Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name that James Cook chose in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Cook came across the islands by chance when crossing the Pacific Ocean on his Third Voyage, on board HMS Resolution; he was later killed on the islands on a return visit. The contemporary name of the islands, dating from the 1840s, is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaiʻi Island.
Hawaii is the only U.S. state that is not geographically connected to North America. It is part of the Polynesia subregion of Oceania. The state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety, with the sole exception of Midway Island, which also belongs to the United States, albeit as one of its unincorporated territories within the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
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