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Thomas Square - A Historic Public Park in Honolulu, Hawaii

Thomas Square - Honolulu, HawaiiThomas Square is a historically significant site in Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. It is Hawaii’s first official public park, dedicated in honor of British Rear Adm. Richard Thomas by King Kamehameha III in 1850.

Thomas was responsible for restoring the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom after British subjects, headed by Lord George Paulet, unlawfully seized the Hawaiian government in February 1843.

In July of the same year, Thomas sailed into Honolulu Harbor as the Local Representative of the British Commission to end the occupation. A few days later, he handed the islands back to King Kamehameha III.

To mark King Kamehameha III's restoration to power, a ceremony was held at the site to where the monarch uttered the now famous words "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Āina i ka Pono," commonly translated as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness," which eventually became the state's official motto. It was also during this event that the site was named after Thomas for his exemplary deed.

In 1925, the site was made into a park managed by the City and County of Honolulu. Over the years, additional features were added to the park, including a central water fountain, radial coral pathways arranged in the pattern of the Union Jack and the Beretania Street Promenade, designed by landscape architects Catherine Jones Thompson and Bob Thompson. The park was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1972 based on its historical significance.

Thomas Square is located in Downtown Honolulu, Bounded by King, Beretania, and Victoria Streets and Ward Avenue. Across the street is the Honolulu Museum of Art.


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