From Our Files: Moments from Hawai‘i’s Past—July Edition

A look back at Honolulu from July 1921 to 1961. Stories taken from the archives of Paradise of the Pacific and HONOLULU Magazine.



In 1888, King Kalākaua 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.




This month, Paradise of the Pacific celebrates the formal dedication of Hawai‘i National Park, comprising Kīlauea, Mauna Loa and Haleakalā, largely thanks to the campaigning of Lorrin A. Thurston, president of the Hawaiian Volcano Research Association, and Thomas Jaggar, director of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. “It is but fitting that this ceremony should be simple, for somehow in the face of the might and majesty of Hawai‘i’s ever active volcano even the pomp and glitter of the coronation of an European sovereign would seem tawdry and unavailing,” Paradise writes. “The Hawai‘i National Park will do more than all the work of our publicity organizations to put the territory upon the tourist map of the world.” Forty years later, the park is split into Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakalā National Park.



“In an Hawaiian ‘dog house,’” photo by Narkus, Beach Studio.




June 11 marks the bicentennial of King Kamehameha I’s birth and the centennial of King Kalākaua’s. “No effort was spared to make this celebration the greatest ever,” writes May Day Lo. With a holokū ball, a regatta with “special boats,” a dance and a parade with “the noblest horses,” thousands of people came out to celebrate. “As a brilliant climax to the Hawai‘i jubilee, a colorful water pageant was presented in the evening on the Ala Wai. Singing their melodious and impressive way down the canal, which shimmered in myriad reflected lights, princesses, musicians and royal courts rode on nine illuminated barges.”



“The friendship between Lyndon Johnson and Dan Inouye has puzzled many people,” Paradise writes, especially after Johnson chose Inouye, “this relatively unknown Congressman from Hawai‘i,” for one of two seconding speeches to his nomination at the 1960 Democratic Convention.


Jack Ackerman, diver, fisherman, coral expert, writer and cameraman, is “a contemporary Hawaiian legend.”


“I can get lost in Honolulu, but anywhere underwater off Hawai‘i, I know where I am,” he says. Ackerman sells jewelry made from black-coral gems, rarer than nonprecious corals because of the depths from which they come (greater than 200 feet). He suffered an acute attack of the bends while diving and is no longer able to go that deep.


Professional organized baseball comes to Hawai‘i with the Pacific Coast League.






Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at


Read More Stories by Katrina Valcourt


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Honolulu Magazine October 2019
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