Friday Filosophy v.06.10.2022
A Brief History of the Hawaiian Islands
- 1,500 years ago: Polynesians arrive in Hawaii after navigating the ocean using only the stars to guide them.
- 1778: Captain James Cook lands at Waimea Bay on the island of Kauai, becoming the first European to make contact with the Hawaiian Islands. Cook names the archipelago the “Sandwich Islands” after the Earl of Sandwich. A year later, Cook is killed at Kealakekua Bay on the island of Hawaii.
- 1790: The Battle of Kepaniwai was fought between forces from the island of Hawaii and Maui.
- 1795: Battle of Nuuanu takes place on the southern shores of Oahu. It was a key battle in Kamehameha’s campaign to unite the islands.
- 1795-1874: The Kamehameha dynasty reigns over Hawaii.
- 1810: Kamehameha I unites the Hawaiian Islands. – See comments at the end.
- 1819: Liholiho, son of Kamehameha, defies the tradition of men and women eating separately during a feast, which leads to the abolishment of the kapu (taboo) system.
- 1820: The first missionaries arrive in Hawaii.
- 1820-1845: Lahaina was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom
- 1835: The first sugar plantation opens on Kauai. The Hawaiian Islands garner recognition for their prime agricultural land. Agriculture becomes a dominant economic force.
- 1836: The “King’s Band,” is created by King Kamehameha III, becoming a staple of daily life. The band, presently called the “Royal Hawaiian Band,” continues to entertain audiences in Hawaii and around the world today.
- 1830s-1848: The Great Mahele Kamehameha III sought to keep the land in Hawaiian hands by adopting a western allodial system with a new system that would divide the land into thirds – one-third to the Hawaiian crown lands, one-third to the chiefs, and one-third to the people. In the end, the people received less than 1% as the law required land claims to be filed within two years under the Kuleana Act and many Hawaiians made no claim. This was largely because ownership of land was not a common concept.
- 1845: Honolulu becomes the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom
- 1850s: With Hawaii’s plantation production on the rise, a need for more labor is realized. The first workers are recruited from China. Workers also make their way to the islands from Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Portugal.
- 1874: William Charles Lunalilo dies leaving no heirs. The Kamehameha dynasty comes to an end. David Kalakaua is elected as Lunalilo’s successor.
- 1878: Lydia Kamakaeha (later Queen Liliuokalani) pens “Aloha ‘Oe”
- 1881: King Kalakaua becomes the first monarch in history to circumnavigate the globe.
- 1882: Iolani Palace, the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchs, is completed. The Palace was ahead of its time outfitted with the most up-to-date amenities, before even the White House and Buckingham Palace, including the first electric lights in Hawaii, indoor plumbing and even a telephone.
- 1887: The 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii is signed stripping King Kalakaua and therefore the Hawaiian monarchy of much of its authority, empowering the legislature and cabinet of the government. This became known as the Bayonet Constitution due to the force used to gain the King’s cooperation.
- 1889: Joseph Kekuku from Laie, Oahu invents the steel guitar. He later moves to the US Mainland to share his music with the rest of the world. Steel guitar becomes incredibly popular with country music and is still heard today.
- 1891: King David Kalakaua dies and Queen Liliuokalani takes the throne.
- 1893: The overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii begins. Queen Liliuokalani is placed under house arrest at Iolani Palace in Honolulu.
- 1898: Hawaii is annexed by the United States through the Newlands Resolution.
- 1900: The Organic Act establishes the Territory of Hawaii.
- 1901: The first Waikiki hotel, The Moana Hotel, opens on March 11. The resort is affectionately named “The First Lady of Waikiki.”
- 1917: Queen Liliuokalani, the last sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, passes away.
- 1941: On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Oahu during World War II.
- 1945: On September 2, 1945, Japan signs its unconditional surrender on the USS Battleship Missouri. Although the signing didn’t take place in Pearl Harbor, the ship is now part of museum and memorial complex at Pearl Harbor, offering activities and tours to visitors from all over the world
- 1959: August 21, 1959 – After a popular vote, Hawaii becomes the 50th State of the United States of America.
