Kalakaua
Overview
 
Kalākaua, born David Laamea Kamanakapuu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch (November 16, 1836 – January 20, 1891), was the last reigning king of the Kingdom of Hawaii
Kingdom of Hawaii
The Kingdom of Hawaii was established during the years 1795 to 1810 with the subjugation of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, Kauai and Niihau by the chiefdom of Hawaii into one unified government...

. He reigned from February 12, 1874 until his death in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, on January 20, 1891.
Kalākaua was the second surviving son of his father High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaakea
Kapaakea
Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaakea was a Hawaiian chief who was the patriarch of the House of Kalākaua that ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii during the last of its days.-Biography:...

 and his mother High Chiefess Analea Keohokālole
Keohokalole
Analea, Ane or Annie Keohokālole was a Hawaiian chiefess and matriarch of the Kalākaua Dynasty that ruled Hawaii from 1874 to 1893.-Life:...

. He was the older brother of Moses, James Kaliokalani, Lydia Kamakaeha, Anna Kaiulani
Anna Kaiulani
Anna Kaiulani was a noble member of the House of Kalākaua during the Kingdom of Hawaii. Two of her siblings became ruling monarchs.-Life:She was born in 1842 to the High Chiefess Analea Keohokālole and the High Chief Caesar Kapaakea...

, Kaiminaauao
Kaiminaauao
Kaiminaauao was a Hawaiian princess by adoption to Queen Kalama and King Kamehameha III. She died of the measles at the age of four. She was a member of the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua ....

, Kinini, Miriam Likelike, and William Pitt Leleiohoku II.
His name Kalākaua translates into "The Day [of] Battle" and refers to the unequal treaty imposed by British Captain Lord Edward Russell
Lord Edward Russell
Admiral Lord Edward Russell CB MP was a British naval officer and Whig politician.-Early life:He was the son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford and his second wife Lady Georgina Gordon-Career:...

 of the Actaeon
HMS Actaeon (1831)
HMS Actaeon was a 26-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.-Career:Actaeon was designed in 1827 by the School of Naval Architecture, and launched from Portsmouth Dockyard on 31 January 1831...

on Kamehameha III
Kamehameha III
Kamehameha III was the King of Hawaii from 1825 to 1854. His full Hawaiian name was Keaweaweula Kiwalao Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa and then lengthened to Keaweaweula Kiwalao Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa Kalani Waiakua Kalanikau Iokikilo Kiwalao i ke kapu Kamehameha when he ascended the throne.Under his...

 on the day of his birth.
Although he was promised in hānai to Kuini Liliha
Kuini Liliha
Kuini Liliha was a High Chiefess in the ancient Hawaiian tradition and served the Kingdom of Hawaii as royal governor of Oahu island. She administered the island from 1829 to 1831 following the death of her first husband.-Early life:...

, Kaahumanu II
Kaahumanu II
Princess Kalani Ahumanu i Kaliko o Iwi Kauhipua o Kīnau, also known as Elizabeth Kīnau was Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom of Hawaii as Kaahumanu II, Queen regent and Dowager Queen.-Life:...

 gave her to the high chiefess Haaheo Kaniu and her husband Kinimaka instead.
Haaheo died in 1843; she bequeathed all her properties to him.
His guardianship was entrusted in his hānai father, who was a chief of lesser rank; he took Kalakaua to live in Lahaina.
Encyclopedia
Kalākaua, born David Laamea Kamanakapuu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch (November 16, 1836 – January 20, 1891), was the last reigning king of the Kingdom of Hawaii
Kingdom of Hawaii
The Kingdom of Hawaii was established during the years 1795 to 1810 with the subjugation of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, Kauai and Niihau by the chiefdom of Hawaii into one unified government...

. He reigned from February 12, 1874 until his death in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, on January 20, 1891.

Early life

Kalākaua was the second surviving son of his father High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaakea
Kapaakea
Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaakea was a Hawaiian chief who was the patriarch of the House of Kalākaua that ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii during the last of its days.-Biography:...

 and his mother High Chiefess Analea Keohokālole
Keohokalole
Analea, Ane or Annie Keohokālole was a Hawaiian chiefess and matriarch of the Kalākaua Dynasty that ruled Hawaii from 1874 to 1893.-Life:...

. He was the older brother of Moses, James Kaliokalani, Lydia Kamakaeha, Anna Kaiulani
Anna Kaiulani
Anna Kaiulani was a noble member of the House of Kalākaua during the Kingdom of Hawaii. Two of her siblings became ruling monarchs.-Life:She was born in 1842 to the High Chiefess Analea Keohokālole and the High Chief Caesar Kapaakea...

