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From Our Files

HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific, chronicling the Islands since 1888.


Feb. 1925: Hawai'i is at the forefront of political progressiveness, reports Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. "Right up to the times, [the territory of] Hawai'i blossoms with a lady legislator-a woman member of the House of Representatives: Mrs. Samuel Keliinoi." Rosalie Enos Keliinoi, pictured above, represented Kaua'i after growing up in Wailuku, Maui, and being educated at the Academy of the Sacred Hearts on Fort Street in Honolulu. Even before Hawai'i became a territory, Paradise notes, women historically played roles in Hawaiian government, as queens, princesses, ali'i and prime ministers.

Feb. 1945: While the nation endured liquor rationing during World War II, Hawai'i was "the only place where wartime manufacture of alcoholic beverages has been actually encouraged by government officials," writes Paradise of the Pacific, photo at right. Local liquor plants and breweries supplied nearly all of the alcohol consumed by Island civilians at the time-a $9-million industry in 1943 ($97 million in today's dollars). "Comments on the locally manufactured joy juice have ranged from wise cracks to groans, but the fact remains that a steady supply of somewhat unpalatable but government-inspected liquor has been an excellent morale factor in the community and has saved vast amounts of shipping space."

Feb. 1970: "We're the bathingest people in the U.S.A," proclaims the cover of HONOLULU Magazine. According to local author Bob Krauss in his new book, High-Rise Hawai'i, the average Honoluluan uses up to three times as many bars of soap a year as the average resident of Minneapolis, San Francisco or Miami. That led HONOLULU to ask some local celebs about their own bathing habits, see comic on next page. "Lowell Dillingham, the tycoon, never sings while showering but likes to whistle a lively tune. Dapper Frank Fasi showers twice a day, administers his own shampoos (including his bushy sideburns) and is in and out of the stall in a flurry. … When [Don Ho is] ensconced in his penthouse at the Hilton Lagoon, he has a speaker phone in the bathroom, and in his dressing room at Duke's there's a phone so that, even when he's in the shower, he's never out of reach."

Feb. 1985: With his legendary charisma and quick wit, Sammy Amalu became infamous in the Islands for writing bad checks and impersonating fictitious figures, from a Hawaiian prince to an Indian maharajah. But Amalu made international headlines in 1962, when he came close to arranging a $50 million deal to buy Sheraton's five Waikïkï hotels and other prime Hawai'i properties-even though he didn't have the money for it. The elaborate hoax fooled some of Hawai'i's sharpest businessmen, including investor Chinn Ho. In 1985, HONOLULU Magazine profiled the 67-year-old con man turned newspaper columnist for The Honolulu Advertiser, photo above. "No one, not even his intimates, knows what makes Sammy Amalu tick," the magazine writes, "and Sammy prefers to keep it that way."

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Honolulu Magazine October 2019
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