- 1966: Don Ho releases his signature song, “Tiny Bubbles.” The album makes the Billboard Top 20 and stays in the charts for nearly a year. His music and style become synonymous with Hawaiian leisure.
- 1978: The Hawaii State Constitutional Convention makes Hawaiian the state’s official language (the only state in the U.S. with a non-English official language).
- 1980: Hawaii becomes the home of the NFL Pro Bowl when the AFC-NFC all-star game lands in Oahu’s Aloha Stadium. The Pro Bowl is hosted in Hawaii for 26 years, until 2017 when it moved to Orlando, FL.
- 1990: Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes located on the island of Hawaii, erupts sending lava through the town of Kalapana. While it destroyed the town, it also created a new coastline that extends nearly 1,000 feet farther into the Pacific Ocean.
- 2009: Senator Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. Obama, who was the first African American to have served as president, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- 2011: Hawaii hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
- 2013: The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage begins. The four-year voyage covered over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites. The mission was to take Hawaii’s iconic cultural sailing canoe Hokulea around the world and her sister canoe Hikianalia around the Pacific and the Hawaiian Islands, to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage sought to engage all – practicing how to live sustainably, while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other.
- 2017: Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage completes its journey.
The Story of King Kamehameha I
A great warrior, diplomat and leader, King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810 after years of conflict. Kamehameha I was destined for greatness from birth. Hawaiian legend prophesized that a light in the sky with feathers like a bird would signal the birth of a great chief. Historians believe Kamehameha was born in 1758, the year Halley’s comet passed over Hawaii.
Given the birth name Paiea, the future king was hidden from warring clans in secluded Waipio Valley after birth. After the death threat passed, Paiea came out of hiding and was renamed Kamehameha (The Lonely One). Kamehameha was trained as a warrior and his legendary strength was proven when he overturned the Naha Stone, which reportedly weighed between 2.5 and 3.5 tons. You can still see the Naha Stone today in Hilo.
During this time, warfare between chiefs throughout the islands was widespread. In 1778, Captain James Cook arrived in Hawaii, dovetailing with Kamehameha’s ambitions. With the help of western weapons and advisors, Kamehameha won fierce battles at lao Valley in Maui and the Nuuanu Pali on Oahu. The fortress-like Puukohola Heiau on the island of Hawaii was built in 1790 prophesizing Kamehameha’s conquest of the islands. In 1810, when King Kaumualii of Kauai agreed to become a tributary kingdom under Kamehameha, that prophecy was finally fulfilled.
Kamehameha’s unification of Hawaii was significant not only because it was an incredible feat, but also because under separate rule, the Islands may have been torn apart by competing western interests. Today, four commissioned statues stand to honor King Kamehameha’s memory. Every June 11th, on Kamehameha Day, each of these statues are ceremoniously draped with flower lei to celebrate Hawaii’s greatest king.
Downtown Honolulu, Oahu
The most recognized Kamehameha statue stands in front of Aliiolani Hale (the judiciary building) across from lolani Palace and a short walk from the eclectic art galleries and restaurants of Chinatown. Dedicated in 1883, this was actually the second statue created after the ship delivering the original statue from Europe was lost at sea.
Kohala, Island of Hawaii
The original statue was miraculously recovered and in 1912, the restored statue was installed near Kamehameha’s birthplace at Kapaau on the island of Hawaii. Visit North Kohala to see some of Hawaii’s most sacred places like Puukohola Heiau
National Statuary Hall, Washington D.C
In 1969, the third Kamehameha statue was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall where statues of historic figures from all 50 states are on display. A statue of Molokai’s Saint Damien joins the Kamehameha I statue in this amazing collection of art.
Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Hilo was Kamehameha’s first seat of government and the statue of Kamehameha, dedicated in 1997 at Wailoa State Park, is the tallest of the four statues at fourteen feet. Hilo is also home to the Naha Stone, which a young Kamehameha was said to have overturned in a feat of incredible strength. Legend said that whoever had the strength to move the Naha Stone would rule the Hawaiian Islands. Today, the Naha Stone is located in front of the Hilo Public Library.
The Time is Now.