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Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole was born on the island of Kauai on March 26th, 1871.  Kūhiō was named after his grandfather, Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole who was a High Chief of Hilo.  His parents were David Kahalepouli Piʻikoi and Esther Kinoʻiki Kekaulike.


Esther was the sister of Queen Consort Kapiʻolani, the wife of King Kalākaua.  Esther also had two other children who were Kūhiō's brothers, Edward Keliʻiahonui (who died in his teens) and David Kawananakoa.


King David Kalākaua became very fond of his wife's nephews and conferred the courtesy titles of "Prince" to them under his reign.  However, they were never officially named as heirs to the throne  or decreed "Eligible to be a Ruler" by rank of the aboriginal stock of aliʻi required under the Hawaiian constitutional laws.  Their courtesy titles were for their lifetime only and were not hereditary.

Prince Jonah Kūhiō married Elizabeth Kahanu Kaʻauwai, but never had any children, he was educated at private schools in California and attended a business school in England.

Prince Jonah Kūhiō 


In 1903, Kūhiō organized the Kamehameha Lodge civic club, called the Order of Kamehameha I.  He was a member of the dynastic Royal Order of Kamehameha I of the Hawaiian Kingdom which he was conferred during Kalakaua's reign.  The order today is not a dynastic order, but is chartered from the civic order created by Prince Kūhiō.

In 1903, Kuhio became Hawaii's second U.S. Delegate to Congress, the Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox  was the first to be elected.  In 1919, Kūhiō introduced in Congress the Hawaii Statehood Act and later the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 which was signed by President Warren G. Harding. Despite Kūhiō's wishes, the act contained high blood-quantum requirements.  Today, the act provides for the rehabilitation of the native Hawaiian people through a government-sponsored homesteading program of ceded lands. Under the act, native Hawaiians are defined as individuals having at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood.  Pursuant to provisions of the HHCA, the Department provides direct benefits to native Hawaiians in the form of 99 year homestead leases at an annual rental of $1. 

Prince Kūhiō passed away on January 7, 1922,

To commemorate Kūhiō, the State of Hawaii instituted a Prince Kūhiō Day holiday on March 26th.

robert wilcox
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