King Kamehameha IV’s Death

Today in history–November 30, 1863–King Kamehameha IV, also known as Alexander ʻIolani Liholiho, died. During his reign, Liholiho tried to prevent the United States from conquering the Kingdom of Hawaii and established the Queen’s Medical Center with his wife Queen Emma Rooke.

At age twenty-nine, Liholiho died of chronic asthma a year after the death of his son, Prince Albert. Emma was left as a widow and never remarried.

Read more about the Kingdom of Hawaii’s fourth monarch in “Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!”

“Death of His Majesty Kamehameha IV!”
Pacific commercial advertiser, December 3, 1863, Image 2

La Kuokoa o Hawaii Nei: Celebrating the Kingdom of Hawaii’s Independence

Today in history — November 28, 1860 — The Hawaiian Kingdom celebrated La Kuokoa o Hawaii nei. This national holiday commemorated France and the United Kingdom’s recognizing Hawaii as an independent state and “civilized” nation in 1843.

King Kamehameha IV received congratulations from consuls of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Read more about it in “Reception at the Palace.”

“Reception at the Palace”
Polynesian, December 1, 1860, Image 2

Maskers at Moana Hotel

Princess Kawananakoa as Cleopatra

This week in history — 1904 — Hawaii’s elites donned masks and their evening wear at the Healani masquerade at the Moana Hotel. Women with powdered hair dressed in empire gowns, Princess Kawananakoa as Cleopatra, and a couple as King Kamehameha I and Queen Kaahumanu in a black holoku (dress). The governor, his wife, and the British Consul sat in a box for special guests. Read more about it in “Maskers at Moana.”

“Maskers at Moana”
The Pacific commercial advertiser, November 24, 1904, Image 1

100th Anniversary of Jack London’s Death

Today is the 100th anniversary of Jack London’s death. Days before Nov. 22, 1916, the famed American writer was completing a Hawaiian novel. Read about Jack London’s time in Hawaii in “Jack London in Hawaii.”

Jack London in Hawaii

King Kalakaua’s Happy Returns

Happy Birthday David Laʻamea Kalakaua!

Entering the world near the Punchbowl Crater, the last king of Hawaii reigned from February 12, 1874 through January 20, 1891. The “Merrie Monarch” was known for throwing big parties for the entire kingdom and played an instrumental role in reviving Native Hawaiian arts, including hula. After his year-round trip in 1881, Kalakaua became the first king to travel around the world.

Read about how Kalakaua celebrated his fiftieth birthday in “King Kalakaua’s Silver Jubilee.”

King Kalakaua’s Silver Jubilee

The Last Queen of Hawaii Died

Today in history — November 11, 1917 — Queen Liliuokalani died at age seventy-eight on a Sunday morning. Church bells rang in mourning. The Tacoma Times described her last years:

“… she has retired to her beautiful home here surrounded by a few chosen friends. … she has continued, in a limited way, the pomp and ceremony of the days when she was queen.”

Her nephew Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole stayed with her at her bedside.

Read more about it in “Queen Who Wrote Famous ‘Aloha’ Passes to Her Rest.”

“Queen Who Wrote Famous ‘Aloha’ Passes to Her Rest”
Tacoma times, November 12, 1917, Page 5

The Kapiʻolani Home for Girls

Today in history — November 9, 1885 — Queen Kapiʻolani and King Kalakaua dedicated the Kapiʻolani Home for Girls. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser described the scene at the ceremony:

“Prompt at 11 o’clock their Majesties the King and Queen, accompanied by … the Royal Family, .. were received by Vice Chamberlain, the Queen’s own saluting in a soldierlike manner.

“… the royal anthem [was] being played by the [Royal Hawaiian Band].

“… The room was tastefully decorated with palms, evergreen wreaths and flowers. A large picture of Queen Kapiolani … was hung in the center of the room, surrounded by wreaths.”

For the next fifty-three years, this charity would help daughters of leprosy victims.

Read more about it in “Kapiolani Home.”

“Kapiolani Home: Formal Dedication of the Building by Her Majesty the Queen”
Pacific commercial advertiser, November 10, 1885, Image 2

Emperor Meiji’s Birthday

Today in history — November 4, 1910 — The Japanese in Hawaii celebrated Japanese Emperor Meiji’s birthday. Japanese people dressed in brand new, bright kimonos. Japanese flags were seen on thousands of Japanese houses. In the evening, Consul General Uyeno hosted a reception. Read more about it in “Japanese and Honolulu Friends Celebrate the Birthday of the Emperor.”

“Japanese and Honolulu Friends Celebrate the Birthday of the Emperor”
Hawaiian gazette, November 4, 1910, Image 1

Gas Lights Up Hawaii for the First Time

Today in history–November 2, 1858–Hawaii’s first gas lights lit up a billiard saloon in downtown Honolulu for the first time. The Polynesian noted the gas light’s benefits over previous lighting technology:

“The preference of gas light over every other artificial light consists not only in its greater convenience, purity and brilliancy, but also in this, that its use greatly diminishes the risk of losses by fire and thus has a great influence on the insurance of buildings.”

Read more about it in “Hawaii’s First Gas Lights.”

Hawaii’s First Gas Lights