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Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U. S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base, it is the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U. S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor was an extensive shallow embayment called Wai Momi or Puʻuloa by the Hawaiians. Puʻuloa was regarded as the home of the shark goddess, Kaʻahupahau, her brother, Kahiʻuka, in Hawaiian legends. According to tradition, the head of the powerful Ewa chiefs, is credited with cutting a navigable channel near the present Puʻuloa saltworks, by which he made the estuary, known as "Pearl River," accessible to navigation.

Making due allowance for legendary amplification, the estuary had an outlet for its waters where the present gap is. During the early nineteenth century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance; the interest of United States in the Hawaiian Islands grew as a result of its whaling and trading activity in the Pacific. As early as 1820, an "Agent of the United States for Commerce and Seamen" was appointed to look after American business in the Port of Honolulu; these commercial ties to the American continent were accompanied by the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. American missionaries and their families became an integral part of the Hawaiian political body. Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U. S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.

S. establish a naval base in Hawaii for protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry. The British Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Crichton Wyllie, remarked in 1840 that "... my opinion is that the tide of events rushes on to annexation to the United States." From the conclusion of the Civil War, to the purchase of Alaska, to the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with countries in Asia and the desire for a duty-free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace Hawaii. Lackawanna in the following year was assigned to cruise among the islands, "a locality of great and increasing interest and importance." This vessel surveyed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands toward Japan. As a result, the United States claimed Midway Island; the Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations.

This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters. It praised Midway Island as possessing a harbor surpassing Honolulu's. In the following year, Congress approved an appropriation of $50,000 on March 1, 1869, to deepen the approaches to this harbor. After 1868, when the Commander of the Pacific Fleet visited the islands to look after American interests, naval officers played an important role in internal affairs, they served as arbitrators in business disputes, negotiators of trade agreements and defenders of law and order. Periodic voyages among the islands and to the mainland aboard U. S. warships were arranged for members of the Hawaiian royal family and important island government officials. When King Lunalilo died in 1873, negotiations were underway for the cession of Pearl Harbor as a port for the duty-free export of sugar to the U. S. With the election of King Kalākaua in March 1874, riots prompted landing of sailors from USS Tuscarora and Portsmouth.

The British warship, HMS Tenedos landed a token force. During the reign of King Kalākaua the United States was granted exclusive rights to enter Pearl Harbor and to establish "a coaling and repair station." Although this treaty continued in force until August 1898, the U. S. did not fortify Pearl Harbor as a naval base. As it had for 60 years, the shallow entrance constituted a formidable barrier against the use of the deep protected waters of the inner harbor; the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884. This treaty was ratified in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy the exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor.. The Spanish–American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision. Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States Navy established a base on the island in 1899.

On December 7, 1941, the base was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy airplanes and midget submarines, causing the American entry into World War II. There was no meaningful plan for the air defense of Hawaii, for American commanders had no understanding of the capabilities and proper employment of air power; as it was, had the Pacific Fleet acted on the war warnings it undoubtedly would have sortied and been at sea on Decembe

Towiemore Halt railway station

Towiemore Halt railway station served the hamlet of Towiemore and its distillery as a private and as a public halt in Moray, from 1937 to 1968 on the Keith and Dufftown Railway. The line was re-opened in 2001 and the station is now a request stop; the Drummuir Lime Kiln Sidings were opened on 1 June 1863, known by 1884 as Botriphine after the name of the parish. The sidings were closed in 1890; the sidings were re-opened on 1 January 1898 as Towiemore. From 1924 distillery workers were able to use a small platform at the site and in 1937 the station opened to the public with its name appearing on the London and North Eastern Railway timetables as Towiemore. Additional sidings were added when the Towiemore Distillery opened, however it closed in 1930, only the maltings being retained, for a time; the station was closed to both passengers and goods traffic in 1968. Only traces of the old platform now remain, it was re-opened in 2001 by the Dufftown Railway on the new heritage line. In 1883 Botriphine Siding signal box opened, closed in 1890 but re-opened in 1895 with the establishment of Towiemore Distillery.

In 1896 the signalbox was replaced with a groundframe. In 1902 the distillery was served by three sidings from the north; the station stood as a wooden platform on the northern side of the single track main line with a short platform and a Great North of Scotland Railway coach body was used as a shelter, etc. The coach body remained in situ until the 1980s when it was purchased by a local farmer and used as a hen house. By 2001 the line had re-opened and a request halt with a short platform and a basic shelter had been built. Towiemore is a regular timetabled request stop for trains during the operating season with three trains a day in each direction. Video footage of the station

TarĊ, Iwate

Tarō was a town located in Shimohei District, Iwate Prefecture in Japan. Today it is part of the city of Miyako; the village of Tarō created on April 1, 1889 within Higashihei District with the establishment of the municipality system. Higashihei merged with Kitahei and Nakahei Districts to form Shimohei District on March 29, 1896. Tarō was raised to town status on April 1, 1944. On June 6, 2005, Tarō, along with the village of Niisato, was merged into the expanded city of Miyako and no longer exists as an independent municipality. In June 2005, the town had an estimated population of 4,679 and a population density of 46.3 persons per km2. The total area was 101.05 km2. The former town is located to the east of the prefectural capital Morioka and to the north of the regional center Miyako with which it has now merged; the area has a rugged coastline to the east, a part of Sanriku ria coast. The main local industry is commercial fishing; the town had been destroyed a number of times due to tsunami incidences all through its history.

An early recorded one was in 1611 in 1896 when 1,859 deaths were recorded, another in 1933, when 911 people died. Due to its history of repeated destruction by tsumanis, two layers of seawalls in the form of an X-shaped structure were constructed; the seawalls had two joined sections forming seaward and landward levees, ran to a total of 2.4 km long. It was known as a Banri no Chojo, Japanese for "Great Wall of China"; the 10 m high seawalls were completed in 1958 after 30 years of work to protect Tarō. The seawalls, which could theoretically stop breaking waves up to 8 metres high, were designed to divert tsunamis to the sides around the town using channels and river dykes. Local municipal agencies carried out annual tsunami drills simulating an emergency. Volunteers would close the seawall residents would go to muster points above the town; the system worked well when a tsunami from the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile struck the town and there was no death reported in Tarō. However, the seawalls failed when tsunami waves with height estimated to be 12 metres to 15 metres high struck Tarō following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Survivors said they saw some residents climb on to the sea defences to watch the approaching tsunami only to be swept away when the waves went over the wall. Many in the town said. A 500 m section of the seaside wall was swept away by the tsunami. Large amounts of concrete debris was scattered in its bay. 181 people were dead or missing with nearly 1,700 houses damaged or destroyed. Four years after the tsunami, on 22 November 2015, a "town opening" ceremony was held in Tarō after the completion of 450 new houses; the new houses were built on higher ground some 40 to 60 meters above the sea level, as well as on ground, raised by about 2 meters. A 14.7-metre seawall was rebuilt by 2017. The population of the town however had dropped around 70 percent of the 2011 level. Official website of Miyako Tarō sea wall before and after the tsunami by NHK Aerial views showing the extent of Tarō's coastal defences before March 2011 Computer graphic showing the effects of the tsunami on Tarō