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The State of Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States of America on August 21, 1959. The archipelagic state is situated in the North Pacific Ocean, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from the Continental United States. In the 19th century, Hawaii was also known as the Sandwich Islands.

Hawaii is the southernmost state of the United States; it would be the westernmost, if not for Alaska. It is one of only two states (Alaska is the other) that are outside the contiguous United States, and do not share a border with another U.S. state.

Hawaii is the only state of the United States that

is separated from the mainland by water, yet is not a territory

is completely surrounded by water

continues to grow in area because of active extrusive lava flows, most notably from Kilauea (K?lauea).

is entirely in the tropics.

Except for Easter Island, Hawaii is farther away from land than any other landmass on Earth. Hawaii's tallest mountain, Mauna Kea stands over 13,000 feet (4,000 m) and is taller than Mount Everest if followed to its base at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

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Last updated: 15 February, 2010 02:43:16