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Pacific Heartbeat: Under A Jarvis Moon

Airs Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: "Under A Jarvis Moon" documents the clandestine U.S. mission which sent young Hawaiian men (pictured) to occupy tiny, isolated Pacific islands during the early years of World War II.

Running the gamut from enlightening documentaries to musical showcases, the anthology series PACIFIC HEARTBEAT journeys into the heart, mind and soul of Pacific Island culture.

Hawaiian colonists, American citizens, Kamehameha school graduates, Jarvis group 1937 - young Hawaiian men sent to occupy tiny, isolated Pacific islands during the early years of World War II.
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Above: Hawaiian colonists, American citizens, Kamehameha school graduates, Jarvis group 1937 - young Hawaiian men sent to occupy tiny, isolated Pacific islands during the early years of World War II.

A group of colonists take a photo with the American flag on Howland Island, June 18, 1936.
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Above: A group of colonists take a photo with the American flag on Howland Island, June 18, 1936.

"Under A Jarvis Moon" is the story of 130 young men from Hawaii who, from the late 1930s through the early years of World War II, were part of a clandestine mission by the U.S. federal government to occupy desert islands in the middle of the Pacific.

The first wave of these colonists were Hawaiian high school students, chosen because government officials assumed Pacific Islanders could best survive the harsh conditions present on the tiny, isolated islands.

For the young men, who were unaware of the true purpose of their role as colonists, what ensued is a tale of intrigue, courage, and ultimately, tragedy.

Amazingly, these men (four of whom are still alive) are only now being recognized for their sacrifice, and efforts are underway for the United States to officially acknowledge them for serving their country.

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is on Facebook.

Video

Series Preview: Pacific Heartbeat

Above: PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is a new anthology series that provides viewers a glimpse of the real Pacific—its people, cultures, languages, music, and contemporary issues.

Video

Under A Jarvis Moon: Amelia Earhart

Video

Hui Panalaau

Above: This short video tells the unusual story of 130 young men from Hawaii, most of them native Hawaiian, sent to occupy small uninhabited atolls located in the middle of the Pacific between Hawaii and Australia, from 1935 to 1942. Travel back in time to the remote Pacific through photographs, archival footage, and interviews with the men and their families. This video was part of a larger exhibit from the Bishop Museum dedicated to the men of Hui Panalaau, to their contribution and the sacrifices they made throughout the seven years occupation of these remote islands in the Equatorial Pacific.

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