HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hauʻoli Lā Hānau e ka Mōʻī Kamehameha III — Happy Birthday Kamehameha III. A lei-draping ceremony was done at the Admiral Thomas Square Park in honor of Kauikeaouli King Kamehameha III’s birthday on March 17.

The celebration kicked off at 9:30 a.m.

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Kauikeaouli is known for establishing Hawaii’s public school system, creating the Royal Hawaiian Band and establishing the Honolulu Fire Department. So, it was only fitting that the ceremony was kicked off with a performance from the City’s Royal Hawaiian Band followed by an oli from the keiki of Pūnana Leo o Mānoa. 

The Honolulu Fire Department’s Honor Guard and other government and community representatives presented lei for the monument of Kauikeaouli.

Brief remarks were made by the Honolulu Mayor’s Chief of Staff Sam Moku, Fire Chief Kalani Hao and Bandmaster Clarke Bright.

Kauikeaouli succeeded as King Kamehameha III in 1825 after his older brother King Kamehameha II passed away.

It was through the words uttered by Kauikeaouli that the state motto became “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono” or “The sovereignty of the land is preserved through justice.”

Kauikeaouli is also known for creating the Hawaiian kingdom’s first Constitution, granted in 1840, and signing the Great Māhele.

According to State documents, “the Great Māhele is the single most important event in the history of land title in Hawaii.”

In history, land in Hawaii was under a feudal system; but through the Great Māhele, commoners was finally allowed to petition for land.

To see a previous KHON2 News coverage of the lei-ceremony for Kauikeaouli, click here.

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To read the history of the Kamehameha dynasty click here.