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Hawaii Travel --> History --> Hawaiian Monarchy --> Royal Family --> Rulers --> Kalakaua Dynasty --> King David Kalakaua

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King David Kalakaua

Articles and information about King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. Includes the dates of his birth and death, when he ruled as king, and some of the highlights and notable events during his reign.

King David Kalakaua



Facts About King David Kalakaua
Born: November 16, 1836
  • Wife: Queen Kapiolani
  • Descended from the Keaweaheulu line
  • Ruled from February 12, 1874 until his death in 1891
  • Died: January 20, 1891
  • Full Name: David Laamea Kamanakapuu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalakaua

    How he Became King
    When King Lunalilo died after only a year as king, the Hawaiian legislature considered appointing Dowager Queen Emma as the new ruler of Hawaii, but they ended up selecting David Kalakaua, a descendant of King Kamehameha I, instead. Queen Emma and her supporters were not pleased with the choice, because they felt her lineage was more royal then Kalakaua's.

    Trade Reciprocity Treaty of 1876
    King Kalakaua traveled to U.S. to secure a reciprocity treaty to eliminate U.S. tariffs. The agreement was implemented in 1876 and it led to an expansion of sugar industry and a high demand for laborers, causing spike in Hawaii's population of immigrants from all over the world.

    The Death of King Kalakaua
    King Kalakaua died of kidney disease in 1891, while he was visiting San Francisco. He is buried at the Mauna Ala Royal Mausoleum at 2261 Nuuanu Avenue in Honolulu.

    More About King Kalakaua
  • At the time he ascended the thrown in 1874 there were fewer then 48,000 Hawaiians. he was proud of his people and their heritage and his motto was "Hooulu Lahui" which has been translated as "Increase the Race" or "Let the Hawaiian Race Flourish".
  • King Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapiolani traveled a great deal of the time, all over the world, and while he was away, his sister, Queen Liliuokalani ruled as regent. In 1881 he embarked on a trip around that world that included visits to the heads of state of many different countries.
  • He was known for establishing new orders and for bestowing awards of merit on Hawaiian subjects and foreigners. During his travels he exchanged orders with heads of state, and those exchanges were symbolic of their friendship and respect
  • King Kalakaua established a warm bond between Kingdom of Hawaii and Japan when he presented the Royal Order of Kalakaua to his Japanese interpreter, Seigo Nagasaki during a visit to Japan in 1881. That royal order medallion was presented to the Bishop Museum by Takeo and Sueko Morimura and today it is Item 1992.375.001a in the museum collection.
  • During his 1881 trip to Japan King Kalakaua presented the Royal Order of Kalakaua to his official Japanese interpreter, Seigo Nagasaki. That royal order medallion was given to the Bishop Museum by Takeo and Sueko Morimura (item 1992.375.001a in the museum)
  • The Iolani Palace was built during his reign. It took three years to build and it was completed in 1882. A coronation ceremony for him was performed on the grounds of the new Iolani Palace on February 12, 1883.
  • He composed the lyrics for the song "Hawaii Ponoi"

    Inventions by King Kalakaua
    In addition to being known as an intelligent and distinguished gentleman, scholar, musician, and composer, King Kalakaua was also an inventor. he invented an improved double screw and an improved bottle stopper and cover in 1872 and he proposed a new type of fish ram in 1875.

    The Bayonet Constitution
    King Kalakaua tried to increase the power of the Hawaiian monarchy and this angered many foreigners, who intimidated Kalakaua into accepting a new constitution, known as the "Bayonet Constitution". That constitution stripped the king of his power, and gave foreigners the right to vote in Hawaiian elections. In 1889 a man named Robert Wilcox led a revolt against the new constitution. The uprising was put down, but Robert Wilcox became a hero to many Native Hawaiians. At his conspiracy trial he was found not guilty by an all-Hawaiian jury.

    Awards, Memorials, and Honors
  • Merrie Monarch Festival King Kalakaua Profile
  • Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Ukulele Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Waikiki King Kalakaua Statue (Standing)
  • Hilo King Kalakaua Statue (Sitting)
  • Waikiki's Kalakaua Avenue was named in his honor

    Books About King Kalakaua
  • Kalakaua: Hawaii's Last King
  • David Kalakaua

    See also:
  • Rulers of the Hawaiian Kingdom
  • The Hawaiian Royal Family



  • Related Links
    The Hawaiian Monarchy - Main Menu
    Islands of Hawaii
    Hawaii for Visitors

    Elsewhere on the Web
    Wikipedia David Kalakaua Article
    Honolulu Advertiser 2006 King Kalakaua Article
    King Kalakaua's 1881 Visit to Siam
    Aloha Hawaii King David Kalakaua Article



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