King Kalakaua’s Somber Birthday

Happy Birthday, King Kalakaua! Today in history–November 16, 1917–Honolulu quietly observed his birthday while mourning the death of his sister Queen Liliuokalani. Kalakaua might be no more, but the “Merry Monarch’s” legacy through hula and boat races live on.

Read more about it in “King Kalakaua’s Birthday Today.”

“King Kalakaua’s Birthday Today”
Honolulu star-bulletin, Nov. 16, 1917, Page 2


Tribute to the Last Hawaiian Monarch

100 years ago today — November 11, 1917 — Queen Liliuokalani died. Dressed in a holoku of borcaded duchesse satin trimmed with rose-point lace, her body rested in state on a yellow-draped koa table in Kawaiahao Church. Hundreds of people went to pay tribute to Hawaii’s former head of state.

Read more about it in “Body of Hawaii’s Queen Rests in State.”

“Body of Hawaii’s Queen Rests in State”
Honolulu star-bulletin, November 13, 1917, Image 2

Prince Kuhio Ordered to Leave

This week in history – November 1903 — Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole and his wife were  asked to leave a theatre box because he was a “negro.” Read more about it in “Kuhio Ordered from Theater Box.”

“Kuhio Ordered from Theater Box”
Pacific commercial advertiser, November 14, 1903, Page 8, Image 9

Halloween in Palama

In 1912, Halloween in Palama meant attending a party with two-thousand people of all ages.

The carnival in the gymnasium featured a “fish pond” of prizes, shoot the chutes, and pie-eating and apple-eating contests. Kids dressed in costumes: clowns, ghosts, and witches.

Read more about it in “2,000 People in Halloween Party at Palama.”

“2,000 People in Halloween Party at Palama”
Honolulu star-bulletin, November 01, 1912, Page 5

Following a Friend to Death

Would you follow your friend to death? Elizabeth Stevenson did during the funeral of her friend’s, Margaret Jerome Healy.

By Margaret’s open grave, as the last few words of the funeral service was being said, Elizabeth passed away: “Mrs. Stevenson’s heart, which has been weak, was unable to stand the tension of emotion and dropped quietly.”

The Hawaiian Gazette wrote about Elizabeth’s death in “Dies Beside Open Grave…” “Read more about it!”

“Dies Beside Open Grave…”
Hawaiian gazette, February 6, 1912, Image 1

Princess Kaiulani’s Birthday

Today in history — October 16, 1895 — Princess Victoria Ka’iulani celebrated her twentieth birthday in England, where she was studying abroad, surrounded by her friends and her father Archibald Scott Cleghorn. The Independent proclaimed,

For several years the alii has been absent from her native country, but although out of sight, she has never been out of the minds of her countrymen, and the many foreign residents in Hawaii nei, whose loyalty cannot be extinguished by ill-treatment, starvation, and threats from the interlopers who have turned her country topsy turvy.

Read more about Kaiulani’s birthday in “1875-1895.”

The Independent, October 16, 1895, Image 2

Lawsuit for Second-Class Cruise with Asians

Want to cruise with second-class denizens called Asian people? In 1900, 142 Caucasian ship passengers sued for $20,000 because they paid for first-class accommodations, but instead got second-class with the “Asiatics.”

Their lawyer Mr. Reardon attested their horror:

These … American citizens … nearly all [of them were] residents of this State, were treated worse than cattle while on the Rio de Janeiro …

Those Caucasian passengers boarded at Nagasaki, Japan, en route from Hong Kong to the United States–Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.

… the men discovered that they had been assigned to the Asiatic steerage and were herded in with Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos and other denizens of the unsavory quarter. …

The Chinese and Japanese are not noted for their observation of sanitation and the condition of the Americans who were forced for a long ocean voyage to heard with the Asiatics became pitiful. Some of the men were made very ill from the fumes of … the opium smokers and the foul air of the close quarters; and not a man escaped severe attacks of dysentery, caused by the polluted drinking water, while three of them contracted typhoid fever.”

Read more about it in “Forced to Stay in the Steerage.”

“Forced to Stay in the Steerage: White Passengers Herded with Asiatics on the Rio de Janeiro”
Independent, Dec. 26, 1900, Image 2