The last ruler of the Hawaiian monarchy, Lydia Paki Kamakaeha Liliuokalani (1838-1917) was deposed on this day in 1893 by a revolt of American businessmen who were led by Stanford Dole and helped by the U.S. Marines.
Born in Honolulu, Queen Liliuokalani learned to write music as a child. An accomplished musician, she played the piano, organ, ukulele, and guitar, and was an expert in sight-reading music.
"I was a studious girl," she explained. "Knowledge has been a passion with me during my whole life, one which has not lost its charm to the present day."
After the death of her brother, David Kalakaua, she became queen in 1891, inheriting a throne weakened by unrest. Many wanted U.S. annexation. Before she was overthrown, Liliuokalani tried, against impossible odds, to establish a new constitution, which restored power to the monarchy.
"I yield to the superior force of the United States," she explained. "To avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life."
In 1895, she was placed under house arrest for eight months at Iolani Palace for her alleged knowledge of a plot to restore the monarchy. While imprisoned, she found comfort in her music and wrote songs and celebrated the steadfast love of her heritage.
"(Aloha oe, aloha oe)," she wrote in her famous song. "One fond embrace, until I return... Until we meet again."
E onipa`a...i ka `imi na`auao"
(Be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge).