Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today.  Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Legacy of Naval Bombing On Hawaiian Island of Kaho’olawe

Default content image
Media Options

As we witness the events as they unfold in Vieques, little is said of another island that was used for years by the U.S. Navy as a bombing range. The island of Kaho’olawe (kah-ho-oh-LA-we) is the smallest of the eight major Hawaiian Islands. It is only 45 square miles, and lies six miles southwest of Maui.

The island was inhabited for over a thousand years. Named for the god of the ocean and the foundations of the earth, Kaho’olawe is considered a sacred island. And it is at the center of a revitalization of Hawaiian cultural practices.

But at the start of World War Two, the island was taken over by the U.S. military for use as a target and training area. A 1953 Executive Order placed the island under the Secretary of the Navy with the assurance it would be restored to a “habitable condition” when no longer needed for naval purposes.

And grassroots efforts to return Kaho’olawe to Hawaii started soon after. A series of public protests and occupations of the island, as well as a federal lawsuit against the Navy in 1976, helped to raise public awareness of the issue. Finally, in 1990, President George Bush directed the Secretary of Defense to discontinue use of the island for bombing and target practice. And three years later, Congress voted to return the title of the island to Hawaii. Congress also authorized $400 million for the restoration of the island.


  • Davianna McGregor, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Hawaii and a member of the Protect Kaho’olawe ’Ohana.

Related link:

Related Story

Video squareStorySep 18, 2018Intercept Report Reveals Senate Ignored Federal Court Employees Willing to Testify Against Kavanaugh
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop