Sunday, June 20, 2010

Streetwise: Kalaimoku Street

The short, block-and-a-half stretch between the Ala Wai Canal and Kalakaua Avenue in the western part of Waikiki was named for the High Chief William Pitt Kalaimoku (c. 1768–1827), who was prime minister of the Hawaiian Kingdom during the reigns of Kamehameha I, Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III. He was a descendant of the King of Maui and a cousin of Elizabeth Kaʻahumanu, wife of Kamehameha I.

He adopted the name William Pitt after the Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Pitt the Younger, and liked being addressed as Billy Pitt. He was a warrior as well as a diplomat; in the battle of Kuamoʻo he defeated Kekuaokalani, a son of Kamehameha’s who led a rebellion against the succession of Liholiho, another of Kamehameha’s sons. He died in Kailua Kona, on Hawaii, in 1827.

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