The city of Honolulu is located off the southeast coast on the island of Oahu. The first inhabitants of Honolulu were Polynesian migrants who came to the area nearly 2,000 years ago. Descendants of these people lived secluded on the island for hundreds of years, and it wasn't until the 18th century that the region began to receive attention from foreigners. In 1794, the English Captain William Brown was the first foreigner to enter the harbor at Honolulu, and before long the city became a popular shipping port on the route between the States and Asia. The economy of Hawaii first relied heavily on the exports of sandalwood and supplies for whalers, but then sugar, pineapples, some manufacturing, tourism and defense installations were added to the list. The islands were popular destinations for colonizers, merchants and missionaries whose presence very much added to the Westernization of the area. When Hawaii joined the United States in 1898, Honolulu began to see more modern economic development, and with the rise of commercial flight, Honolulu's tourism industry took off.
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