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By Harper Katherine Lower, age 13, The Lowell School, Maryland, USA
Today we make history on the #HistoryHero BLAST!
Behold our first-ever student-authored #HistoryHero post, fulfilling our original goal that the #HistoryHero BLAST be not simply for -- but by -- young people from all over the globe.
Special thanks to Harper Katherine Lower, age 13, from The Lowell School, in Maryland, USA, for being our first youth author!
Take it away, Harper...
Queen Lili'uokalani was born in Honolulu, Hawaii into a royal family in 1838. Because of the death of her youngest brother when she was very young, she became the crown princess and heir apparent to her brother, King Kalakaua. Many years later, after the death of Kalakaua, she became the first female monarch of her then independent island nation.
Lili'uokalani was queen for four years, and in that time devoted her life as to establishing schools for the children of Hawaii and making it a better place for the people. When traveling with her sister-in-law to the Golden Jubilee, thrown by the UK's Queen Victoria, Lili'uokalani learned that her deceased brother had been coerced into signing the "Bayonet Constitution," which stripped Hawai'ian monarchs of their power, giving it instead to White American and English businessmen. Liliuokalani worked thereafter to establish a new constitution that would restore power to the Hawai'ian monarchy and people, but it was repeatedly denied. To save her people from a very bloody battle, she stepped down from the throne.
Soon after, Lili'uokalani and a group of her supporters were arrested and charged with treason for attempting to establish the new constitution. She was put under house arrest for the remainder of her life. She died from a stroke in 1917.
Queen Lili'oukalani was dedicated to the growth of her people and her culture. When she realized that trying to preserve the Hawai'ian monarchy meant risking the Hawai'ian people and culture and the legacy of her revered ancestor, King Kamehameha, she chose to preserve the lives of her people over her own. That's why she's a Time Traveler Tours #HistoryHero. Thank you Harper Lower for both nominating Queen Lili'oukalani and for being the first-ever student author on the #HistoryHero Blast!
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