The Genesis of the Honolulu Fire Department

This week in history–December 27, 1850–King Kamehameha III established the Honolulu Fire Department. Famous firefighters would include modern baseball inventor Alexander Cartwright and King David Kalakaua.

Read more about it in “The Genesis of a Fire Department.”

The Genesis of a Fire Department
Pacific commercial advertiser, November 28, 1909, Image 9
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047084/1909-11-28/ed-1/seq-9/

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Hawaiian Islands for Sale?

This month in history — December 1854 — King Kamehameha III was rumored to offer to sell the Hawaiian islands to the United States. The price: a pension of $300,000 (about $7.5 million today) per year. The Grand River Times from Michigan’s newspaper commented,

That these islands will eventually be incorporated into our Union is beyond a question, but not on such exorbitant and indefinite terms.–There is a possibility, if not a probability, that the heir ‘apparent’ may live fifty years, and it is scarcely to be supposed that our Government would lay itself liable to give him twelve times the salary of the President during this period.

Read more about this rumor in “Purchase of the Sandwich Islands.”

“Purchase of the Sandwich Islands”
Grand River times, December 20, 1854, Image 1
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85026466/1854-12-20/ed-1/seq-1/

Tribute to the Last Hawaiian Monarch

100 years ago today — November 11, 1917 — Queen Liliuokalani died. Dressed in a holoku of borcaded duchesse satin trimmed with rose-point lace, her body rested in state on a yellow-draped koa table in Kawaiahao Church. Hundreds of people went to pay tribute to Hawaii’s former head of state.

Read more about it in “Body of Hawaii’s Queen Rests in State.”

“Body of Hawaii’s Queen Rests in State”
Honolulu star-bulletin, November 13, 1917, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1917-11-13/ed-1/seq-2/


Marriage of Liliuokalani & John Dominis

Second couple from left: Lydia Paki, future Queen Liliuokalani, and John O. Dominis

Today in history — September 16, 1862 — Miss Lydia K. Paki, the future Queen Liliuokalani, married John O. Dominis:

Married — Dominis–Paki — In Honolulu, Tuesday evening, Sept. 16, at the residence of Chas. R. Bishop, Esq., by Rev. S. C. Damon, John O. Dominis, Esq., to Miss Lydia K. Paki.

Liliuokalani’s wedding
Pacific commercial advertiser, September 18, 1862, Image 2
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015418/1862-09-18/ed-1/seq-2/


Prince Consort John Dominis’ Death

Today in history — August 27, 1891 —  the husband of Queen Liliuokalani, John Dominis died. Read more about the Royal Governor of Oahu and Prince Consort in “A Second Sorrow.”

“A Second Sorrow: Death of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort”
The Daily bulletin, August 28, 1891, Image 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1891-08-28/ed-1/seq-3/


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/