, Kaiminaauao
Kaiminaauao
Kaiminaauao was a Hawaiian princess by adoption to Queen Kalama and King Kamehameha III. She died of the measles at the age of four. She was a member of the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua ....

, Kinini, Miriam Likelike, and William Pitt Leleiohoku II.
His name Kalākaua translates into "The Day [of] Battle" and refers to the unequal treaty imposed by British Captain Lord Edward Russell
Lord Edward Russell
Admiral Lord Edward Russell CB MP was a British naval officer and Whig politician.-Early life:He was the son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford and his second wife Lady Georgina Gordon-Career:...

 of the Actaeon
HMS Actaeon (1831)
HMS Actaeon was a 26-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.-Career:Actaeon was designed in 1827 by the School of Naval Architecture, and launched from Portsmouth Dockyard on 31 January 1831...

on Kamehameha III
Kamehameha III
Kamehameha III was the King of Hawaii from 1825 to 1854. His full Hawaiian name was Keaweaweula Kiwalao Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa and then lengthened to Keaweaweula Kiwalao Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa Kalani Waiakua Kalanikau Iokikilo Kiwalao i ke kapu Kamehameha when he ascended the throne.Under his...

 on the day of his birth.
Although he was promised in hānai to Kuini Liliha
Kuini Liliha
Kuini Liliha was a High Chiefess in the ancient Hawaiian tradition and served the Kingdom of Hawaii as royal governor of Oahu island. She administered the island from 1829 to 1831 following the death of her first husband.-Early life:...

, Kaahumanu II
Kaahumanu II
Princess Kalani Ahumanu i Kaliko o Iwi Kauhipua o Kīnau, also known as Elizabeth Kīnau was Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom of Hawaii as Kaahumanu II, Queen regent and Dowager Queen.-Life:...

 gave her to the high chiefess Haaheo Kaniu and her husband Kinimaka instead.
Haaheo died in 1843; she bequeathed all her properties to him.
His guardianship was entrusted in his hānai father, who was a chief of lesser rank; he took Kalakaua to live in Lahaina. Kinimaka would later remarry Pai, a Tahitian woman, who treated Kalakaua as her own until the birth of her own son.

When Kalākaua was four, he returned to Oahu
Oahu
Oahu or Oahu , known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast...

 to begin his education at the Chiefs' Children's School. At the school, Kalākaua became fluent in English and the Hawaiian language
Hawaiian language
The Hawaiian language is a Polynesian language that takes its name from Hawaii, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the state of Hawaii...

. He began studying law at the age of 16. His various government positions, however, prevented him from fully completing his legal training. Instead, by 1856, the young Hawaiian was a major on the staff of King Kamehameha IV
Kamehameha IV
Kamehameha IV, born Alexander Iolani Liholiho Keawenui , reigned as the fourth king of the Kingdom of Hawaii from January 11, 1855 to November 30, 1863.-Early life:...

. He had also led a political organization known as the Young Hawaiians; the group’s motto was "Hawaii for the Hawaiians." In addition to his military duties, Kalākaua served in the Department of the Interior and, in 1863, was appointed postmaster general.

1872 election

King Kamehameha V
Kamehameha V
aloghaKamehameha V , born as Lot Kapuāiwa, reigned as monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1863 to 1872. His motto was "Onipa`a": immovable, firm, steadfast or determined; he worked diligently for his people and kingdom and was described as the last great traditional chief...

, the last monarch of the Kamehameha dynasty
House of Kamehameha
The House of Kamehameha , or the Kamehameha Dynasty, was the reigning family of the Kingdom of Hawaii between the unification of the islands by Kamehameha I in 1810 and the death of Kamehameha V in 1872...

, died on December 12, 1872 without naming a successor to the throne. Under the Kingdom's constitution, if the King did not appoint a successor, a new king would be appointed by the legislature.

There were several candidates for the Hawaiian throne. However, the contest was centered on two high-ranking alii, or chiefs: William C. Lunalilo and Kalākaua. Lunalilo was more popular, partially because he was a higher-ranking chief than Kalākaua and was the immediate cousin of the Kamehameha V. Lunalilo was also the more liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 of the two—he promised to amend the constitution to give the people a greater voice in the government. Many believed that the government should simply declare Lunalilo as the king. Lunalilo, however, refused to allow this to be done and insisted that everyone in the kingdom should take part in an election for the office of the king.

