Not Past It - The Last Queen of Hawaii

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January, 1891 Honolulu in the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The city was abuzz with preparation for the Kings return, triumphal arches decorated with Evergreen and inscribed with joyous Inspirations lined the route from The Wharf to the Palace.


The princess Regent had sent out invitations to a ball to be held on the evening of the arrival of King kalakaua from California.

But when the Islanders spotted the Kings ship, the Charleston sailing in the distance, they were shocked to see it.



Black flag’s word of the flags.

Got back to the King’s sister.

It was reported that the ship Charleston was in sight with yards cock build in token morning.

Telegraph’s began chirping, from high, atop Diamond Head volcano, spreading Grim, rumors to all corners of the island nation on the arrival of the Charleston and Port.


We were officially notified the Fate which we feared must have befallen the king king.

Kalakaua was dead.

The Grand Royal ball turned into a funeral procession and All Eyes turned to the next in line, but not all those eyes were friendly before I had time to collect myself.


A trap was sprung upon me by those who stood, waiting as a wild beast watches for his prey in that moment.

The King’s sister a woman named Lily.

Oh, Kalani, became the first queen of Hawaii.


She didn’t know it yet, but she’d also be the last From gimlet media.

This is not passed it a show about the stories.


We can’t quite leave behind every episode.

We take a moment from that very same week in history and tell you the story of how it shaped our world.

I’m Simone plannin on January 29th, 1891 131 years ago.


This week Queen liliuokalani.

Took the Hawaiian throne.

Her Reign would be one of heart-wrenching turmoil.

As the remote island nation slipped through her fingers into the fists of greedy, newcomers will ride those waves after the break.


Beautiful beaches.

Hula dancing.

HBO’s television.

Hit the White Lotus.

There’s a good chance that if I say Hawaii, those are some of the images conjured in your mind.

But what do you really know about the history of the 50th state Pearl?



Something vague about surfing?

Well, it turns out that, for a long time.

Even the people who grew up there, weren’t taught much more.

Or I should say they were taught much worse as someone who grew up in the public education system here in Hawaii.


The only things we were told about our people and our history were things that were very - that’s hey Lonnie, so no du Palais.

She grew up in Hawaii and is kanaka maoli or descendant of the original peoples and the things that hey, Lonnie was taught about the history of Of her people weren’t just - it was full-blown demonization.


Like for example that we committed infanticide, where we as kanaka maoli used to actually kill our children if they were any birth defects or because we were so lazy, we didn’t want to raise our own children.

We would kill them.

Hey, Lonnie remembers that her school’s curriculum painted, her ancestors as essentially, evil Savage, but Hey Lonnie, these images were turned on their head.


And the early 1990s.

I was taking my first coin, studies course in college.

I was like Wow, you know, we had our own nation and we were we were on the right side of History, you know, contrary to what they’ve made us, think.


All these decades, here’s some of the stuff.

Hey Lonnie’s teachers.

Never told her in 1810 King, Kamehameha officially unified a group of Island farming communities into the Kingdom of Hawaii.

It was an agricultural Paradise, the kanaka maoli, farmed bananas, Taro and sugar sugar that attracted a bunch of new settlers and that’s where essentially the trouble began.


The settlers included missionaries from the United States and Europe and these missionaries when they arrived on the islands, they saw an opportunity, not just to save Souls but also to make money.

And so white, settlers started, flooding in to plant and process sugar.


Within the next five decades, plantations would become a Mainstay of the Hawaiian economy supplying over, 100,000 tons of sugar to the rest of the world.

These commercial Enterprise, has brought New Wealth to the kingdom.


And along with the riches came democracy.

The monarchy introduced a constitutional system that allowed the people to elect representatives to the legislature.

While the royal family remained heads of state.



Now white settlers already had control of much of the island economy, but they also saw an opportunity to control Island politics specifically, they wanted a way out of paying import taxes when they sold sugar to the United States.


All of this brings us to 1887 the king at the time was named.


He’s the king, we told you, About at the top of the show who returned on the ship with the black flags of morning on July 6th, five years, before the king died, a militia of mostly white men approached kalakaua with a proposition sign, a new Constitution, or will kill you.


So the King acquiesced after that Constitution was introduced in 1887.

You did not have to be a citizen to vote.

That’s Edik up Choi historian for Iolani Palace, the main Royal Palace of Hawaii.

