This Day in History

Jan. 17, 1893: Queen Lili`uokalani of Hawai`i is Overthrown

Time Periods: 1877
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Pacific Islander, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
Queen Lili'uokalani.

Queen Lili’uokalani. Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

On Jan. 17, 1893, Queen Lili`uokalani of the independent kingdom of Hawai`i was overthrown as she was arrested at gunpoint by U.S. Marines.

American businessmen, particularly sugar plantation owners, led by Lorrin Thurston, had supported annexation of the islands to the United States. The Queen had been working on a new constitution that would restore voting rights to native Hawaiians.

A new provisional government was installed with Sanford B. Dole as president. The troops had landed the day before, providing support “to protect American lives and property.” In 1898, Pres. William McKinley signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation. [Description from Peace Buttons.]