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From Our Files

February archives


Our History

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.





“The first [Matson liner S.S.] Malolo of the year, its new white paint glistening against a blue Hawaiian sea, has arrived,” notes Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. “And with it the first fugitives from the snow and icy blasts of the East. The ‘season’ has begun at Waikiki. Dances and concerts are held almost every evening at the Moana and Royal Hawaiian Hotels, the beach is gay with smart new bathing costumes and the curio shops filled with tourists. There may be breadlines on the Mainland, but apparently there are always fortunate followers of the sun who can come to Waikiki to play.”






“After making theatrical history in the Pacific, these glamorous Honolulu girls are looking toward the Mainland, like the GIs they entertained,” writes Paradise, bidding aloha to local girls in The Flanderettes, a USO troupe directed by Josephine Flanders. “Mina Duncan (at one o’clock) 17-year-old comedienne, leaves for Chicago where she will become an Abbott dancer … Jackie Tatum (three o’clock) leaves for Hollywood and a screen test … Juanita Given (six o’clock) continues her training as a dancer before going ‘stateside,’ she is all of 15 … Nalani De Clerq (seven o’clock) is now singing in a San Francisco night spot; May Moniz (eleven o’clock) after graduating from Roosevelt High School will take off for New York and a career as a model.”



Hapa? No big deal now, but strange new territory in the statehood era. Paradise writes about the Casey family of Aina Haina, where boys Sean and Leo attract attention for being Irish-Japanese. “It isn’t prejudice but curiosity which makes most Island parents think racially,” writes Paradise. “What kind of mates will their children end up marrying? In the Casey case, will their boys continue the already-started mixed-ancestry strain? In families as yet untouched by interracial marriage, the feeling generally is—‘is it finally going to happen to us?’ Most of the hard-core racial prejudices which once existed in Hawaii have been dissipated by the changing economic and social patterns which emerged in post-World War II years.”



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Honolulu Magazine February 2018
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