Kalākaua published a proclamation written in a Hawaiian poetic style. Here is an excerpt:


"O my people! My countrymen of old! Arise! This is the voice!"

"Ho! all ye tribes! Ho! my own ancient people! The people who took hold and built up the Kingdom of Kamehameha."

"Arise! This is the voice."

"Let me direct you, my people! Do nothing contrary to the law or against the peace of the Kingdom."

"Do not go and vote."

"Do not be led by the foreigners; they had no part in our hardships, in gaining the country. Do not be led by their false teachings."


Kalākaua was much more conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 than his opponent, Lunalilo. At the time, foreigners dominated the Hawaiian government. Kalākaua promised to put native Hawaiians back into the Kingdom's government. He also promised to amend the Kingdom's constitution.

On January 1, 1873, a popular election was held for the office of King of Hawaii. Lunalilo won with an overwhelming majority. The next day, the legislature confirmed the popular vote and elected Lunalilo unanimously. Kalākaua conceded.

Reign as King

Lunalilo died on February 3, 1874, and Kalākaua was elected to replace him, supported by the legislature although many of the populace, mainly the native Hawaiian and British subjects in the Kingdom, preferred Queen Dowager Emma
Queen Emma of Hawaii
Queen Consort Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonālani Naea Rooke of Hawaii was queen consort of King Kamehameha IV from 1856 to his death in 1863. She ran for ruling monarch against King David Kalākaua but was defeated....

, who stood against him.

Upon ascending the throne, Kalākaua named his brother, William Pitt Leleiohoku, as his heir, putting an end to the era of elected kings in Hawaii.

Kalākaua began his reign with a tour of the Hawaiian islands. This improved his popularity. In December 1874, Kalākaua sent representatives to the United States to negotiate a reciprocity
Reciprocity (international relations)
In international relations and treaties, the principle of reciprocity states that favours, benefits, or penalties that are granted by one state to the citizens or legal entities of another, should be returned in kind....

 treaty to help end a depression that was ongoing in Hawaii. In November, Kalākaua himself traveled to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to meet President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

. An agreement was reached and the treaty was signed on January 30, 1875. The treaty allowed certain Hawaiian goods, mainly sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 and rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, to be admitted into the United States tax-free.

During the early part of Kalākaua's reign, the king made full use of his power to appoint and dismiss cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

s. King Kalākaua believed in the hereditary right of the alii to rule. Kalākaua continually dismissed cabinets and appointed new ones. This drew criticism from people of the "Missionary Party" who wanted to reform Hawaiian government based on the model of the United Kingdom's constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 where the monarch had very little real power over the government but had a position of great dignity and was the head of state. The party believed the legislature should control the cabinet ministers rather than the king. This struggle continued throughout Kalākaua's reign.
In 1881, King Kalākaua left Hawaii on a trip around the world to study the matter of immigration and to improve foreign relations. He also wanted to study how other rulers ruled. In his absence, his sister and heir, Princess Liliuokalani, ruled as regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 (Prince Leleiohoku, the former heir, had died in 1877). The King first traveled to San Francisco where he was given a royal welcome. Then he sailed to the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 where he met with the Meiji Emperor. He continued through Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 China, Siam
History of Thailand (1768-1932)
Rattanakosin Kingdom is the fourth traditionally counted kingdom of Thailand. It was founded in 1782 with the establishment of Bangkok as the capital city...

 under King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), Burma
History of Myanmar
The history of Burma covers the period from the time of first-known human settlements 13,000 years ago to the present day. The earliest inhabitants of recorded history were the Pyu who entered the Irrawaddy valley from the north c. 2nd century BCE. By the 4th century CE, the Pyu had founded...

, British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 India, Egypt
Egypt under Muhammad Ali and his successors
The history of Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Pasha dynasty spanned the later period of Ottoman Egypt, the Khedivate of Egypt under British patronage, and the nominally independent Sultanate of Egypt and Kingdom of Egypt, ending with the Revolution of 1952 and the formation of the Republic of...

, Italy, Belgium, the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

, Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

, the French Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

, Spain under the Restoration
Spain under the Restoration
The Restoration was the name given to the period that began on December 29, 1874 after the First Spanish Republic ended with the restoration of Alfonso XII to the throne after a coup d'état by Martinez Campos, and ended on April 14, 1931 with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.After...

