of California — arrive in Honolulu. The next day, Elder Hiram Clark leads the missionaries to a point above the city, later known as Pacific Heights, where he dedicates Hawaii for the preaching of the gospel. Two days later, they disperse throughout the islands.
  • Feb. 10, 1851: President Hiram Clark baptizes first Hawaiian member of the Church.
  • Aug. 6, 1851: Elders George Q. Cannon and James Keeler organize the first branch in the islands at Kealakou near Pulehu, Maui. Hawaiian leaders are ordained.
  • Jan. 27, 1852: Elder Cannon, assisted by a local member, begins translation of Book of Mormon into Hawaiian.
  • June 14, 1900: The U.S. annexes Hawaii.
  • Nov. 27, 1919: President Heber J. Grant dedicates new Hawaii Temple on Thanksgiving Day. (President Joseph F. Smith had dedicated the site in 1915. He died in 1918. The temple was rededicated in 1978 by President Spencer W. Kimball after renovations.)
  • June 30, 1935: President Grant forms the Oahu Stake, the first outside the continental U.S.
  • Dec. 7, 1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, bringing the U.S. into World War II.
  • July 21, 1954: The First Presidency announces the establishment of the Church College of Hawaii (now BYU-Hawaii).
  • Aug. 21, 1959: Hawaii becomes 50th U.S. state.
  • Oct. 12, 1963: President Hugh B. Brown dedicates the Polynesian Cultural Center.
  • Jan. 23, 2000: President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicates the Kona Hawaii Temple, the second in Hawaii.
  • Dec. 12, 2000: Church in Hawaii celebrates concluding sesquicentennial in activities.