She says the new laws expanded voting rights for some people and restricted them for others and because of the income and property requirements had increased, many more native Hawaiians were disenfranchised.


In other words.

If you were a rich white landowner, even if you weren’t a citizen, you could vote.

If you were a native Hawaiian laborer you.

Probably couldn’t these new laws.

Got nicknamed, the bayonet Constitution, because sometimes you gotta call it.


Like, it is the king hated that he’d been forced to do this.

And so, did his sister Lily.

Oh, Kalani.

She was his Heir Apparent and had been kalakaua has right-hand woman for decades.

She’s the real hero of our story, but we’ll get to that.


So, Lily or Kalani, and her brother, the king.

Spent the next four years trying to restore voting rights to their people, but nothing worked.

And when king kalakaua passed away, the white settlers and power saw an opening to take even more control.


One issue though.

They weren’t.

So fond of kalakaua successor the new Queen liliuokalani.

They weren’t going to be able to manipulate her the way they were able to manipulate her brother.

She The be their puppet.


She knew her own mind.

She was going to do what she felt was, correct and responsible.

What was Pono for the community, my personal opinion, their primary concerns was we don’t want to be ruled by a woman.

We don’t want to be ruled by a non Caucasian woman.


So immediately after hearing that the king died, Calico has cabinet, which by this point, was made up of mostly white men who were chummy with the white landowners noticing a theme here.

They called an emergency meeting at Iolani Palace.


The Minister’s called together, the members of the council and when all had taken their seats sent for me.

This is Queen liliuokalani.

Well, not the real queen.

We got a voice actor to read from the Queen’s Memoir that I did not wish to take the oath just then and asked why such proceedings could not be deferred until after my brother’s funeral.


Why the rush while these men wanted to send her a message, she would do what they wanted when they wanted it after she was one ceremoniously sworn in one of the officials made a veiled.

Not so Veiled Threat.


Does he shook my hand?

He said to me, should any of the members of your cabinet propose?

Anything to you say, yes.

But Queen liliuokalani had other plans.


She wanted to overturn the bayonet Constitution following through on what she and her brother had started.

She was bound and determined to do it.

But she wanted to do it the way.

The Constitution said, it could be changed because she didn’t want anybody to be accusing her of treason for a little over a year, Queen liliuokalani focused on peacefully.


And single legislature to change the Constitution.

He is working with a legislative assembly working with a ports, working with other organizations in the community.

She’s operating within the confines of the law.

And while Queen liliuokalani was lobbying the legislature.


Her people, the kanaka maoli were mounting their own resistance campaign.

Xena says, the Hawaiian people had a political tradition of voicing their concerns through petitions.

Real heavy duty legal documents, will legalese language.


Whereas, whereas whereas please do this, because this is how the Hawaiian community and then on Hawaiian Community.

We’re trained to approach the monarchs and trained to approach the legislators use the legal language, the petitions demonstrated overwhelming public support for restoring voting rights, too many kanaka, maoli and Lily, or Kalani encouraged.


I’m by visiting communities across the island nation, but meanwhile the powerful white men were getting even more extreme.


They had a new idea, take over the Kingdom of Hawaii as an American territory.


In other words, Annex, Hawaii and fulfill their long-standing goal to stop paying import taxes and make even more money.

So they ramped up their campaign to undermine.

Mine the queen.

Unfortunately the 1892 legislative assembly which started in January fired, five of her cabinets.


One cabinet served only 46 days, but Lilly.

Oh, Kalani pressed on.

And the summer of 1890 to, she decided to take matters into her own hands and introduced a new constitution through.


What was effectively an executive order.

She planned to present it to her people at Iolani Palace.

Word traveled, fast through the rumor mill or coconut Wireless.

As it’s known on the islands, her enemies caught wind of her plans and response.


They formed an insurrectionist group officially called The committee of safety and they knew there was only one way to get what they wanted.

We’ve got to take action.

We need to get rid of the queen.

After the break Queen liliuokalani prepares to fight for her life for her people and for her kingdom.


Aloha and Mahalo for staying with us before the break.

We dive deep into the world of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

In the late 19th century.

We met Queen liliuokalani who took the throne in the middle of a power.

Grab by Western colonizers, who are basically trying to Annex Hawaii to avoid paying sugar import taxes.


And now Lily.

Oh, Kalani was about to use all her remaining power, to make a change for her people.