, Portugal, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, and back through the United States before returning to Hawaii. During this trip, he met with many other crowned heads of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

, including Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

, Umberto I of Italy
Umberto I of Italy
Umberto I or Humbert I , nicknamed the Good , was the King of Italy from 9 January 1878 until his death. He was deeply loathed in far-left circles, especially among anarchists, because of his conservatism and support of the Bava-Beccaris massacre in Milan...

, Tewfik, Viceroy of Egypt, William II of Germany, Rama V of Siam, U.S. President Chester Arthur, and Queen Victoria. In this, he became the first king to travel around the world.

Kalākaua also built Iolani Palace, the only royal palace that exists on American soil today, at a cost of $300,000—a sum unheard of at the time. Many of the furnishings in the palace were ordered by Kalākaua while he was in Europe.

Kalākaua decided to erect the Kamehameha Statue
Kamehameha Statue
Several Kamehameha Statues honor the monarch who founded the Kingdom of Hawaii.-Gould's work:One stands prominently in front of Aliiolani Hale in Honolulu, Hawaii. The statue had its origins in 1878 when Walter M. Gibson, a member of the Hawaiian government at the time, wanted to commemorate the...

 in recognition of Kamehameha I
Kamehameha I
Kamehameha I , also known as Kamehameha the Great, conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810. By developing alliances with the major Pacific colonial powers, Kamehameha preserved Hawaii's independence under his rule...

, the first king of the whole Hawaiian Islands. The original statue was lost when the ship carrying it sank near the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

, so a replacement was ordered and unveiled by the king in 1883. The original statue was later salvaged, repaired and sent to Hawaii in 1912. A third statue was erected in 1969 and is currently the only statue in the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 that commemorates a native Hawaiian.

King Kalākaua is said to have wanted to build a Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

n Empire. In 1886, legislature granted the government $30,000 ($ today) for the formation of a Polynesian confederation. The King sent representatives to Sāmoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

, where Malietoa Laupepa
Malietoa Laupepa
Susuga Malietoa Laupepa was the ruler of Samoa in the late 19th century.-Personal life: Laupepa was born in 1841 in Sapapali'i, Savaii, Samoa. His father was King Malietoa Moli and mother was Fa’alaituio Fuatino Su’a. He was raised in Malie, received a religious education at Malua Seminary and...

 agreed to a confederation between the two kingdoms. This confederation did not last very long, however, since King Kalākaua lost power the next year to the Bayonet Constitution, and thus a reformist party came into power that ended the alliance.

By 1887, the Missionary party had grown very frustrated with Kalākaua. They blamed him for the Kingdom's growing debt and accused him of being a spendthrift. Some foreigners wanted to force King Kalākaua to abdicate and put his sister Liliuokalani onto the throne, while others wanted to end the monarchy altogether and annex the islands to the United States. The people who favored annexation formed a group called the Hawaiian League. In 1887, members of the League armed with guns assembled together. The members of the league forced him at gun point to sign the new constitution.
This new constitution, nicknamed the Bayonet Constitution of 1887, removed much of the King's executive power and deprived most native Hawaiians of their voting rights. 75% of ethnic Hawaiians could not vote at all, because of the gender, literacy, property, and age requirements.

With the new requirements, ethnic Hawaiians now amounted to about two-thirds of the electorate for representatives and about one-third of the electorate for Nobles. The rest of the voters were male residents of European or American ancestry.

While historically voting rights were not granted to all citizens in the Kingdom, not unlike other countries at the time, the new constitution served to greatly disenfranchise the native Hawaiians and consolidated a major power shift. It even inserted a provision that allowed non-Hawaiian citizens to vote. Moreover, the legislature was now able to override a veto by the King, and the King was no longer allowed to take action without approval of the cabinet. The House of Nobles, the house of legislature appointed by the King, was to be elected.

A counter-revolution, led by Robert Wilcox
Robert William Wilcox
Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox , nicknamed the Iron Duke of Hawaii, was a native Hawaiian revolutionary soldier and politician. He led uprisings against both the government of the Kingdom of Hawaii under King Kalākaua and the Republic of Hawaii under Sanford Dole, what are now known as the...

, aimed at restoring the King's power. It failed.

