The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is forever burned into the national consciousness as a turning point in world history. Today, Pearl Harbor is a place of pilgrimage, not only for the generation of Americans that fought in World War II, but also for their descendants, and for hundreds of thousands of Japanese who come to pay their respects.

Yet the tropical lagoon that was catapulted into the spotlight that fateful day has a history of its own. Long before it became known as Pearl Harbor, it was a placid bay fed by streams that flowed down from Oahu’s mountains. This massive lagoon, known to the Hawaiians as Puuloa, was once home to an extensive system of fishponds that provided a rich and plentiful bounty. 

Granted to the U.S. in negotiations with the Hawaiian government related to the import of Hawaiian sugar in 1888, Pearl Harbor grew in importance over the years, making a quantum leap when the U.S. head