No School: Prince Kūhiō Day Observed in Hawaii
- No School: Prince Kūhiō Day Observed in Hawaii
HISTORY OF PRINCE KUHIO DAY
Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole was a prince of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi until 1893 when it was overthrown by a coalition of American and European businessmen. He later went on to become a representative in the Territory of Hawaii as a delegate to the United States Congress, and as such is the only member of Congress ever born into royalty.
Prince Kuhio, as he’s usually called, was also named the Prince of the People, and is well known for his efforts to preserve and strengthen the Hawaiian people. He was born on March 26, 1871, and was named heir after being adopted by his maternal aunt, Queen Liliuokalani in 1884. He studied in California and at the Royal Agricultural College in England, and was 24 years old when he joined the Royalist uprising against the new republic in 1895, eventually leading to his capture and conviction of treason.
On September 1, 1902, Kuhio decided to join the Republican Party and was nominated as their candidate for Congress. Kūhiō was then elected delegate to the U.S. Congress as a Republican, winning 10 consecutive elections thereafter.
In 1918, Kuhio founded the first Hawaiian Civic Club and facilitated the passing of the women’s suffrage bill alongside New England suffragist Almira Hollander Pitman, and in 1919, he introduced the first-ever Hawaii Statehood Act. In 1920 he pushed forward a bill to provide homesteads for native Hawaiians, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, and it was passed in 1921. He also introduced another bill to make Hawaii a fully-fledged state, and it became the 50th state in 1959.
Kūhiō died on January 7, 1922, and a holiday was created to honor him in 1949. Prince Kuhio Day is now celebrated annually on his birthday, March 26.