Jules Tavernier: The Volcano Artist

Today in history — April 27, 1844 — Hawaiian volcano artist Jules Tavernier was born in Paris, France. Although he lived only his final five years in Hawaii, Tavernier painted as the most significant artist in Hawaii’s Volcano School (non-native Hawaiian artists who painted night scenes of Hawaii’s erupting volcanoes).
Beyond the jagged cliffs of Kilauea Volcano, the Halemaumau lava lake’s orange red glow illuminates the night (left image). Above, smoke shrouds the lake, and a full moon peeks behind grayish black clouds.

To paint this picture, in 1887, Jules Tavernier (1844-1889) made a grueling one-to-two day journey on horseback up to Kilauea’s peak.

Although the English French artist spent less than five years in Hawaii, Tavernier is considered the most significant artist in Hawaii’s Volcano School … Read more

Jules Tavernier: The Volcano Artist
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/jules-tavernier-the-volcano-artist/


Sinking of the Titanic

Today in history — April 15, 1912 — “Iceberg straight ahead!”, exclaimed a sailor on the RMS Titanic, the infamous cruise ship. Regardless of whether the quote from the movie Titanic was actually said, the sailors on the real RMS Titanic did spot an iceberg while sailing on the North Atlantic Ocean at 11:40 p.m.

Ironically, had the ship continued its course and hit the iceberg, the ship would have stayed afloat. However, the sailors instead tried to dodge the iceberg by turning the ship. But because it was sailing too quickly, the ship hit the iceberg, its fatal blow.

The more-than-2,000 passengers felt the “thud,” which made coffee and tea in the dining halls spill on tablecloths, stain women’s dresses, and interrupted conversations. However, the sailors did not alert the passengers. Feeling safe, they continued to enjoy their parties and went to bed after.

However, hours later, the passengers woke up to a sinking ship filling with water. To save themselves, they wore life vests, ran, swam for their lives in freezing seawater, and evacuated into lifeboats while hearing the calm, soothing music of a string quartet.

But the British passenger liner did not have enough lifeboats because planners thought the ship was too strong to sink. And after the ship sank, many of the lifeboats still had room for more passengers, but alas, the ship was not evacuated early enough. Thus, more than 1,300 people died early April 15, 1912. Read more about one of the worst maritime disasters of history in “Sinking of the Titanic”!

“Sinking of the Titanic”
http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/titanicsinking.html


Emil Melville’s Balloon Ride

Up, up and away! This month in history–March 1889–before airplanes, hot-air balloons were becoming popular.

In Hawaii, Emil Melville would attempt the first human flight and first manned ascent on a balloon, perform acrobatic stunts, and hang from a trapeze.

How did Mr. Melville’s attempt go? Find out by reading “Emil Melville’s Balloon Ride.”

https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/emil-melvilles-balloon-ride/


First Public Airport

Today in history–March 21, 1927–Hawaii’s first official civilian airfield, John Rodgers Airport, was dedicated. It was renamed Honolulu International Airport and became among the busiest U.S. airports with over 21 million passengers per year.

Read more about how people Hawaii traveled in “Trans-Pacific Travel.”

Trans-Pacific Travel
https://hdnpblog.wordpress.com/historical-articles/trans-pacific-travel/


St. Patrick’s Day in Honolulu

Today in history — St. Patrick’s Day 1914 — You didn’t need to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; you just needed to enjoy toasting to Saint Patrick.

On this day, Honolulu’s elites held and attended parties, which included green decorations, alcohol for toasting, food, and music. In these parties, people could be seen giving toast to Saint Patrick, and people singing Irish-themed songs (e.g. “My Dear Old Irish Mother”) and an orchestra playing could be heard. In fact, even the governor of Hawaii, Lucius Pinkham, attended a party and gave a brief toast. Read more about it in “Good Irish and True Meet at St. Patrick’s Eve Banquet.”

“Good Irish and True Meet at St. Patrick’s Eve Banquet”
Honolulu star-bulletin, March 17, 1914, Page 7
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1914-03-17/ed-1/seq-7/


King Kalakaua’s Silverware for Sale

This month in history — March 1916 — King Kalakaua’s silver knife and spoon and other “Hawaiian trinkets” were seen at a Los Angeles grocery window. The flatware was reportedly engraved with the monarch’s coat of arms.

Twenty-three years before after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893, royal heirlooms were sold off. Their whereabouts were unknown, and they included furniture, jewelry, fine China, sterling flatware, and paintings.

Read more about it in “Trinkets from Hawaii in Los Angeles Store Delight Street Goers.”

“Trinkets from Hawaii in Los Angeles Store Delight Street Goers”
Honolulu star-bulletin, March 22, 1916, Page 4
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1916-03-22/ed-1/seq-4/


Passing of Sans Souci Hotel

This month in history — February 1900 — one of Hawaii’s first hotels, the Sans Souci Hotel closed. Famed author Robert Louis Stevenson lived here during his stay in Hawaii.

As the owner supported the Hawaiian monarchy, conspirators met here to plan the 1895 counter-revolution against the Provisional Government.

Read more about its closure in “Passing of Sans Souci.”

“Passing of Sans Souci”
Hawaiian star, February 5, 1900, Page 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015415/1900-02-05/ed-1/seq-3/