Hawaii became the 50th state on this day 60 years ago

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HILO (HEE-loh)

A city of Hawaii
Common clues: Big Island port; Seat of Hawaii County; Hawaiian port; Hawaiian city; Mauna Loa's locale; Port near Kilauea; Southernmost U.S. city
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
News: Photos: 60 years ago, Hawaii became the 50th state
Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo is the largest settlement and census-designated place (CDP) in Hawaii County, Hawaii, which encompasses the Island of Hawaiʻi. The population was 43,263 at the 2010 census.

Hilo is the county seat of Hawai‘i County, Hawai‘i, and is situated in the South Hilo District. The city overlooks Hilo Bay, and is near two mountains, Mauna Loa, an active volcano, and Mauna Kea, upon which several astronomical observatories are placed.

The city is home to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, as well as the Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long celebration of ancient and modern hula, which takes place each year in the week following Easter.

Hilo is located at 19°42'20" North, 155°5'9" West (19.705520, -155.085918), the southernmost city in the United States.

Hilo's location on the eastern side of the island of Hawai‘i (windward relative to the trade winds) makes it one of the wettest cities in the world. An average of 129.19 inches (3281 mm) of rain falls on Hilo annually.

Its location on the shore of the funnel-shaped Hilo Bay also makes it vulnerable to tsunamis.

Although archaeological evidence is scant, people certainly inhabited the areas along Hilo Bay, Wailuku and Wailoa Rivers before the Western world made contact. Missionaries came to Hilo in the early to middle 1800s, founding several churches, notably Haili Church.

Hilo expanded as sugar plantations in the surrounding area drew in many workers from Asia, and the city became a trading center.

A breakwater across Hilo Bay was begun in the 1900s and completed in 1929. On April 1, 1946 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a 14-meter high tsunami that hit Hilo hours later killing 159 people. As a result, an early warning system, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, was established to track these killer waves and provide warning. On May 23, 1960, another tsunami, caused by a 9.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile the previous day, claimed 61 lives allegedly due to people's failure to heed warning sirens. Low-lying bayfront areas of the city on Waiakea peninsula and along Hilo Bay, previously populated, were rededicated as parks and memorials.

Starting in the 1960s, Hilo expanded inland. In the 1980s, the downtown found a new role as the city's cultural center with several galleries, museums being opened as well as the Palace Theatre reopening in 1998 as an arthouse.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hilo, Hawaii".