Connecting with History

While you’re staying home, Hawaiian Mission Houses brings its programming to you. Bookmark this page and check back daily for a new way to learn and have fun with history.


Today’s Feature

How to do Styrofoam Printing with Kids

Click here to learn how you can do Styrofoam Printing with Kids!
Not only were the people of the first company arriving in Hawaii 200 years ago this week, but so was the first printing press!  
Yesterday’s printing press demonstration on Connecting with History showed how to use a historical printing press.  But prints can be made of other things as well — including your own designs!  Here’s a way to do printmaking at home with designs of your own creation. Get creative!



This Day in History

March 30, 1820, First Sighting of Hawaii

March 26, is Prince Kūhiō Day

Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole was born on March 26, 1871 to David Kahalepouli Piʻikoi and Victoria Kinoiki Kekaulike.  He is descended from Kaumualiʻi, the last independent King of Kauaʻi.  Under King Kalākaua, he was appointed to the royal cabinet administering the Department of the Interior.  After the 1893 Overthrow, he participated in the 1895 counter-revolution and was sentenced to a year in prison.  He served his full prison term.  He was elected to be the congressional delegate for the Territory of Hawaiʻi in 1902 and began his service as delegate in 1903, serving until his death in 1922.  In 1903, he reorganized the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and was founder of the first Hawaiian Civic Club.  In 1919, he introduced the first Hawaiʻi Statehood Act.  He served on the first Hawaiian Homes Commission created by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921.  He died January 7, 1922.  He is buried at Mauna ʻAla, the Royal Mausoleum in Nuʻuanu.


At Home Activities

Ball and Cup Game Demonstration

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Click here to create your own Ball and Cup!
Ball and Cup was a favorite childhood game among the missionary children 200 years ago and continues to be enjoyed to this day. See instructions on how to make your own Ball and Cup toy at home with these simple materials. Have Fun!

Journal writing

Missionaries kept all kinds of journals documenting their daily lives during their mission in the Sandwich Islands.

Activity: Now that you are learning at home, start a journal and document your daily life. What is your routine, what did you eat today, what activities did you do? How do you feel?
Why is keeping a journal important?
To record your own personal history for future historians and to give your perspective, or point of view, on the experiences of your life.  These might become very important to future historians studying the time period in which we are living.


Learn ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

ka wai

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The Mission Houses are located on a piece of land traditionally called Kawaiahaʻo, this name Kawaiahaʻo translates to “the water of Haʻo”, and refers to a spring located where Kawaiahaʻo Church sits today and was created by a young chief named Haʻo. He lived in his father’s court with his mother and younger sister. After his mother passed away, Haʻo and his sister ran away from their home because of the cruelties of their new step mother. Exhausted and thirsty from running, Haʻo stopped to rest and eventually fell asleep. While he dreamt, he was given instructions about how to  pull water up from the earth. He then woke up, followed what he was told and created a punawai (freshwater spring). With that he and his sister were able to drink water. Haʻo understood that this was a gift from the akua (gods) and he was in their favor. Later, a descendant of his, also named Haʻo, used this punawai as a private bathing pool.

ka hale pili

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When the missionaries first arrived in Hawaiʻi, they were guests of the aliʻi (chiefs). Because of this, where they were to live was decided upon by Chief Boki, governor of Oʻahu. He decided that these missionaries would reside at Kawaiahaʻo and his men built them hale pili to live in, which were located where the 1821 frame house sits today. The grass their homes were thatched with is called pili (Heteropogon contortus), a type of native grass that was commonly used for this purpose. 

ka mikanele

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Text that relates with ka mikanele
The first company of missionaries came from Boston, Massachusetts, aboard the Thaddeus. The missionaries included 7 couples from New England and 4 Hawaiian men who had been schoolmates of Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia. Their voyage to Hawaiʻi was about 6 months long and they first sighted land at Kawaihae on Hawaiʻi Island on March 30, 1820, before anchoring in Kailua-Kona on April 4th


About Our Site

Replica Ramage Printing Press Demonstration

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Curator of Public Programs Mike Smola explains and demonstrates the working replica of the Ramage Press brought by the ABCFM Missionaries in 1820 to Hawaii. Visit Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives “Connecting with History” website at for daily online

1821 Model of Honolulu Mission Station

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Curator of Public Programs Mike Smola explains what the area around the Hawaiian Mission Houses looked like in 1821, a year after the founding of the Honolulu Mission Station by the missionaries sent to Hawai`i by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

Bicentennial Program Updates