Shipwreck Landing at Niihau

Today in history — February 26, 1896 — A schooner from San Francisco got shipwrecked on the reefs of the French Frigate Shoals, an atoll northwest of the Hawaiian islands. The crew evacuated into four boats with five to six men each, and the first one landed on Niihau and encountered people:

The captain and one of the men went over towards a beachhouse … on the beach near … the landing and found a native woman in the boat-house, who got quite astonished at seeing the two white men. They tried to talk to the woman but she did not understand a single word of English. Her husband, who was fishing, … turned up … but … he did not understand any English either…

Read more about it in “Ship Wrecked Sealers.”

“Ship Wrecked Sealers”
Evening bulletin, March 2, 1896, Image 1

The Lanai Earthquake

Today in history — February 19, 1871 — The Lanai Earthquake rocked Hawaii with a magnitude of 6.8 at 10:11 p.m. This earthquake caused the most damage to buildings of all recorded Hawaii earthquakes. An “attentive” correspondent wrote about experiencing the earthquake:

“[The earthquake] commenced with a dull roaring noise, accompanied by a violent rocking of the earth, increasing to a louder roar and a lively rattle of things generally, and finally subsided with a low rumbling sound. … my house was fearfully shaken. The vibrations were from south to north.

Read more about the earthquake’s effects in “The Earthquake on Molokai.”

“The Earthquake on Molokai”
The Pacific commercial advertiser., March 04, 1871, Image 3

Valentine’s Day in 1916

Valentine’s Day in 1916 meant afternoon and evening parties in Honolulu. Read about it in “Many Valentine Parties in Celebration of Happy Day.”

“Many Valentine Parties in Celebration of Happy Day”
Honolulu star-bulletin, February 14, 1916, SPORTS, CLASSIFIED AND SHIPPING, Page 12, Image 4

King Kalakaua’s Ascension

Today in history — February 12, 1885 — Kalakaua became the King of Hawaii. During a couple of the anniversaries of his reign, instead of celebrating at home, King Kalakaua was traveling in the U.S. Mainland or on the Pacific Ocean to Yokohama, Japan. Read more about what he did during these anniversaries in “God Save the King.”

“God Save the King”
The Pacific commercial advertiser., February 12, 1885, Image 2

King William Charles Lunalilo’s Death

Today in history — February 3, 1874 — King William Charles Lunalilo died in his bedchamber, surrounded by the royal family. After his death, wailings were heard across Hawaii. The next night, hundreds of people gathered at Lunalilo’s home. Read more about it in “Death of the King.”

“The Death of the King”
Pacific commercial advertiser, February 7, 1874, Image 2