So, let’s go to the Lush grounds of Iolani Palace with their official historian zedek up, Choi, it’s January 14th. 1893, hundreds of people showed up on the palace, grounds waiting for her to come out on the Lanai and announced you have a new constitution.


You can now participate in government.

Again, in voting as news of Queen, liliuokalani is new constitution.

Spread members of the pro annexation insurrectionist Committee of safety started spreading their own malicious false rumor that if the new constitution was enacted, white settlers might lose their property or Worse their lives.


So they started stockpiling weapons.

And as much as the queen wanted, the new constitution, she didn’t want any Bloodshed Sita.

Says she made a last-minute decision and went out to Speak to her supporters who gathered outside the palace.


She basically tells them.

I’m not going to be able to do it today.

Go home.

Stay calm.

Stay cool.

We’ll get to it another day.

Everyone went home.

Maybe a little deflated but safe for the committee though.

This was their moment to strike.


So they got in contact with a man who would change Hawaii forever.

His name was John L.


Ends at the time.

He was working for the US Department of State.

As a minister to the kingdom.

His full title was actually Envoy extraordinary and Minister plenipotentiary.


The committee goes to Stevens and they tell him that their lives and property are under threat.

So they approached John L Stevens.

And ask him to ask the captain of the USS Boston, which is import tool and Marines, to protect American lives and Pretty, which were never in Jeopardy.


It was a lie, but it worked on January 16th, two days after Lily or Kalani had planned to unveil her new constitution, the extraordinary plenipotentiary Stevens called in the military more than 150 military personnel.


Unloaded from the USS Boston, which was parked in Honolulu.

So, the US Marines were marching down the street.


They weren’t threatening her.

They were saluting her in the typical military matter.

The United States military lined the Streets between the palace and legislative building called Ali alanna.holloway.


It may not have been threatening, but it was a clear, show of force, the committee seized the moment, and marshaled about 1,000 armed, militia members to sit, outside the capitol laying in.

Wait, to Dethrone the queen for Hold a, the city, waited nervously, businesses were closed and the streets were quiet.


But the next afternoon the tension boiled over it all started when a wagon drove towards the committee’s cam clicking and clacking as it went something about it didn’t sit right with a Hawaiian police officer on duty.


So he pulled it over inside the wagon.

Wagon was a bunch of ammunition when the officer tried to arrest the driver, the driver pulled a gun and shot the officer right in the shoulder.

The militia heard that gunshot and charged.


They stormed a Leo, Lana Holly.

And with that, they made the coup official.

They announced their new government, on the Makai steps of a video Lonnie Holley, which is behind the statue of Kamehameha.

They announced, they are the government of Hawaii.


From the Palace Queen liliuokalani knew her options were limited really there was only one surrender for now.

We do Kalani in order to prevent Bloodshed yield to the superior force of the United States trusting that the president and the United States government will undo what some of her citizens have done.


Now to avoid any Collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life.

I do Under This protest and impelled by said, forces yield my authority until such time as the government of the United States shall upon the facts being presented to it.


Undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority, which I claim as the constitutional.

Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

Meanwhile, the committee of safety settled in they set up their own provisional government, and piled sandbags around the palace to protect themselves.


They looted precious art and crowns and stripped.

Decorations off.

The palace walls, a few weeks later Minister Stevens recommended that the u.s.

Annex Hawaii.

He wrote a letter to President Benjamin, Harrison Secretary of State back in Washington, quote the Hawaiian Perez.


Now fully ripe and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck.

It end quote.

Colonizing and creepy.

Look, anyways, Harrison’s Administration was warming up to the prospect of Hawaiian annexation.


But when Grover Cleveland took office a month later that changed.

Well, kinda President Cleveland was pissed that Minister Stevens.

Had gone Rogue and formally dismissed him from his post.


He then withdrew the annexation treaty that President Harrison’s.

Raishin had supported Cleveland also sent an investigator to Hawaii to get the real story.

The resulting report concluded, the coup was illegal, and they recommended restoring the monarchy.


So Cleveland, kindly ask the committee of safety to cede control back to the queen asked, but never really enforced it.

So it never happened all this time.

The Hawaiian people were waiting with patience.


To hear from the American continent, that Justice was to be done and their constitutional rights restored by the great power to which they had trusted.

But after a year of nothing, the Hawaiian people had enough.


They started making plans to seize back power from the committee by force if necessary.

I told them that if the mass of the native people chose to rise and try to throw off the Yoke, I would say nothing against it.

