Friday, December 12, 2008
Midway Atoll is located at the Northwestern-most end of the Hawaiian Islands chain, midway... between Japan and the United States mainland.
The first recorded visit to Midway Atoll occurred in 1859 by Captain N.C. Brooks of the Hawaiian Bark Gambia.
In 1903 President Roosevelt put the island in control of the US Navy. They cleared the island and turned it over to the Pacific Cable Company.
The first cable message to travel around the world went through Midway Island on the 4th of July 1903. It took 9 minutes.
In 1935 Midway became a playground for the rich and famous when the Pan American World Airways set up the Trans-Pacific Flying Clipper Seaplane service.
In 1941 the Navy moved in. In June of 1942 the historic Battle of Midway was waged between the US and Japan. This battle and the heavy losses by the Japanese is considered to be the turning point in the War in the Pacific.
In 1988 the Battle FOR Midway began. It has been a long journey from Military base to National Wildlife refuge, Battle of Midway National Memorial and the window to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Today Midway is host to well over 2 million sea birds as well as the Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal and the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. The Atoll and islands enclosed in the protective reef have been closed to tourists since 2001. This year it has been reopened and permits were issued for the Oceanic Society to conduct educational tours. I was lucky enough to visit the Atoll just this past week with the Oceanic Society. It was nothing short of amazing. Stay tuned for the resaons I fell in love with Midway and her islands....