October 8: Hawaii’s Constitution Day

The United States celebrates Constitution Day: September 17, the day that the U.S. Constitution was signed into law in 1787.

Today, let’s honor Hawaii’s Constitution Day: October 8, the day that the first Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii was signed by Kamehameha III in 1840. Ke Kumukānāwai a me nā Kānāwai o ko Hawai‘i Pae ‘Āina established a constitutional monarchy and a representative democracy based on Christian values.

Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III (1813-1854) ruled Hawaii from 1824-1854. He created a formal legislature and government, introduced the Great Mahele of 1848, and wrote the state motto, Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono — “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

The Hawaiian Electronic Library offers Hawaii’s 1840 Constitution in Hawaiian and English (PDF format).

Have a great Hawaii Constitution Day!

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