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Short Reads: The Hawaiian Journal of History Author Series

wed22mar1:00 pmwed2:00 pmShort Reads: The Hawaiian Journal of History Author Series1:00 pm - 2:00 pm(GMT-10:00) View in my timeHale La‘akea (Library) 1st Floor

Event Details

Please join us for the second presentation of “Short Reads: The Hawaiian Journal of History Author Series” on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM at Windward Community College Library 1st floor atrium. The Hawaiian Historical Society, in partnership with Windward Community College Library, is hosting an in-person event series featuring presentations by authors published in the Journal. 

Our March presentation is by Jonathan Y. Okamura on his article, “The Lasting Significance of the Majors-Palakiko Case” (vol. 54, 2020), some may know this as the case behind Morgan’s Corner, but it’s more importantly connected to the 1957 abolition of capital punishment in Hawai’i.

James Majors and John Palakiko were young Kanaka men, who were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a wealthy Haole woman, Therese Wilder, at her Nu‘uanu Valley home in 1948. This highly publicized case is often connected to the abolition of the death penalty in Hawai‘i in 1957, but it was not the only factor. Okamura emphasize three race-related factors that contributed to the end of capital punishment in the territory: the multiracial coalition that developed to advocate for commutation of the death sentences given to Majors and Palakiko; the greatly transformed racial setting of Hawai‘i after World War II; and the Democrats gaining control of the legislature for the first time in 1954.

Jonathan Y. Okamura is professor emeritus at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where he

worked for more than thirty years, twenty of which were with the Department of Ethnic Studies.

He is the author of several books, including Raced to Death in 1920s Hawai‘i: Injustice and

Revenge in the Fukunaga Case (University of Illinois Press, 2019), and a regular columnist for Honolulu Civil Beat on race and ethnicity issues in Hawai‘i.

Don’t delay, read the article today!

Event Details

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 22, 1:00PM – 2:00PMLocation: Windward Community College LibraryParking: Parking is free on campus. We recommend parking at Hale Aʻo parking lot and walking up the yellow brick road to Laʻakea Library.


(Wednesday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm(GMT-10:00) View in my time


Hale La‘akea (Library) 1st Floor