President Barack Obama is urging the nation to celebrate Kamehameha (kah-MAY-hah-may-hah) Day along with Hawaii.
The nation's first Hawaii-born president signed a statement Thursday proclaiming June 11, 2010, Kamehameha Day in honor of "King Kamehameha the Great," who unified the Hawaiian Islands under one government.
The statement calls on "all Americans to celebrate the rich heritage of Hawaii with appropriate ceremonies and activities."
Obama's proclamation says King Kamehameha's legacy is preserved in Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe, or "the Law of the Splintered Paddle."
It says the law protects civilians in times of war and is enshrined in Hawaii's constitution as a "unique and living symbol" of the state's concern for public safety. (Source)