From Our Files
April 1945: U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. William Harrison Dempsey—better known to the world as former world heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey—paid a good-will visit to the Hawaiian Islands, reports Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. In the photo above, Dempsey dines with members of SPAR, the Women’s Coast Guard Reserve. “During this two-week period, the old Manassa Mauler …inspected every Coast Guard ship and shore base in this area, checking up on the recreation and morale needs of the men,” the magazine writes. “He shook hands with thousands of servicemen and civilians, and posed for more than 600 mug shots. … He was recognized immediately wherever he happened to go, and servicemen and civilians would flock around him like bees at a honey jug.”
April 1955: “Waikiki’s newest attraction, the handsome Waikiki Biltmore, is a fabulous expression of Island luxury,” writes Paradise of the Pacific. “It occupies 63,650 square feet of historic land fronting Kalakaua Avenue; soars skyward 10 stories, to Top of the Isle, where guests revel in an unobstructed view to mountains, sea or Diamond Head.” The Top of the Isle, pictured on facing page, top right, became a hotspot for local entertainment, featuring musicians such as Eddie Spencer and Joe Secretario. The Biltmore was demolished in 1974, to make room for Chris Hemmeter’s Hyatt Regency and King’s Alley developments.
April 1965: Paradise of the Pacific gives an unusual spin to the typical fashion shoot. “Since, in these hostile times, a girl might be better off down in the gym learning karate than home knitting in the rocker, we brought this Hawaii collection of jump suits to the YMCA where a nightly session of the manly art of karate was in session,” writes Paradise, photo on facing page, center. “Jump suits were made for jumping, but this one designed by Polly Hornburg for Nalii also permits some ladylike sparring.”
April 1970: In an op-ed piece for HONOLULU Magazine, Mary George, the first woman elected to Honolulu’s City Council, decries the lack of women in leadership positions in both local business and government. George doesn’t blame men, however. “Women themselves discriminate against women,” writes George, photo below left. “With becoming modesty and self-deprecation, we cast our votes for male chairmen of the board. … Sure, we want equal job opportunities but we also want to make sure we maintain the special privileges of our sex. As long as we place such insistence on guaranteed maternity leave and couches in the lady employee rest rooms and subsidized nursery care for our children, we are NOT going to get equal consideration for advancement to decision-making jobs. … It’s a man’s world’ is true only if women let it be so.” George, who also served as a Republican state senator, died in 1997.
April 1990: HONOLULU Magazine treks out to Hana, Maui, to interview Harry Hasegawa, third-generation owner of the famed Hasegawa General Store. Established in 1910, the store became known for carrying almost everything, from fishing poles to lawn mowers to groceries. When HONOLULU asked Hasegawa, pictured above left, if he ever considered selling the store, he replied, “Not after you’ve worked so hard to put it together. When you’ve said you’re passing it on to somebody, and he’s made the commitment to come back, you’re not going to do anything else but pass it on. My father faced the same thing. … I educate my child, send him out to school and then I think, gee, it would nice for him to come back. I was lucky—he came back.” Hasegawa is now semi-retired. Three years ago, his son, Neil, succeeded his father in running the store.