• 'Iolani Palace, located here, is among more than 1,800 museums across the U.S. offering free admission to military personnel and their families this summer.

    'Iolani Palace

    'Iolani Palace, located here, is among more than 1,800 museums across the U.S. offering free admission to military personnel and their families this summer.

  • The formal staircase inside 'Iolani Palace, first built in 1879 by King David Kalakaua, is a main attraction for visitors to the world-class museum.

    Blue Star Museum

    The formal staircase inside 'Iolani Palace, first built in 1879 by King David Kalakaua, is a main attraction for visitors to the world-class museum.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (June 21, 2013) -- 'Iolani Palace is one of more than 1,800 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense (DOD).

It offers an extraordinary opportunity for the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawai'i community to visit the only palace that served as an official royal residence located in the U.S. for free.

'Iolani Palace was built by King Kalākaua. Influenced by the western world, the cornerstone of the palace was laid with Masonic rites in December 1879. The palace would become operational in 1882.

Committed to innovation and modernity, Kalākaua had indoor plumbing, hot water, electricity and telephones installed. The palace had many modern conveniences prior to the White House, making it one of the most technologically advanced residences in the world at that time.

"This is the second year the palace has taken part in this meaningful event," explains Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of 'Iolani Palace. "We are proud to have this opportunity to share the history of this historic site and the Hawaiian monarchy with our Army community."

'Iolani Palace recently announced the launch of 2013 Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the NEA, Blue Star Families, the DOD and more than 1,800 museums across America, to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013.

Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.

"Blue Star Museums is a collaboration between the arts and military communities," said NEA acting chairman Joan Shigekawa. "Our work with Blue Star Families and with more than 1,800 museums ensures that we can reach out to military families and thank them for their service and sacrifice."

The palace served as the royal residence of the ruling monarch for the Kingdom of Hawaii until 1893, when it became the site of conflict and contention as foreign forces moved into Hawai'i to remove the monarchy from power.

The monarch and people throughout Hawai'i resisted the deposition, and this resistance would eventually lead to the queen's imprisonment within the palace beginning in 1895. She was kept, arrested within its walls, for eight months.

Today, the palace is a world-class museum and National Historic Landmark that welcomes more than 100,000 visitors every year. It recently underwent extensive renovations in its music room, as well as the king's and queen's bedrooms.

Palace tours run everyday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., except Sundays and certain holidays.
Leilehua Summer Concert Series

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Native Hawaii Liasion Office summer concert series' next event will be 6--7:30 p.m., July 13, at the Leilehua Golf Course Bar and Grill. Mike Ka'awa will be the featured artist. Admission is free, with food and drinks available for purchase.

Page last updated Fri June 21st, 2013 at 00:00