This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui


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Pres. Cleveland honored in birthplace for role in Hawaii

Here’s a couple articles (belatedly) from the Jersey Tomato Press (h/t George Cleveland!) about the event honoring Pres. Grover Cleveland at his birthplace on April 30 as Hawaii Restoration Day for Cleveland’s role in investigating and exposing the truth about the 1893 U.S. illegal intervention in the Hawaiian Kingdom, and his friendship and executive agreements with Queen Lili’uokalani that helped preserve Hawaii’s sovereignty.

Grab Your Grass Skirt – It’s Hawaii in Caldwell, April 27

Caldwell Presidential Luau is Aloha-Fantastic, April 29

Five visitors from Hawaii, along with a renowned Hawaiian folk singer, a Hawaiian official from the Hawaiian Kingdom Embassy and a Hawaiian representative from the U.N. were on hand to celebrate the Hawaiian annual day of reconciliation, which honors President Grover Cleveland for his efforts to support the last Queen of Hawaii, Queen Lilliuokami.

Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President, is a hero to Hawaiians for his efforts to support Queen Liliuokalani when the U.S. decided to take over the islands, over 100 years ago.

When his efforts failed, instead of encouraging her subjects to enter into a violent war with the United States, the Queen told everyone to seek change through peaceful measures.

Today, this struggle continues, and in Hawaii there have been numerous changes in both attitude and education within the islands.

And here’s an article from an event in Buffalo where a statue of Cleveland was unveiled:

The carving near the high school’s Porter Avenue entrance, donated by Sen. Antoine Thompson, D-Buffalo, and Keep Western New York Beautiful, was also paid tribute by a delegation from the Pacific Justice & Reconciliation Center in Honolulu that is visiting the school as part of a human rights education project.

Leaders of the group placed a lei around the neck honoring Cleveland’s unsuccessful effort to nullify the overthrow of the island monarchy by American and European businessmen in 1893.

“He did not believe in manifest destiny,” the grandson said, “but he was not able to right that wrong.”

Update: Here’s another article from New Jersey Star-Ledger:

The bassinet where Grover Cleveland slept as an infant is topped with Hawaiian leis. And on Thursday, the first-ever “Presidential Luau,” was held in his honor at the late president’s birthplace here.

Cleveland’s homestead and a delegation from Hawaii spent Thursday and today commemorating the former president’s efforts to keep the island state an independent nation, just as the political winds may be shifting toward some form of self-governance for native Hawaiians.

“It honors his love for Hawaii,” said Cleveland’s grandson, George Cleveland, who said his grandfather never made it to the island. “I know he would appreciate it, especially about something he felt so strongly.”


As president, Cleveland withdrew an annexation treaty advanced by his predecessor, Benjamin Harrison, after the 1893 overthrow engineered by sugar plantation owners against Queen Liliuokalani and the native people of Hawaii.

“If a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by the misuse of the name and power of the United States,” Cleveland wrote, “the United States can not fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation.”

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