Saturday, July 04, 2009


History that should not—and will not—disappear: July 4, 1894

by Larry Geller

On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was declared, with Sanford B. Dole as president. The illegal overthrow of the independent nation of Hawaii was complete.

Yes, although your daily paper may want you to forget this, it is not news that should be ignored. There’s even a federal law confirming the truth of the history they refuse to print.

From the Apology Resolution, United States Public Law 103-150:

Whereas, in a message to Congress on December 18, 1893, President Grover Cleveland reported fully and accurately on the illegal acts of the conspirators, described such acts as an "act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress", and acknowledged that by such acts the government of a peaceful and friendly people was overthrown... President Cleveland further concluded that a "substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair" and called for the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Whereas, the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a plebiscite or referendum.

A treaty of annexation was never passed by Congress, and President Grover Cleveland withdrew the treaty. Then on this day in history…

On July 4, 1894, the archipelago's new leaders responded to this rebuff by proclaiming a Republic of Hawaii, with Sanford Dole as president. Under its constitution, most legislators would be appointed rather than elected, and only men with savings and property would be eligible for public office. This all but excluded native Hawaiians from the government of their land… [From Overthrow, a book by Stephen Kinzer]

What was the motivation? Need you ask? Why is the US in Iraq?From the Washington Post review of Overthrow:

As Stephen Kinzer tells the story in Overthrow, America's century of regime changing began not in Iraq but Hawaii. Hawaii? Indeed. Kinzer explains that Hawaii's white haole minority -- in cahoots with the U.S. Navy, the White House and Washington's local representative -- conspired to remove Queen Liliuokalani from her throne in 1893 as a step toward annexing the islands. The haole plantation owners believed that by removing the queen (who planned to expand the rights of Hawaii's native majority) and making Hawaii part of the United States, they could get in on a lucrative but protected mainland sugar market. Ever wonder why free trade has such a bad name?

If you’re not familiar with Hawaiian history, beware of websites that have chosen to re-write it. The true picture of the overthrow is not pretty, nor can the acts of the US government be justified or whitewashed. Google cautiously.

Let your children know that there is more to July 4 than barbeques and fireworks. It is a holiday that tears people apart here in Hawaii. See how you can work this history into your celebrations and festivities, so that it will never disappear.



Thanks Larry - for bringing up this sensitive subject on your site.

There are many of us kanaka maoli who continue to work for the "correct" resolution of the result of the u.s.'s rendition of "Manifest Destiny" upon the people, culture and government of the Hawaiian Kingdom that continues to exist.

After all, there was no "treaty of annexation" or a plebiscite by the people affected.

The continuing occupation of Hawai'i by military forces of the u.s. will someday stop - with the restoration of the "rightful" Hawaiian government.

Patriots to render real justice - including me - will never quit.

Don't forget the plight of Texas. It was also illegally annexed via a joint resoultion of Congress and not a treaty. When Texans asserted their independence in 1861, the US invaded and imposed a military occupation on the Texan people which exists to this day. Both Texas and Hawaii are not part of the Union and await the rightful restoration of their governments. Neither history should disappear.

The genius of Kamehameha III was that Hawai'i joined the Nations of the world, with many international Treaties. Hawai'i is a Nation among Nations. I am not sure Texas was....but I'll certainly look into it. Perhaps, as Senator Ron Paul says Texas believes in a free association with the other 49 states and can by choice withdraw. Now, however, the US Federal Government would intervene-maybe overstepping it's bounds? Nevertheless, I do see Hawai'i as unique as an occupied Nation which has it's own Constitution (1864), criminal laws, embassies (90 in her hay-day)....Mahalo

I'm not up on Texas history. The Spanish were there, etc., but wasn't Texas a northern province of Mexico? So it would not have been a nation among nations.

Every situation seems different. Hawaii deserves to have its uniqueness recognized.

Texas was a independent republic from 1836 to 1846. It was recognized by other nations, had treaties, and had embassies. It was also illegally annexed by a Joint Resolution of Congress just like Hawaii. Larry, your comments above indicate you want to make Texan history dissappear. Do some research and make a post about this. The USA has been playing the illegal occupation game for a long time.

M, I wouldn't want to make Texas history disappear. I should have done my Googling before posting the comment. Thanks for correcting me.

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