HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds gathered at Iolani Palace on Thursday to commemorate 126 years since the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
The overthrow happened on Jan. 17, 1893.
After imprisoning Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, a group of American businessmen set up a provisional government with the support of the U.S. minister and military troops.
Queen Liliuokalani protested and asserted herself as the constitutional sovereign of Hawaii, eventually leading to an investigation that ended nearly a year later with President Grover Cleveland acknowledging the overthrow was a “substantial wrong” committed to a friendly nation.
Cleveland urged Congress to repair the United States' relationship with the Hawaiian Kingdom, but instead members passed a resolution to annex Hawaii.
On Aug. 12, 1898, the Hawaiian flag was lowered at Iolani Palace and replaced with the American flag.
A century after the overthrow, in 1993, President Bill Clinton apologized for the overthrow with a formal acknowledgement and resolution. That same year, more than 10,000 people flooded the streets for a march and rally much like the one that’s planned Thursday.
While much has changed over the last 26 years, Thursday’s overthrow commemoration comes as Native Hawaiians continue to fight for rights. Leaders within the Native Hawaiian community are calling for increased land rights, cultural preservation and recognition.
The observance began with traditional Hawaiian protocol at the Royal Mausoleum at Maunaala and then a large procession to Iolani Palace. T
The Royal Order of Kamehameha, other Native Hawaiian societies and hundreds of students also presented hookupu for offering before ending the Peace March on the Palace grounds.
The event at Iolani Palace is called “Onipaa Kakou,” which means “We Are All Steadfast”. Organizers say it’s as much about remembrance as it is recognition.