1603Native Hawaiians Honor Grover Cleveland
- Apr 22, 2006http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060421/ap_on_go_pr_wh/honoring_grover;_ylt=AmCEtugpJFUPa7E_Spl2SleyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--
Native Hawaiians Honor Grover Cleveland
By CHRIS NEWMARKER, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr
21, 7:43 PM ET
TRENTON, N.J. - When it comes to Grover Cleveland,
many Americans, even residents of his home state of
New Jersey, have trouble recalling anything about him
except that he is the only president ever to serve
But 5,000 miles away, Native Hawaiians credit
Cleveland with sticking up for their rights and
sovereignty in the 1890s, when sugar plantation owners
overthrew their queen and asked for annexation by the
So it was on Thursday that three Native Hawaiians
landed at New York's LaGuardia Airport, carrying about
20 leis, and found themselves getting lost on New
Jersey roads as they searched for Cleveland's
birthplace in Caldwell and the town's First
Presbyterian Church, where his father was a pastor.
The Hawaiians are in New Jersey this weekend to pay
their respects to Cleveland in Caldwell and at his
grave site in Princeton.
"We just wanted to come and visit and get a firsthand
knowledge of the person and history of Cleveland," the
Rev. Kaleo Patterson said.
The journey is part of the events leading to an April
30 national day of prayer for Hawaiian natives.
Patterson, a United Church of Christ minister, is
president of the Honolulu-based Pacific Justice and
Reconciliation Center, which is helping to lead the
The day of prayer, Patterson said, is meant to raise
support for efforts to reduce poverty and crime among
Hawaiian natives, and to push for the granting of some
form of self-government.
It was Cleveland who set aside April 30, 1894, as a
day of prayer and repentance over the U.S. role in the
overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Cleveland was president from 1885 to 1889 and again
from 1893 to 1897. His presidency was dominated by
such subjects as tariffs and the gold standard.
"Hardworking, honest, and independent, Cleveland
nevertheless had no real vision for the future," says
a biography on a Web site run by the Miller Center of
Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.
His caution extended to the flexing of American muscle
American businessmen overthrew Queen Liliuokalani in a
January 1893 coup, declared a republic, and requested
annexation by the United States. Cleveland
investigated and refused, saying the queen should be
restored to power.
It was not until 1898, when Cleveland was out of
office, that Hawaii became part of the United States.
It became a state in 1959.
Patterson said the group has already learned a little
about Cleveland's early years, and was impressed by
his strong religious upbringing. Many Hawaiian natives
know what Cleveland tried to do for them, but have
scant knowledge about who he was as a person, he said.
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