King Kalākaua’s world tour in 1881 made him the first monarch to
circumnavigate the globe. His agenda was to negotiate contract labor for
the Kingdom of Hawaii’s sugar plantations, with hopes of saving the
dwindling Native Hawaiian population by drawing immigration from Asia-
Pacific nations. Rumors circulated that the King secretly intended to
use the trip to sell the Hawaiian Islands to the highest bidder. He
visited American legislators and had an audience with the Pope in Rome.
He also met with European and Asian heads of state, and was influenced
by their ornate ceremonies and displays of military power. In between
negotiations, Kalākaua and his companions visited tourist sites and
attended local Freemasonry lodge meetings. As a result of his visit with
Thomas Edison on the return trip through New York, Iolani Palace later
became the first building in Hawaii with electric lighting. Kalākaua’s
amiable personality generated goodwill around the world, and he
succeeded in increasing Hawaii’s labor force. The Japanese workers he
attracted were commemorated a century later with a new statue of
Kalākaua in Waikiki.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Citizens of Toledo, Castile, who were opposed to the rule of
the foreign-born Charles V, rose up in revolt when the royal government
attempted to unseat radical city councilors.
New Zealand Wars: A minor Māori chief was accidentally shot by
a junior British Army officer in the Petre settlement of New Zealand’s
North Island, triggering the Wanganui Campaign.
World War I: A massive assault by several French army corps
against the German-occupied Chemin des Dames ridge began south of Laon,
American financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch
first described the post–World War II tensions between the Soviet
Union and the United States as a “cold war”.
In one of the deadliest shooting incidents in United States
history, a gunman killed 32 people and wounded over 20 more before
committing suicide at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
(religion) A physical manifestation of the holy or sacred, serving as a
spiritual eidolon for emulation or worship.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Your God still walks in Eden, between the ancient trees, Where
Youth and Love go wading through pools of primroses. And this is the
sign we bring you, before the darkness fall, That Spring is risen, is
risen again, That Life is risen, is risen again, That Love is risen, is
risen again, and Love is Lord of all.
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