Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1910s – Duke Kahanamoku is Hawai‘i’s first Olympic Champion, Outdoor Circle formed, Hawai‘i National Park is formed and Lili‘uokalani dies. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world
“Detroit, Michigan … For the first time in the history of this city the general public was given an opportunity last night to dance to the weird, fascinating and charming music of far-off Hawaii, rendered by Hawaiian Quintet at Arcadia auditorium.” “’Ford’s Hawaiians,’ as they are styled, were brought to Detroit last year by Henry Ford after he had heard them in the Hawaiian building at the Panama-Pacific exposition.”
For nine months in 1915, the San Francisco Presidio’s bayfront and much of today’s Marina District was the site of a grand celebration of human spirit and ingenuity – hosted to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, as well as help San Francisco by bringing folks to the area as San Francisco was recovering from the 1906 earthquake. “Perhaps no music is more appreciated on these warm summer evenings than that of the Hawaiians.” Henry Ford visited the Exposition, and was so impressed with the band’s music that he hired the quintet to come to Detroit and play at Ford company events.
At the turn of the 20th Century, San Francisco was the largest and wealthiest city on the west coast of the United States. In 1906, a disastrous earthquake struck San Francisco. The ensuing fire was more devastating than the Chicago fire of 1871. As it recovered, the Panama Canal was completed. For nine months in 1915, the Presidio’s bayfront and much of today’s Marina District was the site of a grand celebration of human spirit and ingenuity.
Hosted to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition reflected the ascendancy of the US to the world stage and was a milestone in San Francisco history. Locals simply called it ‘The Fair.’ One of the most popular attractions at the Exposition was a daily show at the Hawaiian Pavilion featuring Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers. These Hawaiian shows had the highest attendance at the entire fair and launched a Hawaiian cultural craze that influenced everything from American music, to movies, to fashion.