Today is Lā Kūʻokoʻa ~ the 172nd anniversary of Hawaiian Independence Day. It’s held on November 28 every year and it falls within days of, or even on the same day as, the US Thanksgiving holiday which is the forth Thursday in November.
My post can stand alone here however it was written to follow on from the statement in the description section of my Vimeo video above.
Since the USA has a military occupation happening, of some 120 years, in the region the Hawaiian calendar has been usurped by the USA calendar. This is complete with Veterans Day, Presidents Day, Halloween (that’s not an official day – not that Joe Biden or the White House seem to understand that) and not least of all it’s own Independence Day, the Forth of July.
Here, holidays with gift giving, parades, sweets, fowl, remembrance, nostalgia or fireworks remain the hallmark of occupational propaganda – it’s called Occupation 101 and public holidays are up there with rewriting school history lessons, changing the flags as well as the national oaths and anthems, and of course controlling the media. In Burma the military occupation changed the side of the road for drivers to drive on just to reaffirm in everyone’s consciousness the end of one regime and the beginning of another.
Of course since the islands lost aloha time and were converted to corporate business and tourism time, workers are often working regardless of what the state purports to be of such community and cultural value as to be a holiday.
Of concern surrounding the media’s roll since the Overthrow, it’s important know some background. In the 1890s the chief architect of the Overthrow was Lorrin A. Thurston. He owned the Honolulu Advertiser after purchasing it from Walter Gibson who owned it under the name Pacific Commercial Advertiser. Gibson is a colourful figure who had the ear of King Kalakaua. He talked Kalakaua into commissioning Thomas R. Gould, a sculptor living in Italy, to make a bronze statue of King Kamehameha I at a cost of $10,000. Kalakaua eventually divorced himself from the project and Gibson fled Hawaii and died poor in San Francisco.
Yet the replica copies and the fascinating story of the original art installation being lost at sea live on. The copies seem to appear everywhere like Hollywood pop-culture lapped up by Japanese and Chinese tourists who have no idea that King Kamehameha never looked like that or stood that way. The sculpture copied works portraying Julius Cesar.
Thurston was the rebel traitor and co-conspirator who worked with John L. Stevens and the USA Government in the Overthrow and takeover of the ʻIolani Palace in 1893. Stevens was the USA consulate representative in Honolulu and had marines on the USS Boston sent ashore to abduct the Queen. Once on shore they assembled where King Kamehameha’s statue is on King Street and aimed riffles at the palace.
Thurston and Stevens were both connected to publishing and knew its power. Stevens had published the Kennebec Journal in Maine where Thurston’s parents who were missionaries, came from. Stevens and his newspaper partner, James G. Blaine were both founding members of the Republican Party in Maine. And Blaine had become US Secretary of State by 1892. About that time they corresponded about Hawaiʻi: “The Hawaiian pear is now fully ripe, and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck it” Stevens wrote.
But in a capitalist takeover it’s not so much as it appears, even if one gets to first base in knowing that a coupe or occupation is in place and that remedies are at hand. To the more astute, it may look like the state and military are in control of the media and business, however the reverse is more likely: the media and business control the state and military – and without it ever being noticed thus confusing and complicating the conversation, and hiding the core targets from protest actions and truth-sayers.
The business rebels in Hawaiʻi, otherwise known as Annexationists, and their descendants had their eye on the gem of all gem USA holidays: July 4th. They desired it at every turn of the play. Forth of July was used to proclaim their new “Republic” on the footsteps of the Queen’s palace. A generation later, in the 1950s Lorrin P. Thurston (son of A. Thurston) who was both publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser and Statehood Commissioner, intended Hawaiʻi to become the 50th State on the Fourth of July but it didn’t happen until Admissions Day in 1959, and now holiday every August 21.
However, Mr Thurston did set off a neighborhood and school boy frenzy of celebration on March 12 of that year on news from President Eisenhower that Senate Bill 76-15 and House Bill 323-89 were passed and that statehood was on its way. Thurston was certainly in control of the news and would have likewise been the man behind the Territory sounding off sirens and declaring “AN AUTOMATIC TWO-DAY HOLIDAY!” Yet the public referendum on the Statehood question was not due until June 27.
Only US digestible holidays are included in the local Hawaiian calendar and when they do, they are “State” holidays all invented or otherwise sanctioned after occcupation. The State of Hawai`i now often referred to by locals and politicians alike as the “fake State” is the administration arm of the military regime identified as the occupational enemy in an ongoing act of war – and it is corporations and media that contain the operation.
Today, the Honolulu Star Advertiser is the namesake of the notorious Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin combined. The papers merged in 2010 under Canadian publisher and oil refiner David Holmes Black – Black Press.
Out of thirteen holidays here, three are uniquely Hawaiian-kind holidays:
Prince Kūhiō Day (March 26, declared by the Territorial government in 1949)
King Kamehameha I (June 11, declared first by Kamehameha V in 1871, and then re-invoked by the State of Hawaii in its first year of 1959) and
Statehood Day itself (the third Friday in August)
Of these three, only King Kamehameha I can be said to harken back prior to the occupation. It’s a safe holiday for the state since Kamehameha the Great goes back well beyond the generation of the coupe rebels – and the king’s mythology is well admired as the Kingdom unifier.
