Happy Kamehameha Day! Kamehameha the Great, often called the Napoleon of the Pacific, unified the islands of Hawai'i shortly after a haole named Cook "discovered" this tropical paradise.
Kamehameha (born as Pai'ea on the leeward side of the Big Island) became the ali'i nui of all eight islands in the early 19th century, conquering all of the islands (except Kaua'i and Ni'ihau) by force -- including forcing many of Kalanikupule's (the ali'i of O'ahu) off the Pali cliffs. The more-distant islands of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau were won through negotiation rather than battle.
Today is a public holiday in the state of Hawai'i, with a floral parade from the 'Iolani Palace to the edge of Kapi'olani Park near Diamondhead, an evening draping ceremony with long strands of lei draped over the King's statue, and a Hoʻolauleʻa -- a super-sized lu'au.
Aloha nui loa, Kamehameha!