Hawai‘i in the World
In November of 2008, Barack Hussein Obama, born in Hawai‘i in 1961 to an American mother from Kansas and an African father from Kenya, became the forty-fifth President of the United States. It was a historic election. President Obama’s victory showed the world that the spirit of Hawai‘i’s multiculturalism could give the United States a new beginning in its quest for racial equality for all members of society.
On October 11, 2009, Father Damien of the Hansen’s disease settlement on Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, was elevated to sainthood (canonized) by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. This was a proud day for Hawai‘i and for the Catholic Church. Mother Marianne Cope assisted Saint Damien in his work at Kalaupapa with her Order of Sisters. On October 21, 2012, she, too, was canonized in Rome. She had arrived in Kalaupapa in 1888, shortly before Damien’s death, and continued the mission there until her own death in 1918 of natural causes.