In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.
1948 “Romance that bloomed on foreign soil from Germany, Italy and Austria to Japan, China, Korea and the South Pacific has resulted in an influx of more than 300 war brides of many racial backgrounds into Hawaii,” reports Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. But because of U.S. immigration policies, Congress was still debating whether citizenship should be granted to brides and fiancées from Japan, Korea, Polynesia and Micronesia. What’s more, “many of the brides have been disillusioned coming to Hawaii. … Living in cramped quarters, often with in-laws, has caused some of the girls to think with longing of the homes they left behind.”
A Paradise of the Pacific ad for the Big 30 Revue, a KPOA radio show featuring the station’s newest disc jockey. “Tom Moffatt, Hawaii’s overwhelming choice as the new MC, selected in an announcer talent search in which listeners poured hundreds of mail responses to KPOA—99.4 percent of them naming Tom Moffatt.”
It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.