The Board of Health was established in 1850 by King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) to enforce sanitation rules, collect health data, mandate vaccinations, and license physicians. It would take nearly ten years for the United States to establish its own department of public health.
The Hawaiian Kingdom was unlawfully invaded by United States marines on January 16, 1893, which culminated in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government the following day. The invasion was recognized as unlawful by President Grover Cleveland in his message to Congress on December 18, 1893, a statement codified 100 years later by President Bill Clinton in the “Apology Resolution” US Public Law 103-50.
The English-Only Law of 1896 eliminated government funding for all Hawaiian medium schools. While there were 150 Hawaiian medium schools in 1880, that number dropped to zero by 1902 (Lucas, 2000).
To turn O’ahu into a massive military base, the US War Department (now the Department of Defense) launched the Waikiki Reclamation Project. It is responsible for the construction of:
Ultimately, the Waikiki Reclamation Project destroyed O‘ahu’s Indigenous food system and uprooted farmers and Native Hawaiians while suppressing their language.
Established by the Territorial Legislature in 1919, the Hawaiian Medicine Board licensed Lā‘au lapa‘au practitioners until its abolishment in 1965.
The E Ola Mau Health Needs Assessment was the first comprehensive health assessment of Hawaiians and the basis for federal legislation addressing health disparities. The severity of Hawaiian health issues was confirmed by a Congressional report in 1986. It was followed 30+ years later with E Ola Mau a Mau: The Next Generation of Hawaiian Health.
Kākuhihewa is the 15th aliʻi ‘aimoku (ruling chief) of O‘ahu famously named in the mele “Kaulana Nā Pua.” Kākuhihewa was a kind and friendly chief who was born in Kūkaniloko and raised in the ‘Ewa moku. His primary endeavor was farming, and it is said that his abundant harvests on O‘ahu could be smelled from Kaua‘i.
Today, there is a state office building named after him in Kapolei.