Also, the very popular brass replicas of his statue -Caesar look a-likes- are installed on King Street Honolulu, Kapaʻau and Hilo (Big Island), and Emancipation Hall, US Capitol no less (Washington DC) are big attractions. But Kamehameha passes with little funding and fair, not a patch on the original holidays of 1871 which featured carnivals and fairs, foot races, horse races and velocipede races.
Prince Kūhiō Day (which marks his birthday) is a safe state holiday too. It is recognized by the state because the prince submitted to the US overthrow. By 1903 he decided on what he could do in the best interest of the Kanaka Maoli people, or so the story goes. He became a Territorial delegate to Congress in Washington DC.
He did so during the lifetime of Queen Lili’okalani who held out for international law and her nation’s sovereignty well beyond her own life. She died at age 79 in 1917. Prince Kūhiō is acknowledged forging the Hawaiian Homelands Commission while in office in Washington but as the heir to the throw he abandoned it, and with that, the nation, the non-Kanaka Maoli subjects and the whole constitution of material and intellectual property belonging to the kingdom.
He even attempted a Statehood Bill in 1919 which failed. This is probably no surprise since the controlling Annexationists would not support such. They were content having tied-up the Hawaiian Kingdom and at the same time, out of reach here in the Pacific out of Washington DC’s statehood union which stipulated anti-slavery laws and other restrictions.
Prince Kūhiō’s departure is possibly the most decisive of all blood-designation narratives and policies that the USA and state seized on at the time and have not let go of to this day in their intent to confuse and divide a nation. His conduct is contrary to Queen Lili’okalani’s course. She had a the deep regard and understanding for nationhood and the breadth and value of it’s multiethnic people contributing in their own ways. And apart from that she practiced a spirit of aloha that was based in peace, self preservation and humanitarianism which is fast proving to be the path to sustainability and something this generation should identify with and help her finally fulfill.
Prince Kūhiō’s Honolulu statue has equal prominence to surfer Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki. A massive turnover of international tourists are exposed to the man who worked with the USA. By contrast the much more important and beloved figure of Queen Liliʻuokalani has no holiday, and her statue has little prominence and her Waikiki history board is tucked away in the soup end of the Ala Wai Canal. Liliʻuokalani was a thorn, and still is posthumously. Not so strangely, Prince Kūhiō’s statue is actually across from Queen Lili’uokalani’s former estate where some recognition of her would be appropriate. The Pacific Beach Hotel is now on her property.
The Annexationists, now Territorialists were content being isolated from Washington but Statehood did become fact for them because it became imperative as the year 1960 drew near.
That was the year the United Nations would be scrutinizing Hawaiian rule under it’s List of Non-Self Governing Territories. By becoming a state in 1959 the USA and Thurston (P.) evaded the review by having Hawai`i struck off the list. It’s strange how the UN didn’t question this and the history of timely coniving.
Most Hawaiian independence supporters already recognize significant anniversaries of Queen Liliʻuokalani, not one is recognized by the State of Hawaii:
January 17, 1893 – The abduction and ouster of Queen Liliʻuokalani, the theft of a nation
September 2, 1838 – The birth of Queen Liliʻuokalani
November 11, 1917 – The death of Queen Liliʻuokalani
People also recognize the two holidays laid out by King Kamehameha III:
July 31, 1843 – The reinstatement of the Hawaiian Kingdom after a 5 month British occupation
November 28, 1843 – Lā Kūʻokoʻa, Hawaiian Independence Day
Hawaiian Independence Day vs USA Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday
Independence Day is probably the most important of public holidays in the Hawaiian Kingdom calendar since 1843 when King Kamehameha III proclaimed it. But since the USA invasion and occupation the day has been suppressed. The imposed USA Thanksgiving Day holiday overshadows it.
Lā Kūʻokoʻa honours international recognition of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Recognition happened in the Court of London by a joint proclamation of Great Britain and France. Belgium also made a declaration at the time. See the Vimeo video “Part 1 Highlights” of the 2014 concert where Dr Baron Ching gave a brief talk of the independence history.
Interestingly the Thanksgiving national holiday was declared by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The Hawaiian Lā Kūʻokoʻa holiday had been established twenty years earlier.
According to Sarah Sunshine Manning in the aftermath of the Civil War, Lincoln was in need of building national unity and esteem for the country. So Thanksgiving Day and the myth of goodwill between native Americans and European settlers was installed. Yet the slaughter, betrayal and ongoing genocide of the native cultures and nations across the continent were more important facts to acknowledge – then and now. Now, because fundamental native American claims and discriminations are left unreconciled.
Today the Hawaiian independence movement continues. The USA and State of Hawaii continues too to lead the narrative, and impose solutions based on the notion of damages pertaining to “Native Hawaiians” as the full extent of culpability. This internal domestic story disregards the proper international claimant of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and it seeks to demolishes the very entity of recognition that King Kamehameha III and his associates made real. That sovereignty has never been relinquished, it is active.
Sadly, as the Kanaka independence leaders and activists follows the USA narrative, so too, national recognition is forsaken for superficial impressions of race that the occupational forces regurgitate in decade cycles.
The grieved entity, the one of needed recognition and the one foundation of unity upon which Hawaiians can stand together is the national Monarchy: Queen Lili’uokalani, the wealth of the Pacific archipelago and all its people of diversity and creativity being rooted in the local ‘aina.