National Holiday – Restoration Day

Today is July 31st which is a national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom called “Restoration day,” and it is directly linked to another holiday observed on November 28th called “Independence day.” Here is a brief history of these two celebrated holidays.

Kam IIIIn the summer of 1842, Kamehameha III moved forward to secure the position of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a recognized independent state under international law. He sought the formal recognition of Hawaiian independence from the three naval powers of the world at the time—Great Britain, France, and the United States. To accomplish this, Kamehameha III commissioned three envoys, Timoteo Ha‘alilio, William Richards, who at the time was still an American Citizen, and Sir George Simpson, a British subject. Of all three powers, it was the British that had a legal claim over the Hawaiian Islands through cession by Kamehameha I, but for political reasons the British could not openly exert its claim over the other two naval powers. Due to the islands prime economic and strategic location in the middle of the north Pacific, the political interest of all three powers was to ensure that none would have a greater interest than the other. This caused Kamehameha III “considerable embarrassment in managing his foreign relations, and…awakened the very strong desire that his Kingdom shall be formally acknowledged by the civilized nations of the world as a sovereign and independent State.”

PauletWhile the envoys were on their diplomatic mission, a British Naval ship, HBMS Carysfort, under the command of Lord Paulet, entered Honolulu harbor on February 10, 1843, making outrageous demands on the Hawaiian government. Basing his actions on complaints made to him in letters from the British Consul, Richard Charlton, who was absent from the kingdom at the time, Paulet eventually seized control of the Hawaiian government on February 25, 1843, after threatening to level Honolulu with cannon fire. Kamehameha III was forced to surrender the kingdom, but did so under written protest and pending the outcome of the mission of his diplomats in Europe. News Admiral Thomasof Paulet’s action reached Admiral Richard Thomas of the British Admiralty, and he sailed from the Chilean port of Valparaiso and arrived in the islands on July 25, 1843. After a meeting with Kamehameha III, Admiral Thomas determined that Charlton’s complaints did not warrant a British takeover and ordered the restoration of the Hawaiian government, which took place in a grand ceremony on July 31, 1843. At a thanksgiving service after the ceremony, Kamehameha III proclaimed before a large crowd, ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono (the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness). The King’s statement became the national motto.

The envoys eventually succeeded in getting formal international recognition of the Hawaiian Islands “as a sovereign and independent State.” Great Britain and France formally recognized Hawaiian sovereignty on November 28, 1843 by joint proclamation at the Court of London, and the United States followed on July 6, 1844 by a letter of Secretary of State John C. Calhoun. The Hawaiian Islands became the first Polynesian nation to be recognized as an independent and sovereign State.

The ceremony that took place on July 31 occurred at a place we know today as “Thomas Square” park, which honors Admiral Thomas, and the roads that run along Thomas Square today are “Beretania,” which is Hawaiian for “Britain,” and “Victoria,” in honor of Queen Victoria who was the reigning British Monarch at the time the restoration of the government and recognition of Hawaiian independence took place.

8 thoughts on “National Holiday – Restoration Day

  1. I’m a semantic-nut case. The 28th of November is our international recognition of the Hawaiian Kingdom independence. Often people will say, it’s our Independence Day and leave it as such. This alludes that we were dependent on someone else. I feel we need to clarify it more; such as, Recognition of Independence Day or Declaration of Independence Day; rather than just Independence Day. I prefer using Recognition of Independence Day in describing our actual stance. Today’s mind-set would connote breaking away from another country to gain our independence. How about The Sovereign independence Day? lol Am I splitting hairs? I am looking at psychological affectation.

  2. I was just watching the evening news story regarding John Kerry coming to Oahu on August 13. We need to organize now and all Hawaiian Patriots need to join together at the East West Center and demand an answer to Dr. Crabbe’s letter. We need every one who showed up to testify at the DOI hearings, to all come together on August 13 to speak with ONE voice. This will also be a huge media opportunity for us to get the TRUTH of our HAWAIIAN KINGDOM out in the American media. I believe it is crucial for us utilize this opportunity. We all testified that we want the State Dept. to address the continuity of the Hawaiian Kingdom under international law. If we can amass a few thousand of us at the East West Center at UH to demand an answer from Secretary Kerry, the American media will be all over it, and the more we can educate the better. Ku’e a me Onipa’a

      • Iolani it was on KITV last night, and it’s also in State Depts website in the press release section. He will be giving a speech at the East West Center at UH about pacific relations. I’m trying to find out the scheduled time now.

        • Great idea! It would be wonderful to have a turn out like the DOI meetings or better. After all he is the man to answer the questions. I wish I could be there on Oahu.

          I do find it coincidental that his appearance in the islands, comes on the heels of a potential hurricane(s).
          How would that play out? Showing up after a devastaing disaster (I hesitate to use the word natural) providing relief to the people living in Hawaii? Anyone wishing to demand answers to Dr. Crabbe letter, in light of the disaster, might not be viewed as realistic? or worse. Definitely, something to ponder.

          As far as a hurricane being created, can anyone say “cloud seeding”. I admit to being a little of a conspiracy theorist, however not believing everything you are told, or read comes with being a Hawaiian Subject in 2014.

          Wish everyone the best, but no worry Akua get us.

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