Iolani Palace, situated in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaii, is the only royal palace used as an official residence by a reigning monarch in the United States and is a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two monarchs governed from Iolani Palace: King David Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani.
Upon the overthrow of the monarchy by the Committee of Safety in 1893, Iolani Palace was converted into the statehouse of the newly formed Provisional Government of Hawaii. It later became the capitol building of the Republic of Hawaii, the Territory of Hawaii, and the State of Hawaii.
Iolani Palace in Days of InfamyEdit
Iolani Palace was situated in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. It was the only royal palace in the United States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. Three monarchs governed from Iolani Palace: King David Kalākaua, Queen Liliuokalani, and Stanley Owana Laanui.
When the Empire of Japan conquered Hawaii in 1942, it used the Iolani Palace as its headquarters. General Tomoyuki Yamashita and other Japanese officers accepted the United States formal surrender in Iolani Palace in February of that year. In August 1942, the Japanese government reconstituted the Kingdom of Hawaii with Stanley Owana Laanui as its puppet ruler. However, Japan retained all real power, and many of the military leaders who administered the islands did so from the Palace.
When the United States returned and reconquered Hawaii, the Palace became the site of a last stand for many Japanese forces. King Stanley and his queen, Cynthia, realizing that they'd forfeited their freedom and their lives by siding with Japan, committed suicide there (Stanley shot his wife, then himself). Commander Minoru Genda committed seppuku immediately after.
Although the United States had wanted the palace intact, the stubborn resistance of the Japanese troops ensured that the Americans had to destroy Iolani Palace instead.