HONOLULU (KHON2) – In the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, which lies in the moku of Kona here on Oʻahu, stands a heavily used roadway that’s named after Hawaiʻi’s last king.
We’re talking about Kalākaua Avenue.
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David Kalākaua became King of Hawaiʻi in 1874 after winning the legislative election, beating his rival, Queen Emma.
But it took nearly a decade for his coronation to take place, which finally happened in February of 1883.
Set in the shadows of the then-newly constructed ʻIolani Palace, the coronation brought in many from across the islands.
The legislature had appropriated $10,000 for the celebration, but it’s estimated the money spent was closer to $50,000.
Today, that would be valued at over $1,000,000, which led to criticism of the king for spending so much.
The King ordered crowns for himself and his Queen from England for a value of approximately $15,000 today, only to be worn once.
According to Queen Liliʻuokalani in her book “Hawaiʻiʻs Story by Hawaiʻiʻs Queen,” it is said that before the crown was placed on the King, which he crowned himself, a cloud passed over the sun, obscuring its light for a few minutes.
At the moment the king was crowned, shining so brilliantly as to attract general attention, a single star shined.
Despite the negative talks about all the money spent, mainly by foreigners, Queen Liliʻuokalani said that it was wise and of importance to spend the money to awaken in the people a National Pride.
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