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King David Kalakaua of Hawaii governed from 1874 - 1891.
King David Kalakaua of Hawaii governed from 1874 – 1891.

Wiki Wiki Wednesday honors the birthdate of the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai’i.  David La’amea Kalakaua was born November 16th, 1836 and known as ‘The Merrie Monarch‘ for his enthusiastic revival of Hawaiian music, dance and sport.

As the cultural ambassador of his nation, the king took a globe spanning trip in 1881, the first king to travel around the world. He met other heads of state, and the trip was documented by one of his cabinet members, William N. Armstrong, who accompanied the king. The book, Around The World With a King, chronicles this trip and the amazing times in which he lived.

The sweeping drama of his times: with treaties and tragedies, revival of hula and Hawaiian culture alongside a forced ‘Bayonet Constitution.’ There were boom times in Hawai’i, an uprising and a Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. The king had ‘Iolani palace built, the only royal palace that today exists on American land.

Fluent in English and Hawaiian, the young David Kalakaua studied law in his younger years, and led the group the Young Hawaiians, whose motto was “Hawaii for the Hawaiians.”

On Wiki Wiki Wednesday, please join us as we celebrate the life of a Royal One, whose musical talents include writing the song, “Hawai’i Pono’i” the state song of Hawaii today.

We will have many musical tributes to the king, along with a very special guest co-host, Welcome, e komo mai, Wednesday morning from 6:00 – 9:00 California time, Ku Imua Kalakaua!