Thomas Square

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Thomas Square
Thomas Square is located in Hawaii
Thomas Square
Location Bounded by King, Beretania, and Victoria Streets and Ward Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii
Coordinates 21°18′9″N 157°50′56″W / 21.30250°N 157.84889°W / 21.30250; -157.84889Coordinates: 21°18′9″N 157°50′56″W / 21.30250°N 157.84889°W / 21.30250; -157.84889
Area 6.5 acres (2.6 ha)
Built 1843
NRHP Reference # 72000423[1]
Added to NRHP April 25, 1972

Thomas Square is a park in Honolulu, Hawaii named for Admiral Richard Darton Thomas.


Main article: Paulet Affair (1843)

In February 1843 Lord George Paulet on HMS Carysfort seized and occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii during the Paulet Affair.

On July 26 Admiral Richard Darton Thomas sailed into Honolulu harbor on his flagship HMS Dublin. He became Local Representative of the British Commission by out-ranking Paulet. His intention was to end the occupation. On July 31, he handed the islands back to King Kamehameha III who said the words Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono in a speech during a ceremony to mark his restoration. Roughly translated from the Hawaiian language it means "The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness" and has become the state motto of Hawaii, incorporated into the Seal of Hawaii.[2]

Kamehameha III named the place where the ceremony was held in Downtown Honolulu 21°18′9″N 157°50′56″W / 21.30250°N 157.84889°W / 21.30250; -157.84889 Thomas Square in his honor. In 1925 it was made into a park managed by the City and County of Honolulu.[2]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu on April 25, 1972. It is state historic site 80-14-9990.[3]

Beginning in 2011, the Northern side of Thomas Square became an encampment site for (De)Occupy Honolulu, a Hawaiʻi affiliate of the Occupy movement. As such, regular protests and police conflicts have become a feature of the area.

July 31 is celebrated as Lā Ho'iho'i Ea or Restoration Day holiday.[4] The pathways in the park are shaped in the form of the British flag. A fountain is in the center of the square, surrounded by trees. Across the street is the Honolulu Museum of Art.[2]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Dorothy Riconda (March 23, 1972). "Thomas Square nomination form" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  3. ^ "National and State Register of Historic Places on Oʻahu" (PDF). Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. June 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  4. ^ Blaine Fergerstrom (June 30, 2008). "Lā Ho'iho'i Ea / Restoration Day". Hawaii State Office of Hawaiian Affairs.