Datebook: July 6 - Bayonet Constitution Signed 125 Years Ago

Jul 6, 2012

King David Kalakaua faced a tough predicament on this day in 1887, when he was "persuaded" sign over Hawaii to the United States by threat of force. 

The Reform Party of the Hawaiian Kingdom, led by Sanford B. Dole (yes, the canned-fruit Doles), prepared a list of demands and insisted on a new constitution (this sounds familiar) on July 1st. They were in favor of ending the Kingdom and annexation by the United States. So on this day, the new constitution was brought to Kalakaua for his perusal along with rifles affixed with bayonets. The "Bayonet Constitution" stripped the King of most of his authority and empowered the legislature and cabinet of the government, much like the constitutional monarchy like that of the United Kingdom. As a result, the legislature, which consisted of wealthy foreign landowners, took control of Hawaii and were given voting privileges. Asians were specifically denied suffrage, and only Hawaiian, American, and European males were granted voting rights provided they met certain economic and literary thresholds, which many natives did not. Now, of course, the place is ruled by hotel chains.

It’s Friday, July 6

Many of the downtown merchants in Murray will offer shopping until 8 o’clock tonight, and a free outdoor movie begins at sundown at the corner of 6th and Main. This month's movie is "The Music Man."  For more information, call the Murray Calloway-County Chamber of Commerce at 753-5171.

The Golden Pond Planetarium in Land Between the Lakes offers a Laser Light Music Show tomorrow evening at 8.  Shows feature laser lights synchronized to popular music ranging from country to pop.  All seats are $6.  Find a complete show schedule at

Murray State’s MFA Reading Series begins Sunday evening at 7:30 with a reading by poet and non-fiction writer Mark Doty.  Doty is the only American poet to have won Great Britain’s T.S. Eliot Prize.  The reading will be held in the Clara Eagle Gallery, located on the 6th floor of the Doyle Fine Arts Building. 

Visit the community event calendar at