Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1900s – Young Brothers formed, Moana Hotel opens, Dole organizes Hawaiian Pineapple Company and UH starts. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
Hawai‘i’s Department of Public Instruction launched its most ambitious venture in progressive education in the fall of 1927, when its Division of Research decided to create a ‘laboratory school’ to serve as an experimental model for the Territory. The former Fort Street School was selected for the site for the laboratory school within the Territorial Department of Public Instruction, and renamed the Kawānanakoa Experimental School. The Kawānanakoa Experimental School was explicitly conceived as a proving-ground of Deweyite principles.
According to the official DPI publication on the school, Kawānanakoa was dedicated to the only form of “education worthy of the name… character education.” Moving away from methods based on routine instruction and memorization drills, teachers were expected to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of their work in promoting Health, Initiative, Responsibility, Whole Heartedness, Cooperation, and Open Mindedness. Currently, the school serves students from grades 6 through 8 with an enrollment of approximately 800 students. (It was named for Prince David Laʻamea Kahalepouli Kinoiki Kawānanakoa, brother of Prince Kūhiō.)
While Duke Kahanamoku introduced and promoted surfing to the rest of the world (making him the ‘Father of International Surfing,’) the year he was born (1890,) a couple Hawaiian Princes were riding the waves at Bridlington, Yorkshire in Britain. Brothers David Kawānanakoa (Koa) and Kūhiō, orphaned after their father died in 1880 and mother in 1884, were adopted by King David Kalākaua’s wife, Queen Kapiʻolani, who was their maternal aunt.
Both were sent on Kalākaua’s ‘studies abroad program.’ On September 22, 1890 Prince Kūhiō could not restrain his enthusiasm in his letter to the Hawaiian Consul Armstrong about their experience of surfing at Bridlington: “We enjoy the seaside very much and are out swimming every day. The weather has been very windy these few days and we like it very much for we like the sea to be rough so that we are able to have surf riding. We enjoy surf riding very much and surprise the people to see us riding on the surf.”
In 1920, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, Hawai‘i’s Republican delegate to Congress, drafted the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. In 1921, the federal government of the United States set aside as Hawaiian Homelands approximately 200,000‐acres in the Territory of Hawai‘i as a land trust for homesteading by native Hawaiians.
Prince Kūhiō died at the age of 50, on January 7, 1922. Six months after his passing, the first Hawaiian homesteaders would move to what was referred to as the Kalanianaʻole Colony (sometimes Kalanianaʻole Settlement) on Molokai. Twenty-three lots of approximately 25-acres each, adjoin by 2,000-acres of community pasture were carved out. Later residential lots were added.
“First and foremost, Mr. Desha will be remembered as a Christian minister.” One year, when Desha “came to Honolulu for the biennial session of the territorial legislation after a considerable period of hibernation in his native habitat, the sights that he saw at the beach at Waikiki resulted in the enactment of a new law.” “No person over 14 years of age shall be or appear on any road or highway … in a bathing suit unless covered suitably by an outer garment reaching at least to the knees.” (1921)
“The Desha law was designed to give pause to young and older mermaids who had been in the habit of dashing through the streets of the Waikiki district clad in bathing suits which made Mack Sennett’s girls look all dressed up. But it didn’t give them much pause.” The law met with opposition, across the Islands. Not regularly enforced, and ignored by many, it wasn’t until 1949 that the law was eventually repealed.