Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1870s –first Kamehameha Day, Reciprocity Agreement, Lili‘uokalani writes Aloha ‘Oe and Iolani Palace is started. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world
The Narragansett were a northeastern Algonquian Native American people. In 1709, the Narragansett quit-claimed New England tribal lands under pressure from the British government. By 1717 the area had been divided into farming plots purchased by European settlers. A place there is named Quonset Point – Quonset appears to translate either as ‘long-place,’ ‘round shallow cove’ or ‘boundary.’ Quonset Point goes back to the Revolutionary War; it’s the birthplace of the US Navy,
Fast forward to 1941; the Navy needed an all-purpose, lightweight, standardized housing unit that made efficient use of shipping space, could be easily transported anywhere and could be quickly and easily assembled without skilled labor. The design ended up modeled after the British Nissen – ultimately using corrugated steel and semi-circular steel arched ribs. Over time, improvements and changes were made and the “Quonset Stran-Steel Hut” was the most produced. A total of 153,200 Quonset Huts and 11,800 Warehouse units were produced or procured by the US Navy during World War II.
“Department of Foreign Affairs, Honolulu, Feb, 12th, 1874 (to His Excellency Henry A Peirce, Minister Resident of the United States) – Sir: A riotous mob having unexpectedly made a violent attack upon the Court House and the Members of the Legislature, which we have not the force at hand to resist, I have to request that you will cause to be furnished at the earliest moment possible aid from the US ships ‘Tuscarora’ and ‘Portsmouth’ to the Police, in quelling the riot and temporarily protecting life and property.” “Your obedient servant, Chas R Bishop,” (A similar request was made to Major James Hay Wodehouse, HBM’s Commissioner and Consul General) to land troops from HBM’s ship ‘Tenedos’.)
“Nothing but the prompt appearance by these forces on the scene put a stop to the riot, and saved the further destruction of property.” “Commander Belknap and Commander Skerrett of the United States forces took possession of the square on which the court-house is built; and on seeing this, the mob melted silently and entirely away. The armed marines subsequently, at the request of the Hawaiian authorities, guarded the treasury, arsenal, jail, and station-house.” “The British marines were marched to the residence of Queen Emma, and, after dispersing the rioters assembled there, they occupied the barracks and guarded the palace itself.”
On the January 20, 1881, King Kalākaua set out upon a tour around the world. After the king’s return he proposed a ten million dollar loan, chiefly for military purposes but (it was) met with no encouragement. He then published a pamphlet entitled ‘A Third Warning Voice,’ in which he urged the establishment of a large standing army. “The gist of the argument is that the Legislature should provide for an army of 521-men and ten staff officers, at a cost of $345,541. The salaries of the staff officers are to amount to $45,680.”
“We have been a warlike race for generations to generations back, and for nearly half a century we have enjoyed the blessings of peace and the imagination of our permanent security … there has been a clash of sentiments caused by divergent interest that the nation is at every moment to political strife, and the loss of its autonomy and independence.” “I will conclude by adding, that it is only in the Military profession and occupation that the life of the nation, of the dying Hawaiian and Aboriginal race can have hope for its continuance, perpetuation and maintenance.” (Robert H Baker)
“Housing was a critical problem at the beginning of the war.” “On December 7, 1941, the only project operated by the Hawaii Housing Authority was Kamehameha homes consisting of 221 units for families in the low-income bracket.” “Prior to the declaration of war, plans had been prepared for the construction of a low income family project of 368 units to be known as the Mayor Wright homes. The war prevented this development from going ahead”. Following the war more homes were needed.
In 1946, the problem has become even more serious – 11,000 additional houses were needed in the Honolulu-Pearl Harbor area. “Of those who applied the authority could provide houses for only 1,265, 1,000 of whom were placed in Mānoa war homes.” It worked for a while; then, “The Commissioners of the Authority froze vacancies as of January 1, 1956, at Mānoa War Homes, a 982-unit temporary war housing project, as the site must be vacated, buildings demolished, and the land restored to its owners by June 30, 1958.” Familiar Mānoa landmarks that were once the site of the Mānoa War Homes are the Mānoa Marketplace, Noelani School and Mānoa Innovation Center.