Anniversary of the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i

January 17th is an historic day for many in Hawaiʻi as it marks the 120th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  On January 17 1893, 13 men, with the help of the United States Marines, overtook the Palace and imprisoned the Queen.  President Cleveland proclaimed that this was an act of war on the part of the United States and that it needed to be corrected.  However, Hawaiʻi was annexed through domestic law during President McKinley’s term and the Spanish-American War.  This is a sad day for many and a day not to forget for all.  Below are clips related to Hawaiian Sovereignty and the Overthrow.

Jon Osorio, First Friday

Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, HKG Pilot Project Collection

Jon Osorio appears on First Friday to explain Hawaiian history from the Bayonet Constitution to the overthrow.  In this clip he discusses the Bayonet Constitutions which King Kalākaua was forced to sign under duress.  The constitution disenfranchised many Native Hawaiians and Non Native citizens.

Hawaiian Rights March, First Friday

Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, HKG Pilot Project Collection

The 1970s and 1980s saw a re-emergence of Hawaiian Culture and activism for Hawaiian Rights and Sovereignty.  Protests and land occupations were happening around the islands which developed into the formation of Hawaiian organizations.  On the 100th anniversary of the overthrow, the largest demonstration and march in the history of Hawaiʻi took place at the Palace. Hawaiians and supporters gathered to assert their rights at this historic and political site.  This episode of First Friday features clips from the march and participants from Ka Lāhui o Hawaiʻi, one of the largest sovereignty groups in the islands.

Posted by Koa Luke


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