But I could not approve a mere rioting.


In January of 1895 Lily.

Oh, kalani’s supporters, tried to overthrow the Republic, but things didn’t turn in their favor scores of people were arrested.

And in order to avoid them being executed, the queen officially stepped down, abdicating her throne.


She was tried for treason forced to five years, hard labor, and given a fine equivalent to around 150 thousand dollars today.

Ultimately, the sentence was reduced to just eight months of imprisonment in her Palace.


And that’s how the first queen of Hawaii.

Became the Kingdom’s final Monarch in terms of not knowing our true history.

We were not taught that and that was done on purpose.


That’s hey, Lonnie, so not a pal again.

Remember she was born and raised.

On the island, but never really learned about Lily.

Oh, Kalani until College.

Well, since that time, she’s taken up the Queen’s cause she works for kalehua Hawaii political action committee.


Just one of the group’s carrying on Queen liliuokalani.

He’s fight to restore power to the Hawaiian people.

The sovereignty movement is a movement where we are striving for self.


Burnett’s where we as a people can govern ourselves our own lands and our own Nation.

The ultimate goal is independence.

The path towards that is self-determination.


Queen liliuokalani.

Didn’t just Inspire what they were fighting for.

Hey, Lonnie says, she also showed them how to fight for it.

Queen liliuokalani, Tatar people how to protest.

She said, no violence.

Even faced with the biggest loss, even in the face of evil.


I mean, that’s all I can describe it as Even faced with that, she showed compassion, and she laid the foundation for us to assert our rights in a non-violent way.


She actually did the right thing, you know, if there was a war and we lost and we would have been conquered, you know, so we actually do have tames.

It’s been nearly 130 years since the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and that time the islands became a state in 1959.


But really, that’s the only thing that’s changed by adding the 50th.

And southernmost state with a land area of six and a half thousand miles.

The legislature is still run by big business and the United States still reaps the benefits of occupation.


Something the US government formally acknowledged in 1993.

President Clinton signed a formal letter of apology to the people of Hawaii.

He was apologizing on behalf of the US government for the government’s involvement 100 years ago.

In removing the independent Hawaiian monarchy by force.


And yet still today Americans can travel to Hawaii without a passport.

Slam my ties.

Attend tourist Centric luaus and drunkenly croon to one of Hawaii’s most famous songs one actually written by Queen liliuokalani herself.


It’s called Aloha farewell to thee.

It’s a Melancholy song about parting ways with a friend saying, goodbye to someone.

You love and longing for the day of reuniting until we meet again.


She wrote A fitting tribute for the sentiment of the kanaka maoli still waiting.

Still fighting for her kingdom to be restored.




Not passed it as a Spotify original produced by gimlet and zsp media.

This episode was produced by Julie Carly next week.

A great heroic act by some loyal Furry Friends.

He remembers thinking.


How strange it was that there was a dog team.

That was getting ready to go out in the middle of the night.

That was very odd.

The rest of our team is producer, Sarah Craig and Amy Padula.

Our associate producer is Ramon, Philip.

Lauren Newcombe, is our production assistant.


The supervising producer is Erica Morrison editing by moral Waltz.

Andrea be Scott and Zach Stewart.

Ponte a stark ahiki played.

The voice of Queen liliuokalani in our Recreations, and she sang that beautiful rendition of aloha.


Fact, checking by Jane.

Ackerman sound design and mixing by Hans Dale.

She original music by Sachs kicks, Ave.

Willie Green, Jay blast and Bobby Lord.

Our theme song is Toko, Liana by cocoa with music supervision by Liz Fulton, technical Direction by Zach Schmidt show art by Elysee Harvin and Talia Rahman, the executive producer at CSP media is Zach Stewart Ponte, the executive producer from gimlet is Abbie.


Ruzicka special.

Thanks to Don sang million.

Mayor, the Lily.

Oh, Kalani.

Trust the oh, Lonnie Palace.


Collado, Tami.

Hi, Leo.

Puah Baker, poor Kenny, Kenny Kepler chair and Kepler Joey Baldwin Cate ever.



And to Lydia Pole Green Dan Behar Emily wiedemann list Styles and the Beale cholan pot, follow.

Not past it.

Now, to listen, for free exclusively on Spotify.

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You can follow me on Twitter at Simone.


No, thanks for Hangin.

We’ll see you next week.

Our Queen is even more relevant for us today.

And she’s a symbol of what we were lost.