Kamehameha Day Parade 2010 Photos. Some history from Wikipedia below on the events surrounding the United States take over of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Rebellion of 1887
On June 30, 1887, a meeting of residents including the armed militia of the Honolulu Rifles, a group of white soldiers that were secretly the Hawaiian League’s military arm, and politicians who were members of the Reform Party of the Hawaiian Kingdom, demanded from King Kalākaua the dismissal of his Cabinet, headed by the controversial Walter M. Gibson. Their concerns about Gibson stemmed from the fact that he supported the king’s authority.
The meeting was called to order by Sanford B. Dole (cousin of then 9-year-old James Dole, future patriarch of the Dole Food Company), and chaired by Peter Cushman Jones, the president of the largest sugarcane plantation agency in Hawaii. The Hawaiian League and Americans controlled a vast majority of the Kingdom of Hawaii’s wealth. Lorrin A. Thurston, the main instigator of the subsequent overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, prepared a list of demands to the king. The meeting also insisted a new constitution be written.
On the next morning, July 1, 1887, a shipment of arms was discovered from a neutral Australian ship (later found to be smooth-bore hunting guns used to scare birds from farmers’ fields). The Honolulu Rifles took control and arrested and almost hanged Gibson. Kalākaua called in US Minister George W. Merrill, and the British, French, Portuguese, and Japanese representatives and requested help, but they all suggested that he should comply with any demands, which he did.:363–364
Thurston then became the powerful interior minister although Englishman William Lowthian Green was nominally head of the Cabinet as Minister of Finance. Gibson was later exiled to San Francisco.
Over less than a week, the new constitution was drafted by a group of lawyers, including Thurston, Dole, William Ansel Kinney, William Owen Smith, George Norton Wilcox, and Edward Griffin Hitchcock. All were also associated with the Hawaiian League, which had explicitly wanted the end of the kingdom and its annexation by the United States since its inception.
Kalākaua signed the document July 6, 1887, despite arguments over the scope of the changes.
It stripped the king of most of his personal authority, empowering the legislature and cabinet of the government. It has since become widely known as the “Bayonet Constitution” because of the threat of force used to gain Kalākaua’s cooperation.
While Thurston and Dole denied this use of coercion and threats, Queen Liliuokalani asserted that Kalakaua’s life was threatened: “He signed that constitution under absolute compulsion.”
The new constitution was never ratified in the Hawaiian Kingdom’s legislature.