Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – HB 2475, which honors an important chapter in the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, has been approved by the 2022 Legislature. HB 2475 recognizes July 31st of each year as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, a day that will remember the accomplishments of King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III and his role in restoring Hawaiian rule to the islands after a British coup while also honoring contributions made by upstanding members of the Hawaiian community.
This is the first time in state history that the Legislature is recognizing a holiday established during the Hawaiian monarchy. Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea will be designated a special day of observance.
In 1840, the British Ambassador to Hawaii along with a Captain in the British Royal Navy raised the union jack in the capitol to symbolize they had unilaterally taken control of the islands. In response, Kauikeauoli dispatched diplomatic envoys to explain their case to the Court of Queen Victoria which ultimately sided with the Hawaiians. Admiral Richard Thomas would later be dispatched to Hawaii, where he would remove the ambassador and the captain and the Hawaiian flag would then once again be raised, righting the wrongs that had been committed. To commemorate this positive outcome for his kingdom, Kauikeauoli established the date of restoration as its first national holiday.
The historical event has been remembered and celebrated informally by communities large and small since the mid-1980s.
The bill’s introducer, Representative Mark Nakashima (District 1 - Hamakua, North & South Hilo) who is chair of the House’s Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs committee said, "Some of the things we know as common place today are due to the events of Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea. This includes the state’s motto and the creation of Thomas Square in Honolulu. I believe that by writing this historic day into modern law it will serve as an ever-present and enduring opportunity for Hawaiians and the rest of the people of Hawaii to learn of the Hawaiian past and make personal connections with each other in the process.”
“From Hamakua to Honolulu and other places near and far Hawaiians have made great efforts to preserve the memory of this day. While they clearly do not need it, it is only right that soon Hawaiians will have an official banner of recognition from the state under which they can celebrate this momentous occasion,” said Rep. Nakashima.
HB 2475, HD 1, SD 1, CD1 is being sent to the Governor to be signed into law.