Aloha, McKenna here. Yesterday was the 174th birthday of Queen Lili’uokalani. For you mainlanders, or those that might be history-challenged, the Queen was Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. Her reign ended on January 17, 1893 when a group of European and American businessmen orchestrated the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government. Two weeks later, Hawaii was declared a protectorate of the United States.
Queen Lili’uokalani was also a composer and an author. Aloha Oe’ is one of her most popular and well-known songs. It’s almost a sure thing that a visitor to Hawaii will hear the song at least once during a trip.
From her unhappy marriage to the overthrow of her government to her arrest on weapons charges several years later, the Queen seems to have had the cards stacked against her. In the end, however, she left a legacy of grace and dignity by declaring in her will that all of her possessions and property be sold and the proceeds used to create the Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Trust to help orphaned and indigent children.