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Kahoolawe is an island that is off the shore of Maui in Hawaii. It’s not very big, only 11miles long and six miles wide. But this is an island that is rich in history. Hawaiians have lived on the island for centuries. It’s been inhabited for a long time.
Alternative religion has been a major part of this island as there are plenty of remnants of such. It wasn’t until 1917 that it became inhabited by white man. A farmer by the name of Angus MacPhee paid $200 a year to lease the entire island for his cattle from the government of Hawaii. MacPhee used the island to farm all kinds of crops like cotton and tobacco. He was turning a major profit in no time. MacPhee let the U.S. Army use a small part of the island as an artillery range beginning in 1939. But MacPhee’s tenure on the island was about to end. The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, the federal government took the island from him and made it into a large Navy site. Since that day, Kahoolawe has been the most bombed and targeted place in the world.
Today, the island of Kahoolawe is a U.S. Navy Bombing Range. The Navy says that maintaining a force on the island was the biggest reason the U.S. won the Pacific part of World War II. Government officials claim that the island has always been barren and has never been a good place to live.
The daughter of MacPhee, Inez MacPhee Ashdown who lived on Kahoolawe with her father when was farming and raising cattle there, has written a book about her experiences. It ranges from the time she moved to the island in 1917 and captures all her experiences over the years through the time the military took over the island for good. The book is called Recollections of Kahoolawe and can be purchased through Topgallant Publishing in Honolulu.