Today is King Kamehameha Day. Most years, groups from # Hawai’i and Washington, D.C. gather at the Capitol Visitor Center to pay tribute to King Kamehameha by draping leis on his right arm, as pictured here.
King Kamehameha I was born at Kokoiki about 1758. He grew into a courageous warrior and was said to have overturned the huge Naha Stone in Hilo. According to native belief, such a feat indicated superhuman strength and foreshadowed the inevitable conquest of all of Hawai’i. By 1810, he had unified all the inhabited islands of Hawai’I under his rule.
As king, he encouraged trade and peaceful activities, and he presided over the opening of Hawai’i to the
rest of the world.
On May 8, 1819, King Kamehameha I died. His remains were hidden with such secrecy, according to ancient custom, that “only the stars know his final resting place.”
Image courtesy Architect of the Capitol