The Ouija Board

Ouija was a craze in the US from 1890 until the late 1920’s, and newspapers reported on it’s use as a means to communicate with the dead, predict catastrophes, and solve mysteries.

Its popularity grew tremendously with newspaper stories about Pearl Curran, a St. Louis housewife who held Ouija talks with the ghost of a 17th-century New England literary figure named Patience Worth. Mrs. Curran went on to publish Patience’s short stories, which were met with much critical acclaim.

Read more about it in the Ouija Board topic guide.

Ouija Board Topic Guide

Memorial Day

With flags flying at half-mast, tombstones decorated with wreaths and bouquets, and processions of the bereaved paying their respects at national cemeteries, ceremonies honoring fallen soldiers take place across the country. First observed in 1865 to commemorate soldiers who died during the Civil War, Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day) was later extended to honor all American military personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice in all wars.

Read more about Memorial Day in this topic guide.

Memorial Day/Decoration Day Topic Guide

Prince Albert’s Birthday

Today in history — May 20, 1858 — Prince Albert Kamehameha was born, entering the world with much fanfare. A salute of twenty-one guns fired. Children visited Prince Albert with gifts, including a baby carriage and silk flags. People raised flags and put up colorful streamers. It was hoped that the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Hawaii would continue the Kamehameha dynasty as king.

Read more about Prince Albert Kamehameha.

Prince Albert Kamehameha

Father Damien’s Arrival in Hawaii

This week in history — May 10, 1873 — Father Damien and his bishop arrived at Kalaupapa, where leprosy victims lived in exile. Taking care of the community for the rest of his life, Father Damien encouraged the community to follow basic laws, constructed buildings and coffins, constructed a water system, planted trees, encouraged the government to provide more resources for the leprosy victims, and boosted people’s morale. The Belgian missionary priest’s selflessness made him famous internationally.

Read more about leprosy in Hawaii in this topic guide.

Leprosy Topic Guide

Mothers’ Day in Honolulu

In 1916, Mothers’ Day in Honolulu meant men giving sweet pea bouquets to their mothers, church services observing Mothers’ Day in their sermons, and people wearing white flowers. Read more about it in “Mothers’ Day Observed with Tender Tribute.”

“Mothers’ Day Observed with Tender Tribute”
Honolulu star-bulletin., May 15, 1916, 3:30 Edition, Page FIVE, Image 5

May Day in Hawaii

Today in history — May 1, 1902 — Students from Royal School, Kamehameha School, Oahu College (Punahou School), and Kawaiahao Seminary sang in celebration of May Day. Boys from Kamehameha School sang Hawaiian melodies accompanied by orchestral music, and girls wore white dresses. School children in Lahaina, Maui, celebrated May Day by performing the maypole march, raising the flag, and singing songs. Read more about it in “The May Day Concert” and “May Day at Lahaina.”

“The May Day Concert” and “May Day at Lahaina”
The Hawaiian star., May 02, 1902, Page SEVEN, Image 7