Losing a Kingdom

Today in history — August 12, 1898 — people gathered at Iolani Palace to celebrate the “U.S. annexation” of Hawaii. U.S. troops came ashore from Honolulu Harbor. But Queen Lili’uokalani was nowhere to be seen.

Instead, dressed in black in the Washington Place mansion, she and her family members and loyalists mourned losing their Kingdom, as she explained to newspaper reporter Alice Rix in an interview:

Alice Rix: “I thought perhaps you would go away—into the country.”

Queen Lili’uokalani: “Why? I came here to be near my people—to show them how to meet this. It has come upon us together—you understand? Together. I am not alone. My people lose their country; they lose their identity. Should I run away and shut my eyes and my ears when so many of them had to remain here in their homes? My home is also here, in Honolulu [Washington Place]. It gives us all courage to think of others. I remembered my people this day and they remembered me. We bore our trouble together. I did not leave my house….”

Read more about it in “How the Ex-queen Passed the Twelfth of August.”

“How the Ex-queen Passed the Twelfth of August.”
The San Francisco call, August 28, 1898, Image 17
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1898-08-28/ed-1/seq-17/


Princess Kaiulani’s Home Destroyed by Fire

Today in history — August 2, 1921 — a fire burned the late Princess Kaiulani’s home–Ainahau. An automatic gas heater next to a former kitchen ignited the fire. Film producer W. F. Adrich and his wife Peggy were residing in the Waikiki house, previously a hotel.

While the house is gone today, the location still honors Princess Kaiulani with the stone bench she sat on with writer Robert Louis Stevenson, a small triangular park, a bronze statue of her in the park, and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel.

Read more about the house in “Ainahau, Historic Old Landmark, Is Burned.”

“Ainahau, Historic Old Landmark, Is Burned”
The Garden Island, Aug. 9, 1921, P. 8
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015411/1921-08-09/ed-1/seq-8/


Liliuokalani Hosting a Reception in Washington, D.C.

This month in history —  July 1902 — Liliuokalani hosted a musicale and reception at the Ebbitt House in Washington, D.C. Guests included representatives and senators. Large palms and flowers decorated the rooms, and the orchestra played Hawaiian music.

Read more about this reception in “Music and Song for Her Invited Guests.”

“Music and Song for Her Invited Guests”
Hawaiian gazette, July 29, 1910, Page 7
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062245/1902-05-29/ed-1/seq-7/


Alcohol Prohibition in Hawaii

This month in history — July 1910 — voters in Hawaii decided whether Hawaii should start a prohibition on alcohol. Liquor sellers campaigned against the proposal and gave voters rides to the polls. The Hawaiian Gazette said, “The liquor people spent money like water–or booze–to get out their voters.” At every polling site, representatives of liquor interests monitored the votes, pressuring all voters to vote “no.”

Read more about the proposed prohibition in 1910 in “How the Vote Was Brought In.”

“How the Vote Was Brought In”
The Hawaiian gazette, July 29, 1910, Page 7, Image 8
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1910-07-29/ed-1/seq-8/


Queen Kapiolani’s Funeral

This month in history — July 4, 1899 — Queen Kapiolani’s funeral. Flowers and kahili decorated Kawaiahao Church, and it was “crowded to its utmost.” To the organ’s melody, choirs sang solemn funeral selections such as Handel’s Largo.

To read more about the funeral of King Kalakaua’s wife, read “Passing of the Queen Dowager.”

The Hawaiian gazette, July 5, 1899, Image 1
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1899-07-05/ed-1/seq-1/


King Kamehameha IV Marries Emma Rooke

Today in history–June 19, 1856–King Kamehameha IV married Emma Rooke. In a ceremony conducted in both Hawaiian and English, they exchanged their vows in front of 3,000 people and did something different:

“The kneeling of the royal bridegroom and his bride before the altar and exchanging their vows before the audience was so different from the simple custom usually observed here in marriage…”

Read more about this wedding in the article “Marriage: Of His Majesty Kamehameha IV.”

“Marriage: Of His Majesty Kamehameha IV”
Pacific commercial advertiser, July 2, 1856, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015418/1856-07-02/ed-1/seq-2/


The Conversion of Iolani Palace to a Government Building

This week in history — June 1893 — the Provisional Government converted Iolani Palace from a Hawaiian royalty residence to a government building.

A few months after the overthrow, Iolani Palace was now called the “Executive Building” for the Republic of Hawaii. Government offices moved in, redesigned the interior, and auctioned off the furniture and furnishings:

The old carved table upon which the bodies of the Kamehamehas were laid out after death was seen standing in the walk on the Ewa side of the building. It was tabu to the natives around the premises, and none of them would go near it or touch it. They did not seem to have the same fear of the tabu lately laid upon ‘the ex-queen’s palace’ by the kahunas to keep the haoles out …

Read more about it in “At the Capitol.”

The Hawaiian gazette, June 6, 1893, Page 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1893-06-06/ed-1/seq-3/