Lā Kūʻokoʻa or Independence Day for the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi is celebrated on the 28th of November, 1843. During his reign, King Kamehameha III Kauikeouli saw an increasing threat of foreign takeover throughout the pacific. Worried about Hawaiʻi, he devised a plan to seek foreign recognition of his countryʻs independence. In 1842, he dispatched three emissaries; Timoteo Haʻalilio, William Richards and Sir George Simpson to secure recognition from the United States, Great Britain and France. The United States was the first to give their verbal agreement, but wanted to wait until the other countries signed on. On November 28th, 1843, Great Britain and France both signed the Anglo-French Proclamation recognizing that the Hawaiian Kingdom (referred to as the Sandwich Islands) had the ability to govern themselves independently. Unfortunately, during their return to Hawaiʻi, Timoteo Haʻalilio passed away.
Hawaiʻi was the first non-European nation admitted into the Family of Nations which was the predecessor to the United Nations. The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi proudly commemorated Lā Kūʻokoʻa yearly until 1893, when Queen Liliʻuokalani was overthrown. The territorial government created an Americanization plan for Hawaiʻi which was a campaign to Americanize our kingdom through denationalization. This plan included erasure of our holidays and introduced American holidays such as Thanksgiving which was usually within a week of Lā Kūʻokoʻa. Thanks to our Aloha ʻĀina scholars and educators, the history of Lā Kūʻokoʻa is being spread far and wide throughout the pae ʻāina of Hawaiʻi. Join us in celebrating our Hawaiian independence day on November 28th of every year.
Hauʻoli Lā Kūʻokoʻa!