Fireworks accident #3, 1912.


When Robert Kaleiheana, the blacksmith of Waialua, was attempting this past Sunday to go over the top when he was commemorating the death of the old year and the birth of the new, his right hand flew off, and should he be saved from this unfortunate accident which befell upon him, he will join the Hokake Ipukai club of Waialua [?]. When all of Waialua’s people were in on the celebration of the last hour of that old man that died [the year 1911] by making all the deafening noises that they could. Firecrackers were one of the noise makers that were set off, but to top this noise so that all those above, and below, here, and there of Waialua could hear, Kaleiheana set ablaze some stick of dynamite to make a bigger bang. He held the dynamite for a long time in his right hand, after he set the fuse on fire. When the powder exploded, his right hand was scattered about, it was all shredded until the wrist.

The police were fetched, and the doctor was brought as well. This injury he received was severe, but he will not be in danger, and yet he will be maimed.

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 1/5/1912, p. 1)


Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke X, Helu 1, Aoao 1. Ianuari 5, 1912.

Fireworks accident #2, 1912.


To celebrate the passing of the old year and so too the arrival of the new year, Robert Kaleiheana of Waialua got into an accident when his hand was blown up by dynamite this past Sunday; however his injuries were not terribly severe.

According to the news of that explosion, there were many Waialua people entertaining themselves by setting off fireworks, but what Kaleiheana was setting off was dynamite, and because he held on to the stick of powder in his hand for too long, that was why he got in trouble when the fuse caught on fire until the explosion.

His hand is what was hurt, and the police were informed, and the injured was treated immediately; and from what they say, his injuries were not very severe.

(Kuokoa, 1/5/1912, p. 1)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVIII, Helu 1, Aoao 1. Ianuari 5, 1912.

Fireworks accident #1, 1912.


From down in Waialua it was heard that the hand of that Hawaiian named Kaleiheana was severed and flew because of the explosion of the gun powder which he held. Everyone of that land famed for the sea spray was celebrating the new year, and were setting off firecrackers and other noise makers, and because Kaleiheana thought that the firecrackers weren’t powerful enough, he took some dynamite and lit the fuse; while he mistakenly believed that the fuse wasn’t burning, that was when that dynamite exploded and his hand flew. Kaleiheana is under doctor’s care, and it is believed that he will be saved, but he will be disfigured for the rest of his life.

(Aloha Aina, 1/6/1912, p. 2)

Mailalo mai o Waialua...

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XVI, Helu 1, Aoao 2. Ianuari 6, 1912.

Different papers, different views, 1912.

It is not unusual for different newspapers to cover the same story differently. Most papers were slanted in some way or another. If heads or editors of a paper changed, the coverage could change as well.

The following three articles deal with the same event, but are considerably different in content. This isn’t even a politically charged article, it’s about a fireworks accident…

It is important to consider what paper an article comes from and the circumstances of its publication.