June 11th is King Kamehameha Day, and is celebrated the second weekend of June with parades and remembrances of this glorious king. It is King Kamehameha (ca. 1758 – May 8, 1819), also known as Kamehameha the Great, who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810.
As king, Kamehameha took several steps to ensure that the islands remained a united realm even after his death. He unified the legal system and he used the products he collected in taxes to promote trade with Europe and the United States. Kamehameha did not allow non-Hawaiians to own land; they would not be able to until the Great Mahele of 1848. This edict ensured the islands’ independence even while many of the other islands of the Pacific succumbed to the colonial powers.