The Last Queen of Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the 50 states in the United States. But the islands of Hawaii were not always a state. They were once a country ruled by kings.

In 1891, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani (lee-lee-ooh-oh-kah-LAH-nee) became the first woman to lead Hawaii. As a princess, she had started schools for girls. She also started a savings bank for women.

Liliuokalani wanted the Hawaiian people to rule themselves. But in the 1890s, American and European businessmen had great power in Hawaii. They owned big companies that grew sugar and pineapples there. They wanted to stay powerful. They worked to make Hawaii a part of the United States.

The queen tried to remain as Hawaii’s leader. But the business people had more power. In 1893, they made the queen step down. And in 1898, Hawaii became part of the United States.

Queen Liliuokalani continued to live in Hawaii. She wrote stories and more than 150 songs. Her most famous song, “Aloha Oe,” is still popular today.

Every year, the people of Hawaii celebrate her birthday. They remember their good queen.