Notable People & Places / 02.02.2012

This might be the most unique ideas for a post that I have come up with thus far. Hopefully you will agree and enjoy reading it.
I love Hawaii (who doesn't?) and over the years I've been fortunate enough to spend a number of vacations in the islands with family. I'm quite fond of the place and have some great memories from my visits. Being the history nerd that I am, I'm intrigued by their unique past, especially the more recent history of the islands, from the original western name of the "Sandwich Islands", to unification under King Kamehameha, to the overthrow under Queen Liliʻuokalani. Hawaii has a fascinating history, and it's one that has a unique and, in my mind, a fascinating connection with Washington, D.C. During the 1890s, the islands saw major upheaval, coups and battling interests for control over the precious resources of the island. The woman charged with protecting the interests of her people and her island nation Lydia Kamakaʻeha Pākī, formally known as Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last monarch of Hawaii. We all know that, in the end, Queen Liliʻuokalani was unable to maintain Hawaiian sovereignty. Hawaii was eventually annexed by the United States under the McKinley Administration and became our 50th state about 60 years later. What most people likely do not know is that she made a well-publicized trip to the mainland -- using a passport from the Republic of Hawaii -- to make one last effort at maintaining Hawaiian self-determination. This post is about her time in the our city.
This Day in History / 06.01.2012

An interesting society section article in the Washington Post from January 5th, 1912 (I know I'm a day late. I started this last night and set it to post today) mentions that President William Howard Taft -- the heaviest president we've ever had the pleasure of electing -- had dinner the night before at his Secretary of State's home. Secretary Philander C. Knox and his wife hosted the first couple in the annual winter dinner of cabinet officers, honoring the President and Mrs. Taft (clearly not a tradition that survived across administrations). Below is the excerpt from the Post.
The President and Mrs. Taft were guests at dinner last night of the Secretary of State and Mrs. Knox at their home on K street. The dinner was the first in the series given every winter by cabinet officers in honor of the President and Mrs. Taft. The home of the Secretary and Mrs. Knox, which is one of the handsomest official residences in Washington, was decorated last night with orchids. The other guests were the British Ambassador and Mrs. Bryce, the German Ambassador and Countess von Bernstorff, the Italian Ambassador and Marchioness Cusani, the Russian Ambassador and Mme. Bakhmeteff, Mr. Justice McKenna and Mrs. McKenna, Senator and Mrs. Warren, Senator and Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Garrison McClintock, Mr. Horace Taft, and Mr. and Mrs. Hugh S. Knox.
That is an impressive guest list. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at that dinner. I added photos of some of the guests below.