From Our Files
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.
You may be surprised to learn that Waikiki was once home to a wax museum. The Hawaiian Wax Museum opened on Feb. 1, 1965 and boasted 19 molded scenes, such as the birth of Kamehameha and the arrival of Capt. James Cook. “Those familiar with Hawaiian history will be fascinated,” said the ad in Paradise of the Pacific. “Those unfamiliar with Hawaii’s past will find the museum an incomparable introduction to the Aloha State.” The museum also included a wax figure of the beloved Duke Kahanamoku (shown in photo above). The museum no longer exists; an ABC store now sits at its former address at 2340 Kalakaua Ave.
“Sammy Amalu, a self-proclaimed descendent of Hawaiian royalty … might deserve the title ‘King of the Charismatic Con Men,’” reports HONOLULU. Writer Ted Kurrus interviewed Amalu 23 years after the Mystery Hui scandal of 1962, in which he was “caught passing checks drawn on nonexistent funds in nonexistent bank accounts in nonexistent banks.” Amalu and his fifth wife-to-be, real estate agent Ann Felzer, tried to buy the five Sheraton Waikīkī hotels for $50 million using fraudulent checks. Amalu was caught, spent seven years in Folsom prison and returned to Hawaii in 1970. He died in 1986, at the age of 68.
“It has been said that in the pursuit of money the Polynesian is irresponsible; in the pursuit of happiness, dedicated,” notes HONOLULU. “Whether or not it is true, this adage speaks volumes about Waikīkī’s most celebrated beach boy, Chick Daniels.” The article reminisced about this former head beach attendant at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Daniels could have been a millionaire, said friends—but he was obsessed with having a good time and spending his wages. “Hawaiians said that Chick was kolohe, or ‘crazy’,” writes HONOLULU. “[as in] ‘wild-kind crazy—good fun.’” The charismatic Daniels passed away in 1982.