By 1890, the King's health began to fail. Under the advice of his physician, he traveled to San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

. His health continued to worsen, and he died on January 20, 1891 at the Palace Hotel
Palace Hotel, San Francisco
The Palace Hotel is a landmark historic hotel in San Francisco, California, located at the SW corner of Market and New Montgomery streets. Also referred to as the "New" Palace Hotel to distinguish it from the original 1875 Palace Hotel that it was built to replace, the present...

 in San Francisco. His final words were, "Tell my people I tried." Shortly before his death his voice was recorded on a phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity , these cylinder shaped objects had an audio recording engraved on the outside surface which could be reproduced when the cylinder was...

, which is now in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum. There has been a rumor from sources at the time that he may have "died in the sack".

His remains were returned to Honolulu aboard the American cruiser USS Charleston (C-2)
USS Charleston (C-2)
The second USS Charleston was a United States Navy protected cruiser — the first US protected cruiser to be built. Lacking experience in building steel cruisers, the design was commissioned from the British company W. Armstrong, Mitchell and Co...

. Because he and his wife, Queen Kapiolani
Queen Kapiolani
Queen Kapiolani formally Esther Kapiolani or Esther Kapiolani Napelakapuokakae, was married to King David Kalākaua and reigned as Queen Consort of the Kingdom of Hawaii.-Life:...

, did not have any children, Kalākaua's sister, Liliuokalani, succeeded him to the Hawaiian throne.

Legacy

King Kalākaua earned the nickname "the Merrie Monarch," because of his love of joyful elements of life. This was a reference to the nickname of the pleasure-loving Charles II of England
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

. Under his reign, hula
Hula
Hula is a dance form accompanied by chant or song . It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula dramatizes or portrays the words of the oli or mele in a visual dance form....

 was revived, which had been banned by Queen Ka'ahumanu in 1830 after converting to Christianity. Today, his name lives on in the Merrie Monarch Festival
Merrie Monarch Festival
The Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long cultural festival that takes place annually in Hilo, Hawaii. It honors King David Kalākaua, who was called the "Merrie Monarch" for his patronage of the arts. He is credited with restoring many Hawaiian cultural traditions during his reign, including the...

, a hula festival named in his honor. He is also known to have revived the Hawaiian martial art, Lua
Kapu Kuialua
Kapu Kuialua; Kuialua; or just Lua; is an ancient Hawaiian martial art based on bone breaking, joint locks, throws, pressure point manipulation, strikes, usage of various weapons, battlefield strategy, open ocean warfare as well as the usage of introduced firearms from the Europeans.The actual name...

, and surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

. He and his brother and sisters were known as the "Royal Fours" for their musical talents. He wrote Hawaii Ponoi
Hawaii ponoi
Hawaii Ponoī is the state song and former national anthem of Hawaii. The words were written in 1874 by King David Kalākaua with music composed by Captain Henri Berger, then the king's royal bandmaster. Hawaii Ponoī was one of the national anthems of the Republic of Hawaii and the Kingdom of Hawaii,...

, which is the state song of Hawaii today. King Kalākaua's ardent support of the then newly-introduced ukulele
Ukulele
The ukulele, ; from ; it is a subset of the guitar family of instruments, generally with four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings....

 as a Hawaiian instrument led to its becoming symbolic of Hawaii and Hawaiian culture.

He was a friend of Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

 who he discussed the lightbulb with, which he later used to light up Iolani Palace. He was also an inventor in his own right. 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. He even proposed to build a torpedo-proof vessel in 1872. He wrote to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

 on September 19, 1872 for funds to build such a vessel. Dom Pedro was interested in the young Kalakaua but not enough to invest moneys in his invention. Kalakuana then wrote Queen Victoria.

In Waikiki
Waikiki
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, in the City and County of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the shoreline fronting Waikīkī....

, an avenue is named after him, "Kalākaua Avenue"; this is the main avenue of Waikiki taking people from the Ala Wai Canal
Ala Wai Canal
The Ala Wai Canal is an artificial waterway in Honolulu, Hawaii which serves as the northern boundary of the tourist district of Waikīkī. It was created in 1928 for the purpose of draining the rice paddies and swamps which would eventually become the tourist resort area of Waikiki, and today also...

 to Waikiki beach as it continues almost until the Diamond Head
Diamond Head, Hawaii
Diamond Head is the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēahi, most likely from lae 'browridge, promontory' plus ahi 'tuna' because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin...

 crater.
In 2003 the historic former federal building was renamed the King David Kalakaua Building
King David Kalakaua Building
The King David Kalakaua Building in Honolulu, Hawaii is a government building formerly known as the U.S. Post Office, Customhouse, and Courthouse...

 after being purchased by the state and renovated.

Ancestry

External links

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