Take an online Tour of Obama’s Hawaii
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, four of America’s first five presidents were natives of Virginia. None of them would have envisioned a day when a president of the United States would be a native born Hawaiian. Of course that would be less surprising to these eighteenth century Americans than the fact that Obama is also of African-American descent.
In fact it was while America was fighting the war of independence against England, in 1778, that a British explorer, Captain James Cook, stumbled across the Hawaiian Islands and named them the Sandwich Islands, after the First Lord of the British Admiralty, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.
Barack Obama will be only the 7th president in the nation’s history to be born west of the Mississippi River, and the 2nd born west of Texas.
Not to miss out on their moment to shine, the Hawaii Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has launched a new website called GoHawaii.com/Obama. Here you can find all of the spots on the island of Oahu that are somehow connected to the future president; right down to the Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store, that still exists today on South King Street in Waikiki, where Obama worked as a teen.
As a teen attending Oahu’s Punahou School, Barry (the name he went by, back then) Obama dreamed, not of a life in politics, but of becoming a pro basketball player, playing on the team that won the high school basketball championship for the state of Hawaii.
The website shares many of Barack’s favorite spots on his native Oahu from body surfing and snorkeling, to golf, local restaurants, even his favorite outdoor picnic spots. His most recent trip to his childhood home was very brief: to visit his grandmother, whom Barack affectionately called “Toot,” short for tutu, which is Hawaiian for grandmother.
Sadly she passed away in Hawaii just one day before Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States.
Michelle Obama said recently that,“You can’t really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii.” With this new guide to her husband’s childhood home, understanding America’s new president will be that much easier for anyone interested in spending a week or more in the Aloha State. Not a bad place to go for a history lesson!